On the psychology of domestic violence


Just before Christmas, Dr Ben Hine gave a public lecture in London entitled ‘Challenging the Gendered Discourse on domestic violence.’

The lecture is now online in two parts, totalling about 90 minutes, and if you are interested in the social psychology around domestic violence it is absolutely essential viewing. I’m a big fan of Ben & his work, we’ve collaborated in bringing together the Men and Boys Coalition and generally I think we couldn’t be much closer together on the same page, politically.   

The lecture is primarily about how domestic violence is perceived, which I think is an incredibly fruitful line of inquiry if we want to understand this topic at a level deeper than headlines and slogans. Ben makes a really strong case that many of our collective shortcomings in discussing, understanding and addressing domestic abuse come down to social cognition – the human tendency to adopt heuristics and stereotypes and then adapt evidence from our lives to fit the stereotypes rather than adapt our stereotypes to fit the evidence.

Ben argues that we perceive and interpret domestic violence through gender schemas, as set out in the work of Sandra Bem.  In practice this means that when we see or hear about a scenario such as a partner assault it is psychologically easy when it involves an aggressive, violent male perpetrator and a submissive, cowering female victim as both adhere to our profoundly-held gender scripts. When those gender schemas are challenged by, for instance, a female aggressor or a male victim, this causes cognitive stress which we may try to relieve by denial, dismissal, laughter or hostility.

All of which is, it seems to me, very true and well observed. If I might offer one mild criticism of the lecture, and I guess the thinking behind it, it is very focused on physical acts of violence  – the punches, kicks, etc and offers virtually no analysis of the intangible cruelties of power – fear, domination, intimidation and control.  This is a really common and understandable shortcoming of research into domestic violence. It is comparatively easy for the Office of National Statistics to quantify punches and kicks or to count bruises or criminal convictions, but you cannot measure terror with a ruler.

Of course the two are not entirely separate. In many violent relationships the punches and kicks (or even just the threat of them) will instil the fear and then an unbalanced, exploitative, abusive power dynamic is set in place that doesn’t necessarily need daily violence to be sustained. (As an aside, this is one reason why I am puzzled by the current push from the likes of Women’s Aid and Prof Sylvia Walby to have DV/DA measured by numbers of incidents rather than numbers of victims, but that is for another day, perhaps.)

But where this becomes really difficult and deep, I think, is that the types of heuristics and cognitive shimmies we employ to interpret and understand the violent relationships of others can also apply to our own experiences of victimisation. A couple of times in his lecture, Ben asks us to ‘gender-flip’ scenarios to understand them better. This is something I always recoil from, I think it is misleading and here is why:

Suppose one evening Mr A punches Mrs A just hard enough to leave a black eye.

Simultaneously, next door, Mrs B punches Mr B just hard enough to leave a black eye.

Now in a gender-neutral analysis (and without any background about motivation, mitigation etc) these two aggressors have perpetrated identical assaults with identical consequences.

But it so happens that Mr and Mrs A and Mr and Mrs B all subscribe to very traditional notions of gender. They all fully buy into Sandra Bem’s gender schemas if you like.

When Mrs A is punched by her husband, what does she conclude? She concludes that her husband is a typical male who having done this once will probably do it again. She understands that he is physically stronger and psychologically more aggressive than she is and that he is, therefore, capable of any levels of violence against her – he might even kill her.  If she doesn’t want to immediately leave or call the police, it is likely that one single punch will leave her in perpetual fear and consequently she will live in subjugation and submission.

When Mr B is punched by Mrs B, what does he conclude? Because of his gender scripts, his wife cannot be an aggressive, violent bully. His cognitive dissonance kicks in and tells him that the punch didn’t really hurt, he’s not really injured it was a one-off, he must have deserved it, whatever. Now we can look in from the outside and say that is obviously wrong, he shouldn’t feel like that, violence is wrong, full stop. That doesn’t change how he feels, he genuinely (if wrongly) believes that the punch was no big deal.

In his lecture Ben makes the point that we (as a society or culture) perceive a man hitting a woman differently to how we perceive a woman hitting a man. I’m saying this is true, but adding that we, as individuals, male or female, perceive being hit by a woman differently to how we perceive being hit by a man – even if they both hit equally hard. The consequences of the punch are not just the black eye, but the impact upon the power dynamic between the abuser and the abused, on our sense of self and our relationship with the person who just punched us. The bruises we cannot see are often much more significant than those we can.

Of course in practice human beings are much more complicated than this and our gendered heuristics are competing with many other psychological processes. Many female victims rationalise away or even brush off the behaviour of their abuser and many male victims live in abject terror of their partners, but the point is that in a society where we all adopt gendered heuristics we cannot simply flip genders and expect the results to be meaningful.

If you follow the academic arguments between feminist theorists and family conflict theorists (after Straus et al) you’ll quickly find feminists making similar points to those above, used as an argument for why we can safely ignore findings showing women can be just as violent as men in relationships. Ah, they will say, the Conflict Tactic Scale might show lots of women use violence against men but it doesn’t explain why they use it, what the context is or what the consequences of the violence might be. While they might rarely spell it out, the clear subtext to this argument is usually that a woman assaulting a man just isn’t as serious as a man assaulting a woman, for the individuals but especially for the broader political struggle against male dominion.

In this, I think, they are right and wrong. Right to say that female violence against men is categorically and phenomenologically different to male violence against women; wrong to conclude that therefore female violence against men isn’t a serious problem. In a nutshell, female violence against men might be a different problem to male violence against women but that does not mean it is not a problem on its own terms, doesn’t mean that male victims of domestic violence don’t suffer physical injury, stress, torment and psychological trauma or that women’s violence against men shouldn’t be identified, understood and addressed.

And this is where Ben Hine and I land back four square on the same page.  What is needed for male victims of domestic violence is not a gender-neutral, equalist approach which assumes they have the same issues, the same needs, the same situations as female victims. And it certainly isn’t a gender-exclusive approach which assumes all intimate violence is male violence against women and that male victims are a quirk or an anomaly that can be tacked onto a violence against women strategy. What is needed are gender-appropriate, gender-inclusive policies that meet the separate but different needs of men and women at risk.

 

Comments

  1. That Guy says

    This is well considered, but it does give me some thought!

    What is the best solution for helping victims who don;t consider themselves victimised?

    The only other example that I can draw parallels with is underage children who for whatever reason “”””””consensually””””””” end up in a sexual ‘relationship’ with an older person. Pretty sure there are a number of cases where the victims of this don’t consider this a ‘crime’ or ‘abuse’ at the time, but society steps in anyway and says “not OK”.

    In the case above, it’s obvious that society steps in because due to the power dynamic, the children are vulnerable and unwittingly being exploited by an uneven power dynamic.

    Is it possible to extend this logic to male victims of DV while being logically coherent? In any case, what is the best approach for male victims who don’t consider themselves victimised?

  2. 123454321 says

    This is why I’ve always said that perceptions are so important, yet very dangerous, especially when exploited by certain groups! We shouldn’t be looking at perceptions from a victim’s point of view because perceptions evolve and change depending on social conditioning and the era you happen to be living through. Feminists always say “well, it’s just different” and then base their reasoning on perceptions and acceptability thresholds. Yeah, ok, different from the point of view of perception and current indoctrinated acceptability, but NOT different in terms of criminal or unjust actions of a perpetrator, which is where we should be focussing in order to evolve this thing properly. No entitlement passes for criminal behaviour (I restrained myself for you Ally!) I’m sure there are people out there who actually enjoys being punched in the eye or scarred. Does that make it ok for someone to carry out the task?

    “What is needed are gender-appropriate, gender-inclusive policies”

    You’re looking for gender-balanced.

  3. 123454321 says

    That Guy. This is what you’re saying:

    Adults exploit children who are vulnerable and susceptible to misuse of power.
    Women exploit men who are vulnerable and susceptible to misuse of power.

    You know, all via the perception dynamics that Ally just talked about in his post.

    What does that tell you about where the power lies?

    “Is it possible to extend this logic to male victims of DV while being logically coherent?”

    You need to conclude, before asking your question, where the power really lies. If you think men have more power then the logic gates shut immediately.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    @That Guy: Phrase your question this way:

    it’s obvious that society steps in because due to the power dynamic, the victims are vulnerable and unwittingly being exploited by an uneven power dynamic.

    Is it possible to extend this logic to male victims of DV while being logically coherent?

    Rephrasing – “is it logically coherent to imagine that men might be vulnerable and on the exploited side of a relationship’s power dynamic?”

    Call it.

  5. Marduk says

    ” Ah, they will say, the Conflict Tactic Scale might show lots of women use violence against men but it doesn’t explain why they use it, what the context is or what the consequences of the violence might be. While they might rarely spell it out, the clear subtext to this argument is usually that a woman assaulting a man just isn’t as serious as a man assaulting a woman, for the individuals but especially for the broader political struggle against male dominion.”

    There is another stage in this although the outcome is the same because we do know that women hit men for the same reasons men hit women: people abuse each other in order to take control of situations where they feel insecure, frustrated, hurt, vulnerable and so forth. The only stable difference is that women are more likely than men to cite frustration.

    Despite the fact its the same pattern of results, these are then explained differently. Female insecurity, frustration and vulnerability are obviously attributable to patriarchal oppression, men have a need to control because of patriarchy (noting again that women respond to insecurity/frustation/vulnerability by seeking control and men seek to control because of insecurity, frustration, vulnerability, its the same thing selectively read).

    A fruitful area of social psychology is probably the in-group/out-group social identity stuff. I feel these dynamics are very prevalent in feminist organisations and scholarship and provides a better of explanation for many of their beliefs than theories of patriarchy. The point is that many of these things happen just as well whatever the arbitrary groupings involved simply because there are groupings. In this case its gender but it might as well be football teams, eye colour, east-side vs. west-side etc. Weirdly if patriarchy has a social reality, it would work on the same basis. The reason this is a fruitful concept is that there are ideas about how to break this kind of thing down and stop the madness. When you find yourself, as Women’s Aid has recently, actively trying to discount victims of anything because of Theoretical Reasons, you need to wonder if we are being animated by forces we don’t really understand.

  6. Marduk says

    “As an aside, this is one reason why I am puzzled by the current push from the likes of Women’s Aid and Prof Sylvia Walby to have DV/DA measured by numbers of incidents rather than numbers of victims”

    Well I think you have to distinguish between what was found by Walby and how WA represent it.

    The important thing for the phenomenal understanding of IPV is that removing the cap increases the number of crimes against women by 70% but ALSO increases the number of crimes against men by 50% on the basis of repeated abuse. The latter, as we’ve noted before, goes entirely unremarked upon even though it far more surprisingly demonstrates, much in the teeth of the campaigning groups and theory, that actually the pattern of violence against men ISN’T different from the pattern of violence against women. If you ask the likes of WA about this, they’ll tell you women’s violence is occasional and exceptional while male violence shows a pattern indicative of structural forces etc. (this is itself, to return to my earlier point, a class in-group/out-group perceptual difference… WE are very complex and THEY are very simple, WE are diverse, THEY are all the same, when WE do bad things there are Reasons, THEY do bad things because it is in their nature).

    This is a huge finding that changes everything, I’m still waiting for someone to notice it.

  7. That Guy says

    @ 3 123454321

    Nice foil hat

    @ 4 sonofrojblake

    Not quite! but close

    Ally’s scenario is that a male victim doesn’t recognise his victimhood because he understands DV and interpersonal relations in a gendered manner, as such, even though he is a victim this is not his personal perception.

    Now, in comparison with the exploited children- society steps in because adults should know better, and kids are vulnerable.

    If we extend this to male victims of DV, we enter a weird twisty turny form of logic.

    A male DV victim doesn’t percieve himself as a victim because of society’s prevailing attitude to gender. society steps in to say that’s wrong because the man is being exploited (as it should). The man is being exploited because he does not perceive himself as a victim because society tells him that men can’t be victims.

    In this case, society steps in to solve the problem it created?

    On second reading I suppose it kind of makes sense- but there’s something a little jarring about the idea that people become vulnerable to exploitation because they’re told that they’re not vulnerable to exploitation.

    Here is the important and pragmatic question- what do you do with this information? Do you target male victims to let them know that interpersonal violence is still not OK when the woman is the aggressor? How do you even go about that?

  8. Sans-sanity says

    Your missing the years of work that have gone into convincing women that they’re victims of something rather than just experiencing an expected part of family life. Also that a number of areas -do- prosecute DV against the wishes of the victims on account of their being so disenfranchised by the abuse.

    Anyway, you both seem to be accepting the “no big deal” scenario as essentially male. You can flip things entirely while staying within the gender scripts:
    Female victim “Granddad hit Nanna, Dad hit Mum, now
    my husband hits me. It’s just a woman’s lot.”
    Male victim “What the fuck?! This isn’t supposed to happen! What kind of man am I? I just stood there and took it. But if I hit back, what kind of man would I be then…”

  9. Sans-sanity says

    Anyway, my point being that Ally’s point is, I think, not that men will dismiss their victimisation as no big deal, but that a person’s gender will influence their perception of it, then giving examples of possible (even probable) ways that could play out.

  10. Groan says

    In my work one of the most obvious and repeated “gender scripts” is that which reserves a particular place in hell for men who hit women. I have always been a little confused by any notion that there is some social “norm” that males can so intimidate females. In fact where that sort of idea has been expressed, in my experience, is in prisoners who in effect pride themselves on being “abnormal” to the extent of in some way above the ordinary. Now it could be my view is regional or this view (that threatening a woman) is prevalent in classes I neither socialise with or work with (such as Etonian toffs or Scottish fishermen). But I presume as Ally too lives in the devolving state of GM he too finds that there is no “normal” about abusing women in the versions of masculine or indeed feminine here.

  11. scoobertron says

    “Right to say that female violence against men is categorically and phenomenologically different to male violence against women; wrong to conclude that therefore female violence against men isn’t a serious problem”.

    This strikes me as too strong. You have already suggested that violence may individual victims in different ways, and that our gendered heuristics shouldn’t inform our thinking, so saying that female violence against men is categorically and phenomenologically different just seems to throw us back into gendered heuristics again (male and female violence is ‘separate but equal’, if you will). So what happens to male (or indeed female) victims who don’t fit this model? If our model of domestic violence can’t accommodate them, then surely this tells us that the model needs to be more flexible.

    And from a dielectical perspective, I strongly suspect that if you concede the ‘separate’ part of the argument, you will struggle to gain consent for the ‘equal’ part. After all, if male and female violence is categorically and phenomenologically different surely one is more serious than the other – how could two categorically and phenomenologically different things have the same level of seriousness (or even be assessed using the same criteria)?

    I also think you miss one key point of the gender-flipping arguements – the fact that they force us to make explicit why we are treating the two cases differently. The point is to reveal that much of what we thereby make explicit is based on gendered stereotypes rather than actual differences between the cases. This should encourage us to challenge these stereotypes to attain a broader understanding of domestic violence that is less reliant on narrow stereotypes. I’m concerned that you seem to want a new set of stereotypes rather than a broader model. And as many people use stereotypes as a licence to ignore victims, I’m not sure I see it ending well.

  12. says

    Right to say that female violence against men is categorically and phenomenologically different to male violence against women;…

    Phenomenologically different, yes of course. Categorically different?

    Why?

  13. That Guy says

    @ Sans-Sanity

    Your missing the years of work that have gone into convincing women that they’re victims of something rather than just experiencing an expected part of family life. Also that a number of areas -do- prosecute DV against the wishes of the victims on account of their being so disenfranchised by the abuse.

    Very good point!

  14. 123454321 says

    I think the big word here is ‘exploitation’. It’s very easy to take advantage of the way the tide is flowing. The media is largely to blame here as they refuse to steer us in the right direction. They could do very easily, but instead they choose to take the path of least resistance and least risky in terms of how their decisions could potentially affect their revenue earnings – complaints and people switching channels is bad. It’s far easier for them to take a look at their audience and follow the easy route: show plenty of female on male violence to get a laugh, or show female on male violence without the need for responsibility or consequence – all fine as far as today’s audience is concerned because today’s audience is effectively indoctrinated, ignorant and, to a large degree, tolerant of what they see others tolerating rather than form, use and their own opinions and beliefs. They’re all like fucking sheep that need herding and pointing in the right direction! These sheep/ the media audience has been manipulated to such a degree now that they can’t/don’t recognise that an action can be wrong regardless of the perception of the victim. They would rather adopt the current ‘in vogue’ tidal flow in terms of social acceptability i.e. it’s ok for a woman to smack the shit out of a man, and sometimes it’s even encouraged, worthy of celebration or even funny – he must have deserved it and he doesn’t care any way cuz he can take it like a man (we’ve all seen the video) – rather than stick their head above the parapet and risk looking like some kind of freak who goes against the grain of current thinking. Effectively, EVERYONE is being exploited here and no one wins. Women can’t have special entitlements to victimhood status above men AND be seen as adults alongside men at the same time. This is why i’ve said before that chivalry, ladies first, calling out women and children together as a group at times of disaster does nothing to help women to be viewed as adults standing alongside men with respect to equality. Feminists are doing more damage to women than they could ever imagine, what with their manipulative tactics to alienate men from the women/children group by shaming men into thinking they are perpetrators of all evil and women and children should be ultimately protected from their wrath. Just go fuck right off, this narrative has now successfully entwined itself into the fabric of society that we’re left in a right fucking mess and virtually no one knows (or is willing to accept) how to get us out of it.

    That Guy, you asked the most pertinent question: “Do you target male victims to let them know that interpersonal violence is still not OK when the woman is the aggressor? How do you even go about that?”

    Well, you see, this is where there is only one answer: we have to beat the drum and get the message out there on all levels until people start talking and questioning their morality, behaviours and opinions. Raising awareness within all camps is of fundamental importance, not just at Government or high status level ( they’re just as indoctrinated and ignorant as everyone else) but right across society, covering every avenue possible, the high class to the lower classes. So how do we do this? Well, it’s simple: everyone with any sense removes their heads from out of the sand and starts broadcasting the FACTS about domestic violence, and the other issues men have, by using social media – this get’s through to MOST classes. They should use forums, twitter, facebook, online newspaper comments sections, blogs, websites etc. in a desperate attempt to help turn the tide by showing people that they really ought to start questioning their own individual principles. Ally is doing a fantastic job, but then so is Mike Buchanan, and Philip Davies, also a hugely growing splurge of other bloggers and vloggers out there, many of whom don’t agree with each other, but that’s not the point, the fact that they are spreading the word and encouraging society in general to rethink it’s moral stance on taboo issues such as men’s rights is something we didn’t have a decade ago and we should absolutely encourage more of this. This is why I am so vehemently opposed to feminists who have a single-path, narrow-minded agenda to shut down anyone who speaks the truth and tries to spread the word about men’s issues. They are a blockage in the communicative system and do nothing other than impede the exchange of information and hinder raising awareness. Raising awareness is the key. Get people talking, challenge the myths and lies and let’s flush out the turds blocking the pipes so we can make a difference. Sorry, all so rushed but my point is made in the same style, as usual, and it’s the same point I’ve been raising for far too long! Action, action, action is needed, and more of raising awareness using the media channels that are available! That’s the only way at the moment when we have millions of people rid of the indoctrination. It’s free, it’s easy and any other methods are just a waste of fucking time and won’t work because the upper echelons are firmly glued to seats of their gravy train. It’s the masses who need the message. Don’t listen to the feminists who try to shut you down, whether they’re the upper echelon variety or the work floor indoctrinated type you meet in your local boozer. No one is trying to undermine women’s issues by doing this, but there are plenty of muppets who will try to tell you that you are. Time to treat EVERYONE with the respect and decency they deserve, not just because of their gender. Society and media at the moment is occupied by a bunch of running scared muppets. Rant over.

  15. 123454321 says

    How do you think we reached this position?

    http://www.adnews.com.au/news/vilifying-husbands-in-advertising-no-longer-ok

    About time too! Not that I’m against humour or need some sort of special snowflake protection but when we’ve had decades of bombardment of insults, vulgarities, toilet humour, objectification, put-downs etc aimed squarely at men and boys for the purpose of female-friendly advertising while at the same time we all know that a gender role reversal gets banned in an instant, it’s great to know that the field is finally being levelled. How did this happen? Because people got sick and tired and eventually started complaining. No noise, no action. A pity, but that’s the way it is. Like it or not, it’s the only way. Boycott companies that exploit or poke fun at specific groups simply because society allows them to do it – applies to all groups but especially men and boys because they are one of the last minority groups that people are exploiting. Benny Hill was in vogue 30 years ago and I knew at the time it was wrong. He didn’t disappear off of our screens because of silence.

  16. HuckleAndLowly says

    Ally’s argument against “gender-flipped” examples seems wrong to me. Ally gives an example of a set of people who have “very traditional notions of gender”, and shows how that means they experience domestic violence differently when the victims is a woman versus when they are a man because of this. The flaw here is that these different experiences are not a consequence of the actual experience of being a DV victim, but instead they are a consequence of believing these traditional models of gender (men and women who did not have those models would not experience DV victimisation in those different ways).

    One thing we can do to help victims like the “traditionalists” that Ally describes is to show them that these gender models are wrong: if the woman realises that being violent isn’t typical of men, she’ll be better able to take appropriate action and leave (or talk about the DV to someone etc). Similarly, if the man realises that he is actually in danger as a victim of DV, he also will be better able to take appropriate action.

    However, saying that you can’t “gender-flip” these situations is equivalent to saying that women and men victims of DV are ACTUALLY different in their experience (and not just different in their perceptions of the same DV experience, with the difference arising from the flawed gender-models they’ve absorbed). That is not helpful because it reinforces those flawed gender-models (or at least assumes they are correct).

  17. TMK says

    I… disagree – not strongly, but leaning towards it.

    I get your reasoning, and it does sound convincing. Yet, i am tempted to think while it is true in regards to our percption of outside events – DV happening to other people, when it happens to us, it is very likely that the actual situation will make us revert to more primal emotions like fear, anxiety, flight/freeze/fight, etc. That is mostly based on my intuition, experience, and somewhat on the fact that psychosomatic consequences of DV seem to be uniform across genders.

    Note that it does not preclude victims (male) downplaying the incidents etc – these are words and not need to be accurately portray their actual reactions at the time of the incident, nor the long-term consequences.

    But, obviously, i completely agree whatever is true, the conclusion about whether DV with male victims is a problem does not change.

  18. WineEM says

    We seem to have this unfortunate malaise in UK public life, where our ruling elites (both on the liberal regressive left and on the right) appear to view it as somehow cool or desirable to have a situation of male disempowerment, and a superficial “fool’s paradise” of imagined “female empowerment”.

    This is especially the case on the liberal left, where there is plenty of evidence over the years that male disempowerment fuels their psycho-social dynamic, as well as a sort of semi-erotic utopian fantasy. (If this sounds far-fetched, do bear in mind that most men in public life who strongly identify as being on the liberal-left turn out, almost invariably, to be married or going out with some fairly extreme SJW radical feminist types. Also their journalism, tends, over the years, to be littered with such allusions. So all in all, it is obvious where they are very often coming from, so to speak. This is not bad, necessarily, since everyone has their fantasies, I suppose, but it’s the way it merges seamlessly into their politics which can sometimes be a problem).

    As a testament to this state of affairs on a more general level, this is an excellent blog piece by an independent minded family lawyer on a recent parliamentary debate:

    http://www.pinktape.co.uk/cases/parliament-on-d-v-turns-out-its-not-so-easy-to-ask-the-right-questions/

    Let us face it, there is no shortage – by any means – of lawyers in parliament, so to be able to use the terms ‘complainant’ and ‘defendant’ as opposed to ‘perpetrator’ and ‘victim’, when referring to a stage when nothing has been proven, should not be hard. But it’s just the extreme one-sided view of only taking one party’s needs into account which is so very disturbing in this context.

  19. WineEM says

    Mind you, should emphasise above doesn’t apply to Ally, who is very nice – just that some of his politics can very occasionally be a bit misguided and silly, that’s all! 🙂

    But yes, I think it’s worth being aware, too, of those figures who are standing directly in the way of true equality, the ones who have real power, but don’t walk the walk as they talk the talk.
    I mean, it was really insightful to see Caroline Lucas in debate with Phillip Davies recently. Before then, I’d assumed that Caroline was perfectly honest and reasonable, and would not create unnecessary barriers in the way of progress.

    However, her attitude turned out to be virtually identical to Jess Phillips: she even at one point says that Phillip should be allowed to discuss important issues, (such as the ones that he outlined, including female-on-male domestic violence), only after the inequalities affecting women had been addressed, and that there was no place for such topics on the Government ‘equality’ committee (which, interestingly, she kept on accidentally calling ‘The Women’s Party’). I mean, I’m sorry, that is just terrible: like, sure, you can have your equality, but only at a later date after we get ours. What kind of attitude is that? No wonder the term ‘regressive left’ has caught on so well. In order for anyone to have faith in their politics again, those on the liberal left really need to start admitting this sort of thing is a problem, and they really need to start getting their house in order.

  20. WineEM says

    @21 Cheers, Palindrome, yes big fan of Sargon (though he does get a bit Beavis & Butthead at times). Glad he’s got his Twitter account re-instated, goodness knows what happened with that. Rumour has it that he spammed a mega-ton of mixed race porn at a bunch of Alt-Righters. 🙂

  21. mostlymarvelous says

    Ally

    What is needed for male victims of domestic violence is not a gender-neutral, equalist approach which assumes they have the same issues, the same needs, the same situations as female victims. And it certainly isn’t a gender-exclusive approach which assumes all intimate violence is male violence against women and that male victims are a quirk or an anomaly that can be tacked onto a violence against women strategy.

    I saw this item when I first came out of hospital a couple of weeks ago and didn’t feel like watching the videos at the time. Thought I’d give it a go today but a) the sound quality is bloody awful, and b) I’m still pretty crook as well as a bit addled by pain killing drugs, so I’m not willing to put in as much effort as I might do at other times. In short, I’ve watched a bare few minutes of both videos and got nothing but a headache out of the process.

    However, I see nothing in your comments nor anyone else’s about who is most likely to kill or seriously injure a man in a domestic violence event. As far as I know, the statistics still show that a man killed or seriously injured in a DV incident is as likely as not to have been attacked by another man rather than a woman.

    Maybe a father, son, brother, in-law, other relative within the family or, just as often, by an ex of his wife, partner, daughter or other family member. (Or is the definition used here strictly domestic rather than including intimate partners who aren’t co-habiting? That might explain it now that it’s occurred to me. Don’t feel up to going through the tapes to see if that’s the case. Sorry.)

    No idea how long it’ll take to feel “normal” again. This infection seems to have kicked my arthritis and other chronic ailments into some stratospheric gear I’ve not previously encountered. Doc has very sensibly referred me to a general physician (along with pain clinic and other therapies) rather than doing the rounds of endocrinology, rheumatology, immunology, allergist, dermatologist and name-your-specialty lucky dip. Maybe there’ll shortly be some medical magic transforming my currently miserable existence. Maybe not.

  22. StillGjenganger says

    @MM 23
    Really sorry to hear you are crook. Do get better soon – we need you around to argue with.

    On the ‘who is liikely to kill a man in DV’, I thought it had been said in previous debates here. As I remember, woman-on-man DV was less than man-on-woman DV, but comparable – in the 40% I believe? That holds for DV overall. For the most serious forms of violence, let alone murder, man-on-woman is much more common than woman-on-man. As I understood it, that meant vliolence between partners, not violence in the home, which might be due to third parties. So, unless we want to ignore all but the most serious kinds of DV (which I am sure we do not) Ally’s point still holds – we need to take DV seriously for both sexes, without assuming that their problems are identical.

    I would add, on my account, that identical treatment is at least a good starting point. If you start from the idea that actions should have the same consequences and people need the same help whether they are men or women, you have to say clearly how their situations are different before you can justify what would othewise be, in effect, discrimination. As cases in point 1) the campaign for reducing prison sentences for women (but not for men), 2) the problem of which is the rapist when two equally blind drunk people have sex.

  23. Adiabat says

    WineEM (20):

    No wonder the term ‘regressive left’ has caught on so well. In order for anyone to have faith in their politics again, those on the liberal left really need to start admitting this sort of thing is a problem, and they really need to start getting their house in order.

    To be fair I think many on the left have realised that it’s a problem; in the past few months even my most feminist SJ-lite friends have started moaning about “SJWs”. The thing is that when more and more people on the left realise the mess it’s in they don’t stay and reform, they leave. That’s pretty much what happened with many of us here, as well as more well known critics of the regressive left like Sargon. Instead of going to their usual feminist sites my feminist friends have been raving about this “real” feminist they’ve just found who makes more sense and isn’t SJW-crazy: it’s the Factual Feminist. (I had to bite my tongue when they said that, considering her excommunication by regressive feminists).

    So we’re left with the same core SJW-type on “the Left” in politics, academia and the media that are responsible for creating the mess that has seen them lose so much in the past year. And they’ll remain as long as they can manipulate the more easily led, but well-meaning, on the left who don’t cast a critical eye over anything they read. FFS, in the past week those with influence still somehow managed to get over a million of the easily led to sign a petition to stop a state visit because, and I quote, “it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”. It’s moronic. And for the past six months they’ve convinced “anti-capitalist, smash-the-state” type lefties to fret over the impact brexit will have on the economy because “it’ll negatively affect big banks and corporations, and they might all leave”. Those precious anti-capitalist global mega-corps.

    I have no solution for those wanting to ‘get their house in order’ on the left beyond trying to convince those with power to change their opinions and bigoted views. Problem is as soon as they try and do that they’ll be thrown in the pit with the rest of us.

  24. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    What an utter buffoon you are. The mess that the UK is in, and the world will surely follow, is the result of ridiculous right-wing figures (Hopkins, Morgan, Farage, the nutter wing of the Tory party, The Sun, The Daily Mail etc) coalescing on longstanding and long-stoked fear & loathing of the “other” (immigrants, Muslims, European bureaucrats and offering what appears to be simple and total solutions.

    Leave the EU! Take back control! Trump! Build a wall.

    Simple solutions for simple-minded people.

    You, because you have a bee in your bonnet, a chip on your shoulder and aren’t very bright, see the *real* cause of the uncertainty in the world just now as “SJWs” – only a blinkered fool would claim the rampant resurgent of wretched right-wing populism was caused by “SJWs.”

    Political correctness gone mad, innit?

    Nothing to do with, I dunno, Question Time creating Nigel Farage as a force in politics? Nothing to do with the acres of press coverage given to reactionary trolls? Nothing to do with two decades of relentless posturing about the threat of Islamic terrorism? A threat that, by the way, has resulted in fewer deaths in the UK in those 20 years than in 15 days on the roads in the UK.

    The problems we face, Adiabat, are because weak, supine fools believe educated, narcissistic trash and find it easy to blame others for their own personal problems and failings.

    YOU are part of the problem, now “SJWs.”

    And isn’t it ironic that the likes of you and yours will be hammered far harder by the forthcoming depression than the likes of me and those you fantasise are “SJWs”?

    Turkeys voting for Christmas.

    Have a lovely day, Prince xx

  25. 123454321 says

    “A threat that, by the way, has resulted in fewer deaths in the UK in those 20 years than in 15 days on the roads in the UK.”

    You compare purposeful, determined and aggressive intent to cause atrocity and harm with that of internal operational accidents.

    You utter imbecile!

    “And isn’t it ironic that the likes of you and yours will be hammered far harder by the forthcoming depression than the likes of me and those you fantasise are “SJWs”?”

    Crystal ball? Playing down the economy because you didn’t get your own way? Sulky little child? And just who do you think is going to take YOUR advice, Mr. Look At Me I’m So Altruistic? Weren’t you advising people the other week to save their money safely in their bank accounts where it can’t be used to keep the wheels turning and help hold up the economy? What ARE you trying to achieve, you complete TOOL HEAD!

  26. Carnation says

    @ 123etc

    Yawn… The problem, obviously beyond your capacity to understand, is that the easily scared and outraged fall hook, line & sinker for a media discourse created and encouraged by those with a political agenda.

    The *intent* behind deaths doesn’t matter – 20 years of alleged threat to UK citizens resulted in fewer deaths than traffic accidents in 15 days.

    So why the non-stop media coverage?

    The rest of your comment was hilarious but unintelligible to all intents and purposes.

  27. Adiabat says

    Carnation (28):

    The problem, obviously beyond your capacity to understand, is that the easily scared and outraged fall hook, line & sinker for a media discourse created and encouraged by those with a political agenda.

    Were you one of the signees of the petition concerned about the Queen getting embarrassed? Because we’re talking about the same phenomenon, except for evidence I’m presenting a ridiculous petition signed by 1.5 million people (which apparently has a 91% constituency cross-over with the 2nd Brexit referendum petition, indicating that it’s the same useful idiots the media are getting to sign this dumb crap*), and you’re presenting nothing but your own prejudices and weird revenge fantasies.

    * And this is a strange demographic that feel as strongly about the Queens personal dignity as they do about re-running EU referendums to get a result they like. They’re half Daily Mail and half Guardian. OR we have a permanent loud demographic that is easily scared and outraged falling hook, line & sinker for media discourses created and encouraged by those with a political agenda.

    The *intent* behind deaths doesn’t matter – 20 years of alleged threat to UK citizens resulted in fewer deaths than traffic accidents in 15 days.

    So why the non-stop media coverage?

    Are you being serious here? Because this is really stupid and I just want to confirm that you are being serious. I’m happy to provide an answer if you are, but you really should be able to figure this out on your own.

    Can you also confirm if you came up with this talking point on your own? Or did you read it somewhere and think it’s such a swell, knock-down argument that you just had to bring it up here? I’m genuinely curious because, even for you, this is plumbing new depths. Again, I’m happy to answer, but I want you to own your shit here. I want you to admit first that you are unable to come up with a decent, sensible, reason for the difference in coverage by yourself. I want you to admit that you need my help to understand this rather simple phenomenon.

  28. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    Good golly gosh…

    1/ I didn’t sign that petition.
    2/ Read what I actually wrote, try and *understand* context and et voila.

    You’re a fan of Breitbart so will struggle with this concept, I know.

    Don’t they have Chomsky literature at your cut-price, godawful gym?

  29. Adiabat says

    Carnation (31): Nope, I read it again and it’s just an incoherent and prejudiced rant based very, very loosely on my earlier post to WIneEM without addressing anything I actually said. I can assume what your point might be beyond hate and revenge fantasies, but I’m not going to let you hide your stupidity behind ambiguity. If I assume what your point might be, giving you the benefit of the doubt, then when I show it to be wrong or unsupported you’ll simply change what it was, or claim some sort of “nuance” that I haven’t considered and leave the conversation without actually stating what it is. And then pull a Carny and make the exact same claims in a new thread as though the conversation never happened. Like you always do, because you’re a dishonest, bigoted shit.

    Be explicit. State what your point is. Provide evidence for your assertions. Don’t hide behind false bravado and a flimsy reference to Manufacturing Consent. Otherwise I’m just going to conclude, based on all our interactions on here, that you’re as thick as pigshit.

  30. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “Otherwise I’m just going to conclude, based on all our interactions on here, that you’re as thick as pigshit.”

    Says the Brexit supporting, Breitbart reading, Elam apologist, Milo fan.

    Your inability to understand a nuanced point is your problem, not my responsibility.

    And the only hate/revenge fantasies are your recurrent ones about “SJWs” causing the right-wing resurgence and rise of scapegoating populism. You’re an embarrassment, albeit one that is sadly typical of the times we find ourselves in.

    Your deluded prejudices are your own. Own them. Don’t blame phantom enemies.

    Political correctness wot caused it, innit, Adiabat?

    Always welcome, Prince xx

  31. Adiabat says

    Carnation (33): *Sigh* Virtually all of what you said is an incorrect representation of me or my views, as always. If you want to know my views on something you only need to ask; unlike you I’m happy to elaborate and explain whatever nuance my views have. You whine about your own nuance not being recognised (when really you are hiding behind it like a coward), which you refuse to elaborate on despite being invited to do so, while inventing this unuanced caricature in your head to constantly rant about. You aren’t well.

    What you are doing is a cheap debating tactic used to hide a lack of substance, similar to that used by postmodernist “thinkers”. It’s not my responsibility to fill in the gaps and make your points for you. It’s not my problem that you don’t have the confidence to make your point explicitly.

  32. secondtofirstworld says

    I can’t overlook the several flaws you present, even if you wish to adhere to neutrality. Your baseline is, that a male victim registers the punch as something he deserved, whereas the female victim fears for her life based on the disparity of strength, and the man’s aggression. That is riding the horse backwards, because most victims of domestic violence endure it because they believe they have deserved it, and only when they are very broken do they start to think about threats to life. This includes children.

    If you want to make a point about men being more neglected, sidelined and laughed out when they’re the victims, compare that to child victims where both parents abuse them physically and emotionally. That’s the lowest of the low where a human being can go in being despicable. How it is being perceived does depend on culture, and most cultures are based on rules where men are expected to both not show emotion and not appear weak. It’s the environment that condones violence. Victims of domestic violence are victims of predators and neurologically weak individuals. A female abuser is more often than not is also clingy or needy thus why most men don’t involve themselves in a relationship with them.

    That is why male victims are fewer in number, beside the already discussed rejection of the culture, and not because we pay more attention to women. The more we pay attention, the less there are victims, it’s not a you can have your cake and eat it situation. There are several issues why a victim starts a relationship with the abuser, and it has nothing to do with gender.

    Lastly, your penultimate paragraph is pure speculation, and the response given to it is exactly what would be said if they truly claimed that, except they don’t. In fact, we could also drop this feminist-MRA charade, and simply focus on what the statistics and experts say about the actual victims. The only thing I agree with you on is this: when it comes to the perception of aggression, female aggressors usually take great effort to hide such tendencies. On the other hand, men not so much, so if the concern truly is domestic violence, then all of us can take a step into the direction of confronting the person, because aggressive men, what a shocker, also attack other men, especially for suspecting the guy sleeping with his lady/man (it’s not like only us heteros can be violent and jealous).

    Unless I’m wrong and this isn’t about domestic violence, but about how we men have it worse, and it’s because of women, again, a self validation for quashing the need to take action.

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