Violence Is a Men’s Issue

The majority of men aren’t violent, but violence is a men’s issue, and we all have a stake in reducing it.

I’m a college professor. My office sits next to a hallway abuzz with students at every class changeover, so I often overhear their conversations, whether I want to or not. Recently, I heard one male student talking to another about the poster they were perusing, the White Ribbon Campaign: “Men working to end men’s violence against women—how insulting!”

Unfortunately, this is not an unusual reaction. When I talk about the gendered nature of violence, lots of men get defensive—“Hey, I’m not violent”—and they are unwilling to continue the conversation.

So let me say this loud and clear: the vast majority of men are not violent. I am a man and I haven’t had a fight since the sixth grade—and most men I know have similar histories of nonviolence. So why should we talk about violence as a men’s issue? After all, some women are violent, too.


While the vast majority of men are not violent, the vast majority of violent people are men. In the United States, men commit nearly 90 percent of all violent crimes, and there are similar imbalances nearly everywhere in the world. Imagine if men were no more violent than women. In the United States, it would mean a 75 percent reduction in violent crimes, which translates into about 22,000 fewer violent crimes and 30 fewer murders per day.

We are tempted to believe that men are so much more violent than women because of some biological factor such as testosterone, but research into the biological correlates of violence doesn’t support that hypothesis; besides, the vast majority of men are not violent. Research into psychological factors has been much more successful. Violent men nearly all adhere to toxic definitions of masculinity. In gender-based violence—rape, intimate partner violence, etc.—these definitions of manhood include an especially strong dose of dominance and woman-hating. And these definitions are supported by the men they associate with, and the culture at large.

Violence is a men’s issue, and all of us have a stake in reducing it. Men are also the most frequent victims of male violence. It is physically and psychologically damaging for victims and their friends and families, it puts perpetrators at risk for harm and incarceration or other legal trouble, it causes non-victims to live in fear, and it costs us a tremendous amount of money in law enforcement, prisons and jails, emergency rooms and health insurance, and social services like batterer education programs and rape crisis centers.


The solutions begin with the awareness that this is largely a men’s problem—we need to take responsibility for preventing violence. Every man can get involved by refusing to participate in attitudes and behaviors that support violence and by confronting men who support violence.

A well-placed couple of words can be remarkably powerful. Express disapproval when other men say dehumanizing things about others or suggest that violence is an appropriate reaction to conflict. Men talk in these ways to win the approval of other men. If you disapprove, they will not get what they want and they are more likely to stop than if you remain silent or go along with the joke.

We can also support local services such as rape crisis centers and domestic violence agencies with donations and volunteer time. We can get involved with national organizations like Men Can Stop Rape. We can participate in or begin a White Ribbon Campaign or a Red Flag Campaign to prevent interpersonal violence. We can mentor young boys and men and help them to see that there are alternatives to physical aggression.

Make it your personal pledge to never commit, condone, support, or remain silent about men’s violence, and we will go a long way toward solving the problem that has affected so many people.


Christopher Kilmartin is a professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington and maintains a small private therapy practice. He is the author of The Masculine Self (4th edition) and co-author of Men’s Violence Against Women: Theory, Research, and Activism. Dr. Kilmartin has performed his one-man show, “Crimes Against Nature,” a humorous and educational look at men’s issues, on more than 300 university campuses.


Paul Elam responds to this article here.

Andrew Smiler of SPSMM responds to Elam here.

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  1. The prime statement made “the majority of men aren’t violent” is not necessarily true. In some places in the world, 70-80% of femels are victims of violence (physical and/or sexual) usually by someone shi knows like a husband (please visit and read about the global epidemic of violence against femels). In those places, the majority of males are violent (easily at least 60% of males IF we factored some males assaulting more than one femel; if not, it is really more than 70% of males are violent).

    In addition, in the United States, 1 of 3 adult citizens is in the FBI’s master criminal database (mostly males). When we include juvenile citizens in the same database (mostly male) the percentage inches to over 40% of US citizens in the FBI’s master criminal database. That percentage does not include criminals who have not been caught and criminals who are not citizens. One could easily guesstimate that the real percentage of people in America (mostly males) in that database to be more than 50%. Are you with me?

    Next, violence is not the only crime that males commit that we have to worry about and guard against; there are many types crimes occurring every second of every day including crimes that go not covered by the media. Your article fails to offer us a percentage of males around the world who have committed at least one crime in their lifetime (one doesn’t need to commit more than one crime to be labeled a criminal). Therefore, you have yet to prove your prime statement with any fact.

    Given all that data, it is not at all a comfort (especially to this femel) to hear that some males do not violate the law. In some places in the world, as I’ve shared, the majority is violent; my guess is that the majority of males in many parts of the world are also overall criminal. Lastly, your article fails to mention the science behind criminality (remember, pedophilism is a mental disorder). Males experience many more genetic mutations than femels; for some mental disorders, like pedophilism, males are the majority of patients; and femels function better than males in almost every category. When we don’t deal with reality, we all suffer. Let’s be good and face reality. How about an updated piece?

    • Vyctorya, I hope you are not a victim of a female perpetrator since you seem to think they do not exist. But do not worry. It is as you say so guard yourself against men, even the good ones, and do not guard against women, even the dangerous ones. This is such sound reasoning, I am glad you came here to tell us this. Let us bolster your sound reasoning with some facts: 70% or more women are the perpetrators of non reciprocal domestic violence, and if men reciprocate that violence, the women are more likely to become even more violent. Lesbians couples have highest incidences of domestic violence compared to heterosexuals and gay men, with gay men being the lowest. This is based off a Harvard peer reviewed study. Who knows how many go unreported, or that the men get blamed for all of the violence, or that men do not speak out. Approximately 40 percent of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 18.3 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 17.3 percent were abused by both parents (USDHHS, 2007). Mothers kill their children at a higher rate than fathers, that is why the Safe-haven Law was established.

      We all know how many female “pedophiles” teachers there are in the high school and middle school system, so they do not only commit physical violent acts, but participate in other illegal activities.

      Boys and men are the majority of victims in the western world, both physical violence and sexual crimes, in the home, by women, outside by men and women, but mostly by men, and sexual crimes by women in schools, etc.

      You include juveniles, who most of the time cannot reason as sharply or as adequately as an adult, be lumped into to “guard against ‘men'” and somehow strengthen the argument that the majority of men are violent. Boys are not men. Bless your soul, you will go very far with your sound reasoning!

      So, given the data above, I am sure your sound reasoning will come through and convince no one but yourself that the majority of men are violent and that we should guard ourselves against all men, and that no women are violent. Farewell.

  2. Of the men who commit violent acts, how many are black, latino or otherwise non-white?

    Since you are clear that it’s not a biological thing and more likely a social thing, which I agree with and is in fact far more positive than past things said about violence being inherent to masculinity by many feminists, I’d also say that the violence committed within minority groups to be societal and not a biological racial trait. So when are we going to start telling blacks that it’s their responsibility to be “good blacks”? When are we going to start telling them that reducing drug use, theft and violence is their responsibilities as blacks?

    I know people often make it racial to build an analogy. But I don’t think this question is ever addressed thoroughly enough. What assumptions are being made about men as a class? What can we learn about respecting men as a class by contrasting it with the respect we give other classes? What assumptions are we making that on some level are really throwing men under the bus?

  3. Paul Elam and his groupies are simply women haters. It is so obvious that they hate women. I mean, it’s palpable. I really had no idea the depths to which some people harbor hatred toward my sex until looking over this site’s many many articles loathing women. How women are less intelligent, not to be trusted, and apparently we’re just as, if not more violent than men. It just doesn’t make any sense. I have read and read, and at first I thought some of it was positive; i.e. equal custody laws, same protections for men, evolving roles of men, etc. It is so transparent, at this point. They aren’t a voice for men, they are a voice for misogyny. They aren’t interested in rights for men, as they are interested in hating women. Their backward views of rape, derogatory descriptions of women, and general ignorance are disturbing to say the least. All they do is spew hate and stupid opinions. It is a forum for the same handful of sorry people reinforcing their own misguided notions, downvoting any sign of a balanced argument.

  4. The solutions begin with the awareness that this is largely a men’s problem—we need to take responsibility for preventing violence. Every man can get involved by refusing to participate in attitudes and behaviors that support violence and by confronting men who support violence.
    And there’s your answer to why men refuse to engage. In one moment you acknowledge that the majority of men are violent but then right here you basically hold us all guilty by gender association by saying that as men we need to take responsibility for the violent acts a few of us commit.

    You simply telling us, “Okay okay. I know most of us aren’t violent but its our job as men to do something about it!” (Sounds a whole lot like that “protector” gender role that men have tossed onto us.)

  5. From personal experience I have to ask. When will women speak up against male on male violence? When I grew up I was bullied without cease. Women just stood there and laughed while I got beaten. When I started beating back and showed my bullies what happens when someone who has trained martial arts for a decade won’t hold any punches anymore then suddenly women jumped to the bullies’ defence, so why should I stand up against violence against women?

  6. Edit: Sorry. It should read “Inability to do harm.” My error. I apologise.

  7. Mr. Kilmartin

    With all due respect, even though you throw out samples of empathy for the people who don’t fit your definition of victims and perpetrators of violence and torment:

    Quote: “So let me say this loud and clear: the vast majority of men are not violent. I am a man and I haven’t had a fight since the sixth grade—and most men I know have similar histories of nonviolence. So why should we talk about violence as a men’s issue? After all, some women are violent, too.”

    At the end of the day, you still have trouble really seeing the other side of this issue. Not surprising since this side is either swept away or met with resistence to simple acknowledgement. I’m talking about how men and boys can also be victims of torment and violence from women and girls.

    I’ve read accounts from, and talked with, male survivors whom have had serious trauma in their lives dealt by their mothers, sisters, other girls at school, or their spouses. I’m not talking simple belittlement. These women showed all the characteristics and attitudes of male abusers and violators. All attributed to the dark side of humanity: Neglect, abuse, assault, bullying, etc.

    The women and girls got away with it and these men were not believed or told to get on with their lives; “Man up.” Phrases like this are still utilized with reckless abandon even though we know that men need to express their feelings. I guess when it comes to women who are violent and abusive towards men and boys we have to discriminate equality and tell men to do a better job with fighting violence against women. Doesn’t this strike you as particularly unhealthy: To value the needs of one sex over the other in terms of mental health and safety?

    Yes, you wanted to make it loud and clear that not all men are violent.

    You weren’t loud and clear enough compared to the volume of your voice in the other paragraphs.

    Your appeal to the other side who hardly get heard in circles like this (and I mean REALLY heard, not brushed away with “Patriarchy Hurts Men Too” or “Men are victims of violence by other men.”) amounted to a piffle and arbitrary three sentences, totalling a tiny pebble swallowed by a sea of large paragraphs with phrasings like “Toxic Masculanity”. I understand, you have a message to push with violence against women. But that’s basically it. You want to ONLY end violence against women. Not end ALL forms of violence, which includes women who are violent and abusive towards men and boys.

    What happens when men are ignored while told they’re not doing a good enough job fighting for women’s issues? Frankly, I don’t want to be around to find out because it’s not pretty at all. In fact, desperate men will become the very thing you talk about in your article.

    That’s what I mean by looking at the other side, examining the reasons behind men’s violence that are not tainted by ideology. Unfortunatly, it means putting to pasture the myth that women are the only victims and the sexist stereotype of inability to do no harm.

    By the way, Mr. Kilmartin, I happen to be an autistic adult.

    When I was diagnosed eons ago, caregivers and counselors yelled at me and forced me to do things the “normal” way. Those caregivers and counselors were women.

    When I was a school kid, I was bullied and teased for being different. Girls did an equal amount of damage as the boys did.

    When I was a teenager, the bullying escelated. The young men called me “Pussy”, “Faggot” and a whole heap of other repulsive slurs. The young women called me “Weirdo”, “Retard”, “Idiot”.

    I’m not going to describe every detail of a serious incident that also took place in high school as well. Only tell you it involved a girl I was once friends with sicking her boyfriend on me. He threatened me with phyisical harm if I ever spoke to her again. You know where she was? Standing right beside him, grinning.

    Other girls there did heinous things. But that will be the last I will add before speeding to the point of my response.

    I have long come to terms with the ravaging these boys and young men did to me. Because there were things available centered around that and tons of support.

    As far as coming to terms with what the women and young girls did to me? I have had no luck except to speak out about it. Problem is, very few want to hear it. Why is that? After all, I am on the list of groups alloted major support and have been subjected to abuse. But when I talk about what the girls and women did, suddenly I have hit a raw nerve because there’s a distance people put up. Men and women, by the way, of all shapes, colors, and creeds.

    Sure, I’m always hearing how men have to step up to the plate and take responsiblity for the violence and torment in society. That’s all I’m hearing. And I’m tired of it after working hard and slow dealing with my experiences whenever they’re called up, frustrated at the fact there’s no supports for one side of it. Not unless I continue to bemoan what boys and men did to me, parrot the usual talking points and conform to the typical narratives. I’m not doing it anymore because, in my own steps towards a peaceful place, it no longer needs addressing.

    See my point? It’s time to move beyond addressing only one side. If you want violence against women to end, you’ve got another answer right here. Thank you.

  8. Gerald Vrooman says:

    Women are attracted to violent men. It is the sand kicking bully who gets the girl, not the 90 pound weakling. If a woman spurns you in favor of some pathological jerk, and further insults you by telling you that she has found a “real man”, why should you care if he knocks her around a little bit? If women have bad taste in men, it is their own fault.

  9. Ron Levant says:

    Bravo, Chris, for a very brave and complelling article. Paul Elam in his critique says that you reveal “a dangerous ignorance of what masculinity is about.” But what does Elam think masculinity is about? It is clear from his two articles that he thinks it is an essential part of being a men, whether rooted in biology or psychology, that men must be masculine, and therefore if you criticise masculitiny are committing misandry.
    There is of course another view, one that. separates sex from gender, and sees the great plasticity of the latter. On that point, I debated Lionel Tiger on NPR a few years ago, after the pub of his book, “the decline of males,” and he went on and on about how men are the way they are because masculinity is hard-wired. I asked him to account for the fact that many women have changed their gender role/norms/ideology from the post war home-maker model to the great diversity of models that we see today, asking if he thought masculinity was more “hard-wired” than femininity. He did not respond, but instead changed the subject and started talking about religion.

    • Hi Ron,

      You make some interesting points, even if you completely misunderstand and mischaracterized everything I said. I have never said anything even remotely supporting the idea that masculinity is an essential part of being a man. And in fact, have many times argued against that notion, especially where it concerns traditionalism.

      What I have stated is that the overarching tendency to protect and provide (especially for women) has long been a part of masculine nature, but not that it is essential, especially in an age where gender roles have become prohibitive to self actualization.

      In fact, I see that it is you and those of your thinking that are far more essentialist that I could dream of being. What is the cause of TGMP, or indeed of SPSMM, but to further a mandate for men to act as the designated protectors of women? That is what the article is all about!

      You can put a dress on the Marlboro Man, Ron, but you will always hear those spurs a jingling.

      Two peas in a pod, you are. Feminists and traditionalists are rooted in viewing women as weak and inferior children, unable to take care of themselves without protective male muscle. Traditionalists love mantra of “let’s man up and take care of women.” Just like this post.

      Reading though Kilmartin’s piece you only find that same exact sentiment, pretentiously posed from behind the façade of progressivism. It’s a postmodern fraud that does nothing more than perpetuate a sex role for men, which is antithetical, by the way, to eliminating sex roles for women.

      A tip of the chivalrous hat to you, nonetheless.

      • Paul: Do you have the capacity to engage in respectful dialogue without resorting to ad hominum attacks and name calling?

        • I didn’t make any ad hominem attacks. Ad hominem is not employed where questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue. e.g. known feminist ideologues asserting judgements about masculinity while claiming to be unbiased.
          And as to name calling, I didn’t do that either, unless you are implying that my calling you chivalrous is name calling. If that is the case, I can only suggest a lot more ventures out of your insular, back slapping environment in academe. It will give you the opportunity to grow a bit thicker skin.

          The dissent “out here,” is real, Ron. I suggest you get used to it.

          I think what you are trying to ask, even though you are using inappropriate examples, is whether I can be more respectful in tone and world to those I am debating with. The answer is yes, and that I would certainly prefer to be, and you can read many exchanges I have had on my website with people who disagree, but we were both very civil and courteous. The common denominator in all those exchanges was intellectual honesty on both sides of the fence.

          So far, the people on your side in this debate are batting .000 in that department. Way too many questions ignored, circumvented and otherwise avoided where it was inconvenient to answer. That diminishes respect from a lot of people and I would definitely be one of them. Perhaps it reveals an imperfection on my part, but an honest one.

          Now, as I was saying earlier, and what you ignored in favor of attacking me for attacking, was that I can draw many more parallels between feminism and traditionalism. In fact, as I stated, there is little difference between what SPSMM here is advocating (A sort of police functionary role with men) and what the state already does at the behest of right wing, conservative males. I think there is ample evidence to make the case that you are the same creatures in different clothing.

          Will you post again your concerns about me personally, or will you, in a break with the patterns SPSMM here, actually address a point directly?

          I am off to do just that with the question you posted to me.

          • I think Paul Elam makes a very good point in showing that the stance of the SPSMM is chivalrous and ironically connected to the traditional role for men of providing and protecting women. The SPSMM seem to be trying to carry that forward by stopping the “bad” men rather than blessing the male victims of IPV and working on giving men the same sorts of choices that we have given to women. Choice for men!

          • It appears there was a third option.

          • Precisely, Nancy.

            It was the promise of feminism that the liberation from assigned sex roles would be a liberation for men as well as women. I have heard the mantra from feminists for decades now, “Patriarchy hurts men, too.” And it is spot on correct. It does hurt men.

            But the problem with the ideologues that most commonly “claim” to support the goals of feminism is that their pursuit of the balancing liberation for men is half hearted and focused almost exclusively on changing all aspects of masculinity EXCEPT for the mandate to protect and provide for women.

            In other words, it’s “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

            In fact, the mandate for men to be relegated to assigned protector, a mandate that is foundational to the male sex role, is one that organizations like SPSMM, NOMAS and AMSA seek to impose on men with ever more autocratic intensity. They are, in effect, perpetuating a part of the patriarchy while claiming to desire its elimination. It is the ultimate intellectual hypocrisy.

            I mean, look at this thread. I am actually here confronting feminists on the perpetuation of rigid expectations based on sex!!


            And I am having to explain to them why these expectations are unhealthy and dysfunctional, because the moment we attempt to move past male utility and actually realize the promise of feminism to benefit men, these men become academic John Wayne’s, telling us all that “real men,” don’t hit women.

            It’s the same message I got from my father, who was as old school masculine they come.
            I had always assumed that the idea of feminism was to foster a culture in which we moved past that and toward a genderless paradigm, where we understand and address each other not based on genitalia or chromosomes, but on our shared humanity.

            But what I see as I read through these comments and the articles provided by SPSMM, is the most clear cut and unambiguous agenda to undermine that very goal.

            And when called on it, they retreat from the dialog.

            Mind blowing, isn’t it?

      • Oh and by the way, it is of the “masculine nature,” how could it not be “essential”?

        • Removing one component of a human being does not alter their humanity. Take the instinct for survival; the nature if you will, of human beings to try to live for every moment possible.

          Is a suicidal person, a really suicidal person, less human for it, simply because they have lost the instinct for survival? Does this not demonstrate that the desire for survival, a distinct part of human nature, is not essential for qualification as human?

          Let’s take a much more relevant example. It is clearly in the nature of men to seek women with whom to reproduce. But what about homosexual men? If we cannot separate nature from what is essential, then must we not regard gay men as men at all?

          That would seem to me to be illogical, as their chromosomes are still male, as is every other aspect of their physiology. And it would also seem to be a big part of the bigotry they have endured in a culture that sees that aspect of masculinity as rigidly “essential.”

          Having sex with women and reproducing is in the masculine nature, but it certainly isn’t an essential part of masculinity or manhood.

          If you can’t separate the natural from the essential, you will have us all living in a tightly constrained little box.

  10. codebuster says:

    Children first learn violence from their primary abuser. And who might their primary abuser be? Well, of course it’s their primary nurturer.

    From Child Maltreatment 2002 (Administration for Children and Families. Child Maltreatment 2002. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 2002. Based on data collected via the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System – NCANDS, National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information):
    1) We know that women comprised 58.3% of the perpetrators of child abuse and men comprised 41.7% (Figure 5-1 of the Child Maltreatment Report and accompanying Table 5-1, Age and Sex of Perpetrators );
    2) We also know that 32.6% of child fatalities were perpetrated by the mother acting alone, while 16.6% of child fatalities were perpetrated by the father acting alone (Figure 4-2 of the Child Maltreatment Report, Fatalities by Perpetrator Relationship). That is to say:

    Approximately twice as many mothers as fathers are responsible for the fatalities of their children.

    We also know that Infanticide and Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy are crimes overwhelmingly perpetrated by women.

    And we also know that children grow up to become men and women. And as the following website acknowledges, “about 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse” (which we have now assertained is most likely to be first learned from the primary abuser/nurturer):

    We also know that rape is not the big deal for women that we used to assume it to be. After all, rape has been redefined to include:
    1) A woman changing her mind the next day, in response to regret;
    2) A drunken slut refusing to take responsibility for her slutty behaviour;
    3) A condom rupturing in the course of sex (as per the Assange allegations);
    4) The trend, it seems, is that it should be defined as rape whenever a woman is made to feel “uncomfortable”.

    I, as a man, do not feel violated whenever I feel “discomfort” or “regret”. I, as a man, would not feel violated if I should experience a coyote moment (waking up wanting to gnaw my arm off for fear of arousing an ugly sleeping companion). For me, as a man, it might be regrettable, but I do not feel violated when I regret a lousy sexual encounter. If a condom breaks in the course of sex, even if it might be the fault of my partner, I might regret it and take action to minimize consequences, but it is nothing comparable to violation and what I used to assume rape to imply.

    Conclusion? Clearly, rape is not the big deal for women that we used to assume it to be. Indeed, some women seem to positively delight in the ruff stuff:
    Is someone suggesting that Lizzy Borden, in the above interview, has no responsibility for the violence taking place in her porn video?

    We also know that many women choose to partner up with thugs to create thugspawn. We know that women have rape fantasies, and this suggests something about female sexuality and what gets their rocks off. Yeah, I know, just because a woman fantasizes about rape does not mean that she wants to be raped. What I’m getting at, though, is that there is something about female sexuality that is drawn to violence and thus somehow nurtures it… and, ipso facto, perhaps, just maybe, has some responsibility towards stopping it?

    Why are some people so keen on disempowering women and leveling them with the responsibility of children? Sounds like a very “Patriarchy” thing to do.

    Apart from which, I’m not convinced that these psychology “experts” understand women at all. Do they realize how violent and bloody women’s unrestrained fantasies can be? Women prefer to experience violence vicariously, from the comfy perspective of getting someone else to do their dirty-work… namely, men. Sometimes, though, their unrestrained, internalized fantasies can be actualized to be bloodier and more violent than anything that might be dreamt up by men – google the name “Elizabeth Bathory”.

    So… come again? Why is addressing violence a “men’s issue”?

    • It is a men’s issue because the majority of violent crimes are comitted by men. If the majority of violent crimes were comitted by women, we as a society would be taking a step back and saying “what’s going on with these women?” But we don’t do this for men. Instead, we put all the focus on women, self-defense, walking in groups, never leaving your drink, etc. The burden of staying safe is put squarely on the shoulders of women. That being said, men are also victims of violence perpetrated by men. So both genders are victims of violence.

      Rape laws do not include a woman simply regretting consentual sex. The law states that one cannot consent if he or she is intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated by substances. This law is to protect people from date rape, the date rape drug, purposefully intoxicating someone to take advantage.

      Your silly fantasy theory is quite dated. The no means yes theory? She really wants it? Please. I can’t believe people are still saying that.

      • Men often become offended at such articles because they could never fathom admitting that for hundreds of thousands of years men have thought of women as their property to do with what they wish and that includes beating and killing them and the children. Domestic violence laws stopping violence against women is fairly new and still a work in progress. Men should be offended that other men are so violent and give them a bad name. all my years of being a police officer I can count on less then one hand the times a man was the victim of dv. I couldn’t begin to count the number of women that were beat, murdered and held hostage by men! The number is much higher for women. In saying that, I have seen women be just as violent and the young girls today are becoming more violent by the year! Many young girls have been beaten and raped by fathers, mama’s boyfriends and/or brothers friends. Regardless, violence against women is still an epidemic and to deny it or try to refute it is egregiously irresponsible. Many men that do this have abusive issues themselves, otherwise, why whine and cry about the statistics? Why try to tell women (as usual men tend to do this) they are wrong and try to tell them what is “really” up in the eyes of men? Why do you purpously try to take their voice away? To keep them under your thumb and undercontrol perhaps? Typical! I love men but damn SOME of ya’ll are not right in the head!

      • That being said, this: “If the majority of violent crimes were comitted by women, we as a society would be taking a step back and saying “what’s going on with these women?”” is entirely correct. That’s what we’re saying we should do. We should be saying “what’s wrong with THESE men?” not, “what’s wrong with ALL men?” So yes, you are right. What is wrong with men who commit violent crimes? Not, what’s wrong with men in general. That is why “violence

        I’ve see a case where a woman drunkenly woke a man up, they had sex, and then she accused him of rape because she was “in love with someone else” (the quotations are because that’s what she said). Ultimately it boiled down to his word versus hers and he lost. To me it was absurd. She woke him up. How in any way could he have used her intoxication to coerce her? He was fast asleep. She was intoxicated, but she still made the mistake, and he shouldn’t have to pay for it.

    • In reponse to your comment about Lizzie Borden I’ll just use a quote from the aforementioned herself, “(Interviewer)’And when the feminists and liberals say you’re degrading your friend the actress here and you’re degrading women by portraying them this way, what do you say?’

      Lizzie Borden: ‘They’re degrading, no matter what. Everyone gets degraded. I mean, even if she was a secretary in the office, she’s going to get some kind of harassment, whether sexual or verbal — you know? So this is normal. Women get degraded every day, and so do men.'”

      Are you hearing what she’s saying? She thinks that the kind of thing she puts in her pornos is normal. Perhaps we need to make this a little clearer for you: SHE THINKS THE BEING CALLED NAMES, BEING SPIT ON, BEING RAPED AND THEN “BUTCHERED” IS ***NORMAL***! Do you have a daughter? Do you know any little girls or young women? Did you have a mother or do you have a wife? How would you feel if they felt that the above treatment was NORMALCY?!?! The sad truth of the matter is most women of the world feel like that is just a normal part of everyday life for them. How can you justify that? Please tell me! I’m very curious.

      As a side note, I’ve had rape fantasies before and it has NOTHING to do with wanting to be raped or anything of the sort. The only reason I felt comfortable enough even telling those certain people that was that I TRUSTED them. If I had a real fear of possibly having been raped by them I would never have said anything. It’s not about the act, it’s about not having to be in control and still recieving pleasure. If you don’t understand it then please don’t talk about it like you do.

      Going back to the topic at hand I’ll just end with something that Krishnamurti brings to light, “It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

  11. Santo Christoforo MD says:

    Women are regularly portrayed as being every bit the equal of men, in terms of violence especially.
    On television, you can find a very popular female Mosaad assassin that intimdates her male colleaugues. They are depicted as sheriff’s, commanding officers in the military, street-hardened detectives in the inner city and captains of pirate ships (despite the fact that men considered a woman aboard ship to be very bad luck).

    They’re tough cookies who just happen to be always trying to finagle and finesse special privieges for themselves, on the basis of their ubiquitous need to be protected from, of all things, violent men!

  12. I’ve just had four attempts to post a comment flipped off on me.

    For my fifth attempt, I will reiterate that men’s rights forums on the internet manage to publish articles taken from the mainstream media about violent women attacking males and usually getting away with it. I myself have experienced two unprovoked attacks by women who were neither intimidated or inhibited by the propects of either losing the fight or subsequently being arrested for it.

    In reply, feminists and those that back them, trapse out their shopworn “studies” and wave them around. They also spout their trite slogans, such as the claim that more men are more violent, more often than women.

    Women in the “Anglosphere” will attack you in a heartbeat: if they’re bigger than you, have you out numbered and they’re sure there are no witnesses. They also presume confidently that they” be able to turn the tables on their accusers by claiming they are the real victims. This strategy works very well for them, almost without exception.

    They have a virtual “racket” going for them, and it sickens me to watch male academics become apologists for them.

  13. This piece is simply bizarre. He attacks the only group left to attack – men – and his motivations are fairly clear to me, after living on this planet for 50+ years, but I’ll leave the exercise of discerning them to other readers. They aren’t as noble as he tries to make them.

  14. Paul, Nancy and Denis and to all those who value reason over rhetoric,


  15. Once again, “The Good Men Project” shows it’s true colors.

    You know, during the slavery period in American history, “Good Negroes” were the ones who denigrated everything about their own culture and ethnicity, and were also the ones who went back and told the slave owners everything that the “bad Negroes” were doing. These were the slaves and later the Negroes who were told that “they were a credit to their race.” Cartoonist Aaron MacGruder caricatures that image in the character from “The Boondocks,” Uncle Ruckus. Are you male members of “The Good Men Project” a “credit to your gender?” How many of you who support this project are dealing with your own internal “Uncle Ruckus” holding sway over your lives?

    Further along in history, there were “Good French people” also known as Vichy collaborators who not only stood idly by during the German occupation, but willfully participated in the brutalization and humiliation of their own people. Is “The Good Men Project” truly a vehicle to help men or a front for collaboration with misandrist supporters?

    Note, this is not an ad hominen attack, but simply a comparison based upon historically verifiable evidence. While there have been some interesting articles posted here, far more have been rather disturbing as they clearly indicate a subtle, yet damning tendency to support a redefinition of masculine values based upon feminine sensibilities. The phrase I would like to employ to describe what is being done here is a “subtle, yet negative deconstruction” of masculine ideals and values.”

    Yes, the male gender is in the process of evolution, but like feminism pushed for a redefinition of femininity based upon it’s own defined rubric; masculinity has to be able to do the same, and that redefinition cannot be dictated by feminist ideals or values. We men need the freedom and space to come up with our own ideals that allow us to maintain who we are, and yet be able to address the issues that are troubling to society as a whole.

    The topic of this article is domestic violence, and yet it takes an issue that is universal to both genders and frames it as an issue purely within the domain of the masculine gender. Has the author of the article looked at the statistics of domestic violence issues between lesbian couples? That alone, renders his argument moot. If what he was saying is true, then every lesbian relationship should be the model of domestic bliss and every gay relationship should be a battleground; but we all know that is not the case. Lesbian women and gay men suffer from DV in numbers that correlate directly to the numbers regarding heterosexual couples, which pretty much proves that this is a human issue beyond the scope of one gender’s culpability.

    But here is your website, taking that info and turning it into a platform to denigrate men in support of a myth that has been shown to be used simply to fuel the DV industry; an industry which has been shown to be geared against men. The mother of the DV support movement herself, Erin Pizzey has decried the lies and misandry promoted by the DV industry. And yet, we have a website supposedly created to help men supporting those same lies.

    And the more I read your website, the more I see your authors promoting that “subtle, yet negative deconstruction” of masculinity. I have yet to see anything on this site that truly celebrates things that are truly associated with being male, with the exception of your articles on fatherhood. And considering the slant that the other articles on this site have taken, I’m wondering if they are suspect and perhaps have the seeds of a hidden misandrist agenda woven into their core as well.

    I may not know the answer to the Western world’s troubled masculinity, but I do know that the answer is not going to be found by making it over into a feminine-idealized form. There is no profit in that direction save for those who wish to see men as a gender broken and desolate for their own twisted needs. While there are some abysmal lows inherent in masculinity, there are also celestial heights that are part of the male nature and in this abominable remaking of maleness that you and your supporters propose, both would be lost, rendering the male of the species damaged and ineffectual.

    But yet and the same, based upon what has been posted on the website, this is what your “Good Men Project” seems to promote. This leads me to ask one question in closing.

    Is “The Good Men Project” really what is “good” for men?

  16. In 2006, 846,181 legal induced abortions were reported to the CDC from 49 reporting areas in the US. This total presents a 3% increase from the 820,151 abortions reported for 2005.

    Gender-based violence, indeed.

  17. Christopher Kilmartin has taken the initiative to respond at AVfM with a list of studies on men and violence, but he has not responded to any of the issues and critisizms raised on this blog.

    Please do not avoid the issues, answer them directly.

  18. Henry P. Belanger says:

    A Reminder to Commenters:

    Please refrain from ad hominem attacks; not only are they unnecessarily disrespectful, they undermine your argument (if, in fact, you have one) and the goal of fruitful debate.

    “Ad hominem abuse involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.”

    • “definitions of manhood include an especially strong dose of dominance and woman-hating”

      Yet, ad hominen without citing evidence is perfectly acceptable for the submissions.

      • Henry P. Belanger says:

        please refer to the entire sentence from which you quoted, and then back to the definition of “ad hominem.”

      • Intimate Partner Violence is NOT gender based violence.

        Men and boys also get raped by women.

        It’s an ad hominen attack on the entire male gender.

        Do some research and look up the definition of “hate speech”

      • Henry,

        I do a lot of advocacy for family violence and I have to ask you a very serious question.

        Would a “good man” ignore this:

        • Henry P. Belanger says:


          I read this, and many of the points it raises are valid/important. But I think you’re misunderstanding the article above to be an attack on men, which it’s not. It may not take your point of view into account to your satisfaction, but he’s not criticizing men. He wants to change prevailing cultural notions—specifically that it’s cool/necessary to be violent in order to be a “manly” (read: acceptable) man. He says, “Violent men nearly all adhere to toxic definitions of masculinity,” not “ALL men adhere to toxic definitions of masculinity.” He says, “In gender-based violence …” not, “all violence is gender-based.”

          He’s not saying that the only acceptable form of masculinity is some kind of docile passivity. He’s identifying the attitudes of men who have a history of violence (and we can agree that violence is bad, regardless of the sex of the perpetrator and/or the victim, right? not in every last case, but in most cases?), and saying, “let’s try to change those attitudes, because everyone benefits from less violence.”

          It seems to me that, based on the comments, there have been some incredibly selective (mis)readings of what’s written (in some cases it’s clear that commenters read only the headline), and as a result, some misplaced outrage. And that’s too bad. There’s a hell of a lot more common ground here than is reflected in the majority of these comments.

          • Henry – I think you are wrong.

            If Kilmartin had approached the article or his young college males by saying “1-2% of males are exhibiting toxic masculinity through violence and we need as many good males as we can gather to help fight this problem” I might agree with you. But that is not what happens. What he does is blame the good young men for the 1-2% by claiming that through their not doing anything they are going along with toxic masculinity with the clear implication that they are at least partly to blame.

            Here’s a quote: “Every man can get involved by refusing to participate in attitudes and behaviors that support violence and by confronting men who support violence.”

            And it is implied that without doing the above, men are presently supporting toxic masculinity by default and therefore are responsible. Kilmartin says that simply by not being violent, it is not enough. Men are responsible to fix it. Usually those we feel are responsible to fix something are the ones who caused it, right? Duh.

            These young men have seen years of hateful judgements passed about men. They have seen this everywhere, at school, in the media, at their jobs or where they play. Men are pigs. Men are rapists. Why would they want to grow up to be a man when the gold standard for human beings is the female? They have heard the anti-male message over and over so when they see a poster that blames them for yet another difficulty I think it is very understandable that they would roll their eyes. These young men need male mentors/fathers/coaches who can push them while simultaneously valuing them. Holding them accountable for male violence is surely and seriously devaluing these young men and seems the antithesis of mentoring.

            I tend to see the idea of “toxic masculinity” as a spear to gore good men and do it without ever having to take any responsibility since it’s not really directed at “men”….it’s directed at the culture. “I don’t hate men”, they say. And yet I think a case could be made that the idea of toxic masculinity, particularly when applied to all men is surely misandrist. Just imagine that the same researchers started talking about toxic femininity. What would be the response? I think we know that the FIC (Feminists In Charge) would not allow such talk since it was misogynist and unfairly lumped all women into a negative stereotype. The researchers would be banned to the hinterlands as woman haters. And in some ways the FIC would be right. What is happening here is that women have advocates to protect them from such hateful assaults. Up until this point, men have had no such advocates. I think that is starting to change based on the responses to this thread. We need to get to the point where we value both male and female. At this point we are incredibly lopsided and hateful towards men and boys.

          • Henry P. Belanger says:


            You say,

            “What he does is blame the good young men for the 1-2% by claiming that through their not doing anything they are going along with toxic masculinity with the clear implication that they are at least partly to blame.”


            “And it is implied that without doing the above, men are presently supporting toxic masculinity by default and therefore are responsible. Kilmartin says that simply by not being violent, it is not enough. Men are responsible to fix it. Usually those we feel are responsible to fix something are the ones who caused it, right? Duh.”

            When I read the piece, I don’t read those implications as you do. The piece seems to me to be asking for men to be aware and help if a situation arises wherein they could help. It seems like very little to ask, to affirm the attitude that one need not be violent to be a “real man.”

            Everyone here seems to be preoccupied with who’s blaming who for violence. I guess my question to you would be, isn’t it the mark of a good man/woman to be willing to help resolve X situation, regardless of who is to blame? If you’re driving along and see a car accident, a motorist in need of help, do you say to yourself, “well, i didn’t cause it, so screw him/her — if i try to help that implies that i was somehow responsible?”

            I wouldn’t think so — a good man both accepts responsibility for his actions, and is willing to help, if he can, even if he didn’t cause X problem in the first place. I don’t see how that’s bowing to feminism; it’s just everyday, gender-neutral goodness.

            I’ll say again, many of the issues these comments raise are valid and important. But I think that adopting the tactics of the worst kind of in-your-face, addicted-to-rage-ahol irrational feminists (or any other oppressed group) is self-defeating and self-contradictory at its core, both intellectually and practically.

            I think it would be far more effective to start by acknowledging common ground and proceeding from there, rather than shouting down and probably (in many cases) alienating the very people whose minds you’d like to change.

            my 2 cents.

            Denis, nice vid. (you linked to over in the blog post). compelling stuff.

          • Since your post responding to my observations has no reply button I will use this one.

            There is a famous verse that goes something like this, “Let those who have eyes, see. Let those who have ears, hear.” I can’t explain why you don’t seem to perceive the harsh judgement of males in Kilmartins piece. Perhaps you have an overflow of chivalry. Who knows?

            I would urge you to simply answer Paul Elam’s question, which has been asked repeatedly and never gotten a response. It’s about whether you would run a similar story with Blacks or Jews being the object of Kilmartin’s words. My guess is you would not run it. If so, you might want to ask yourself why.

        • Well Henry, clearly the dispute is over the definition of masculinity that includes “toxic”.
          Masculinity has always been about protecting women, so there is no way that definition would include violence against women as a component of masculinity.

          People are not misreading anything and if you think that way then you should be re-considering the public response and your own reading ability..

  19. How can we prevent Intimate Partner Violence and injury to women? IPV researcher Deborah Capaldi, Ph.D., a social scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center, finds that the best way for women to be safe is to not initiate violence against their male partners. According to Dr. Capaldi, “The question of initiation of violence is a crucial one… much IPV is mutual, and initiations — even that seem minor — may lead to escalation.”

  20. Domestic violence is not just beating a wife or girlfriend. It is sexual assault, rape, molestation and more of the like as well as formerly mentioned. To say that women initiate most domestic violence issues that occur to them…WOW that is unbelievable in this day and age.
    I am not saying women are not or can not be equally cruel or violent, but how often truly is a woman the perpetrator statistically of rape? Don’t respond with one case here or one there, I want a true statistical rate.
    To say that men, to even imply that men, have been quelled historically is complete and utter bull. The word history even tells us that it is HIS Story! With regards to bullies, women get bullied too, and just as you tell a girl you can tell a boy, walk away. As with Conscription… some people, some women have wanted it, but it has been shot down by, not women but men. However Israel does have equal conscription for males and females, just so you know. They also allow their women, who choose, to serve as infantry. That is unique, the US will not allow it sighting the likely hood of guess what? Higher likelihood of Rape and violence if caught by the enemy.
    Women in the U.S. weren’t allowed to vote until 1920 yet you say we oppress men. Yet men now hold 357 seats to 78 being held by women in the House and 82 by men to 18 seats held by women in the Senate.
    You don’t think it is a male dominated world? Look at Italy. Their President Berusconi controls (due to private ownership) most of the media. Women are objectified on TV. Voting for women has gone down. He put a porn star in as a major government figure to satisfy the need for a woman in government. and this is a quote over growing rape statistics “We don’t have enough soldiers to stop rape because our women are so beautiful.”
    Yes men, we are asking your help, just as every day hospitals try to educate young mothers who are stressed and over worked about the dangers of child abuse. Don’t put your blinders on and we won’t either, how about that?

    • Stranger rape is NOT domestic violence. Men as a gender are NOT responsible for the small minority of violence.

      Look at all the experts at the NFVLRC.ORG, lots of quality research is there too.

      NFVLRC policy statement:

      “Reports from the WHO (Archer, 2006) also make it clear than in many countries around the world, particularly where women have little political or socioeconomic power, women represent the much larger share of IPV victims. However, the most reliable population of surveys indicate that in Western industrialized democracies such as the United States and Canada, where they enjoy higher status, women engage in physical aggression at rates comparable to men (Archer, 2000; Fiebert, 2004; Straus & Gelles, 1990) and are as likely or more likely to be the initiators (DeMaris, 1992; Morse, 1995; Dutton et al., 1999; Straus, 1993; Williams & Frieze, 2005).”

      “Shernock’s (2005) analysis of over 2000 IPV incidents in Vermont revealed that men were categorized as perpetrators 3.2 times more often than women on the initial police report, but subsequently arrested 9 times as often. At issue is the extent to which this pattern of gender bias reflects flawed “dominant aggressor” guidelines and assumptions about IPV based on discredited sociopolitical theories of patriarchy”

      “Victimized males do not have access to services because of the assumption that they are only minimally impacted by IPV, if at all. This assumption, however, runs contrary to an overwhelming body of research evidence. A significant minority of IPV-related physical injuries, between 25% and 43%, are incurred by men (Archer, 2000; Laroch, in preparation; Mirrlees-Black, 1999; Straus, 2004; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000), and men are the victims in nearly a quarter of intimate homicides (Rennison, 2003)”

  21. “Men working to end men’s violence against women—how insulting!”

    This is insulting because male violence is directed primarily against other men, not women.

    Women are more likely to be initiators of domestic violence than men, and mothers are twice as likely to kill or abuse their own children as fathers are.

    The sexist and denigrating campaign that this misguided author supports features posters in the children’s section of libraries and schools that depict young men as goons dressed in gang attire, shaming young boys for crimes that they did not commit. It goes on to advise fathers to “teach your boys young and teach them often, that violence against women is never justified.”

    Should we make a campaign to educate female child-killers to be, shaming young girls and instructing mothers to “teach your girls young and teach them often, that violence against children is never justified” ?!?

    Collective guilt was Hitler’s justification for the Holocaust. It is no less repulsive today, when applied to young boys. The author should consider what influences made him embarrassed of his own gender, and why he is willing to support a campaign of hate and denigration that is taking aim at 4-8 year old children.

  22. Midnight Gypsy says:

    Could you guys please change the name of this web-site?
    The present name implies that it is here to help and support Men.
    Obviously it is the EXACT OPPOSITE. It is a web-site designed to assist Feminism, and to push Men further down in the food chain than they already are.

    Before you express such drivel please have the courtesy to do a bit of REAL research.

  23. After reading this article a couple of times, I feel compelled to ask the management of this publication a question.

    Can you name one other homogenous group that you would run an article about, when that article uses research and statistics to blame that group for a social ill, AS A WHOLE?

    Black? Hispanics? Jews? Women? Gays? Lesbians? Even whites?

    The answer to that is obviously no. And why? Because you know it would be wrong. Because it would be unthinkable. And yet, where it concerns men, a titled part of your audience, it somehow becomes acceptable- even noble. With all respect, this is utterly preposterous.

    There are many different types of violence in our culture. Violence against women, against men, against children, against the elderly, the weak, the handicapped, the impoverished, and against the decent sensibilities of people that really want to understand these problems and find solutions.

    And there is no group that has exclusivity where it concerns the perpetration of these problems.

    Do you think you are going to facilitate those solutions by pointing a finger at anyone who happens to have the wrong chromosomes and hanging them with the problem as a whole?

    This article is an outrage. It is part of an anti-male political agenda that has been going on for fifty years. And it needs to stop. Indeed, good people at The Good Men Project, YOU need to do your part in stopping it, not provide an outlet for the hate.

    I am sure Kilmartin will tell you his intentions are good, and I am sure he will mean it. But there were people in the antebellum south that would defend slavery with just as much conviction and sincerity.

    I am not buying their delusions, either.

    • It was this man’s hate campaign against elementary school age children that first drew me into the men’s movement, 21 days ago.

      A poster in my son’s library featuring menacing looking young boys in gang-like attire warned fathers to “teach your son’s young and teach them often, that violence against women is never justified.”

      My son read this and other headlines, and was shamed and hurt, just as the hate campaign intended.

      He asked me “what is wrong with me daddy?”, and I woke up from a lifetime of brainwashed-illusion regarding what “women’s rights” means.

      The feminist movement and its male toadies are a estructive cancer that is unashamed to target 6 year old children with vile poison and hate.

      The twisted evil of feminism knows no shame and knows no bounds.

      These monsters are beneath contempt.

    • Well said Mr Elam. Black people commit more crime than white people, yet it would be unfair to say violence is a ‘black problem’ as if it were some racial inadequacy. We instead look at WHY it is predominantly black and try to help mitigate the factors causing this. Women commit more infantcide than men, are we to say that is a ‘women’s issue’ and shame women for the crime, even though most women are not guilty?

      How about looking at WHY men commit so much violence. Ask who often benefits from the violence, and you will not infrequently find women, whether directly or indirectly. Violence is a human problem, and the sooner people understand it is a complicated and often convoluted issue the quicker we will come to find real solutions.

    • Innocent Bystander says:

      > After reading this article a couple of times, I feel compelled to ask the management of this publication a question. Can you name one other homogenous group that you would run an article about, when that article uses research and statistics to blame that group for a social ill, AS A WHOLE? Black? Hispanics? Jews? Women? Gays? Lesbians? Even whites?

      Precisely. This is another case of anti-male shaming talk.

      If you said violence is a black issue you would be howled down.

      If you said child abuse is a women’s issue (women are predominant in child abuse and murders) you would be howled down.

      Some Jews are greedy (like other ethnic groups). Would you say greed is a Jewish problem???

      Get some self-respect and drop the man-hating rhetoric.

      Violence is a violent-person problem regardless of sex and race.

  24. Wayne Froese says:

    Having read the blog above, I first wondered at the age of the college-professor author – as the limited viewpoint expressed bespeaks of limited life experiences. Disappointing that the 1st-person voice of this blog is only attributed to a group: SPSMM. Let’s take some personal responsibility here…

    In any event, “Men working to end men’s violence against women…” is worthy – and specific enough to be relevant in of itself. But as respondent Nancy points out above, violence is a human issue not an issue that relates to only one sex. Hear me out before you assume I’m another defensive male.

    My concern comes from the over-generalization (and implication) that derives from the title “Violence is a Men’s Issue”. What the author appears to be addressing is PHYSICAL VIOLENCE or the threat thereof – but paints it with the broad title “violence”. See the author’s statement in the 3rd paragraph:
    “So let me say this loud and clear: the vast majority of men are not violent. I am a man and I haven’t had a fight since the sixth grade—and most men I know have similar histories of nonviolence.”

    Notice the equation there: fighting = violence. It’s a VERY important distinction to make – and it’s irresponsible that you failed to make it. I’m 50+ and have seen much – and neither men nor women have a monopoly on violence. While I also haven’t had a “fight” since school days, I have no doubt that PHYSICAL violence comes mostly from men. At the same time I’ve seen and experienced the violence of emotional anger and rage – the vitriol from a scathing tongue leaves scars as surely as a fist or a boot. And I have witnessed it coming from women as often as from men.

    I am not splitting hairs here, the accidental (?) oversight by the author is indicative of a mentality. I hear that assumption over and over, like a message for the collective psyche. Let’s correct that incorrect implication, and let’s be clear:
    (1) Most physical violence comes from men.
    (2) Violence is a human issue, not a men’s issue.

    • Henry P. Belanger says:

      wayne— in the body of the story is the author’s name and bio:

      Christopher Kilmartin is a professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington and maintains a small private therapy practice. He is the author of The Masculine Self (4th edition) and co-author of Men’s Violence Against Women: Theory, Research, and Activism.

  25. Hmmmm. If we are going to use the numbers game of who commits violent crimes to anoint those who need to take action to stop it I think we can go a step farther. Isn’t it Black males who commit more violent crimes per capita? Isn’t it people below the poverty line who commit more violent crimes? If so, by the logic of the author, maybe we should focus on poor Black men to take a stand against violence.

    • I think we need to look at all the factors related to violence, and yes, poverty and racism are among them. And so is hypermasculine ideology. A lot of men think that all they have to do about violence is to refrain from the behavior. I am here to say that we need more than that from you. We need you to influence other men who hold the kinds of attitudes that support violence. We need you to think about how you spend your money. For example, there are strong links between violent media and aggression (obviously it’s not the only cause, or we would all be violent, but it is significant when combined with other risk factors). If we pay our money to support violent media because we find it entertaining, we are helping to ensure that more young, impressionable boys will be influenced by it. This is the Good Men Project; good men need to build kinder boys and help men and women to join together rather than complaining that women are taking over the world, for which there is little evidence.

      • Violence is a human issue not an issue that relates to only one sex. By calling only one sex to solve a problem you seem to be acting out of chivalry rather than inclusiveness. Women are the majority of perpetrators of child maltreatment. Should we hold all women accountable for this problem? Should we call only women to take responsibility for the mistreatment of children and confront other women who might be abusive to kids? Probably not, and it seems absurd to even suggest this. Why then, is it not equally absurd to suggest that all men need to stop violence simply because more men are violent?

        The answer to this question may surprise some, the answer is CHIVALRY. Men are biologically and socially programed to be of service to women and children. They have a big C invisibly tattooed to their chest even though most men and most women have no awareness of this mark. This mark is so strong that it convinces men, without discussion, that they should be the ones to sacrifice their lives in wars, that they should be the ones to take the most dangerous jobs, that they should be the ones to go and check that bump in the night that awakened both male and female adults. Just imagine for a second that 97% of the war deaths in Iraq were women, that 93% of the job related deaths were women, would people be up in arms? You bet they would and things would change quickly. Why not so with men? Because people are programmed to think of men as disposable and when we hear of men’s deaths we simply nod and say ho hum. More Knights have died in service to the King. That is what they are supposed to do.

        Most psychologists have little awareness of this powerful force. If they did they would be helping men negotiate this inborn tendency. Sadly what we see from most psychologists is not helping men become aware of CHIVALRY and deal with it in a mature manner, no, what we see is exemplified in the above article by recommending that men BE CHIVALROUS. Not to single out psychologists, they are just a small part of a big problem. Actually the bigger problem is our male legislators who unconsciously discriminate against the needs of men by clambering to serve women while doing so at the expense of men and boys. But that is another issue.

      • A noble motivation is no justification for bigotry and hate, Dr. Kilmartin!

        I decided to participate in the men’s movement when my son asked me what was wrong with him after seeing one of your hat filled posters just three weeks ago. I took some pictures and a men’s issues web site was kind enough to run a story.

        The hate that you are hurling directly at young children in the guise of “reducing violence” does vast, real, irreparable harm to very young children, Dr. Kilmartin. I know that you do not intend this. But before you back a campaign of hate, please take a minute to consider the unintended consequences. The collateral damage of your “war on masculinity” is horrifying. Please reconsider.

        My son is 6 years old. Your actions are both damaging and unjust. I have never been involved in the men’s movement before. But the collective vilification of all men for the crimes of a tiny minority is both wrong and ineffective.

        Ask yourself how a father should explain “while the vast majority of men are not violent, the vast majority of violent people are men” to a 6 year old. The campaign that YOU SUPPORT is placing hate filled posters in the children’s section of libraries and schools. If you do not believe me, I will post a picture taken at my child’s library, in the same area as Thomas the Train-engine books. This is the TODDLER section of the library. Do you have any idea of the harm that you are doing?

      • @Chris Kilmartin, can you please cite research and describe the methodology when you make such claims that violence is a result of masculinity.

        Also, since you are making distinctions between men and minorities, please state the proportions of violence that are resulting from social conditions and masculinity as well as your source.

  26. my point is that men as a group don’t have any political power and are in fact completely disenfranchised. The system can’t be changed and right now the best thing a man can do is try to survive within it.

    • Cooper Fleishman says:

      Hmm. “The system can’t be changed”? It changes every generation, and that change starts with small gestures that catch on and lead to influential, wide-ranging movements and activism.

      Are men truly “in fact disenfranchised”? Can you prove we have no political power? I’m curious about your reasoning here.

      “The best thing a man can do is try to survive within the system” sounds suspiciously like a rationalization for avoiding personal responsibility. I’m sure you don’t mean to be an apologist for violence, but I’m failing to see how this position is constructive.

      • women make up 56% of voters and have numerous organizations like NOW to lobby for them. Women have afirmitive action and networking programs even though they make up 61% of college students now. Meanwhile boys get 80% of the Ds and Fs and make up the overwhelming majority of high school dropouts. Do they get afirmitive action programs or networking? not only do they not, but giving it the them is a federal crime. Women make 85% of all consumer purchases. Who’s money are they spending? And don’t even get my started on the family courts.

        When the system is systematically stacked against men in education, in politics, in the workplace, and in the courts, yes, men are disenfranchised.

    • No longer “completely disenfranchised”!

      There is a new “Foundation for Male Studies” that is promoting the idea of a pioneering men’s studies academic program at some as yet undetermined university.

      Funding is very tight, but there is a budget, so men can no longer claim to have “zero” financial, political, and institutional support.

      It is not much, but it is a start! David has picked up a little pebble … and the feminist Goliath no longer seems completely unassailable!

  27. do you know what happened to men who refused to obey a direct order in the military up until world war 2?

    They were hanged or shot and buried in a shallow grave.

    I’ll ask again. If a man is conscripted or a child is hit by a bully what choice does he have?

  28. Wow. Men as the ‘disposable’ gender…. Now that’s violence. That’s abuse, and that’s trauma…. And while men didn’t “make the system”, they do, as every person does, have the ability to understand that they don’t have to unquestionably follow the system. They can empower themselves to change the system.

    Wow. So many of the comments just bear out the observations of the article. Yes, the article is limited, it’s a few hundred words, the thrust of it is worthwhile, and a good place to start. Violence is a human issue, and genderization violence may indeed part of the problem.

  29. This post denies the biological reality that men have been socialized and bred for violence for eons. Men can’t have babies and thus have been designated as the disposable gender. You people talk about choice and oppressive gender roles. What choice do men have when their conscripted into military service? What choice does a boy have when a bully hits him?

    During the chistmas truce of world war one when the british soldiers and the germans were exchanging gifts british women were in the streets hand white feathers to the men they met. Warren Ferrell (three time president of the national organization for women.) says that women select for men with aggressive traits and then when the society has all the resources it needs they start discouraging men from their aggressive behaviors.

    Men don’t make the system ,they do their best to survive within it and until you step back and look at the entire picture you’re going to keep coming to the same wrong conclusions and the save futile solutions.

  30. How much self hating vitriol can one web magazine spew? Do you guys ever get tired of spreading misandry? Really. If some guy hit women, it is not a reflection on the rest of the men, no matter how much you try to delegate responsibility. Free will and all. I suppose feminist based hate is easy enough to indulge in.

  31. Women are just as violent as men – they’re just not as good at it.

    All man-hating posts like this one should be condemned for the sexist tripe they are.

  32. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    As a sociologist, I need to add that the American social order is very struturally violent. Although this does not relieve individual men (or women – who commit much social “violence” through gossip, etc.) of their responsibility to curtail their abusive actions toward others, much of what ensues is the dark side of an exploitative economy, harsh socialization, sexual repression, and so on. Individual approaches are but one side of the coin. The structural violence I mention needn’t be obvious to be violence nonetheless.

  33. I appreciate the article about men’s violence because it is so important to men healing our relationships with women and other men. I especially appreciate SPSMM and what it is trying to do within the field of psychology and psychological services. Dr. Kilmartin is a leader in the efforts to end men’s violence and to help us better understand masculinity and how we express our masculinity. I do think the article is missing two very important pieces: the first, is that most of us subscribe to a very narrow definition of violence which leads us to conclude that most men are not violent. Men are raised to be violent and to see violence as an acceptable solution to problems- we are also raised not to see violence clearly. Violence is so many things all the way to how a man speaks to someone (as in just his tone of voice let alone the words) and how he uses his body (just distance and awareness of his true size). The continuum is much broader than many of us realize – it certainly surprised me when I started taking a close look at it. I would even say that men committing not to be violent is a very tall order, when we subscribe to this very broad definition. I am not arguing against such a commitment but rather bringing an additional dose of realism to the proposal.

    The second piece, is the very real role that trauma plays in affecting a man being violent, given that men tend to externalize their responses trauma. Given what we know about trauma and its affect on men and women it is irresponsible of us to ever have a conversation about men’s violence and not mention trauma. We know that most men who are abusive and violent were also victims of abuse and violence. We have to help men hold two opposite pieces together – one, no matter what they did as children the abuse and violence they experienced was NEVER their fault and two, no matter what someone else does and no matter how they treat you or have treated, you are ALWAYS responsible for your behavior and abuse is ALWAYS unacceptable. The challenge is how to be compassionate and yet hold men accountable. That challenge is greatest for those working with the men because we cannot teach something we do not already know.

    We have to learn how to speak to men in a way that they will hear it –


  1. […] are three times as likely to be murdered than women…Though it’s not often framed this way, violence is a men’s issue.”5. Be More Inclusive – “Though it might look a bit different from iteration to […]

  2. […] Though it’s not often framed this way, violence is a men’s issue. […]

  3. […] Chris Kilmartin, a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington, has described violence as “a men’s issue,” called abuse by men “the single most serious health problem […]

  4. […] Chris Kilmartin, a psychology professor at the University of Mary Washington, has described violence as “a men’s issue,” called abuse by men “the single most serious health problem […]

  5. […] teenagers are assigned disproportionate blame for the crimes ascribed to them, men actually do commit the vast majority of violent crimes, so women’s wariness can’t be challenged in the same way it can be when we’re talking about […]

  6. Online Article…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]…

  7. […] recently, they posted an article tellingly titled, “Violence is a Men’s Issue,” to It is another in a continuation of efforts on their part to promote the […]

  8. […] gender-specific tones of the White Ribbon Campaign are also a controversial topic for men’s rights activists. For MRAs, the oath that male ambassadors take to never commit […]

  9. […] academics have often worked to promote the idea that men, by their nature, must be remolded into the feminist […]

  10. […] The Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity (SPSMM) editor for the Good Men Project Magazine (unnamed in the article) has responded to my rebuttal of Chris Kilmartin’s blanket condemnation of masculinity in the piece entitled, “Violence is a Men’s Issue.” […]

  11. […] responding to two controversial posts: one by psychology professor Christopher Kilmartin (“Violence Is a Men’s Issue“) and a response (“Men and Violence: Blaming the Blameless“) by men’s […]

  12. […] Blaming the Blameless“) in response to an article written by Dr. Chris Kilmartin (“Violence Is a Men’s Issue“). Mr. Elam notes that Dr. Kilmartin did not explicitly reference any research in his […]

  13. […] recently, they posted an article tellingly titled, “Violence is a Men’s Issue,” to It is another in a continuation of efforts on their part to promote the […]

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