A rape epidemic — by women?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds | USA Today | September 23, 2014

RapeCultureWriting in Time, Cathy Young notices something interesting in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures on rape: Women rape a lot more than people think.

If the CDC figures are to be taken at face value, then we must also conclude that, far from being a product of patriarchal violence against women, “rape culture” is a two-way street, with plenty of female perpetrators and male victims.

How could that be? After all, very few men in the CDC study were classified as victims of rape: 1.7% in their lifetime, and too few for a reliable estimate in the past year. But these numbers refer only to men who have been forced into anal sex or made to perform oral sex on another male. Nearly 7% of men, however, reported that at some point in their lives, they were “made to penetrate” another person — usually in reference to vaginal intercourse, receiving oral sex, or performing oral sex on a woman. This was not classified as rape, but as “other sexual violence.” And now the real surprise: when asked about experiences in the last 12 months, men reported being “made to penetrate” — either by physical force or due to intoxication — at virtually the same rates as women reported rape (both 1.1% in 2010, and 1.7% and 1.6% respectively in 2011).

In short, men are raped by women at nearly the same rate women are raped by men.

According to a recent study from the University of Missouri, published by the American Psychological Association, male victims of sexual assault are often victimized by women: “A total of 43% of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95% said a female acquaintance was the aggressor, according to a study published online in the APA journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

This shouldn’t be so surprising. Back in the old days, when talk of “rape” or “sexual assault” generally meant forcible penetration at the hands of a stranger, rape was unsurprisingly pretty much a male-committed crime.

But feminists pushed for a broader definition of rape, going beyond what Susan Estrich, in a very influential book, derisively called Real Rape, to encompass other forms of sexual coercion and intimidation. And so now the term “rape” as it is commonly used encompasses things like “date rape,” sex while a partner is intoxicated, sex without prior verbal consent and even — at Ohio State University, at least — sex where both partners consent, but for different reasons.

Unsurprisingly, when the definition of rape — or, as it’s often now called in order to provide less clarity, “sexual assault” — expands to include a lot more than behavior distinguished by superior physical strength, the incidence of rape goes up, and behavior engaged in by women is more likely to be included in the definition. (At juvenile detention centers nine out of 10 reporters of sexual assault are males victimized by female staffers.)

Thus, as Young points out, the CDC finds that men make up over a third of the victims of “sexual coercion,” which can include such things as “lies or false promises, threats to end a relationship or spread negative gossip, or ‘making repeated requests’ for sex and expressing unhappiness at being turned down.”

Critics tend to dismiss these as trivial, suggesting that the men involved should just “man up.” But, of course, there’s no reason to think that such coercion is any more trivial where men are concerned than where women are concerned, unless you believe that women are such fragile flowers that they cannot possibly withstand things that men are supposed to ignore.

It will be interesting to see how college disciplinary boards handle this. If, in light of the data, women exhibit a similar predilection for sexual misbehavior to men, then surely the colleges should be punishing roughly as many women as men for such conduct. If they are not, the only possible explanation is some form of institutional sexism. That should be good news for Title IX attorneys, at any rate.

Finally, all this talk of rape on campus must be making college enrollment officers —already having trouble filling seats — even more nervous. Telling female students that they have a one-in-five chance of being raped (even if it’s not true) isn’t going to make them, or their parents, more likely to spend six-figure sums sending them to college. It might even push them toward online alternatives, as a YouTube parody video suggests.

With rape rates actually falling sharply, the current moral panic over campus rape seems more like political agitprop and mass hysteria than anything else. Like all such, this, too, will pass. But it will also do damage along the way. May reason assert itself sooner, rather than later.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself.

—————————-

Further reading:

When Men Are Raped

The Sexual Harassment Quagmire: How To Dig Out

It’s a detailed look at what I think is the sexes’ most alienating and destructive behavioral difference, which is responsible for much of what is called sexual assault of women.

Posted in Female Violence, Feminism, Gender Politics, Gender Violence, Male "Power" and "Privilege", Sexual Harassment and Economic Harassment | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sexodus, Parts 1 and 2

Giving up on women

“My generation of boys is f**ked,” says Rupert, a young German video game enthusiast I’ve been getting to know over the past few months. “Marriage is dead. Divorce means you’re screwed for life. Women have given up on monogamy, which makes them uninteresting to us for any serious relationship or raising a family. That’s just the way it is. Even if we take the risk, chances are the kids won’t be ours. In France, we even have to pay for the kids a wife has through adulterous affairs. 

“Nobody in my generation believes they’re going to get a meaningful retirement. We have a third or a quarter of the wealth previous generations had, and everyone’s fleeing to higher education to stave off unemployment and poverty because there are no jobs.

“All that wouldn’t be so bad if we could at least dull the pain with girls. But we’re treated like paedophiles and potential rapists just for showing interest. My generation are the beautiful ones,” he sighs, referring to a 1960s experiment on mice that supposedly predicted a grim future for the human race.

After overpopulation ran out of control, the female mice in John Calhoun’s “mouse universe” experiment stopped breeding, and the male mice withdrew from the company of others entirely, eating, sleeping, feeding and grooming themselves but doing little else. They had shiny coats, but empty lives.

“The parallels are astounding,” says Rupert.

*

Never before in history have relations between the sexes been so fraught with anxiety, animosity and misunderstanding. To radical feminists, who have been the driving force behind many tectonic societal shifts in recent decades, that’s a sign of success: they want to tear down the institutions and power structures that underpin society, never mind the fall-out. Nihilistic destruction is part of their road map.

But, for the rest of us, the sight of society breaking down, and ordinary men and women being driven into separate but equal misery, thanks to a small but highly organised group of agitators, is distressing. Particularly because, as increasing numbers of social observers are noticing, an entire generation of young people—mostly men—are being left behind in the wreckage of this social engineering project.

Social commentators, journalists, academics, scientists and young men themselves have all spotted the trend: among men of about 15 to 30 years old, ever-increasing numbers are checking out of society altogether, giving up on women, sex and relationships and retreating into pornography, sexual fetishes, chemical addictions, video games and, in some cases, boorish lad culture, all of which insulate them from a hostile, debilitating social environment created, some argue, by the modern feminist movement.

You can hardly blame them. Cruelly derided as man-children and crybabies for objecting to absurdly unfair conditions in college, bars, clubs and beyond, men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t: ridiculed as basement-dwellers for avoiding aggressive, demanding women with unrealistic expectations, or called rapists and misogynists merely for expressing sexual interest.

Jack Rivlin is editor-in-chief of student tabloid media start-up The Tab, a runaway success whose current strap-line reads: “We’ll stop writing it when you stop reading it.” As the guiding intelligence behind over 30 student newspapers, Rivlin is perhaps the best-placed person in the country to observe this trend in action. And he agrees that the current generation of young men find it particularly difficult to engage with women.

“Teenage boys always have been useless with girls, but there’s definitely a fear that now being well-intentioned isn’t enough, and you can get into trouble just for being clumsy,” he says. “For example, leaning in for a kiss might see you branded a creep, rather than just inept.”

The new rules men are expected to live by are never clearly explained, says Rivlin, leaving boys clueless and neurotic about interacting with girls. “That might sound like a good thing because it encourages men to take the unromantic but practical approach of asking women how they should behave, but it causes a lot of them to just opt out of the game and retreat to the sanctuary of their groups of lads, where being rude to women gets you approval, and you can pretty much entirely avoid one-on-one socialising with the opposite sex.”

“There are also a lot of blokes who ignore women because they are scared and don’t know how to act. It goes without saying that boys who never spend any time alone with women are not very good at relationships.”

Rivlin has noticed the increased dependence on substances, normally alcohol, that boys are using to calm their nerves. “I’ve heard a lot of male students boast about never having experienced sober sex,” he says. “They’re obviously scared, which is natural, but they would be a lot less scared and dysfunctional if they understood ‘the rules.'”

The result? “A lot of nice but awkward young men are opting out of approaching women because there is no opportunity for them to make mistakes without suffering worse embarrassment than ever.”

Most troublingly, this effect is felt more acutely among poorer and less well educated communities, where the package of support resources available to young men is slight. At my alma mater, the University of Cambridge, the phenomenon barely registers on the radar, according to Union society president Tim Squirrell.

“I don’t think I’ve really noticed a change recently,” he says. “This year has seen the introduction of mandatory consent workshops for freshers, which I believe is probably a good thing, and there’s been a big effort by the Women’s Campaign in particular to try and combat lad culture on campus.

The atmosphere here is the same as it was a year ago – mostly nerdy guys who are too afraid to approach anyone in the first place, and then a smaller percentage who are confident enough to make a move. Obviously women have agency too, and they approach men in about the same numbers as they do elsewhere. There certainly haven’t been any stories in [campus newspaper] The Tab about a sex drought on campus.”

“I think that people are probably having as much sex as ever,” he adds. At Cambridge, of course, that may not mean much, and for a variety of socioeconomic and class-based reasons the tribes at Oxford and Cambridge are somewhat insulated from the male drop-out effect.

But even at such a prestigious university with a largely middle- and upper-class population, those patronising, mandatory “consent” classes are still being implemented. Squirrell, who admits to being a feminist with left-of-centre politics, thinks they’re a good idea. But academics such as Camille Paglia have been warning for years that “rape drives” on campus put women at greater risk, if anything.

Women today are schooled in victimhood, taught to be aggressively vulnerable and convinced that the slightest of perceived infractions, approaches or clumsy misunderstandings represents “assault,” “abuse” or “harassment.” That may work in the safe confines of campus, where men can have their academic careers destroyed on the mere say-so of a female student.

But, according to Paglia, when that women goes out into the real world without the safety net of college rape committees, she is left totally unprepared for the sometimes violent reality of male sexuality. And the panics and fear-mongering are serving men even more poorly. All in all, education is becoming a miserable experience for boys.

*

In schools today across Britain and America, boys are relentlessly pathologised, as academics were warning as long ago as 2001. Boyishness and boisterousness have come to be seen as “problematic,” with girls’ behaviour a gold standard against which these defective boys are measured. When they are found wanting, the solution is often drugs.

Meanwhile, boys are falling behind girls academically, perhaps because relentless and well-funded focus has been placed on girls’ achievement in the past few decades and little to none on the boys who are now achieving lower grades, fewer honors, fewer degrees and less marketable information economy skills. Boys’ literacy, in particular, is in crisis throughout the West. We’ve been obsessing so much over girls, we haven’t noticed that boys have slipped into serious academic trouble.

So what happened to those boys who, in 2001, were falling behind girls at school, were less likely to go to college, were being given drugs they did not need and whose self-esteem and confidence issues haven’t just been ignored, but have been actively ridiculed by the feminist Establishment that has such a stranglehold on teaching unions and Left-leaning political parties?

In short: they grew up, dysfunctional, under-served by society, deeply miserable and, in many cases, entirely unable to relate to the opposite sex. It is the boys who were being betrayed by the education system and by culture at large in such vast numbers between 1990 and 2010 who represent the first generation of what I call the sexodus, a large-scale exit from mainstream society by males who have decided they simply can’t face, or be bothered with, forming healthy relationships and participating fully in their local communities, national democracies and other real-world social structures.

*

The sexodus didn’t arrive out of nowhere, and the same pressures that have forced so many millennials out of society exert pressure on their parent’s generation, too. One professional researcher in his late thirties, about whom I have been conversing on this topic for some months, puts it spicily: “For the past, at least, 25 years, I’ve been told to do more and more to keep a woman. But nobody’s told me what they’re doing to keep me.

“I can tell you as a heterosexual married male in management, who didn’t drop out of society, the message from the chicks is: ‘It’s not just preferable that you should fuck off, but imperative. You must pay for everything and make everything work; but you yourself and your preferences and needs can fuck off and die.'”

Women have been sending men mixed messages for the last few decades, leaving boys utterly confused about what they are supposed to represent to women, which perhaps explains the strong language some of them use when describing their situation. As the role of breadwinner has been taken away from them by women who earn more and do better in school, men are left to intuit what to do, trying to find a virtuous mean between what women say they want and what they actually pursue, which can be very different things.

Men say the gap between what women say and what they do has never been wider. Men are constantly told they should be delicate, sensitive fellow travellers on the feminist path. But the same women who say they want a nice, unthreatening boyfriend go home and swoon over simple-minded, giant-chested, testosterone-saturated hunks in Game of Thrones. Men know this, and, for some, this giant inconsistency makes the whole game look too much like hard work. Why bother trying to work out what a woman wants, when you can play sports, masturbate or just play video games from the comfort of your bedroom?

Jack Donovan, a writer based in Portland who has written several books on men and masculinity, each of which has become a cult hit, says the phenomenon is already endemic among the adult population. “I do see a lot of young men who would otherwise be dating and marrying giving up on women,” he explains, “Or giving up on the idea of having a wife and family. This includes both the kind of men who would traditionally be a little awkward with women, and the kind of men who aren’t awkward with women at all.

“They’ve done a cost-benefit analysis and realised it is a bad deal. They know that if they invest in a marriage and children, a woman can take all of that away from them on a whim. So they use apps like Tinder and OK Cupid to find women to have protected sex with and resign themselves to being ‘players,’ or when they get tired of that, ‘boyfriends.'”

He goes on: “Almost all young men have attended mandatory sexual harassment and anti-rape seminars, and they know that they can be fired, expelled or arrested based more or less on the word of any woman. They know they are basically guilty until proven innocent in most situations.”

Donovan lays much of the blame for the way men feel at the door of the modern feminist movement and what he sees as its disingenuousness. “The young men who are struggling the most are conflicted because they are operating under the assumption that feminists are arguing in good faith,” he says, “When in fact they are engaged in a zero-sum struggle for sexual, social, political and economic status—and they’re winning.

“The media now allows radical feminists to frame all debates, in part because sensationalism attracts more clicks than any sort of fair or balanced discourse. Women can basically say anything about men, no matter how denigrating, to a mix of cheers and jeers.”

Donovan has views on why it has been so easy for feminists to triumph in media battles. “Because men instinctively want to protect women and play the hero, if a man writes even a tentative criticism of women or feminism, he’s denounced by men and women alike as some kind of extremist scoundrel. The majority of “men’s studies” and “men’s rights” books and blogs that aren’t explicitly pro-feminist are littered with apologies to women.

“Books like The Myth of Male Power and sites like A Voice for Men are favourite boogeymen of feminists, but only because they call out feminists’ one-sided hypocrisy when it comes to pursing ‘equality.'”

Unlike modern feminists, who are driving a wedge between the sexes, Men’s Rights Activists “actually seem to want sexual equality,” he says. But men’s studies authors and male academics are constantly tip-toeing around and making sure they don’t appear too radical. Their feminine counterparts have no such forbearance, of course, with what he calls “hipster feminists,” such as the Guardian‘s Jessica Valenti parading around in t-shirts that read: “I BATHE IN MALE TEARS.”

“I’m a critic of feminism,” says Donovan. “But I would never walk around wearing a shirt that says, “I MAKE WOMEN CRY.” I’d just look like a jerk and a bully.”

It’s the contention of academics, sociologists and writers like Jack Donovan that an atmosphere of relentless, jeering hostility to men from entitled middle-class media figures, plus a few confused male collaborators in the feminist project, has been at least partly responsible for a generation of boys who simply don’t want to know.

In Part 2, we’ll meet some of the men who have “checked out,” given up on sex and relationships and sunk into solitary pursuits or alcohol-fuelled lad culture. And we’ll discover that the real victims of modern feminism are, of course, women themselves, who have been left lonelier and less satisfied than they have ever been.

Some names have been changed.

___________________________

THE SEXODUS, PART 2: DISHONEST FEMINIST PANICS LEAVE MALE SEXUALITY IN CRISIS

 December 9, 2014

Sexual dysfunction is not unique to the twenty-first century—nor, certainly, to the West. Japan’s “herbivores”—men who shun sex and prefer saving money and going on long walks to riding motorcycles and flirting with girls—have been well documented and are regarded by social scientists as the best example of male sexuality turning in on itself.

But although the sexodus, a new retreat into solitude by Western males, has a different flavour to it and dramatically different aetiology from previously observed social crises, many characteristics are identical. And what’s troubling about men throwing in the towel in both East and West is the rapidity with which the malaise is spreading across entire generations, fuelled not just by sexual dissatisfaction but also the economic and educational pressures felt by so many young boys.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s little wonder that in the disorientating modern world, men should seek out extreme measures to help them relate to, and get what they want from, the opposite sex. That probably explains the rise of Julien Blanc, who claims his seminars can transform the way women will respond to you. Blanc is at the extreme end of a movement known as “pick-up artists” or PUAs.

But other voices in the PUA or “red pill” movements, including Daryush Valizadeh, who goes by the pen name Roosh V, says there are structural reasons why society is evolving away from inter-gender contentment. Part of the problem is unrealistic female expectations, says Valizadeh. “Getting laid with attractive women has become extremely hard for average men. Women today of average or even below average quality desire an elite man with above-average looks, muscles, intelligence, and confidence.

“If an average girl works hard enough, she will be able to have a one-night stand with a ‘hot’ guy every now and then because he happened to be horny and wanted an easy lay. The girl then thinks that she actually can get such a man to commit to her for the long term, and so doesn’t give the average guys a chance, holding out for the type of stud that she had a brief sexual encounter with in the past.”

Valizadeh has some controversial views on the state of modern womanhood, too. He says: “It’s also damaging that the attractiveness of women is rapidly declining, mainly due to the obesity epidemic. No matter what members of the ‘fat acceptance’ movement say, men have an innate need for fit women.  What happens is the few attractive girls left get unimaginable amounts of attention.”

According to Valizadeh, today’s sexual marketplace represents a Pareto distribution in which “20 percent of the top guys have access to 80 percent of the best women,” which has the effect of leaving women holding out for the perfect man, a man who of course never comes.

Valizadeh agrees with masculinity author Jack Donovan that men have been feminised by a culture that rejects and ridicules male characteristics and habits. “Good luck naming one male role model that men have today that actually helps them become men,” he remarks. These thoughts are echoed on occasionally rude but compelling male-oriented blogs, such as the phenomenally popular Chateau Heartiste.

They are also supported by the current state of the sex wars, which are constituted bizarrely. One of the remarkable things about recent high-profile skirmishes with feminists is how few mainstream heterosexual men have been involved. In the GamerGate video games controversy, opposition to “social justice warriors” and their attempts at censorship on Twitter has come from older gay men in public life and younger geeks, gamers and drop-outs; in the case of Matt Taylor, it was geeks and other women.

Straight young men simply don’t want to know any more. They’re not getting involved. Some women, too, horrified by what lesbianised third-wave feminism claims to do in their name, opt out of the argument. The absurd result is that geeks, queers and dykes are dominating the discussion about how men and women should interact. Jack Donovan, for example, is gay, as is your present correspondent. It’s as if gays are the only men left prepared to fight masculinity’s corner.

Men want normal relationships that include sex, says Valizadeh. Some of them will read pick-up artist books or go to seminars by people such as Roosh V if they don’t get it or need to be trained out of “white knight” behaviours instilled in them by a female-dominated culture. (Men have been taught that being a nice guy gets you laid. It doesn’t.)

What strikes a lot of women as strange is how rational and systematic so much of this decision-making is by men. Many young men literally perform a cost-benefit analysis and decide that women aren’t worth the hassle. It’s girls who lose out in this scenario: men don’t need the sustained emotional intimacy that comes with a fulfilling sexual relationship and can retreat into masturbatory pursuits, prostitution and one-night stands much more comfortably.

But that’s exactly what it is, from a male point of view: a rational opting out from education, work and marriage by men who have had enough, as a remarkable book by Dr Helen Smith called Men on Strike warned in July last year. (The consensus on this stuff is growing rapidly.)

Men, driven, as many of them like to say, by fact and not emotion, can see that society is not fair to them and more dangerous for them. They point to the fact that they are more likely to be murder victims and more likely to commit suicide. Women do not choose to serve in the Armed Forces and they experience fewer deaths and injuries in the line of work generally.

Women get shorter custodial sentences for the same crimes. There are more scholarships available to them in college. They receive better and cheaper healthcare, and can pick from favourable insurance packages available only to girls. When it comes to children, women are presumed to be the primary caregiver and given preferential treatment by the courts. They have more, better contraceptive options.

Women are less likely to be homeless, unemployed or to abuse drugs than men. They are less likely to be depressed or to suffer from mental illness. There is less pressure on them to achieve financial success. They are less likely to live in poverty. They are given priority by emergency and medical services.

Some might call these statistical trends “female privilege.” Yet everywhere and at all times, say men’s rights advocates, the “lived experiences” and perceived oppression of women is given a hundred per cent of the airtime, in defiance of the reality that women haven’t just achieved parity with men but have overtaken them in almost every conceivable respect. What inequalities remain are the result of women’s choices, say respectable feminist academics such as Christina Hoff Sommers, not structural biases.

And yet men are constantly beaten up over bizarre invented concepts such as rape culture and patriarchal privilege. The bizarre but inevitable conclusion of all this is that women are fuelling their own unhappiness by driving men to consider them as sex objects and nothing more, because the thought of engaging in a relationship with a woman is horrifying, or too exhausting to contemplate. And the sexodus will affect women disproportionately harshly because research data show that when women “act like men” by having lots of casual sex, they become unhappy, are more likely to suffer from depression and destroy their chances of securing a meaningful long-term relationship.

*

It’s not just video games and casual sex that young men are retreating into. They are also immersing themselves in fetishes that to their grandparents’ generation would resemble grounds for incarceration, and which drive them further away from the formerly fairer sex. Consider, for example, the example of furry culture and anthropomorphic animal sex fetishism, both of which are experiencing explosive growth, fuelled by the internet.

Jack Rivlin’s student newspaper The Tab, which we encountered in part one, has noticed the trend spreading on UK campuses. (It’s already rife throughout the US.) Other alternative sexual behaviours, including homosexuality and transgenderism, are more prevalent on campus now too.

“It’s eminently plausible that there are a greater number of people who identify as homosexual, bisexual or other sexualities who are happy to be labelled as such these days,” agrees Cambridge Union president Tim Squirrell, from whom we heard in part one, speaking about the students he sees passing through his Union. “I think we’re becoming more open and accepting of people who live different kinds of lifestyles and have different kinds of identities.”

Gay emancipation, of course, may not have been a uniformly good thing for women. Depending on whose figures you believe—and you’re wise not to take the claims of gay advocacy groups or gay magazines too seriously, for obvious reasons—somewhere between 1 per cent and 10 per cent of the adult male population is gay. (It’s probably a lot closer to 1 per cent.)

Just a few decades ago, many of those men—at the risk of stereotyping, the most sensitive, artistic, attractive and highest-earning men; that is, perfect husband material—would have got married, had a few kids and led a double life to pursue their forbidden urges. They wouldn’t have bothered their wives for sex and they would have made great fathers.

But now they’re settling down with men, in many cases not having children at all. In other words, a healthy chunk of the most desirable men—men who no doubt would have cooed along approvingly to feminist exhortations—are now off the market, leaving even fewer eligible men in the dating pool.

(As a side note, here’s an argument you won’t read elsewhere: gay men test significantly higher, on average, for IQ, and we know that IQ is at least partially genetically determined. Gays don’t reproduce as much now they don’t have to keep up the pretense of straight relationships. In fact, surveys say they barely reproduce at all.

Is it too much of a stretch to ask whether society’s newfound tolerance of homosexuals has made society… well, a bit more stupid? Granted, it sounds far-fetched. But while there’s no doubt that liberating gay men from the shame of their secret double lives has been a moral imperative, driven by compassion, no rapid social change comes without trade-offs.)

All this comes before we even discuss the rapid growth of sadomasochistic sex among the young and the “new civil rights frontier” of transgenderism, a psychiatric disorder currently in the process of being repackaged by the Left as an alternative sexual lifestyle.

*

The response to part one of this series was colossal. To date, over 300,000 readers have shared it on Facebook. 16,500 readers left comments. Over 500 men wrote to me privately to express their gratitude and support, from every continent and in all age groups. The younger men spoke especially movingly. (Predictably, hundreds of angry feminists on Twitter scorned it as “entitled whinging from white male manbabies,” rather proving the point of the story’s premise for me.) Here are the most representative quotes from my conversations, reprinted with permission.

Mark, 24: “Everyone I know feels the same. Your article spoke directly to us. We’re not all losers and nerds, we’re just normal guys who are either scared of being accused of terrible stuff by harpies or simply can’t be bothered any more. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I just can’t deal with hassle of women any more.”

Mickey: “I say no to the whole thing, even though I am very heterosexual and would like the intimacy of a relationship based on mutual respect. Well, I thought I did, but it’s been so long and the standard of behavior for women remains so low, along with my tolerance for dating bullshit, that it does not look like a realistic desire anymore.”

Francis, 28: “I’m an athlete. My parents have a lot of money. I have plenty of friends and a good social life. I don’t hang out with women any more. Occasionally I’ll have one night stands, but mostly I fill my time with other things. I got accused of molesting a girl at college and since then I’ve just thought, whatever. I play sports instead.”

Tilo, 20: “I don’t know for sure but your article sounds like me and a lot of my friends. I do furry stuff online in secret. I’d be horrified if my parents found out but it’s all that gets me off. Girls are a nightmare. I have a brother who’s ten years older and he feels the same. We’ve given up.”

Hector, 26: “I did stick to that social belief for a brief time thinking that the need for a serious relationship would come with the age, but it never happened and slowly I gave up. Today, a few hours before reading your article, I was having lunch with my mother and she kept talking about girlfriends and how I needed to get married, meanwhile I kept thinking ‘why would I waste my life with this shit?’, and it wasn’t until I read your article a few hours later, that I realised. And I don’t think it’s just my generation that is affected by this.”

We can be quite sure now that the sexodus is not some fringe, isolated internet movement as “Men Going Their Own Way” has sometimes been characterised. A combination of disastrous social engineering, special privileges for women, the relentless mockery of white men on the basis of their sex and skin colour and the economic and educational abandonment for boys has created one, if not two, lost generations already.

Men created most of what is good about the world. The excesses of masculinity are also, to be sure, responsible for much of what is bad. But if we are to avoid sliding into decline, mediocrity and a world in which men are actively discriminated against, we must arrest the decline in social attitudes towards them before so many victims are claimed that all hope of reconciliation between the sexes is lost. If that happens, it will be women who will suffer.

Some names have been changed.

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Salary Secrecy — Discrimination Against Women?

Control-of-Wealth-ChartA few months after I, a man, was hired into a company in the mid-1960s, in the “Mad Men” era, another man was hired to do the exact same thing — at a sizably higher salary than I was receiving.

The company had a policy of salary confidentiality. (When the boss is away, some workers discuss their salaries despite the policy.) The policy’s main purpose was to enable my company to woo from other companies, especially competitors, prospective employees it thought would be star performers.

“In today’s market, Potvin said, new faculty members are often hired at a salary above that earned by existing faculty. She said it creates a disparity in pay that, over the years, has created problems.” -Missoulian, November 21, 2014

Benefits, too, can vary in the same company. In the early ’70s, when I had a road job, I overheard a co-worker, who held the exact same position I held, say he’d received a bump in his gas allowance. I asked, “How come I didn’t get it?” “You have to ask,” he said. I did, and I got it.

What women will find out, if salary secrecy is banned, is that they make more than some men, and some men make less than some other men — all doing the exact same work right next to each other, elbow to elbow.

Women also need to be aware of such non-gender-based disparities as this: “Professors are also looking for more pay equity, Boone said, noting new hires are often paid more than their veteran peers.

Here’s what women’s advocates don’t want anyone to know about women, men, and the wage gap:

In general, women not only live longer and enjoy better health than men, who die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death, they also control most of consumer spending and most of the nation’s wealth. Soon they will control even more.

“Over the next decade,” says She-conomy.com, “women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband.”

Does this sound like the oppressed group — the longer-living, healthier, wealthier group — that Obama and the Democrats would have you believe women are?

Regarding women’s “77 cents to men’s dollar for the same work,” I suspect that many if not most of pay-equity advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who’d hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who’d move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace older workers with younger ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

Here’s one of countless examples showing that some of the most sophisticated women in the country choose to earn less while getting paid at the same rate as their male counterparts:

In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.”

A thousand laws won’t close that gap.

In fact, no law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap), not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, not the Americans with Disability Act (Title I), not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the thousands of company mentors for women, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, not TV’s and movies’ last two decades of casting women as thoroughly integrated into the world of work (while making the huge mistake of rarely casting men as integrated into the world of children), not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is another feel-good bill that turned into another do-nothing law (political intentions disguised as good intentions do not necessarily make things better, and sometimes make things worse), not a “paycheck fairness” law, and not a salary transparency law enacted by Obama’s executive order.

That’s because women’s pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

Despite the 40-year-old demand for women’s equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women,” stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. “In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it’s because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working outside the home if they’re going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman, as illustrated by such titles as this: “Gender wage gap sees women spend 7 weeks working for nothing“.)

As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they’re paid to stay at home by an “employer” — their husband. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)

The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is wrongly dismissed as irrelevant by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands’ incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:

-accept low wages

-refuse overtime and promotions

-choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do (The most popular job for American women as of 2010 is still secretary/administrative assistant, which has been a top ten job for women for the last 50 years.)

-take more unpaid days off

-avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining

-work fewer hours than their male counterparts, or work less than full-time more often than their male counterparts (as in the above example regarding physicians)

Any one of these job choices lowers women’s median pay relative to men’s. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay — and decreasing his freedom.

Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he’d chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.

Other dynamics that help set the stage for a wage gap to be created:

-Far more men than women link their self-worth to their net-worth.

-Far more women than men seek spouses with a high net-worth (hypergamy)

-Far more single women than single men ask prospective dates, “What do you do?” — then listen more closely to the answer.

-Far more women than men expect their spouse to be the primary provider who will give them the option of staying at home to raise the children, while the spouse raises the income that pays her to raise the children.

-Far more women than men look at a prospective spouse as an “employer” who will pay them to stay at home when they choose to do so.

One result of these and other dynamics: According to 2010 BLS data, the following jobs contain 1 percent or less female workers: boilermakers, brick masonry, stonemasonry, septic tank servicing, sewer pipe cleaners and trash collectors. By contrast, women are 97 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers, 80 percent of social workers, 82 percent of librarians and 92 percent of dietitians and nutritionists and registered nurses.

More in “Does the Ledbetter Act Help Women?

See also Warren Farrell’s book “Why Men Earn More.”

Posted in Feminism, Gender Wage Gap | 3 Comments

U.S. Colleges’ Sexual Assault Crusade

Because of the Obama Administration, it is now only "She Says" and he is guilty.

Because of the Obama Administration, will “He Said, She Said” become “She Said and He is Guilty?”

By Peter Berkowitz | RealClearPolitics | September 5, 2014

If an undergraduate were accused of committing murder, no one in charge of a U.S. college or university would think of convening a committee of students, professors, and administrators to gather and analyze evidence, prosecute, adjudicate, and mete out punishment.

If an undergraduate were accused of the dramatically lesser but nevertheless quite serious offense of holding up the student cafeteria at gunpoint, no college or university would summon students, professors, and administrators to attempt to adjudicate the felony of armed robbery.

Why then if an undergraduate is accused of sexual assault or rape — heinous crimes for which the criminal justice system can send the convicted to jail for many years — do colleges and universities routinely convene committees of professors, students, and administrators to investigate, judge, and punish?

One part of the answer is that the Obama administration has intensified pressure upon them to do just that. Ostensibly, the administration wants to curtail sexual attacks on college campuses. But what the federal government is really doing is encouraging students, professors, and administrators to enmesh themselves in quasi-law enforcement activities for which they are utterly untrained. Underwriting that dubious enterprise is a pernicious notion that has taken hold in certain quarters of the academy that seems to equate heterosexual sex with assault.

In April 2011, amid controversy that universities shielded star athletes from prosecution and exposed other accused men to kangaroo courts, Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali sent a letter to institutions of higher education throughout the country. The missive set forth requirements that universities must honor to comply with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education. The requirements include conducting investigations and holding a hearing even if the criminal justice system concludes the accusation of sexual misconduct is meritless; using the lowest evidentiary standard to determine guilt — preponderance of the evidence, which means more than 50 percent; shielding the accuser from answering questions from the accused; and, in the event of acquittal, also providing the accuser an appeal.

Such procedures constitute eviscerations of the due process afforded defendants in criminal courts across the 50 states while nevertheless subjecting the convicted to penalties that can blight their lives. They effectively eliminate the presumption of innocence, the right to confront and cross-examine the accuser, and protection against double jeopardy. Nonetheless, the Department of Education letter warned that if schools didn’t comply, they would face loss of federal funding, which in the case of top research universities involves hundreds of millions of dollars annually. To further ensure compliance with this dubious approach to guilt or acquittal, the Department of Education initiated more than four dozen investigations of pending cases at a wide range of schools including such marquee institutions as the University of California at Berkeley, Dartmouth, Princeton, Swarthmore, and Harvard Law School.

President Obama believes more needs to be done. In January, he established the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. And were it delivered to his desk, he would undoubtedly sign the Campus Accountability and Safety Act introduced by Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, which would impose even stricter demands on colleges and universities to demonstrate to the federal government they are meeting their legal obligations to protect women.

Surely only a massive epidemic of sexual assault could justify such concerted federal government involvement in university governance. Indeed, Obama and Senate supporters of the pending legislation routinely assert that one in five women attending college have been sexually assaulted.

If this seems sky high, it’s because the data show no such thing. As Washington Examiner journalist Ashe Schow has pointed out, the claim is based on a 2007 online survey conducted by the National Institute of Justice, a division of the Department of Justice, at only two universities. The survey, which paid participants, involved a non-random sample, a relatively low response rate, tendentious and ambiguous questions, and an expansive understanding of sexual assault.

According to a 2012 Department of Justice report produced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for every 1,000 citizens above the age of 12, 1.3 are sexually assaulted or raped. That’s a rate of 0.13 percent. It seems inconceivable that the incidence of sexual assault at universities is more than 150 times higher than among the general population.

And who really believes the president’s numbers? Parents certainly don’t behave as if they do. Would mothers and fathers really spend almost $60,000 a year to expose their daughters to a one-in-five chance of sexual assault?

Since the professed reason for the federal government’s growing supervision of sex on campus is bogus, one is impelled to consider cynical explanations. One need not look far. By showcasing Obama’s devotion to women, the 2011 Department of Education letter helped lay the foundation for his 2012 presidential campaign, which trumpeted the charge that Republicans were waging a war against women.

The 2014 presidential task force and McCaskill’s bill revive the invidious but politically potent issue for the midterm elections. That some Republicans support the legislation only proves that in politics foolishness competes with cynicism for explanatory power.

Since the 1989 publication of law professor Catharine MacKinnon’s “Toward a Feminist Theory of the State,” certain quarters of the academy have been internalizing — and propagating — the charge that America is a “male supremacist” society whose pervasive structures of oppression deprive women of the capacity to give meaningful consent to sex. The surprisingly widespread acceptance of this radical notion does much to explain the whole campus sexual misconduct industry.

But why does the academy readily embrace the illiberal practices foisted upon it by cynical and foolish politicians? Well, here the government is pushing on an open door. Since the 1989 publication of law professor Catharine MacKinnon’s “Toward a Feminist Theory of the State,” certain quarters of the academy have been internalizing — and propagating — the charge that America is a “male supremacist” society whose pervasive structures of oppression deprive women of the capacity to give meaningful consent to sex. The surprisingly widespread acceptance of this radical notion does much to explain the whole campus sexual misconduct industry.

In a male supremacist society, due process rights for men impede justice because by definition heterosexual sex occurs between a male exploiter and an exploited female. In a male supremacist society, the police and courts are hopelessly inadequate because they define rape in terms of physical coercion. Unconscious male objectification and subordination of women and unconscious female submissiveness to men necessitate campus disciplinary boards capable of understanding coercion in terms of impersonal social forces and emotional manipulation.

And, in a male supremacist society, a friendly presidential administration’s supervision of campus sexual conduct codes is most welcome, even when it involves government officials’ cynical manipulation of preposterous statistics, because extreme circumstances warrant extreme measures.

We do not, however, live in a male supremacist society. Despite lingering inequities, women in America enjoy the unprecedented security, freedom, and equality under law that men do. Our universities’ assiduous efforts to transform men into monsters who can’t be trusted with rights and women into frail creatures who bear no responsibility for their deeds represents educational malpractice. Paradoxically, those efforts also undercut the reality of female empowerment: for many years women have been earning more BAs, MAs, and PhDs than men.

Liberal education should equip our students to question the cynicism and foolishness of our politicians, not to make common cause with it.

 Peter Berkowitz is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.  His writings are posted at http://www.PeterBerkowitz.com and you can follow him on Twitter @BerkowitzPeter.

Posted in Female Violence, Feminism, Gender Politics, Male "Power" and "Privilege", Media Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Economic Harassment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is widely promoted but won’t achieve much

UDaily, University of Delaware

UDaily, University of Delaware

As a former world-peace promoter, I’ve always said it’s a good idea to walk in the shoes of another in order to better understand that person.

But it’s not a good idea for only one sex to walk in the shoes of the other. As well-intended as the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is, the one-sidedness can foster as much alienation as understanding.

The program leads many to believe that domestic violence is strictly male-to-female and only males must change. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Consider first, to dispel the myth of general female innocence:

  • Women are more likely to commit major physical abuse of their children than are men: 56.8 percent to 43.2 percent. [Source: Fire With Fire, by feminist Naomi Wolf, p. 221, hardcover] See also this: “According to the American Anthropological Association, about 200 women kill their children in the United States each year.”
  • Women are more likely to kill their children than are men: 55 percent to 45 percent. [Source: “Women and Violent Crime,” a paper by Prof. Rita J. Simon, Department of Justice, Law and Society and Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C] See examples in Utah, which has a Safe Haven law, of serial baby killers, in a report dated April 13, 2014: “Police find seven dead babies in Utah County home.“
  • Women commit almost all of the murders of newborns. In Dade County, Fla., between 1956 and 1986, according to the June 1990 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 5:2, mothers accounted for 86 percent of newborn deaths. [Source: When She Was Bad, by Patricia Pearson, p. 255, note 71.]

Since women, without provocation, batter and kill small children, whom they supposedly have been socialized to love, they can, without provocation, commit violence against men, whom they definitely have been socialized — by the media, feminist literature, and “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” — to distrust, fear, and hate.

Women indeed do commit violence against men. Reporting findings from the Centers For Disease Control, the American Psychiatric Association makes a statement that no doubt shocks the sensibilities of many because such views have long been suppressed by a biased, feminist-influenced media:

“In fact, when it comes to nonreciprocal violence between intimate partners, women are more often the perpetrators.”

But what about sexual assault? More shocking news, this time at the liberal Slate.com:

“A recent analysis of BJS data, for example, turned up that 46 percent of male victims reported a female perpetrator.”

The promoters of “Walk a Mile” seem to want women portrayed as innocents who do no wrong. Perhaps without realizing it, they are, I believe, setting females up to come across to many men as holier-than-thou, as someone on a higher moral plane, as someone who should perhaps be put on a pedestal (which men are criticized for doing).

Violence is seldom black and white, easily cleaved into absolutely guilty and absolutely innocent There are often 50 shades of grey.

Portraying one group as never to blame and the other as always to blame is not, peace advocates like myself believe, the impression to convey if you want those whom you blame to understand you. If you want a group — men, in this case — to understand you, let alone listen to you, you must first talk about the mote in your own eye, your own sins; that was essentially the approach President Obama used early on when talking to or about our country’s enemies; it may have helped win him his Pulitzer prize. Because the promoters of “Walk a Mile” have to my knowledge never done this, they have, as they might admit, achieved little. You could argue, reflecting on President Obama’s approach, that the promoters of Walk a Mile protect women’s image in the way that conservative patriots protect America’s image as morally superior to other nations.

__________________________________

Here’s a very important area where each sex could benefit enormously by walking in the shoes of the other. It is one that women’s ideological advocates would not even discuss, never mind promote:

“The Sexual Harassment Quagmire: How To Dig Out” http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/the-sexual-harassment-quagmire/

Recommended reading:

“Open Letter to Senate Judiciary on the VAWA” http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/open-letter-to-senate-judiciary-on-the-vawa/

“Jay Z and Ray Rice Cases Show Our Savage Hypocrisy on Domestic Violence” https://sg.news.yahoo.com/jay-z-ray-rice-cases-show-savage-hypocrisy-100214953.html

Posted in Female Violence, Feminism, Gender Violence, Male "Power" and "Privilege" | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe Is Rotten for Men

Until feminism recognizes discrimination against men, the movement for gender equality will be incomplete.

By Cathy Young • Time.com • September 26, 2014

“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

to me,” said Emma Watson at a UN Women speech in September. “Men– I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender Equality is your issue, too.”

“Gender equality is your issue too.” That was the message to men from Emma Watson, Harry Potter star and now United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, in her widely hailed U.N. speech earlier this week announcing a new feminist campaign with a “formal invitation” to male allies to join. Noting that men suffer from sexism in their own ways, Watson asked, “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” Truer words were never spoken. Too bad they are belied by the campaign itself, which is called “HeForShe” and asks men to pledge to “take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls” but says nothing about problems affecting men and boys.

Watson clearly believes that feminism — which, she stressed, is about equality and not bashing men — will also solve men’s problems. But, unfortunately, feminism in its present form has too often ignored sexist biases against males, and sometimes has actively contributed to them. Until that changes, the movement for gender equality will be incomplete.

Take one of the men’s issues Watson mentioned in her speech: seeing her divorced father’s role as a parent “valued less by society” than her mother’s. It is true that in the 1970s and 1980s, feminist challenges to discriminatory, sex-specific laws helped end formal preferences for mothers in child custody matters. But as fathers began to fight against more covert anti-male biases in the court system, most feminists sided with mothers.

There are plenty of other examples. The women’s movement has fought, rightly, for more societal attention to domestic abuse and sexual violence. But male victims of these crimes still tend to get short shrift, from the media and activists alike. Despite several recent high-profile recent sexual assault cases in which the victims were teenage girls, disturbing cases in which boys were victimized — by other boys or by girls — have received far less publicity and sparked little outrage. Experiments have shown that while people are quick to intervene when a man in a staged public quarrel becomes physically abusive to his girlfriend, reactions to a similar situation with the genders reversed mostly range from indifference to amusement or even sympathy for the woman. To a large extent, as feminists sometimes point out, these attitudes stem from traditional gender norms which treat victimhood, especially at a woman’s hands, as unmanly. But today’s mainstream feminism, which regards sexual assault and domestic violence as byproducts of male power over women, tends to reinforce rather than challenge such double standards.

Just in the past few days, many feminist commentators have taken great umbrage at suggestions that soccer star Hope Solo, currently facing charges for assaulting her sister and teenage nephew, deserves similar censure to football player Ray Rice, who was caught on video striking his fiancée. Their argument boils down to the assertion that violence by men toward their female partners should be singled out because it’s a bigger problem than female violence toward family members. Meanwhile, in Watson’s native England, activists from women’s organizations recently blamed the shortage of services for abused women on efforts to accommodate abused men (despite the fact that, as Guardian columnist and blogger Ally Fogg demonstrated, even the lowest estimates of the prevalence of domestic violence against men suggest that male victims are far less likely than women to get help).

Watson deserves credit for wanting to end the idea that “fighting for women’s rights [is] synonymous with man-hating.” But she cannot do that if she treats such notions only as unfair stereotypes. How about addressing this message to feminists who complain about being “asked to modify our language so we don’t hurt men’s feelings” when talking about misogyny — for instance, not to generalize about all men as oppressors? Or to those who argue that “Kill all men” mugs and “I bathe in male tears” T-shirts are a great way to celebrate women’s empowerment and separate the “cool dudes” who get the joke from the “dumb bros”? Or to those who accuse a feminist woman of “victim-blaming” for defending her son against a sexual assault accusation — even one of which he is eventually cleared?

Men must, indeed, “feel welcome to participate in the conversation” about gender issues. But very few will do so if that “conversation” amounts to being told to “shut up and listen” while women talk about the horrible things men do to women, and being labeled a misogynist for daring to point out that bad things happen to men too and that women are not always innocent victims in gender conflicts. A real conversation must let men talk not only about feminist-approved topics such as gender stereotypes that keep them from expressing their feelings, but about more controversial concerns: wrongful accusations of rape; sexual harassment policies that selectively penalize men for innocuous banter; lack of options to avoid unwanted parenthood once conception has occurred. Such a conversation would also acknowledge that pressures on men to be successful come not only from “the patriarchy” but, often, from women as well. And it would include an honest discussion of parenthood, including many women’s reluctance to give up or share the primary caregiver role.

It goes without saying that these are “First World problems.” In far too many countries around the world, women still lack basic rights and patriarchy remains very real (though it is worth noting that even in those places, men and boys often have to deal with gender-specific hardships, from forced recruitment into war to mass violence that singles out males). But in the industrial democracies of North America and Europe, the revolution in women’s rights over the past century has been a stunning success — and, while there is still work to be done, it must include the other side of that revolution.* Not “he for she,” but “She and he for us.”

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine.

*To understand more about why we need the other side of the revolution, see:

“The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research: A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality”

Posted in Feminism, Gender Politics, Media Sexism | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jay Z and Ray Rice Cases Show Our Savage Hypocrisy on Domestic Violence

By Matt Campbell | International Business Times | September 15, 2014

RayRiceAndDaughter

Ray Rice kisses his one-year-old daughter.

Recently, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended running back Ray Rice after it was reported an unnamed official, working for the sport’s governing body, received footage five months ago showing the athlete striking his then-fiancee (now wife) unconscious in a hotel elevator. Rice is now unable to play, and his team, the Baltimore Ravens, have terminated his contract.

A story dated March 27 suggests the NFL authorities had the tape, and Goodell was aware of it. As criminal evidence, the NFL says it was not allowed to view the CCTV footage. Yet if Goodell knew a copy had been received by the NFL, he should have reported it then.

Goodell’s dereliction of civic/moral duty, assuming the above is true, is its own matter. Morally vacant behaviour from corporate officers long pre-dates this story. Instead, keep in mind that Rice’s fiancee Janay was also arrested for assault for the same incident, the difference being that Rice rendered her unconscious in his response to her assault; for if they were both arrested and charged with assault, and she was knocked out by Rice with a single blow, must she not have thrown the first punch?

The charges against both were dismissed, possibly due to admissions of violence from both, or neither wanted the other charged, or other reasons. Co-mutual domestic violence (DV) is sadly typical in troubled or simply bad relationships.

A study appearing in the May 2007 edition of the American Journal of Public Health reported that almost half of DV incidents in the US are co-mutual, with 70% of non-co-mutual assaults committed by women, not men. But you wouldn’t know that listening to feminists, the US president, and US vice-president, who paint DV as largely, or exclusively, male-on-female.

In June, Hope Solo, the winning goalkeeper on the US Olympic women’s football team in 2008 and 2012, was arrested and charged after allegedly hitting her sister with a broomstick repeatedly and punching her nephew likewise in the face.

The response to Solo losing it on her relatives, one a minor, was silence. No demands for her to be barred from her sport indefinitely, no calls for the National Women’s Soccer League president’s resignation for failing to act aggressively enough to satisfy… who?

In the case of American football players, it’s feminists and opportunistic politicians. But what of female athletes of any kind, as well as women generally? There is no outraged constituency to appease when a woman is accused of or caught committing DV.

In May, a lift security camera video surfaced showing singer Solange Knowles beating up her brother-in-law, rap musician Jay Z, and the reaction of people was at best “Meh”, and at worst, “LOL!” Was Knowles released from her singing contracts? Did her fans rail against her? No.

The real story is the double standard around what is the necessary level of outrage over DV incidents attributed to celebrities, athletes or anyone else. DV against women by men is regarded as heinous; DV by women against men is regarded as comedic. Same-sex and familial DV are hardly acknowledged despite the statistically high prevalence of both as compared to heterosexual partner DV.

DV shouldn’t be about politics or subject to double standards based on the sexes of those involved. Regardless of sex, victims should have equal resource access and consideration from the government and society.

Perpetrators must be held accountable and where productive, be made to undergo sufficient psychiatric remediation to give them an opportunity to learn new habits and interpersonal skills that don’t entail using violence or threats.

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the on-ramp is paved with false assumptions. Have the Rices been served by the sudden attention, Ray’s loss of work, their loss of privacy, etc? Not according to Janay. Who assumed Janay needed to be “saved” from her husband’s multimillion-dollar income and the privacy in which they could learn better relationship skills?

Most should wonder how and why they are on the DV On-Ramp of False Assumptions. What got them there, and how to get off it? This on-ramp tends to leave both truth and justice in the rearview mirror, and with those, a lot of damaged lives. Enough’s enough.

Matt Campbell writes for Men’s Activism, a website that tracks news and information about men’s issues from around the world, and promotes activism in support of men’s rights and equality.

See the related:

Open Letter to Senate Judiciary on the VAWA

Posted in Female Violence, Feminism, Gender Politics, Gender Violence, Media Sexism | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment