On Feminism, Part IV

Before I move on, I feel my position on the current situation in family law needs clarification:

  • In he said/she said cases, we should do our best to get outside verification — and we definitely shouldn’t presume at the outset that the man is guilty. Beyond the fact that no one should be presumed guilty in any case, false accusations of abuse do occur.
  • Any standards of proof we adopt should be applied in an unbiased manner. We may not be able to conduct family court proceedings the way we conduct other court proceedings (SABR Matt has correctly noted that family law is less clear-cut), but the rules we establish shouldn’t favor one gender over the other.
  • Penalties should be put in place to deal with those who try to win their custody battles through false accusations and fraud.
  • Shared custody should be our goal in situations in which abuse is not a factor and both parents have expressed a desire to be involved in rearing their children. A child needs to have meaningful contact with both his father and his mother; this is the firm conclusion of the relevant social science research.
  • *****

    Yes – domestic violence and other forms of abuse do occur, and I have nothing but respect for those who are trying to provide battered and/or terrorized partners a way out. What I don’t respect is the manner in which the facts on domestic violence have been filtered and/or exaggerated to fit the radical feminists’ misandrist vision. Remember the infamous Super Bowl Sunday claim in 1993? Snopes has the run down:

    Unfortunately, nearly every cause will encompass a sub-group of advocates who, either through deliberate disingenuousness or earnest gullibility, end up spreading “noble lies” in the furtherance of that cause. The myth of Super Bowl Sunday violence is one such noble lie.

    Ken Ringle, a reporter for the Washington Post, was one of the few journalists to bother to check the sources behind the stories. When he contacted Janet Katz, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University and one of the authors of the study cited during the January 28 news conference, he found:

    Janet Katz, professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion and one of the authors of that study, said “that’s not what we found at all. ”

    One of the most notable findings, she said, was that an increase of emergency room admissions “was not associated with the occurrence of football games in general, nor with watching a team lose.” When they looked at win days alone, however, they found that the number of women admitted for gunshot wounds, stabbings, assaults, falls, lacerations and wounds from being hit by objects was slightly higher than average. But certainly not 40 percent.

    “These are interesting but very tentative findings, suggesting what violence there is from males after football may spring not from a feeling of defensive insecurity, which you’d associate with a loss, but from the sense of empowerment following a win. We found that significant. But it certainly doesn’t support what those women are saying in Pasadena,” Katz said.

    Feminists – and their allies in the media – also bury statistics on male victims of domestic assaults. It is true that women are more likely to suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner, but the number of male victims is certainly not zero. A study published in 2000 by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control, for example, reports (emphasis mine):

    Women experience more intimate partner violence than do men: 22.1 percent of surveyed women, compared with 7.4 percent of surveyed men, reported they were physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, or date in their lifetime; 1.3 percent of surveyed women and 0.9 percent of surveyed men reported experiencing such violence in the previous 12 months. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.

    Selectively reporting statistics such as these makes it difficult for male victims of domestic violence to get help (see here) — but again, honest reporting on this topic would damage the radical feminist “men are brutes” narrative.

    Some may object to the motivations I ascribe to radical feminists; they may insist, for example, that these activists are merely driven by their desire to protect women. My response is this: if radical feminists wish to protect women, they sure have a funny way of showing it.

    The way I see it, there are three things women can do to improve their chances of staying safe:

  • Don’t go out at night without an escort, and always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Be modest in the way you dress.
  • Avoid cohabitation.
  • As far as I know, my first recommendation is pretty uncontroversial — but my second and third are bound to kick up radical feminist screeching. How dare I tell women they can’t dress however they like without consequences! How dare I tell women not to move in with their boyfriends!

    Here’s how I dare:

  • I don’t believe that men are brutes; I do believe, however, that they are fallen human beings who need to be explicitly taught at an early age how to behave around members of the opposite sex. Before the advent of feminism, chivalric traditions used to do this. Today, however, we are facing the consequences of a full-scale feminist attack on “shrivalry,” as one feminist so tartly put it. Boys – unless they grow up in conservative households – are no longer taught that women should be cherished and protected, and thus they don’t know why they should suppress their lizard-brain urge to ogle. Now, we have a choice here: we can do what the radical feminists wish us to do and foist all of the responsibility for right conduct on men, or we women can share the responsibility and try to minimize temptation. I’m not suggesting we throw on burqas; I am suggesting we wear skirts that are at least knee length and tops that adequately contain our breasts.
  • According to the research, women who are cohabiting with their boyfriends are more likely to be victimized than are women who are living with their husbands. Common sense would seem to dictate, then, that women refuse to move in with their boyfriends until they have made it down the aisle.
  • But radical feminists don’t seem to be in the business of promoting common sense — and that’s why I’m skeptical that “protecting women” is their ultimate goal.

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