Domestic Violence

Sometimes I can criticize someone’s argument without being opposed to their actual position. I’ve done this in the past in arguing against the bad logic used by many pro-choicers. I’ll assail the poorly framed arguments even though I don’t believe the government should ban abortion. It was after one of these instances that I adopted the enigmatic fetus_punter moniker on my yahoo account, but that is neither here nor there.

Recently I found myself on the Lansing State Journal forums debating on the domestic violence issue. I’m not for violence, I don’t like it. Getting punched in the face hurts and I don’t recommend it. What I was arguing about was the fact that some people simply refuse to acknowledge that when an abused person continually gets back with an abuser, then their decision-making is part of the problem and they are now complicit in the crime. Read that exactly as I wrote it, I am not saying that they deserve to be abused. I’m simply saying they are aiding and abetting the abuser.

Enter one Melissa dey Hasbrook. She appears to be some sort of advocate for abused women or something of that nature. She posts on the LSJ forums often and I noticed she has a blog so I checked it out. I left a comment agreeing with her stance against violence (although I would extend the stance and advocate for all human beings, not just those with vaginas). She responded, perhaps remembering some of my more caustic forum comments, and accused me of working against the efforts of those who are trying to make a difference. I was a little surprised as I don’t consider myself to be in the pro-violence camp just because I refer to anti-violence demonstrators as hippies. I simply (in my admittedly non-expert opinion) think that the problem of abuse can be tackled in a more effective way than simply blaming men. The following are my comments regarding an online article that Melissa posted a link to on her blog:

A new movement is afoot to break the cycle of domestic abuse by nipping it in the bud. The key: teaching males from a young age how to share power. Local experts say men will continue to abuse women until they learn to share power.

The implication here is that men have all the power and are greedily not sharing it. This is erroneous on the face of it. The majority of power in a relationship does not come from muscles and fists, but from money, the ability to give or withhold affection, and the ability to nag and emotionally blackmail. Men and women both have access to and use these devices.

Men maiming and murdering women is a public health issue that costs $5.8 billion annually nationwide in loss of productivity, including $4.1 billion just to treat physical and mental injuries. Not nearly enough programs are in place to treat the perpetrators and to heal the victims that survive, workers in the field say.

And Fat Albert weighs a hundred million billion tons.

“Domestic violence� has been the term used to discuss adults abusing one another, but the new, preferred term is “intimate partner violence,� which shifts emphasis from the residence to the relationship.

Yes, the problem is we always thought people were beating up houses.

Pastoor places some of the blame on media portrayals of male-female relationships. She notes an incident on the MTV reality television program “The Real World,� which is geared toward teens and twentysomethings. A guy angrily grabbed a girl’s arm and pulled her into the bathroom, where it was implied he pummeled her. That’s entertainment, apparently.

Men who beat up women don’t do it because it was a nifty idea they learned from TV, they do it because they’re angry and they think face-punching is a legitimate way to solve problems (it’s not). If people really did everything they saw on TV then women would be really happy when they mop with Mop N Glow and old Chinese guys would go around trying to convince people they were hungry for Hot Pockets.

EVE distributes a handbook to help parents talk to their kids about healthy relationships and affirm that violence is never acceptable. It offers concrete tips like pointing out couples who treat each other well, others that do not, and discussing the characteristics of the relationships.

This part is very good and makes a lot of sense.

The atmosphere in schools can be a negative one, exemplified when coaches and physical education teachers make fun of boys. (“You throw like a girl!�) That type of bullying is an extension of condoned violence and models sexual harassment, Lemmer says.

This is the stupidest thing anybody has ever written. Telling somebody they throw like a girl means just that, you throw like a girl. It does not mean “You throw like a girl which who, incidentally, it is ok to beat and sexually assault because everybody knows they don’t have souls because they can’t throw very well.” I insist on your providing me with a break!

Domestic violence is a very serious subject but you’re going to detract from the real issues if you make non-sequitur issues about semantics and make outlandish claims like the last one. Those type of statements probably go over well with radical man-hating feminists but I think you already had them on yourside to begin with. If you’re aiming to educate and influence a wider audience I should think you were want to appear at least somewhat reasonable.

p.s. This is my one thousandth post!!!!

9 Responses to “Domestic Violence”

  1. I beg to differ it it OK to hit a woman if you tell her to shut up 3 times and she keeps talking

  2. Phelps says:

    Intimate partner violence sounds like a euphemism for donkey punching.

    And I seem to recall the same ones who told boys that they threw like a girl were the ones who also told them to never hit a woman. And of course all this ignores that women initiate over half of domestic violence incidents. Somehow it is the guy’s fault if a woman can’t finish what she starts. That’s just as bad as saying a woman deserves to be beat up for being a bitch.

  3. Phelps says:

    Oh, and if a woman does finish what she starts and kills the guy, she gets a free house and everyone talks about how brave she was.

  4. mexi says:

    And if “You throw like a girl” really means “It’s ok to hit women”, then what does “I’m going to learn Spanish” mean?

  5. mexi says:

    Good point Phelps. This Melissa person also spoke at a rally where they were advocating for the release of abused women who had been imprisoned for murder. So it would appear she’s not actually against violence after all, she’s for violence when the perpetrators have vaginas.

  6. Phelps says:

    Q: What do you tell a woman with two black eyes?

    A: Nothing! You told her three times already!

  7. FYI – I am a survivor of violence and have too many loved ones who also are survivors. I began corresponding with local media, local gov’t, and the public about preventing violence against women when murders in Lansing, MI, went through the statistical roof this summer – a doubled rate compared to last year. And women were being hunted – 5 women killed in 5 weeks. It took local gov’t too long to warn women about being targeted in our community.

    Not once in my public comments do you find any statement claiming that men are to blame for this violence. Facts: most domestic violence victims are women and their perpetrators are men. This information doesn’t indicate that men are never victims or women are never perpetrators.

    The reality that men most often are perpetrators of violence doesn’t claim that all men are perpetrators. The reality that women most often are victims of violence in intimate partner relationships also doesn’t claim that all women are victims. There are facts, there are claims, there are arguments. Facts do not equal claims. Claims are used to shape arguments. Yet it seems that you confuse these different components of rhetoric. Why is that?

  8. mexi says:

    According to the LSJ you spoke at the capitol on behalf of women who had murdered their (supposedly) abusive boyfriends/husbands. I highly doubt that you ever have or would speak on behalf of men who had murdered their supposedly abusive wives/girlfriends. If my summation is correct, I believe that is sufficient to show that you blame the violence on the men. My position is that men and women are about equally likely to initiate violence (I’ve had my share of being attacked by unreasonable women who take it personally offensive when I cheat on them). In fact I was on the Jenny Jones show in 1996 where my ex-wife described for the crowd how she slapped me when she found out that I cheated on her. The primarily female crowd cheered demonstrating the fact that women aren’t against violence per se, they are against losing physical altercations. I think your speaking on behalf of violent women is evidence of this.

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