December 21, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Leave it to The Guardian to make the domestic violence situation worse, not better (The Guardian, 12/4/18). The type of virulent misandry on parade in the linked-to piece belongs in the ash heap of history, but The Guardian is nothing if not a throwback to older, less-informed times. It’s one of the troglodytes of the British press, the only silver lining to the cloud being that its readership has declined for years until today it’s next to nothing.
The article’s premise is that men commit domestic violence, women don’t, women are victims, men aren’t and therefore, the only way to reduce the incidence of DV is for men to be, well, different.
“Because domestic violence is a man’s problem,” [actor Patrick] Stewart tells me before the event. “We are the ones who are committing the offences, performing the cruel acts, controlling and denying. It’s the men.”
That of course is simply false. Indeed, I think it’s not too much to call it a lie on Stewart’s part. A lie is something one states as true knowing it not to be. Of course it’s possible that Stewart is so profoundly ignorant of his topic that he knows none of the data on the subject, none of the studies, none of the sets of statistics compiled yearly by governmental and other organizations. But I doubt it. I think he knows and is riding the horse named Misandry for other reasons. Would The Guardian publish his remarks if he told the truth?
Ryan and Luke Hart, themselves apparently victims of their father’s violence, have taken to speaking publicly about DV.
“I’d like to talk to more men, but there isn’t that forum,” says Luke. “Men still don’t understand the problems well enough and they don’t come to hear.”
It’s always amusing to hear a person who doesn’t understand the problem excoriate others for not understanding the problem. Why does he believe men don’t understand the problem when he doesn’t interact with them? The one man Ryan cites who did attend one of their appearances made a valid point.
Ryan adds, with a wry smile: “Recently, one man from the handful in the audience had only come to say: ‘Yeah, but what about all the male victims?”
Indeed, what about them? Alas, that’s almost the last we hear about male victims in The Guardian’s lengthy piece.
For that matter, what about the female perpetrators? They’re a no-show too. Neither male victims nor female perpetrators have any place in The Guardian’s narrative and that of course is why that narrative stands to make the DV situation worse, not better.
The facts about DV in the English-speaking world are no longer subject to serious dispute. Men and women commit DV equally and women are more likely to initiate violence than are men. Last year’s data out of Canada show that women committed about 55% of the intimate partner violence, and that lesbian relationships reported about twice the incidence of DV that heterosexual relationships did and over three times that of gay male relationships. Women tend to be more controlling in their intimate relationships than are men. And we shouldn’t forget the kids who are all too often the victims of their parents’ violence. Mothers commit twice the abuse and neglect of children that fathers do. That’s seldom called DV, but that’s what it is.
Amazingly, the article pulls exactly that sleight of hand regarding adult violence.
Another campaigning voice in this wilderness is David Challen, the son of Sally Challen, who killed her controlling husband in Surrey in 2010 and is serving a life sentence for murder.
See what I mean? He was “controlling,” she murdered him, so who gets the sympathy? And who, by extension is the perpetrator of DV? We already know the answers? The dead man was the perpetrator because “We are the ones who are committing the offences, performing the cruel acts, controlling and denying. It’s the men.” What could be clearer? Men are never victims and when they are, they aren’t. Simple.
The DV establishment likes things just the way they are. The idea that we might actually take steps to ameliorate the problem of domestic violence has always been an anathema to DV activists. They all too often sideline real issues in favor of an anti-male narrative that then finds voice in rags like The Guardian.
Here are some basic facts: men and women are equally violent in domestic settings. They’re usually that way because their families were that way when they were growing up. DV is a learned thing and as such, it can be unlearned. Mental health professionals are now pretty adept at providing the help that’s needed to unlearn the behavior and the mindset that assumes that violence is an acceptable response to domestic issues.
But of course none of that can happen as long as the DV establishment’s narrative of male corruption and female innocence holds sway. As long as it does, where does a female perpetrator go to get help for her problem? Where does a male victim go? Who would believe him if he did pipe up?
We now teach that DV is perpetrated by men and the only way to get them to change is to acquaint them with their need to control women through violence and, armed with that wisdom, in some way, change. That none of that is true in the overwhelming majority of DV cases bothers DV activists and publications that channel their false narrative not at all.
As I said, they like things just the way they are and, having garnered the lion’s share of public discourse on the subject of DV, they’re not about to change or to let facts get in the way of their funding sources. Then, having blocked the road of salutary change, they can then shout to the world “See? There’s still an epidemic of DV!”
When will someone point out that, if the problem is still a serious one and the DV
establishment’s been in charge of solving it for over 40 years, maybe it’s time for a change of direction?