Violence Against Women Is a Men’s Issue

Michael Flood wants us to stand up and do something about violence against women (and men).

Most men are not violent. Sure, most treat the women in their lives with respect and care, but very few actually do anything to challenge the violence perpetrated by a minority of men. In order for our culture to move toward non-violence and gender equality, men need to play a bigger part.

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Violence against women

In Australia for example, the Personal Safety Survey reveals that in the last 12 months, one in 20 women were the victims of physical or sexual violence. Women are most at risk in the home, and from men they know. Since the age of 15, 40 percent of all women have experienced violence. Close to one in three women (29 percent) have experienced physical assault, and close to one in five women (17 percent) have experienced sexual assault.

In the US, the National Violence Against Women Survey found that over one in five women have been physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner in their lifetime. About one in 14 women (8 percent) have ever been raped by a current or former intimate partner. Close to one third (31 percent) of women in the US have been physically assaulted since age 18.

We know too that this violence has a profound and damaging impact on its victims and on the community as a whole. When women are physically assaulted, forced into sex, or constantly threatened and abused, this leaves deep physical and psychological scars.

An Australian study by VicHealth in 2004 found that, among women under 45, intimate partner violence contributes more to their poor health, disability, and death than any other risk factor, including obesity and smoking. Violence against women has long-term effects on men’s and women’s relationships, on their children, and on communities.

Violence against women is shaped by a wide variety of social factors at personal, situational, and social levels. But we know that this violence is more likely in situations where manhood is defined through dominance, toughness, or male honor. Most men don’t ever use violence against their wives or girlfriends. But those men who do are more likely to have sexist, rigid, and hostile gender-role attitudes. There are higher rates of domestic violence in cultures where violence is seen as a normal way to settle conflicts, men feel entitled to power over women, family gender relations are male-dominated, husband-wife relations are seen as private, and women are socially isolated. Sexual violence is shaped by norms of a sexual double standard, victim-blaming, and the myth of an uncontrollable male sexuality. Poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse, and mental illness all are further risk factors. Violence against women also is shaped by race, class, sexuality, and other social divisions.

Of course, males are also the victims of violence. Boys and men are most at risk of violence from other boys and men. Ending violence to girls and women and ending violence to boys and men are part of the same struggle — to create a world based on equality, justice and non-violence.

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Men’s positive roles

Men have a crucial role to play in preventing the physical and sexual violence that so many women suffer, and men have much to gain from doing so. If we are to end this violence, men themselves will need to take part in this project. A minority of men use violence against women. And too many men condone this violence, ignoring, trivializing, or even laughing about it.

There are simple, positive steps any man can take to be part of the solution. Find out about the violence that many women experience. Don’t condone the view that the victim is to blame. Check out how we treat the women around us. Speak out when friends, relatives, or others use violence or abuse. Be a good role model, whether you’re a dad, a boss, a teacher, or a coach. And, beyond these individual actions, take part in public actions and campaigns such as the White Ribbon Campaign.

To really stop violence against women, we will need to change the social norms and power inequalities that feed into violence. Men must join with women to encourage norms of consent, respect, and gender equality, to challenge the unfair power relations that promote violence, and to promote gender roles based on non-violence and gender justice.

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A men’s issue

Violence against women is often seen as a women’s issue. This makes sense, as its focus is the sexual and physical violence that women suffer. But I want to stress that violence against women is also a ‘men’s issue.’

Violence against women is a ‘men’s issue’ because it is men’s wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends whose lives are limited by violence and abuse. It’s a men’s issue because, as community leaders and decision-makers, men can play a key role in helping stop violence against women. It’s a men’s issue because men can speak out and step in when male friends and relatives insult or attack women. And it’s a men’s issue because a minority of men treat women and girls with contempt and violence, and it is up to the majority of men to help create a culture in which this is unacceptable.

While most men treat women with care and respect, violence against women is a men’s problem. Some men’s violence gives all men a bad name. Violence against women is men’s problem because many men find themselves dealing with the impact of other men’s violence on the women and children that we love. Men struggle to respond to the emotional and psychological scars borne by our girlfriends, wives, female friends, and others, the damaging results of earlier experiences of abuse by other men.

I’ve come to realize that violence against women is a deeply personal issue for men, just as it is for women. I’ve been saddened to realize how many of the women I know have had to deal with childhood abuse, forced sex, or controlling boyfriends. I’ve felt shock and despair in hearing about the harassment, threats, and humiliations that women experience far too often. I’ve felt angry at the victim-blaming I’ve sometimes heard from male colleagues and acquaintances. And I’ve been humbled and shamed in realizing my own ignorance and in reflecting on times when I may have been coercive or abusive.

At the same time, I’ve also felt inspired by the strength and courage of women who’ve lived through violence. I’ve found hope and energy in participating in a growing network of women and men who’ve taken on the challenge of working to stop violence against women. In making personal changes and taking collective action, I’ve found joy and delight in the enriching of my friendships with women and men and my relationships with women.

It has been particularly inspiring to see large numbers of men (and women) take up the White Ribbon Campaign, a campaign inviting men to wear a white ribbon to show their commitment to ending violence against women. The White Ribbon Campaign focuses on the positive roles that men can play in helping to stop violence against women. It is built on a fundamental hope and optimism for both women’s and men’s lives, and a fundamental belief that both women and men have a stake in ending violence against women.

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A better world

In campaigning against sexual and physical assault, it is important to remind ourselves of what we are for. We desire sexual lives based on consent, safety, and mutual pleasure. We hope for friendships and relationships that are respectful and empowering. And we dream of just and peaceful communities.

Men have a personal stake in ending violence against women. Men will benefit from a world free of violence against women, a world based on gender equality. In our relations with women, instead of experiencing distrust and disconnection, we will find closeness and connection. We will be able to take up a healthier, emotionally in-touch, and proud masculinity. Men’s sexual lives will be more mutual and pleasurable, rather than obsessive and predatory. And boys and men will be free from the threat of other men’s violence.

—Photo Lisa Norwood/Flickr

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About Michael Flood

Dr Michael Flood is a sociologist at the University of Wollongong. His research focuses on the primary prevention of violence against women, men and gender, and young men’s heterosexual relations. He is the lead editor of the International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities, and the author of a wide variety of academic papers on men and masculinities, violence against women and violence prevention, male heterosexuality, fathering, and pornography. Dr Flood also is a trainer and community educator with a long involvement in community advocacy and education work focused on men’s violence against women.

Comments

  1. Love the token nod to men being the victims of violence. A whole three lines. As someone who was a victim of violence perpetrated against me by women up until the age of 20, and who was both laughed at and told to “stop being a pussy” when I filed complaints about being beaten, bludgeoned, and burned, I really do appreciate the fact that instead of talking about domestic violence in general, you choose to focus solely on women as victims with the most pathetic token nod to the fact that men can be victims too. Of course, you only mention men as victims of abuse from other men because women could never be perpetrators.

    • Not only does he give short shrift to violence against men – he then gives women a pass by saying the majority of violence is perpetrated by men. Women’s violence against men is soft of defined away.

      When a woman kills her husband for example, it isn’t an example of the worst kind of fatal domestic violence. Instead it is the murdered husband who is posthumously made to defend himself from accusations of domestic violence.

      The cases are too numerous to mention. Here is one that is going on now:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/26/nyregion/an-abused-wife-or-an-executioner.html

      Barbara Sheehan puts 11 bullets into her husband’s back. But he is the one on trial for domestic violence.

      • Sounds like a rerun of Mary Winkler. She shot her husband in the back (3 times I think) while he was sleep during the night but basically cried abuse and walked. There was no evidence of him abusing her but there was evidence that she was running up huge amounts of financial debt and was on the verge of getting caught up in legal trouble.

        Yet history will remember Mary Winkler as an abused woman who killed in self defense thanks to the sob story she sang on Oprah, complete with a pair of clear heels as a prop (well she says he made her wear them while doing sex acts she didn’t want to do). Oh and she kept custody of their three children, who are young enough that Mary has plenty of time to poison any good memories of their daddy they might have…

  2. I’m not even a victim of violence but the byline (or whatever you call it) was an almost immediate turnoff.

    Michael Flood wants us to stand up and do something about violence against women (and men).

    When put in parentheses like that it comes off sounding like “oh yeah and it happens to men too”. It sounds like an afterthought.

    You can say all you want about women being more likely to be victims of violence but until the “acknowledgement” of violence against men is no longer treated like a footnote in the conversation people like Colin will continue to feel left out, becasue frankly they are being left out.

    (I’m not sure who came up with that line so it may pertanent to point it out to the writer.)

    Colin:
    If a woman slaps a man across the face in a crowded and public place, nothing will happen. People will laugh; they’ll wonder what he did to make her angry; etc. Do you know what they won’t do? Consider it an act of violence or do anything to remedy the situation. Switch things around and have a man hitting a woman. Chances are he WILL be arrested and he’ll probably get beaten by other men in the area. People will CERTAINLY come to the aid of the woman.
    Such scenarios have been tested by various news shows and talk shows before and for the most part you’re right. One such example was done by The Tyra Banks show a few years ago where she had people act out interpartner violence in public to test reactions of passersby. She tested male against female violence, male against male, and female against female. In one of the male against female tests someone called the actual NYPD and Tyra had to come out and explain that it was a test to save the guy from actually being arrested. Turns on that one test out multiple people called the police and the responders were looking for a weapon because the callers said he had a knife. There were no weapons involved in any of Trya’s scenarios.

    One show on ABC did a female against male scenario and even an off duty cop jogged right past them and didn’t stop to check things out.

    So Colin is right there is certainly a problem with the selective way people are “concerned” about violence.

  3. The Bad Man says:

    Michael Flood is just Australia’s version of feminist Michael Kimmel.

    He abuses statistics and ignores the majority of mutual and female initiated domestic violence.

    I challenge you Michael Flood to a public debate with a member of NFVLRC. I can arrange it if you aren’t scared of being exposed.

  4. In Australia for example, the Personal Safety Survey reveals that in the last 12 months, one in 20 women were the victims of physical or sexual violence.

    No, it did not. The survey  found that 1 in 20 women experienced physical violence. It found that 1.6% of women experienced sexual violence (ht  tp://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/F9E5031D932C2908CA2571C500784266?OpenDocument). Coincidently, the same survey found that 1 in 10 and 0.6% of men experienced physical and sexual violence respectively.

    Of course, males are also the victims of violence. Boys and men are most at risk of violence from other boys and men.

    Women perpetrate the majority of child abuse and about 40% of the sexual violence against boys. Many male abusers report having been victimized as children by women. Ending violence to girls and women and ending violence to boys and men are part of the same struggle, but you cannot achieve if you ignore, deny, or absolve half the people who commit that violence.

  5. The definition of domestic violence now includes psychological abuse. Given the indirect, passive/aggressive tendencies of women to mental violence, Flood’s contention that women do less of it is seriously flawed. In fact many would argue that the mental abuses are worse, as the scars cut deeper, take longer to heal and cannot be seen. Womens violence is essentially hidden, veiled, denied, all things which compound the nature of psychological abuse. One could argue that violence is essentially mental in nature and that how its expressed is incidental. Women tend to maintain peristent, low level, plausibly deniable mental violence, over a lifetime. You can see it in their relationships with their husbands, sons, siblings, boy-friends, fathers etc. Their menfolk are quick to be stiffled, spirits eroded and deadened, learn to repress in service of womens insecurities.

    In light of the expanded definition of domestic violence to include psychological abuse, together with the way women mother their children, it is clearly evident that women cause most domestic violence.

    • The Bad Man says:

      Michael Flood is an apologist for abusive women and has repeatedly fought against efforts to eliminate gender stereotyping as a factor in domestic violence

  6. The Bad Man says:

    Michael Flood is most notorious for his attack on the CTS, which is defended as follows:

    Straus 2007, CONFLICT TACTICS SCALES
    The CTS is both the most widely used measure of family violence and also the most widely criticized. Extensive critical examination is appropriate for any widely used instrument because, if the instrument is wrong, then a great deal of research will also be wrong. In the case of the CTS, however, the most frequent criticisms reflect ideological differences rather than empirical evidence. Specifically, many feminist scholars reject the CTS because studies using this instrument find that about the same percentage of women as men assault their partners. This contradicts the feminist theory that partner violence is almost exclusively committed by men as a means to dominate women, and is therefore taken as prima facie evidence that the CTS is not valid. Ironically, the fact that the CTS has provided some of the best evidence confirming the link between male dominance and partner violence and other key aspects of feminist theory of partner violence (Coleman and Straus 1990; Straus 1994) has not shaken the belief that the CTS is invalid.
    Another irony is that despite these denuncifications, many feminist researchers use the CTS. However, having used the CTS, they reaffirm their feminist credentials by routinely inserting a paragraph repeating some of the erroneous criticisms. These criticisms are then cited in other articles as though they were empirical evidence showing the invalidity of the CTS, whereas there is only endless repetition of the same invalidated opinions.

    What happens when societal surveys with non-selected samples are analyzed using feminist researcher Johnson’s typology?

    ht tp://www.nfvlrc.org/docs/Graham_Kevan.ArcherJohnsonstudy.pdf

    The implications for the diagnosis and treatment of domestic violence perpetrators are that there is clear evidence to suggest that partner aggression is not a unitary phenomenon, and that the frequency of use of controlling behaviors and the mutuality of physical aggression need to be assessed before embarking on a diagnosis and treatment plan. However, the assessment should be sensitive to reporting biases when only the victim or the perpetrator accounts are available. Further, the present study’s findings suggest that the use of partner aggression may be a human problem rather than a male problem and so treatment plans should concentrate primarily on the nature of the physical aggression rather than the gender of the perpetrator and victim.

  7. The Bad Man says:

    “men feel entitled to power over women, family gender relations are male-dominated, husband-wife relations are seen as private, and women are socially isolated.”

    Felson, Outlaw 2007, THE CONTROL MOTIVE FOR MARITAL VIOLENCE
    …The findings indicate no support for the position that husbands engage in more marital violence than wives because they are more controlling.
    … In general, our results are consistent with those of Stets and Hammond (2002) in showing that wives are more controlling than husbands in their current marriages. We also found that wives are more likely to be jealous and possessive.
    … Although there are some interactions with gender, the evidence is clear that control behavior and jealousy are strong predictors of aggression for both men and women.
    … Both husbands and wives who are controlling are more likely to produce injury and engage in repeated violence. Similar effects are observed for jealousy, although not all are statistically significant. The seriousness of violence is apparently associated with motive, although the relationship does not depend on gender.

    Male dominant couples constitute only 9.6% of all couples (Coleman & Straus, 1985)

    Follingstad, Wright, Lloyd, and Sebastian (1991) asked victims about their perceptions of their assaulters’ motivations and asked the perpetrators to report their own motivations
    Women reported being victimized and perpetrating physical aggression twice as often as men. The authors found that there was no significant difference in the percentage of men (17.7%) and women (18.6%) who endorsed using aggression in self-defence. Furthermore, a greater percentage of women than men reported using aggression to feel more powerful (3.4% vs. 0), to get control over the other person (22.0% vs. 8.3%), or to punish the person for wrong behavior (16.9% vs. 12.5%).

    The notion that abuse stems from “power and control” by males is contradicted by the Stets (1991) study that showed no gender difference in the amount of control exhibited in dating relationships.

  8. Thanks all for your comments. I’m disappointed to see that, rather than addressing the issue of the positive roles men can play in preventing men’s violence against women, many posters instead prefer to focus on women’s violence against men.
    I’ve answered many of the responses in two other published pieces: (1) Violence against women and men in Australia – What the Personal Safety Survey can and can’t tell us about domestic violence: http://www.xyonline.net/content/violence-against-women-and-men-australia-what-personal-safety-survey-can-and-cant-tell-us-ab; and (2) an encyclopedia entry on domestic violence: http://www.xyonline.net/content/domestic-violence-encyclopedia-men-and-masculinities.
    The other piece I’ve highlighted, in which I focus on violence against men, was published in 2007, although I’ve only just put it up online.
    I’d be happy to engage in public debate regarding these issues.
    Best wishes,
    Michael Flood.

  9. In summation, once again: “men are evil, women are innocent victims.”

    Despite the inconvenient fact that men are 3x more likely to be a victim of violence, as reported. Of course, none of the writers want readers to know about those facts.

  10. In my writings for example, way back in 1999 I acknowledged that “Some victims of domestic violence certainly are men. … some have been assaulted by women. Male victims of domestic violence deserve the same recognition, sympathy, support and services as do female victims. And they do not need to be 50 percent of the victims to deserve these”

    Yes, and in the paragraphs following that you wrote:

    There are also some important differences between men’s and women’s experiences of domestic violence. When men are subject to domestic violence by women, the violence is not as prolonged and nor is it as extreme, they are far less likely to be injured, they are less likely to fear for their own safety, they are less likely to be subject to violence by their ex-partners, and they are likely to have more financial and social independence.

    We also need to remember that a great deal of violence by wives against husbands is retaliatory or in self-defence. When women are physically violent towards their male partners, very often this is in the context of having themselves been subject to violence by that man. And in the situations when a woman kills her male partner, typically this is in the context of his violence to her over a long period.

    That is the reason why your article received the critical responses. You appear to treat male survivors as token novelties, and while you say they should not be treated different from female survivors, in your own work you appear to treat them as less important and less deserving of recognition and support than women, and apparently deserving of the violence committed against them. That is just wrong, and has a real impact on abused boys and men’s ability to get access to services they need, as well as their willingness to seek help to begin with. I say that as a male survivor and as a 10-year advocate for male survivors. I have met dozens of men who never asked for help because of ideas like those from your article.

    It is perfectly fine to talk about sexual violence against women. Bbut it is not okay to misrepresent the prevalence of that violence, and it is not okay to use women’s victimization to deny or downplay men’s victimization.

    Violence against men is overwhelmingly violence against men by *other men*.

    Generally speaking, this true (it is also true that overwhelmingly majority of victims of violence in general are men), but in terms of domestic and sexual violence that is not necessarily the case. According to US Child Maltreatment 2009 report, the majority of child abuse is committed by women. According to the Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim study, 40% men sexually abused as children reported female abusers. And obviously the majority of male domestic violence victims are heterosexual. It is inaccurate to claim that violence against men is overwhelmingly committed by other men.

    And if you are looking for organizations that support male survivors, please look at 1in6.org, Mankind UK, the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women, The Men’s Project, and Living Well, to name a few.

  11. - Men ignore it because 1. The abuser isn’t going to stop and 2. they know the woman will stay with her man.

    My female cousin was physically abused by her boyfriend, so my older brother went to their apartment beat the guy up.
    Months later she let him move back in and they now have two child.

    You have abusers who won’t listen and woman who won’t leave.
    I don’t care to deal with people like that because they don’t care to get the help they need.

  12. Micheal Flood.

    You can sign up by joining good feminists like Dr. Straus, Gelles and Wendy McElory in exposing the truth on domestic violence and truth about feminism’s manipulations and fraudulent claims about domestic violence instead if obscuring it and presenting it as gendered rather than a human problem, as you do.

    Also, regarding rape, it only appears to be gendered if you do not include forced envelopment by the female.

  13. Here is a paper about the methods that the feminist movement uses to obscure the truth about domestic violence.

    http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V74-gender-symmetry-with-gramham-Kevan-Method%208-.pdf

  14. I found this to be a sensitive and well written article and can’t understand the hostility behind so many of the comments. Statistically women face much more rape than men especially- in war. I can give Rwanda as an example. I understand that it is frustrating for men to feel misrepresented by the minority of men who commit painful and terrible sexual crimes against other men, women and children but it is unfair to take it up with people like Michael Flood who are promoting peace and security for women. I am a 26 year old woman in a loving, healthy relationship with my husband and have no desire to portray men in general in an unforgiving light but I have had many bad experiences and don’t have a single female friend who has not been in a situation where she has not feared the worst at the mercy of a man. Two of my friends have been violently raped. One was continually abused as a young teen. I have had someone harrass me heavily when I was alone on a bus to the point where I was shaking and crying at the police station on the way home. This is the worst experience I have had recently so it is the one I remember the most but there have been too many others. I have so many close male friends and relatives who would never harm a woman in this way and it is a shame that these few men give the rest a bad name. But you have to accept the statistics. Men rape more. Men kill more. Do not waste time attacking people writing articles like this and instead accept that society has illnesses that need to be addressed. Denial keeps us in a loop.

  15. I am embarrassed about how rude some of these comments are. Michael Flood is just saying men and boys should alter their vocabulary and attitudes when speaking about women’s abuse. He is not denying that men undergo abuse, nor that women are perfect, innocent little victims by default. How can you misunderstand the article so completely?? He is saying boys and men should not play macho and should stand up to idiotic men who speak lightly, disregard or joke about the severity of sexual abuse against women. These guys most likely also harbour racist feelings too- but no one would mind if Mr Flood was suggesting that we can encourage racial tolerance by telling ignorant racist thugs off for using derrogatory language… I feel seriously bad that somone would write such a good article and be met with such slandering. I’d like to see you guys write a coherent publishable well researched article to express your points rather that three lines dismissing this one…

  16. The respect I lost for the TGMP for allowing Flood a platform to write his anti-male rhetoric was regained by the way the user community called him to task.

    Flood, you have been publishing misandric “research” under the color of your degree for years and the public has your number. You will need to start truly acknowledging ALL violence, including that against boys, men and fathers, even when it is committed by women, or you will continue to be called out for it. If this is the reception you get on a pro-feminist site like the TGMP I can only imagine how your “research” would be received in a less favorable forum.

  17. There seems to be a theme in this article that at least implies that women are um, superior to men. The men need to man up and protect the ladies from these other bad men with the obvious conclusion that the women are worth being protected. Why wouldn’t the men be urged to protect other men? Well, because the men simply aren’t worth has much. Ladies first right? This sort of thinking is what is known as chauvinism. Here’s a definition:

    “the maintenance of fixed beliefs and attitudes of female superiority, associated with overt and covert depreciation of men.”

    In my way of seeing things this definition fits the article pretty well. In fact it fits all male feminists pretty well. My sense is that the writer is a chauvinist. Maybe we can just use the old feminist term and call him a

    MALE CHAUVINIST PIG.

    Yep.

  18. Michael Flood: I’m disappointed to see that, rather than addressing the issue of the positive roles men can play in preventing men’s violence against women, many posters instead prefer to focus on women’s violence against men.

    ———-

    Of course, what do you expect? This website is considered to be men-friendly.
    Women are as violent as men, and there are plenty of reliable sources proving it.

    Why do you focus only about how to prevent men’s violence against women?

    You should write something about ‘the positive role’ women can play to prevent violence against men.

  19. Michael Flood: I reject the claim that women’s violence against men is as common or as serious a problem as men’s violence against women.

    ——-
    You presume wrong, what about some more serious studies into this subject….

    Some sentences from this report

    http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/ulr/article/view/484/352

    the alarmingly high demand for forced labor is
    marginalized even though it provides a greater incentive for human traffickers.
    …..
    Furthermore, social conditions indicate that males are most vulnerable to this form of human trafficking.
    …..
    The absence of publicity regarding boy sex trafficking makes it increasingly attractive to criminal networks that specialize in obtaining young boys for sex and pornography…
    …..
    In Sri Lanka 90 percent of all victims of trafficking into prostitution are MALES….

    Page 38 is about female human traffickers, who are getting away with lenient sentences, especially when the victims are not females but men (including minors), used for everything from farmwork to sex-games

  20. Men Shouldn’t Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence
    Volume 42 Number 15 Page 31
    © American Psychiatric Association

    Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women.
    http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/42/15/31.2.full

  21. David Gate says:

    Anyone remember Sharon Osbourne’s description (on mainstream TV) about a man having his penis cutoff as being “fabulous” – to howls of laughter from the female audience.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheHappyMisogynist#p/u/25/F-cdi7boyRQ

    I think this sums up the culture in which we live.
    Men don’t matter. Women are superior beings.

    Michael Flood’s article just reinforces that message which is drummed into us 24/7 from all media from the day we are born.

  22. I’ve been abused physically, emotionally, and financially by the ever-glorious mother of our (read: her) children. You, Mr. Flood can sod off with your parenthetical ‘acknowledgement’. Many of us know that you’re peddling discarded trinket in a shinier and prettier wrapping.

  23. Thank you for your article, I think it reflects consensus ideas of our society, but it recognizes the fact that the issue of violence has to be addressed.

    Violence has to be stopped whether it is perpetrated against women, men, children or animals! Violence against women is only one part of the problem and it is meaningless to talk about this part of the problem separately from violence in general. Violence is violence, whether it is perpetrated by a man, a woman or the government.

    By turning this into a gender issue we are being duped into believing the issue is not violence in it self but our quarrels with the opposite gender.

    But violence against anyone is wrong, this is fundamental, but something our society does not embrace, since we engage in wars and spread death and destruction in the world around us. When we base our character, our integrity, on violence against the world, how can our domestic world be any different?

    The problem isn’t gender, it is violence.

  24. Violence Against Men and Children Is a Women’s Issue

    Most women are not violent. Sure, most treat the men and children in their lives with respect and care, but very few actually do anything to challenge the violence perpetrated by a minority of women. In order for our culture to move toward non-violence and gender equality, women need to play a bigger part.

    All the women who don’t speak out against female violence -be it physical/emotional/psychological- on men and children are part of the problem. It’s time to woman up and start taking your responsibilities: your war on Men and Children must come to an end. A woman who don’t speak against female violence on Men and Children is an accomplice of the crime.

  25. My god, you guys are whingers. And so WESTERN centric. You keep talking about the women-on-men violence you see on television. Have you ever considered that on a GLOBAL scale – in countries other than your own – that the violence again women from men really IS a lot worse, more acceptable and widespread than violence towards men from women (which is many countries would not ever be able to exist)?

    • John Anderson says:

      Or at least in those countries no man would ever admit to being battered. Female sexual predation was only recognized in the West about ten years ago. Does that mean that it never happened prior to ten years ago?

  26. Transhuman says:

    What men do is men’s fault and what women do is men’s fault too. Somehow feminism has raised women with no backbone and no self-determination, instead they revel in their victim status. If a woman raises a hand against me, I will respond in kind. After all, men and women are equal now, don’t start a fight you cannot finish.

  27. Violence against people is a people’s issue. That’s just my opinion. What about when a womam serially murders 177 women? Is that a men’s issue or a women’s issue — or opehaps a people’s issue? See:
    http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/creepiest-female-serial-killers.html

  28. John Anderson says:

    Violence against everyone is bad and I do what I can to stop violence against women (I admit that I tend to let men fight it out). I walk women to their cars when they ask, but I learned the hard way never to offer. I’ve kicked the snot out of guys who’ve hit the women I know although this has not served to stop violence as these women have never left their men. The biggest issue for me and I think it’s worth exploring is how do you stop violence committed by your friends. If a friend of mine starts a fight (thankfully most are non-violent) when the fists start flying, you think I’m just going to stand there?
    I went out once with three friends. One guy brought his girlfriend. We realized pretty early in the evening that he was battering his girlfriend probably because she didn’t want to go, but he was using her car. We took two cars. She had no bruises on her arm when she got in the car, but had them coming out. He treated her like crap the whole evening dancing with other women while relegating her to a corner. My friend easily benched over 450 so he could enforce her isolation.

    He would never hit her in our presence so we made sure that someone was always with her. He also didn’t object to any of us dancing with her. So we all gave her a dance, but we never confronted our friend over it. One female friend accused me of being scared. I wasn’t afraid, but in order to stop him using force, I would have to use a potentially lethal or permanently debilitating attack. One of us would have ended up in the hospital or morgue. He also had my back in two fights I got in so I felt I owed him. My other two friends fought better than I. He would have had no chance against the three of us.
    There was on nice article on GMP by Damon Young on how to harness men’s aggression.

    http://goodmenproject.com/conflict/teach-the-boys-to-fight/

    How do you address violence committed by your friends without losing the friendship and how can you get women to leave abusive boyfriends/husbands?

  29. Colin, thanks for your response. I’m very sorry to hear of your experience. True, my article focuses on men’s violence against women and men’s positive roles in preventing it. But I’m well aware of violence against men, including violence perpetrated by women. I’ve spoken out and written about all forms of violence, including violence against men (see http://www.xyonline.net/category/authors/michael-flood). At the same time, I reject the claim that women’s violence against men is as common or as serious a problem as men’s violence against women. Acknowledging, and validating, your experience does not mean buying into some of the wider myths which circulate about violence and gender.
    Best wishes,
    Michael Flood.

  30. I don’t believe you. You say that you are “well aware of violence against men, including violence perpetrated by women;” however, you and every other person who writes about violence doesn’t actually write about violence against men except in token nods. Then, someone will call you all out for not addressing a huge part of the issue and you’ll say, “well, violence against men is also a problem.” Great. It is a problem that is only acknowledged when someone else brings it up and then only in passing.

    Violence against men is almost certainly more common than violence against women. The problem is that society accepts violence against men, but rejects violence against women. Men are far more often the victims of violence than women. Man on man violence is extremely common, as is woman on man violence. If a woman slaps a man across the face in a crowded and public place, nothing will happen. People will laugh; they’ll wonder what he did to make her angry; etc. Do you know what they won’t do? Consider it an act of violence or do anything to remedy the situation. Switch things around and have a man hitting a woman. Chances are he WILL be arrested and he’ll probably get beaten by other men in the area. People will CERTAINLY come to the aid of the woman.

    You see women hitting men on tv regularly but there is no objection to this violence against men. If you ever saw a man hitting a woman on TV, it would be a national scandal.

  31. Like most men, I’ve had women slap and punch me. I’m sure my experiences aren’t counted in any DV statistics you study. Like Danny says, it is socially acceptable for women to assault men, even in public – so they have no qualms about doing it.

  32. The very first article from your link gives a thirteen-word nod to female perpetrators, after which there is no further mentioning of them. Curiously, the article is time-stamped as being posted after you responded to Colin. The other articles also do not fair well. The half-dozen articles about violence against males either victim-blame male survivors via the convoluted “patriarchy” theory, discount the severity of female-perpetuated violence, or dismiss concerns about feminists downplaying and ignoring the prevalence of physical and sexual violence against boys and men. So yes, you wrote about violence against males, but rather than acknowledging and validating male survivors’ experiences, you dismiss, deny, and discount them. That is not terribly helpful, particularly if you want to reach out to male survivors.

  33. Michael: “But I’m well aware of violence against men, including violence perpetrated by women. I’ve spoken out and written about all forms of violence, including violence against men”

    Bull, Michael. Complete and utter bull.

    Like in this article, you didn’t put violence against women and men. Instead, it’s violence against women (and men).

    I have a hard time swallowing your empathy towards male victims when you yourself are known to have dismiss them with this whole “Men are victims of violence…from other men”.

    Michael: “At the same time, I reject the claim that women’s violence against men is as common or as serious a problem as men’s violence against women. Acknowledging, and validating, your experience does not mean buying into some of the wider myths which circulate about violence and gender.”

    You reject it because you refuse to see it. Men don’t report it because of people like you that support the stigma against male victims that leads them to silence themselves or treat it as no big deal.

    I’m just going to stick with people who have the experience of having been abused by women, not someone who preaches a one-sided approach to gender violence and puts all the onus on men. By the way, very rich of you to put the responsibility on male victims to end violence against women.

  34. Female on male violence is just as or more common. We see it on TV all the time, followed by laugh tracks, or thoughts of “he deserved what he got.”

    F on M violence it is usually not counted as violence since males are the victims. Consequently, t is seldom if ever reported, not responded to by the police as being as serious a crime (as M on F) or often not even considered a crime at all.

    However, as a husband, father of daughters, and a person exposed to many women and families of all stripes, I know for a fact that women tend respond to physical conflict, particularly from men, with far greater fear and trauma than the reverse. Therefore, as a society, we rightly feel more protective of girls and women, because of how they respond and their greater likelihood of being injured, even when they are the initiator.

    Still, wrong is wrong. And, violence, regardless of the sex of the initiator is wrong. Also wrong is the way the subject is treated here and elsewhere, where female on male is not considered “as” wrong, and therefore minimized.

    In the long run, women are the losers because not all men just walk away if hit or attacked by a woman.

  35. Michael, I would like to hear your thoughts on what constitutes violence against men vs. violence against women. Is it the same? If a woman hits a man and people laugh, is it still considered violence, or is it considered violence only if a bone is broken or it necessitates and ER visit?

    Are you aware that for decades, women hitting men on TV was followed by laugh tracks? What you seem to be missing is that violence against men is almost never actually counted as violence; hence, your impression that violence against men is less common.

    Since very little that doesn’t require an ambulance or at least visible injuries when men are hit by women, why are you be so convinced “women’s violence against men is not as common . . . as men’s violence against women?”

  36. The Bad Man says:

    Certainly they aren’t included in any statistics studied by Michael Flood as he would only concern himself with criminal justice data and women’s shelters rather than societal surveys.

  37. In my writings, public speaking, and policy and program work, I have routinely acknowledged that violence is used by women, and I have routinely emphasised that violence of any form is unacceptable, whether by men or women.
    In my writings for example, way back in 1999 I acknowledged that “Some victims of domestic violence certainly are men. … some have been assaulted by women. Male victims of domestic violence deserve the same recognition, sympathy, support and services as do female victims. And they do not need to be 50 percent of the victims to deserve these” (“Claims About Husband Battering”). In a 2003 encyclopedia entry on domestic violence, I wrote that “Men too are subject to domestic violence at the hands of female and male sexual partners, ex-partners, and other family members.” In a 2007 encyclopedia entry on male victims of violence, I wrote that “males also are subjected to violence by female perpetrators”.
    I have also addressed women’s violence against men, and men’s subjection to violence more generally, in my involvements in policy and programming. For example, I facilitated a one-day workshop to help develop the work of the Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (SAMSSA), which supports male victims of assault by male and female perpetrators. I participated in a Men’s Reference Group to give guidance and feedback and the development and implementation of a phoneline addressing men – both men living with domestic violence and men using violence themselves. (As a matter of interest, both these services were set up by feminist organisations.) More generally, I have been a keen advocate of the need to address violence against men, through op-eds and other public work.
    However, what I have *not* done is to repeat the lie that domestic violence is gender-equal.
    I am struck by how any effort to highlight the issue of men’s violence against women, such as my article above, is met by this barrage of accusation and attention centered exclusively on women’s violence against men.
    Sincerely,
    Michael Flood.

  38. That “barrage” comes from things like:
    1. The byline – “Michael Flood wants us to stand up and do something about violence against women (and men).” Just mentioning violence against men as a footnote.

    2. “Of course, males are also the victims of violence. Boys and men are most at risk of violence from other boys and men. Ending violence to girls and women and ending violence to boys and men are part of the same struggle — to create a world based on equality, justice and non-violence.” Acknowledging that boys/men are victims of violence…from other boys/men.

    3. “Men have a personal stake in ending violence against women. Men will benefit from a world free of violence against women, a world based on gender equality. In our relations with women, instead of experiencing distrust and disconnection, we will find closeness and connection. We will be able to take up a healthier, emotionally in-touch, and proud masculinity. Men’s sexual lives will be more mutual and pleasurable, rather than obsessive and predatory. And boys and men will be free from the threat of other men’s violence.”
    In your ending you seem to make the leap that if only men would stop commiting violence against women then everything would be better. Its not as if men/boys are maintaining the cycle of violence all on their own and women/girls are just helpless victims of it.

    Personally if you had just not mentioned violence against men/boys at all I could have just taken is another article on violence against women but you go the extra mile of only casually mentioning violence against men/boys and then on top of that you basically only mention male against male violence. I’m almost willing to bet you don’t want to come off as dismissive but you do when you skip around it like that.

  39. You post on a men’s issues web site and claim that domestic violence is a “men’s issue”. But you fail to talk about violence against men, or the way it is usually dismissed as minor and unimportant, and fail to talk about how when women attack men they are excused in court, and you don’t address how government programs don’t dedicate equal resources to address violence against men by women. So it is not surprising that you then get criticized for not knowing or caring about things that really are men’s issues.

  40. Perhaps you should think more broadly on what violence is. For example, I haven’t ever seen a domestic violence organization EVER protest, picket, or raise any objection whatsoever to the female on male violence we have seen on television for many years now. What that proves is that even so-called DV advocates don’t take seriously female on male DV, not even considering a woman hitting a man true DV. That is the reason they believe it to be a lie that “domestic violence is gender-equal.”

    They don’t acknowledge female on male DV as they do male on female violence. There is proof positive of that.

  41. I’d *love* to see major public campaigns addressing violence against *men*. Yes, it’s a key ‘men’s issue’. Violence against men is a public health crisis, a pressing social issue, and one to which communities too often turn a blind eye. Violence against men is overwhelmingly violence against men by *other men*. So public campaigns addressing violence against men should address most (but not all) of their resources to violence against males by other males, and should tackle the cultural and institutional dynamics which feed such violence. Where do I sign up?
    Sincerely,
    Michael Flood.

  42. Men are of course victims of violence of all sorts at higher rates than women. More men are assaulted or murdered than women are. And it is true that the majority of the violence against men is by other other men. But here we are talking about street violence: gang violence, muggings etc. Men are of course the ones who are primarily sent into violent situations: war, police enforcement, firefighting etc.

    Those are all issues. But you are pulling a weaselly switch. We’re talking about “domestic violence” or “intimiate partner violence”. Men are victims of that kind of violence also – and at rates that are similar to women. But even if the rates were not similar – it happens and is widespread. I’ve experienced it personaly – as have many if not most men.

    But we as a society simply don’t identify these experiences as violence when women commit them. If I gave a woman a hard open hand slap that left a red mark on her face – that would be cause to arrest me – and rightly so. But if the woman did the same to me – it would not be considered violence. I would be the one questioned about what I did to provoke it.

    Men who ask for help in dealing with domestic partner violence by women are more likely to be arrested than to be helped. Most likely they they will be shamed silenced and ignored.

    There are been many high profile cases of horrific female perpetrated domestic violence – but the public reaction is usually to shame the male victims. Lets consider for example the cases of Lorena Bobbitt or Catherine Becker. Both castrated their husbands while they slept. The public reaction – by women especially – was to blame the men. These incidents have been the fodder of cruel jokes on popular TV shows. That fact that this is accepted is a true men’s issue.

    While you claim to be interested in helping the victims of domestic violence, I think the truth is that your focus is on identifying men as the perpetrators of the vast majority of the violence. Because feminists (like you) want to (and have) implemented draconian anti-DV laws that they want to apply only to male perpetrators. Once we admit that women are also part of this problem then we expose them to that system.

    We can’t solve the problem if we ignore half of it.

  43. The Bad Man says:

    Don’t confuse stranger assaults with domestic violence and don’t lump those statistics together. These are completely separate issues.

    There is an egalitarian movement to treat domestic violence as a human issue rather than a gender issue. This is the proper way to deal with domestic violence without stereotyping individuals based on their gender and/or generalized statistics.

  44. So, you will only address violence against men if you can blame the victims?

    How about a violence against women campaign that addressed violence against men by women (which is at least 50%), which ends up in a fight where women are most likely to lose. When those scenarios take place, guess what it’s called? Violence against men and women? Violence against men? Nope. Only violence against women.

    Any movement that deals with violence against women by men that does not address that key fact is not an honest anti-domestic violence movement ,rather merely an anti-male movement.

  45. Precisely:
    Mandatory arrest and primary aggressor laws ensure that in a domestic combat situation the man will be arrested, even when both parties agree she attacked him, and he only has injuries.

    Primary aggressor laws (and police codes) use sly code words (centering on which party is smaller and which party is crying etc..) to “arrest the man”.

  46. Violence against women is a men’s issue?

    What about violence against men? To be fair, it should be a women’s issue.

    Michael Flood should write something about ‘the positive role’ women can play to prevent violence against men.

    It’s about the time…

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