That scene raises the issue of mob mentality, which is one issue but it also brings in gender violence.

As Cherie said, there are bad and good women, just as there are bad and good men. So we can’t make blanket statements like “women=bad and men=good” because they’re generalizations.  There are many men in control of themselves and many not – they’re the ones we hear about.

I searched for an answer to the question of why men physically assault women and these were fairly typical answers:

The root of the issue is that men are abusive physically while women are abusive verbally. This is just a difference in the sexes. How often have you seen a guy, even if he doesn’t hit a woman, become much more violent in his reactions. This is how guys are wired.  Women on the other hand have a much stronger command of language and communication and will often say the most hurtful thing possible at the time to do her damage. This is how women are wired. [from a man]

I’m guessing that it is because men don’t nag and they don’t know how to make the woman shut up. I don’t condone violence but I’ve seen women go on for ages and you can see what is going to happen a long time before it does. If a bystander knows what’s coming, why doesn’t the woman? And why does she keep going on and on?  All sorts of other crap also comes into play – co-dependency, some blokes are just  idiots, some women never leave those kinds of men etc.  Let’s just say sometimes blokes fight emotional abuse and mental abuse with physical abuse. [from a man]

I think it’s because men want to control everything. they are insecure with theirselfs…another reason is because they cheat on their women and feel guilty so they take it out on the woman…and the most comand reason a man hits a women is for the control they need over the woman…some men om this earth think women are here to jump at their ewvery command…They are sick in the head… [from a woman]

Women stay in abusive relationships too long for many reasons. Susan Schechter says it can take years before physical abuse starts, even longer for a woman to learn “not to blame herself or his lousy childhood for his violence.”  [from a woman]

This was a case study in the NYT:

“We were just having a squabble,” he begins. “He was kicking the crap out of me,” she yells.

“Let’s go in separate rooms and talk,” says one of the officers, following the Duluth Police Department procedure for domestic disputes.  In the living room, George G. tells his side of the story. “We’ve been trying to work on things. And so we were talking. And wrestling.”

How does he explain the blood oozing from the inside of her mouth? “She drinks, you know. She probably cut herself.” From inside the bedroom, Jenny M., whose face is puffing up, screams: “Just get him out of here! And then you guys leave, too!”

The police officers probe for details, telling her that something must be done now, or there will probably be a next time, and it will hurt much worse. Jenny M. glares, fearful but furious. “He slapped me and kicked my butt. He picked me up by the hair and threw me against the wall.”

“She lies, you know,” George G. confides to an officer, who remains stone-faced.  Jenny M. starts crying again. “I don’t want him hurt. This is my fault. I’m the drinker. He’s not a bad guy.”

Why would she remain with him?  Women say it’s because of habit or because of the children.  Men say it’s because she knows, deep down, she went too far with the provocation and did a spot of abusing herself – it’s just that he can physically take it and is conditioned to.

Some women look out for abuse wherever they go:

As chief executive of the charity Refuge, she has campaigned against domestic violence for 30 years.  So it is no surprise the mother-of-one has learned a thing or two.  And Sandra, 56, reckons she can spot a male abuser within seconds.  She said: “After leaving a party, I sometimes reflect on the people and tell my husband if I think there was an abuser in our midst. Every time I’ve been proved right.”

This, naturally, received a retort from a man:

Outrageous pseudoscientific statement. Typical emotive reasoning by a radical feminist. Domestic violence is a transgender tragedy. Horrific to all victims. It’s not a gender issue so don’t allow the feminists to hijack it as such. The abuser need help as well, as they probably suffer from severe insecurities and anxieties. i.e. they are sick and dangerous, and there are lots of them about!

Clearly no common ground except in one statement by both men and women:

Same reasons that women hit men. These people don’t have the coping tools to handle the anger, jealousy, any other emotion that causes them to become violent.

Dr. Phillip McGraw produced ten life laws some years back and I suspect it is a typical male position to take:

Whether we like it or not, people treat us as they do because we have unconsciously, by our reactions, taught them which types of behaviour get results and which don’t.  If they get what they want, then they keep that behaviour in their repertoire; if they don’t get it, they drop that behaviour and start a new one.  The good news is that we can re-teach people how to treat us by changing our reactions to them.

While there’s truth in that, people often do things for seemingly irrational reasons as well.

Suspecting that socio-economic factors would play a part, i.e. the less educated, as in the above example, would have a higher incidence, I went looking for evidence one way or the other and found this:

Absolutely none. What we found is that domestic violence can affect people across the board regardless of the age, race and socioeconomic status. It’s basically something that affects all of us, in all of our communities. So an affluent woman in New York is just as likely to experience domestic violence as a rural housewife in Texas.

Pardon me but I smell a rat immediately. It is the “absolutely none” which gives it away, that and the immediate assumption that it is housewives being spoken about.  Why not men?  Who is “we”?  And notice the race angle dropped in and no statistical backup.   Very shaky statement indeed, yet it is second on the front page of google on the issue.

So, it seems we’re playing the competing stats game again, as in the climate change issue – you show me your stats saying A and I’ll show you mine, saying B.  Soon there’ll be the “it’s generally acknowledged that” and the “everyone knows” line.

One female study done in Russia puts the socio-economic factors as a powerful factor in increased alcoholism and thus violence.  In other words, the male is vastly more likely to abuse if drunk [and the state reaps huge tax benefits from the alcohol industry].  This lady wrote:

Another type of violence against women, the increasing number of rape cases (50,000 per year), also has its roots in the escalation of social conflict. Seventy-seven percent of rapes are committed by men having no definite source of income (jobless, migrant, etc). Many of them have psychiatric problems or different sexual disorders.

Anecdotal evidence is doubtful and yet she seems to have a point here, from what I can see but don’t forget the Russian bias against foreigners.  Also, it seems strange to me that there’d be rape because a woman across the road is so cheap for the night in Russia – perhaps it is the gender based social conflict that she is referring to.


My conclusions are that there are no firm conclusions.  You can’t use western stats because they’re tainted by the type of researchers who infest universities and thinktanks on women over here.  At the very least, they are “highly selective”.  The Russian statement seems more trustworthy and more logical.

That there is verbal and often physical abuse by women on men is not really disputed.  The physical abuse on women by men is more publicized and it’s a huge issue, seemingly tied in with alcohol and the socio-economic situation, both macro and micro.  As a man, I can imagine the scenario in my mind where many men who tend to resort to physical solutions in a range of situations, would cross the line after some time with their women.

Couple that with a general lack of respect right across society, from the politicians towards us to everyday life, particularly with the young, the ASBO generation subset even more particularly and there is the problem, it seems to me.

It also seems to me that one lady I read on this issue was right in saying that it is intergenerational in many cases – kids see domestic violence as a solution and grow up abusive.  I know a family down south where the girl was sent home twice for bullying other girls and that was an abusive father and provocative mother, the former English and the latter Irish but we won’t drag even more factors into it.  [These mixed marriages, I don’t know.]

My father never hit my mother but he didn’t half roar at her.  I’ve never hit a woman but I’ve been pretty cutting at times, verbally.  I’ve been quite physical with other males though, more so in my earlier years and was accused a few times of bullying bigger boys – pretty clear what that was all about.  These days I’m more circumspect about taking on someone male over 85 kg.  My ex-gf loved nothing better than physical playfighting [she was quite sporting], which she always, de rigeur, won.  It was a form of foreplay for her.  She also had no concept of the Queensberry Rules.

Having had a fair bit to do with Muslim families, all I can say is that they were domestically more stable than the western family of today.  The situation we have across our own society today is appalling.  Yet the domestic violence in Muslim families – the ones I never saw – is obviously being reported back to us here.  There is enough evidence from Muslim women who have spoken out and yet many other Muslim women say it’s fine so I don’t know.  Neda didn’t seem too fine to me.

And so this post fizzles out.

1 comment for “Violence

  1. June 28, 2010 at 03:58

    Domestic violence? A storm in a teacup blown out of all proportion.

    Once you accept that not all men are bastards or rapists and many women are scheming, lying bitches who will destroy a man for their own material gain you’ll understand that.

    It isn’t as simple as the wimmin would have us, and the idiots who frame and enforce our laws, believe.

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