See the debate at US News.com, “Should the Violence Against Women Act Be Reauthorized?”
To: The Honorable Members of the Judiciary Sub-committee on Crime
Subject: Violence Against Women Act
Since women, without provocation, batter and kill children, whom they supposedly have been socialized to love, they can, without provocation, batter and kill men, whom they definitely have been socialized — by the media, feminist literature, and the Violence Against Women Act — to distrust, fear, and hate.
If feminists don’t take women’s violence and abuse as seriously as we take men’s, why should men take women’s opinions as seriously as we take men’s? After all, according to ideological feminists’ own — and correct — definition of hate crimes, an act of violence is merely an opinion acted out, a view transformed into behavior.
Dear Honorable Senator:
Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) no doubt see gender violence as battered-women’s advocate Phyllis Chesler sees it. Says she, without citing sources, “According to contemporary studies, 90 percent of all violent crimes are still committed by men. … When those women who commit 10 percent of all violent crimes do kill, nearly half kill male intimates who have abused them or their children, and they invariably do so in self-defense.” (Source: “Battered Women’s Syndrome: Science or Sham?” Fox News Opinion, October 22, 2002, Wendy McElroy)
VAWA supporters, as well as much of the mainstream media, agree with Chesler that female aggression against men is minimal and nearly always provoked – until they are presented with statistics revealing women’s rather extensive violence against children:
- 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]
- 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.]
The idea of women assaulting children is finally becoming admissible in the minds of many Americans. Much credit for that may have to go to hidden cameras. Increasingly, they are catching mothers and female baby sitters in the act of brutalizing toddlers and even babies. “Prime Time Live” was among the first with examples. On November 19, 1997, it revealed nightmarish scenes of mothers clamping their hand over the nose and mouth of their desperately struggling infants. In Great Britain, researchers using covert video cameras in just two hospitals filmed 33 parents suspected of child abuse, almost all of them mothers, in the act of deliberately smothering their infants.
Battered-women’s advocates excuse this maternal domestic violence against children – while vociferously condemning the paternal type – by claiming it stems from such “syndromes” as postpartum depression and “the oppressive patriarchy.” The advocates cite these syndromes in order to generate sympathy for the mothers (while generating anger toward the men who assault far less defenseless adult women). However, they can’t seem to explain the fact that at least as many female baby sitters have been video-taped violently abusing toddlers and babies. Hidden cameras are doing what battered-women’s advocates and most mainstream media outlets won’t do: expose female violence.
Women’s brutality against small, defenseless children – a common form of violence that takes place in the home but which VAWA supporters do not call domestic violence – carries a painfully obvious meaning:
If women, without provocation, batter and kill children, whom they’ve supposedly been socialized to love, they can, without provocation, batter and kill men, whom they’ve been socialized – by the media, feminist literature, and VAWA-type legislation – to distrust, fear, and hate.
Understanding this, one is more receptive to evidence that women dispense about as much unprovoked domestic violence as men do. Consider data in the July 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey: According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, “data from the National Family Violence Survey consistently show men and women are equally likely to be physically assaulted by an intimate partner.” (See http://ncjrs.org/txtfiles1/nij/181867.txt.) Thus, an equality in domestic violence is established even though “Males appear to report their own victimization less than females do and to not view female violence against them as a crime.” (See “The gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1—The conflict of theory and data,” at http://fatherland.info/docs/2005-09-10-Gender-Paradigm-in-Domestic-Violence-Part-1-Dutton-D-Nicholls-T-Aggression-and-Violent-Behaviour-2005-Vol10-No6.pdf.)
“In the chapter on domestic violence, much of the censorship I discussed emanated from the US Department of Justice. It was the Department of Justice that censored abuse by women from a 1979 poll. Finally some professors discovered the data on the original computer tape. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ “Murder In Families” stressed women-as-victims although its own raw data showed 55.5% male and 44.5% female victims of family murder. Similarly, it issued a report on Violence Against Women, but none on Violence Against Men – despite the fact that two-thirds of the violence is against men. We saw also how the FBI hides the female method of killing by contract by calling it a multiple-offender killing.” -Warren Farrell, Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say
To objective, unbiased researchers, VAWA was not born of clear-cut data substantiating a climate of systemic abuse of women. Rather, it was given life by a blending of feminist and chivalrous myths about men being violent and predatory, and women being weak, vulnerable, morally superior, and requiring special protections. It is also nourished by an ignored gender gap that I call the gender compassion gap: we are socialized to feel more compassion and sympathy toward female victims than toward male. The effect is that one story and picture of an abused woman is worth a thousand stories of abused men.
Plainly VAWA is the product of an ideology. That ideology – that women suffer more violence than men and need more protections — is nurtured by the ever-increasing number of advocates who have developed incomes and careers in the battered-women industry which they have built and invested much time and energy in. The ideology is fueled also, I believe, by those who see VAWA as validating their need to be “right” about “the systemic patriarchal violence against women.”
VAWA offers women both a “tactical advantage” and a “powerful weapon” when they want to “get back” at a man, have regrets the next morning, or want out of a marriage for any reason at all. Allegations of abuse can cause men to lose their homes, jobs, children, and standing in the community. Once they’ve been thrown in jail because of mandatory arrests and have been assumed guilty, where do they go to get their reputations and their jobs back when the accusations are proven false? -Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute.
As an ideology-driven law, VAWA is destined to further alienate the sexes, just as a Violence Against Whites Act would further alienate the races. Moreover, by practically federalizing and institutionalizing the idea that men are bad and women are good, VAWA can only increase the potential for the very violence VAWA seeks to eliminate. (This may explain why many supporters urge that VAWA be reauthorized on the basis that “violence against women is increasing.”) And it might produce another unintended, truly tragic consequence. Currently, far more men rescue women from danger than the other way around – an important factor that is oddly missing in the theories about misogyny and violence against women. In reaction to VAWA’s women-good/men-bad messages, could some men grow so cynical that, rather than rescue a woman from danger as they normally would, they simply look the other way?
VAWA should be renamed along the line of the Family Violence Prevention Act, so that male victims receive the equal protection that the 14th Amendment entitles them to. Or perhaps it ought to be discarded altogether.
Violence Statistics At a Glance:
Homicide Victims by Sex:
Homicide Rates by Sex and Race Per 100,000 Population:
- Assault Rates Per 1,000, 12 and Older
Males FemalesAggravated Assault 6.5 4.2Rape/Sexual Assault 0.2 1.9Total 6.7 6.1
Men are victims of more violence even when rape and sexual assault are factored in.
- The safest group is white women, who also happen to be the most vocal about being victimized and demanding protection.