Tuesday, September 05, 2006

DV on Men, tasteless feminists, why there's less sexual harrassment and Punch is a puppet, for goodness sakes!

MediaRADAR is serializing the chapter on domestic violence from Warren Farrel's book "Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say". In this chapter, he writes "When he fails to leave, it is not called 'Battered Man Syndrome'; it is called comedy". To me, this is the crux of it, we think that a woman beating a man is funny - kick him in the balls, knock him flat with a frying pan, or, more likely in today's Hollywood, go for an all-out frontal karate attack with spinning kicks and punches, and this is supposed to amuse us. Good God, it actually does amuse us if movie theatre audiences are anything to go by. We haven't grown out of the Skimmington, we've extended and refined it.

The reality is that the physical damage is usually something less significant than the humiliation. And the humiliation isn't even public. To the man sitting at work the morning after, nursing one bruise or another, it isn't the pain that hurts most, it's the memory of the attack. The confusion. The lack of a framework in which to identify a solution. It isn't even that he couldn't fight back, it is the knowledge that it didn't even occur to him. It wasn't cowardice, he doesn't think, it was the knowledge that he had to put up with it, let it play out, and lick his wounds later. It's the guilt, formless and sourceless, because he doesn't know if he did something to deserve it. Probably, he thinks he did, perhaps he thinks the punishment was excessive, but who is he to argue (that'll just make it worse)? Besides, everywhere he looks, it's men that get punished, not women, it's men that are the acceptable targets of casual violence, day in day out, all over the place.

Probably, he knows there isn't a solution, he just has to endure it. Leave? And what about the kids? He's already been told she'll make sure he never sees them again if he doesn't get his act together, whatever that was supposed to mean, and he knows enough of what goes on in family courts to know she'd probably be allowed to do that. Not to mention the financial cleaning out. Best just to let it slide, endure it, cluck over her poor bruised fist she complained about this morning and not say anything about the knuckle-shaped welts on his ribs. Most people he knew, if they knew what was going through his head, would just think he was whining anyway. He got himself into this mess, he's got to be a man and if not control it then survive it.

It isn't the fucking embarrassment, that can usually be avoided, it's the presumption of guilt and lack of any options.


To change the direction a little, but still to remain on the topic of attitudes towards men suffering injury and, in this case, death - I see that the Guardian (UK) is fully participating in the game of alienating the Australian public from their stuck up British cousins by nailing one of their most famous sons the day after he's killed. Yes, who else but Germaine Greer would show sufficient lack of taste to not only speak extensively ill of the dead Steve Irwin, but also demonstrate once again that the British care more for animals than people. Only an idiot would be unable to see the inevitable irony that Irwin would sooner or later suffer something unpleasant if not tragic in the course of his undoubtedly risky adventures, but that didn't stop us watching and enjoying his shows even if we did cluck over the foolishness of it all. But to have the appalling bad taste to crow over the man's death could only come from a whinging pom feminist(*). Doubtless she thinks this is just more of her own proud notoriety. Someone please show her the door. (Actually, come to think of it, let her keep it up, dig that hole Ger!)

(*) Yes, I know she's an Aussie, but her tripe was published in a British rag and she lives in the UK now and I wouldn't blame Australia for disowning her and revoking her passport.

And to another perhaps comparitively trivial item, in California, one Wendy Bliss thinks that the decrease in sexual harrassment claims between 1997 and 2005 is a result of the increase in sexual harrassment training. Of course, the same item reports that average damages awards have risen from US$141,000 in 1994 to US$1 million now, so I can think of at least two more factors to account for the decline in the number of claims - 1) companies are now terrified and much more likely to fire the man, who can't fight back, at the slightest hint of an accusation (or even just voicing politically incorrect thought) and 2) lawyers will prefer the clear cut cases that a jury is likely to award the bigger chunk of cash.

Finally, today's entry in the silly science stakes comes from the ever reliable BBC who want us to believe that Mr Punch of Punch & Judy fame is always in a bad mood and beating people up because he has a medical condition called acromegaly. Would someone please tell Auntie Beeb that Punch is a goddamned puppet?

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Hutch said...

The first thing that comes to mind when I read the first paragraph of your post is that men who are being asked to leave by an abusive (female) partner know that they will be financially ass-raped by the woman, where when a man asks the woman to leave, she may be like: "uh, sure, do want to start cutting me support cheques now, or should we sort it out in court?"

It is speaks very highly of men iin general that there is not an enormous ammout of domestic violence aimed at women, with the legislative, judicial stte of affairs in western countries. Of course acts of physical violence should be reserved for politicians, legislators, judges, etc..

Anonymous said...

Please don't hold the whole UK responsible for the poisonous ravings of Germaine Greer. Her shite gets published all over the world, (although the editor of the Guardian seems to love her, to be sure). If I had my way, I'd deport the hag back to where she belongs. Not that I would wish her on anyone. The Australians ought to pay us for putting up with her.

John Doe said...

Hutch: I'm sure many men in the throes of a divorce are very, very aware that if they do go postal things will get very, very much worse. Women, on the other hand, appear almost expected to go bananas and we're supposed to be grateful to them if they don't.

Anonymous: I adopt a non-partisan approach to judging obnoxious behavior. I note only that Australia in general already thinks pretty poorly of its motherland without a national newspaper publishing Greer's drivel.

Anonymous said...


At what point will the economic, social and moral choice change from divorce as your best option, to Murder as your best option ( that is for men, women already have a nasty habit of killing their husbands )

I certainly dont promote killing your spouse, but the law has pushed men over backwards so far, when is the cost benefit analysis gonna come up bullets over legal proceedings?