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"There are as many violent women as men, but there's a lot of money in hating men..."
--Erin Pizzey, founder of the first modern battered women's shelter.
Right now, a great deal of media time and personal discussion time is being spent on the Chris Brown beating of Rihanna.
Female victims of domestic violence are coming out of the woodworks, using this case as an example of why domestic violence must be attacked and ended.
There is no sane person anywhere who can disagree with such a mission. Domestic violence harms everyone, including those who witness it.
This is the exact reason why we must stop viewing domestic violence as a male only arena.
No human-male or female-should have to withstand violent attacks. But since the tide of violence is turning, so should our discussions.
The obfuscated fact is that women can and in many cases are just as violent if not more violent than men.
Case in point: John and Renee had been dating since high school and finally married at age thirty. Their relationship had been volatile from the start, with Renee often punching John and/or destroying his property. When John decided to file for divorce after ten years, Renee poured hot oil on him while he was asleep in bed.
John suffered third degree burns over his face and chest areas. When the police came to his hospital bed to take a report, the two male officers were as much into grilling him about their assumption of his abuse of Renee as much as taking his statement.
The reality is that we are programmed to believe in the roles of men as abusers and women as victims, even when evidence to the contrary is staring us right in the face.
Honestly, how many of us know women who have burned possessions, stalked and beat the other woman, or who beat the actual woman/wife when they were the other woman?
How many of us watched an audience cheer when Angela Basset burned her husband's car in Waiting To Exhale?
Would those same audiences have cheered if Michael Beach had been the one burning the family car?
Of course not.
And the reason, frankly, is that we have been taught to view violence in terms of men as sole perpetrators and women as sole victims. When we see violence from a woman, we assume that the man deserved it and that, in some way, she is still a victim.
Our response to a woman's claim of abuse is emotional and visceral, which is appropriate if the woman has actually been abused, but inappropriate if there has been no abuse at all, or worse, if the woman was the actual perpetrator of violence.
In fact, we are so married to the idea that women can only be victims, that when one suggests otherwise, there is an overwhelming negative reaction.
According to Erin Pizzey, founder of the first modern battered women's shelter in the world, located in Chiswick, England, "there are as many violent women as men, but there's a lot of money in hating men, particularly in the United States--millions of dollars. It isn't a politically good idea to threaten the huge budgets for women's refuges by saying that some of the women who go into them aren't total victims."
We can find plenty of evidence that women can be violent and the rising incarceration rate of women tells the true tale.
The most rapidly increasing segment of the prison population is female offenders. While overall crime rates are decreasing, female crime rates as a percentage of the total are rapidly increasing. Yet the courts, the police and the media are all skewed to the protection of female victims of domestic violence. Even when the police are called by men, the male callers themselves are ones who will more than likely be taken away, unless they are bleeding profusely and there is still a smoking gun.Â
While violent crimes against females is a serious matter, we can not overlook the fact that sometimes, the perpetrators of violence are female. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, when dealing with nonreciprocal violence, the perpetrator is more often female than male.
Daniel Whitaker, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and team leader at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC, reports that twenty-four per cent of the relationships in the test group had been violent, which "demonstrates the magnitude of interpersonal violence as a health and social problem."
And, of that twenty-four per cent, half of the violence was nonreciprocal, which means that someone was thrown a beatdown without retaliating. The surprising part was that fifty-three per cent of the men had been involved in nonreciprocal violence while only forty-nine per cent of the women had been abused without fighting back. When it came to mutual abuse, fifty-two per cent of the women engaged, while only forty-seven per cent of the men took part in reciprocal violence.
To be clear, when it came to the actual delivery--the perpetration of violence--women were in the lead. In cases where only one person was violent, seventy-one per cent of the instigators were women.
In cases where actual physical injury occurred, the violence was mostly reciprocal. Physical injury was also more likely to occur when men were being violent. However, when the violence was mutual, the men were injured twenty-five per cent of time, while the women were injured twenty per cent of the time.
According to Dr. Whitaker, "this is important, as violence perpetrated by women is often seen as not serious."
Now, of course you know I'm not going to leave out our good friends, the feminists.
Feminist propaganda dictates that we believe that only men commit domestic violence. And, that propaganda claims that men perpetrate violence in order to gain or maintain power and control over women. But reality proves that the men who perpetrate violence against women are anything but powerful before or after the offense.
Next week, we'll take a look at some of the feminist propaganda that has given way to the masculinization of women which laid the foundation for increased violence from women and a decrease in men's interest in marriage.
Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology "Notes From The Edge." He released his first mini-movie, "Crack," and will soon release his first full-length documentary. View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at