Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Male violence-- subtle and overt

This amazing post was SADLY not written by me. It is brilliant, however. Written by Christopher Kilmartin as an editorial for the American Psych. Assn's Division on men's involvement in the movement and the language we use to talk about gender issues of violence.

I want to repost it here because it speaks to so much of what we've been discussing lately and it's well written! Pay special attention to the examples he uses-- especially # 3. Enjoy!
<--- Christopher Kilmartin
Men's Violence Against Women
Christopher Kilmartin

Too often we see domestic violence and rape defined as "women's issues." Since men do the vast majority of the damage, I think it's a men's issue. I'll begin with a story, not a very happy one, to set the tone.

A little while back, The Washington Post ran a story about a Northern VA country club that held an event called the "Vodka challenge." It was a men-only event, a standard country club golf tournament. What made it newsworthy was the mode of celebration in the men's locker room. The day before the tournament, one of the club managers purchased an ice sculpture of a nude woman, sitting down with her legs spread. The vodka was served in the locker room from a fountain stream that came out from between her legs.

When some of the women members found out about this ice sculpture, they were outraged. Most of the men seemed puzzled by this reaction. After all, this was a sculpture, not a real woman, and it was in the men's locker room, where none of the women would even see it. Quite predictably, there were a lot of statements about angry feminists who have no sense of humor, and the overly rigid atmosphere of political correctness. After all, any one with an open mind would see this as harmless. I think it's good to have an open mind, but it's not good to have a mind so open that your brain falls out.

What does this vodka challenge story have to do with violence against women? There was nothing in the story to suggest that any of these men had ever beaten their wives. But, although I'm sure they didn't realize it, every one of them made it just a little more possible for any one of them to commit an act of violence against a woman.

In order for violence to occur, several things have to be present. First, there has to be a lack of identification with the victim. Second, there has to be a perception of the situation as one that calls for violence. Third, there has to be a decision to act violently, and fourth, there has to be a means of doing harm to the other person.

All-male social groups that are disrespectful towards women provide the first part of this formula: a willingness to view women as being different from and less valued than men. Symbolically, the ice sculpture provided an atmosphere that says women are here for men's pleasure, and we will bond around our shared masculinity in this place where we don't have to deal with women as human beings. Seeing them as lower status others allows us to justify mistreating them in many ways, including violence. There is an attitudinal undercurrent of women as enemies, in spite of the fact that most of these men were married to and raising children with the enemy.

Unfortunately, this vodka challenge was most likely not some isolated incident of insensitivity. In fact, country clubs have a history of the exclusion and disrespect of women, from men-only eating areas and tee times to the outright banning of women members. Many clubs also have a history of excluding Jews and people of color. The controversy over the exclusion of women from Augusta National is a case in point * Martha Burk has been called every bad name in the book just because she has pointed out the bigotry of this incredibly wealthy group of men and suggested that we all do something to ensure that they don't become wealthier from the Master's tournament.

I am only using country clubs as an example of all-male enclaves that implicitly and subtly condone violence against women. Other institutions, like many fraternities and corporations, also have these histories. And, of course, all-male social groups do not have to be organized and institutional to provide this violence-condoning atmosphere. We can find informal men's groups in workplaces, college dorms, athletic teams, and corner bars, telling demeaning jokes about women, calling them by animal names or the names of their genitals, and these men rarely confront each other for fear of being attacked or ostracized. There is an unconscious, implicit conspiracy in many men's groups to keep women in their place. What better way to do it than by causing them to feel perpetually fearful of being physically attacked?

Men's violence is the single most serious health problem for women in the United States. It causes more harm than accidents, muggings, and cancer combined. For women aged 15-44, an estimated 50% of emergency room visits are the result of violence at the hands of their husbands, boyfriends, ex-husbands, or ex-boyfriends. Every year male partners or ex-partners murder more than 1000 women * that's about 3 per day. It happens so often that people don't even pay attention to it. When a stranger murders someone, the story is on the front page of the metro section. If it's an intimate, it's at the bottom of page 4. A stranger rape always makes the papers; an acquaintance rape never does unless the rapist is somebody famous. The two most frequent crimes against women are largely invisible to the media. We expect it so much that we don't even notice it.

I want to point out that I chose my words very carefully there I very intentionally did not say "when a person is murdered by a stranger." Maybe it's just because I'm a college professor, but I am an absolute believer in the power of language, and there is some everyday language that smuggles in prejudices against women and contributes to the cultural atmosphere that enables gender-based violence. I have 5 examples.

The first is the one I just pointed out * passive voice * 1000 women are murdered. The victim, not the perpetrator, is the subject of the sentence. When you see this language often enough, the perpetrator becomes a kind of afterthought. Imagine if sportscasters talked like this: "The score was tied when a three-point basket was scored." "Many dollars were earned." Wouldn't everyone ask, "Who did it? Who is responsible?"

Example #2: the use of the term "opposite sex" and the phrase "battle of the sexes". I challenge you to tell me one way in which the sexes are opposite. Calling men and women opposites is like calling an IBM computer the opposite of an Apple. And "battle of the sexes" implies that men and women are at war. We will never solve this problem until we work together and emphasize our commonalities rather than our differences.

I see research studies reported in the popular press * "a recent study proves what we have suspected all along * that men's and women's brains are different." And what they do is find some infinitesimally small portion of the brain that has some minor difference that accounts for 5% of the variance in a population with wide variability, completely ignoring the fact that men's and women's brains both have frontal cortex, amygdalas, thalmuses, hypothalamuses, and on and on. And at the end of the story, the anchorman on the news says, "Well, that explains why I can't understand my wife at all." (If you can't understand your wife, I recommend the much-overlooked method of listening to her).

Example #3, when I tell people I'm a psychologist specializing in gender-based violence, people always ask, when a man is beating his wife, why does she stay with him? That's question #2; they never ask question #1: Why would a man hit his wife? Men's violence is considered to be a given, and women's responses to that violence are seen as choices. This subtly makes women responsible for the violence.

Example #4: self-defense classes for women that are advertised as "rape prevention." Is it women's job to prevent rape? Don't get me wrong * I'm all for women learning self-defense if they want to, but let's call it what it really is * risk reduction. It is men's responsibility to prevent rape.

Example #5 comes from the recent scandal over sexual assaults at the Air Force Academy. It turns out that there numerous male cadets who have sexually assaulted female cadets, and the men who run the Academy intimidated survivors into keeping silent about it. The newspaper stories said something like, 54 rapes occurred between male and female cadets. I'm sorry * rapes do not occur between people. Does a bank robbery occur between a robber and a teller? Does vandalism occur between a kid with a can of spray paint and somebody's property? And here's another flash of brilliance * in reaction to the scandal, the head of the academy said that the problem was that men and women live in the same residence hall and that men would see women walking down the hall in their bathrobes, and that he was going to now have the men and women living in separate residence halls. So, let's get this straight: the problem is that men are raping women and so the solution is to get rid of the women?! It's a new height in victim-blaming. I know I get out of control when I see a woman in a bathrobe. How does that work, physiologically? Prostate exerts pressure on the spinal cord, cutting off oxygen to the brain? And, newspapers reported the Air Force problem as a "sex scandal." I would submit that the victims were not having sex, and we could also argue that the perpetrators were not either.

When we see gender-based violence, women-hating is just around the corner. Therefore, if we can turn this attitude around, we can go a long way toward solving this problem. And, the people who are in the best position to do so are men -- we have the social status, power, and privilege. We can speak out and affect the attitudes of our fellow men. Just as white people have a special role to play in ending racism, rich people have a special role to play in ending economic inequality, and heterosexuals have a special role to play in ending homophobia, it is vitally important that we, as men of conscience, take seriously our role in ending sexual violence.

In the locker room at the vodka challenge that day, I'm betting that there was at least one man who was uncomfortable with this ice sculpture, just as there is when someone hires a stripper for a bachelor party or makes a woman the butt of a joke. It's not unlikely that more than one man felt this way. But nobody spoke up because each man feels that he may be the only one, and taking on the collective opinion of the rest of the group can leave him out in the cold. There is tremendous pressure to laugh along with the boys or at least not say anything. It would have taken tremendous courage for a man to stand up and say, even matter-of-factly, "That ice sculpture is really offensive; what could you have been thinking? Why don't we just get rid of it before we're all embarassed? We can have just as much fun without it." And it's ironic to me that courage is supposed to be a hallmark of masculinity, but there are so many men who find it impossible to display this kind of courage. They would sooner run into a burning building or have a fist fight. Men are also supposed to be independent, but there is tremendous conformity in most all-male peer groups, whether they are adults or younger men.

Social psychologists have known for a long time that one of the biggest barriers to being able to disagree with a group is unanimity. When the group opinion is unanimous and you don't have an ally, the pressure to conform is tremendous. But if even one person voices a disagreement with the rest of the group, others are much more likely to follow suit. There were probably several uncomfortable men in that locker room that day. If one of them had spoken out, he might have found that there was more support in the room than he had imagined. But somebody has got to go first. Somebody has got to take a risk. Someone has to be the leader. It's masculine to take a risk, to be a leader; why are so few of us doing it? The research indicates that 75% of college men are uncomfortable when their male peers display these kinds of attitudes. Most men don't like it; we need to let other men know that we don't.

Along with changing our attitudes toward women, we've also got to change our attitudes toward ourselves. For several years, I have been involved in efforts to fight the alarming prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. When this problem was first identified in the 1970s, colleges began to provide self-defense training, teach women how to avoid dangerous situations, and provide better lighting and emergency phones across the campus. Obviously, these are very important measures. But, these kinds of strategies constituted the basic extent of campus programming for about twenty years, and all of these measures have one thing in common: they only address potential victims. It is only been the last few years that people have begun to try to do something about the potential perpetrators? Why did it take us so long to come to this obviously important strategy? I think it is the pervasive perception boys will be boys and the only thing we can do is to wait until they commit a crime, and then put them in jail. Some still consider rape an act of male sexuality gone awry, rather than an act of violence. But we know different, just as we know that if a person hits another person over the head with a frying pan, we don't call that cooking.

If men's violent behavior is perceived as an unchangeable constant, then violence toward women is a women's issue, never a men's issue. "Boys will be boys" not only provides a measure of excuse for violence against women, it is a very disrespectable attitude toward men, as if we are animals, with absolutely no control over ourselves. And again, there's an irony here. Self-control is another hallmark of traditional masculinity, but aggression and sexuality are considered to be completely out of control -- a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I want men to have more dignity than that. I saw this book title recently, "All men are jerks until proven otherwise." It made me sad * and I also realized, how am I ever going to prove what I'm not? Maybe I was a nice guy today, but who knows what's going to happen tomorrow. It's a sad state of affairs when so many men have behaved so irresponsibly that the rest of us have to carry the burden of understandable suspicion from wo men.

So, besides becoming more respectful toward women, we have to regain our self-respect. We are human beings who are capable of caring for others. We are not animals who lash out instinctively, poisoned by testosterone.

Violence against women is a men's issue, and men have to take a leadership role in building a more positive male community. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Thanks to those of you who have been doing this work.

24 comments:

zZz said...

Example #3 is excellent! I feel so much better now. I am going to go out on a limb here and post some corollaries! I can now hold thieves responsible for theft and demand that the community of thieves clean up their act. The same goes for car jackers, bank robbers, tax cheats, child molesters, and genocidal dictators.

Wow, I never thought that I could just quit taking the keys out of my car when shopping, it would seem to invite thieves. Silly me. I now demand that thieves leave my car alone, I will NOT accept the theft of my car. Why should it be MY responsibility to ensure that my car is not stolen? It is blaming the victim when the victim is clearly blameless.

I have seen the light and it is tinted rose.

Tobes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tobes said...

Wow your sarcasm is SO funny. It's so nice having you around to always attempt to tear down ANYONE who insinuates that women don't have to feel responsible for the unjust, ILLEGAL violence done against them.

You do realize that even if you leave your car keys in your car (possibly bad judgment) it doesn't mean you were asking for someone to steal it or you deserved it? And comparing women to cars... not that helpful in your argument. We are humans. Got it? Not cars. You also bring up child molesters-- what you blame little children who don't tell anyone about molestation too? Seriously? That's very cold and shows you have no understanding of what an abused, molested or sexually assaulted person goes through. First and foremost that person deals with tremendous guilt and shame-- which is understandable with people like you floating around condemning everyone so swiftly.

I get the feeling you have a vested interest in making sure women never feel powerful. You want to make sure all those beaten women out there know that it's their fault. If they aren't leaving and just letting themselves be abused-- they're either weak or they deserve it.

You also insinuated once that women who are raped somehow deserve it (zzz: "It is certainly wrong for a woman to get raped no matter what the situation, but I think women who exercise good judgement get raped less.")
I ask you, HOW? What is these women are doing? Are they wearing, saying or doing something so inviting? Cause believe me there is no such thing. Even prostitutes can be raped. All they have to do is say NO and if a man proceeds anyway-- RAPE.

How can make fun of a man eho would write and say-- it's time for men to stop doing this to women and society needs to stop blaming them. Fine. You don't like his essay, what's your solution? You NEVER offer one.

I have been pretty patient with you up until now. Always demanding sources from me, always demanding I prove myself. Which I have readily done. All the while you contribute nothing except insipid, sexist comments insinuating women deserve this if they aren't willing to leave.

It's bull. And I'm really starting to worry about the women in your life, frankly. Do you have a daughter? Would you blame HER if her husband started to hit her? Don't answer that-- it'll just depress me too much.

Brian said...

I'm not one to advocate sarcasm when responding to serious issues. I think this was a wonderful artical worth considering. I can't help but wonder about fraternaties and sororities at US colleges. It seems so natural for men and women to want to differentiate and times rather than fill the same social mold. I seriously doubt that the members of the golf club were advocating (knowingly or not) violence against women. Certainly you would have to be an idiot to pick such a grossly inappropriate fountain... But a lot of men know that comments about "angry feminists" really tick off most women, and that was probably the primary objective. I'm guessing they were trying to have some fun, but when you encounter somebody that attacks you verbally (as the case probably was), a pretty natural reaction is to get defensive and tell the people to lighten up. In this case it probably went to the tune of "Jeez you feminazi... take your PMS pills."

Stupid? Yes. Warranted? Probably.

Again, I really do think this is a good article, and by a man know less. So, with any luck, the fact that it's by a man will purchase some validity for the more stubborn males of this generation. Still, I have a bone to pick with you Tobes.

"And comparing women to cars... not that helpful in your argument."

This is ridiculous. While I think zzz's arguement may be like comparing apples and oranges, he certainly wasn't comparing women to cars. I like your articles, but I (and probably everybody else) can definitely tell when you're writing angry, because it ends up being really silly or hypocritical. Just stick to the basics, because at this point I don't even read your dumbass responses 90% of the time.

That being said, keep up the good work on the blog. Your main posts really are worth reading.

Tobes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian said...

"But I would except nothing less from someone who uses adages "Jeez you feminazi... take your PMS pills.""

Um, maybe you misinterpretted what I said. The article you posted stated there was feminist slurs thrown by the golf club members... I was merely speculating on what they probably were.

But once again, you take a comment and interpret it poorly. So I'm not surprised. Good day.

Tobes said...

I responded in this particular post angrily because I have been having the same conversation over and over and over again with this man. He has nothing to add to the conversation and what he does add is truly offensive to women.

PS: I reserve the right to blog angrily. It's hard not to do when writing about violence against women. It doesn't make me PMS'ie or anything else. It means I'm passionate. Don't get your knickers in a twist.

zZz said...

Tobes you and I live in different worlds. I assume that there are bad people in this world and I assume that they don't hold the same values as I do. I know there are people who would do harm to me for their own short term gain.

I take steps to prevent this as we all do. We lock our doors and we don't let our kids stay out too late. I believe in personal responsibilty. This doesn't mean that I blame the victim for the crime. What it means is that the person who engages in risky behavior must understand that the risk is that something bad may happen.

It would be nice if we could control criminals, but we can't. There are criminals out there and they WILL do you harm if you let them. They can even do you harm when you have taken every reasonable precaution. The difference is the rate of occurance. If you do everything that you can to prevent bad things then LESS BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU. That is the sum total of what I am saying.

You are saying that we should be free to engage in any activity that we want free from the hazards of society. A noble goal but it does not reflect todays reality.

It is all about risk. If a woman wants to get passing out drunk at a Hells' Angels party then she is facing a higher risk of bad stuff happening than if she had dinner out with friends. Saying that does not mean I am blaming the woman for the bad stuff. I am merely saying she engaged in risky behavior. If you want to reduce the occurance of the bad stuff then avoid the risky behavior associated with it. Crossing the street has risk, crossing the street at the light when the cars are stopped at the light is less risky. This is common sense.

I have to remind you that it was _you_ who demanded that _I_ "prove it" not the other way around. You cited books and studies yet don't give the titles or the links. You make entire posts out of cited statistics but when asked to give the links to this you balk?

As far as a solution I think we are doing fairly well as it is. The problem is much worse in other countries. The punishments for killing someone is fairly high yet women still get killed. As I said before some people are bad and even knowing full well they will spend the rest of their life in jail they
still commit crimes that risk it. I also don't believe that I have the answer. What I am willing to accept though is a program that has measurable results for dollars spent. I have said this before and you might have missed it. I will even accept your ideas in toto if they can be shown to work with a reasonable return on investment. I suggest that several different methods be tried in different parts of the country. Even better take a look at programs already in place and pick the one with the best return on investment.

I guess we are at the end of this conversation as you are now twisting what I say and calling me names.

I did not write "Jeez you feminazi... take your PMS pills." and resent your implication that I did.

Though it is a good strategy to get rid me. I bet you don't post those links I asked for. :)

Tobes said...

Zzz- I wrote that in response to a man named Brian. Who used that as an example of what golf club members would say to women who got angry about the vodka sculpture. He also miscontrued what I said and assumed I attributed it to him. I did not. I knew he was talking about the golfers reaction. However, the mere fact that he can come up with these statements is a little sugestive. He agrees that it is stupid but believes it warranted. I find that offensive. To stoop to calling women PMS-ie and femi-nazi shows true colors if I ever heard them. Even if Brian said them not in reference to me, it's still obvious he can come up with those thoughts on demand and EVEN finds them warranted.

Believe it or not I did post several websites linking to some amazing projects. If you want I will give you facts from these sites but I cannot post them in full. See I got a comment from someone who warned me that you were seeking my identity. Given other threats I have received I must go with my gut and not post websites that will lead people to my identity. If it really bothers you, set up an email account. I will send you detailed summaries of projects I am involved in but will edit out names of people.

I would be happy to do so just as I am happy to always include links to what I site. They are in every post.

You need to read more carefully before you take my words out of context, sir. This goes for Brian as well

Midge said...

"It is all about risk. If a woman wants to get passing out drunk at a Hells' Angels party then she is facing a higher risk of bad stuff happening than if she had dinner out with friends. Saying that does not mean I am blaming the woman for the bad stuff. I am merely saying she engaged in risky behavior. If you want to reduce the occurance of the bad stuff then avoid the risky behavior associated with it. Crossing the street has risk, crossing the street at the light when the cars are stopped at the light is less risky. This is common sense."

But crossing the street at the crosswalk does not involve giving up your civil liberties. If I want to go pass out drunk at a Hell's Angel party-- or anywhere else, for that matter-- I should be allowed to do so without having to worry about being molested, raped, or murdered.

Women should be allowed to walk out their front doors in the middle of the night to run to the store for coffee creamer. We should all feel safe while we're jogging, we should all be allowed to fall asleep in our apartments with the window open in July without worrying that a rapist is going to climb in.

You want women to start engaging in less risky behavior in order to curb rapes? Fine, done. There is more activism about encouraging women to make smart social desicions then there ever has been-- the movement to watch our drinks, take our purses to the bathroom with us, travel in packs, carry Mace, have a cell phone, make sure someone else knows our plans. This is the rhetoric that has been grilled into our brains ever since high school-- and guess what-- it's NOT WORKING.

There has got to be another way to tackle this problem, and having the view of 'don't you dare spend my money on it unless you have proven results' is NOT what a Congressman/woman is going to accept and act on.

Probably, you assume that crime could never happen to you because you're too smart, too guarded, too wise. You hope that you've trained your children the same way, your wife, your elderly mother... but women are accosted every day, even when they take all the precautions that they could.

You are a man. What needs to be said/done to men to get them to stop hurting women?

Brian said...

"He also miscontrued what I said and assumed I attributed it to him."

Obviously not too crazy of me, considering you decided to alter your comments' order to make it seem less confusing. In fact, you got rid of that portion of the comment altogether.

"However, the mere fact that he can come up with these statements is a little sugestive."

Feminazi? PMS? Certainly not terms I invented. And I can confidently say it doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with the terms at will. I'm also pretty sure that you are the only one who said "PMSie". Check the comment if you wish.

"Even if Brian said them not in reference to me, it's still obvious he can come up with those thoughts on demand and EVEN finds them warranted."

Sometimes it is warranted to call somebody an idiot if they are being an idiot. If you were to rage into a room full of guys smoking cigars and demand that they destroy their naked lady fountain, I'm just about positive they would call you a feminazi... and you'd probably deserve it. You see, the point in that situation would be to offend you. So calling it offensive wouldn't be totally out of line.

"You need to read more carefully before you take my words out of context, sir. This goes for Brian as well"

Yeah. Well... I think you're more guilty than anybody here. Seriously, don't bother responding to this, as I won't be back. I can see my opinions are of no value here. Anyway, it's just a flameparty.

Tobes said...

Thank you Midge. That is putting it perfectly!

Let's turn the tables and make some of these men come up with solutions... Answers which put all the responsibility back on women are NOT allowed.

neither is saying "criminals are out there" I refuse to accept that certain men will hurt me and it just my job to act correctly to prevent it.

By that logic, if I'm raped. I MUST have done something wrong.

Anonymous said...

"You are a man. What needs to be said/done to men to get them to stop hurting women?" -MIDGE. This should be asked to somebody who actually hurts women.

Tobes said...

Wrong. this should be asked of EVERYONE

Anonymous said...

"Wrong. this should be asked of EVERYONE" -Tobes. Why? The reason I don't hurt women is because I don't want to. Does that help?

Anonymous said...

"Wrong. this should be asked of EVERYONE" -Tobes. Why? The reason I don't hurt women is because I don't want to. Does that help?

zZz said...

Sorry Tobes about the feminazi thing I took so long on that post that other posts popped up in between and I didn't realize and misread it.

But I am glad to see that you are taking my advice. The whole "you won't post the link because I could track you down from it" thing is exactly what I am talking about. I was shocked at first when I read that, and then angry you would imply something like that. But after thinking about it, it is certainly prudent behavior on your part. You are assuming that I could do you harm and taking steps to avoid it! Contrary to your "I refuse to accept that certain men will hurt me" requirement for discourse, you actually do practice what I am preaching. My work here is done.

Tobes said...

Hahah. How full circle we have come. So seriously. If you want to give me email, even a fake one you set up. zzz@yahoo.com whatever

I will send you info. I want you to know that there really are great options out there for ending D.V. ---options that won't waste those tax dollars you guard so much :P

Sarah said...

A while back Tobes posted about Dru Sjodin, the UND student who was murdered a few years ago. She was walking in broad day light to her car in a parking lot after work. Am I supposed to no longer walk by myself from my work place to my car? This would seem like what you are trying to say, since Dru obviously put herself in danger by being a woman and outside. How silly of her, or me, to believe we should be able to walk to our cars after work and be able to get in to them and go home safely.

There was an article in Cosmo believe it or not a few months ago about the issue of rape and how regardless of how careful women are of their surroundings, it could still happen any time, any place. The article discussed the use of cell phones and how sometimes, no amount of protection works, for whatever reasons, and cell phones were ineffective as a tool to help women protect themselves.

So, instead of just having a cell phone handy, should all women have to carry cell phones with them in their hands and have 911 ready to be called in case they are attacked, any time, any where? Is this what women should have to do in order to make themselves 'safer'? I for one think women should expect to be able to walk across a parking lot safely without having to have my phone out and ready to dial because it is our right to do so.

As Midge mentioned, there are all sorts of things women are taught nowadays to make them feel safer, such as carrying Mace, cell phones, etc. On the other hand, Dru Sjodin had her cell phone with her and look how that turned out.

Midge said...

Anonymous: that's awesome that you don't hurt women because you don't want to. Even that is a helpful answer because it implies that there is a need being filled when men abuse, and you do not have that need. Any answer we can get to the source of the problem will help.

Now, can you tell me WHY you don't feel like hurting women?

Anonymous said...

@midge: The same reason I don't feel like hurting my dog... or my brother... or any other living thing. My girlfriend is a hell of a lot more violent than me. You're talking into a cave with questions like "How do we get men to stop hurting women?" What you need to be asking is "How do we get psychos to stop hurting people?"

Midge said...

ZZZ- as if the entire reason for you coming on to this site in the beginning was so that you could educate us on how to be safer. Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

@midge: I'm not ZZZ. But what a great way of deviating from the issue at hand.

Midge said...

Anonymous: I'm not deviating, I was responding to him.

The reason we can't just go ask 'psychos' to stop hurting people is that the profile for a wife-beater or rapist is not always that they are psychotic. And as far as I know, in the case of an actual psychotic person, you don't always know they're psychotic until they act on a psychotic urge.

In the meantime, it is incredibly important to ask 'normal' men what their urges are when it comes to being violent, because that's the only way to make a start at changing things.