Let’s Play Name the Perpetrator!

7 Oct

The following list is from http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/.  I am posting this list to point out a magicians trick, a slight of hand that plays out every day in patriarchy-land. It’s a game called– Never name the male perpetrator–and it’s playing near you!  Critics call it  a mind numbing brigade of  benign abstract terms to distract you from what is behind the curtain, which just happens to be the truth!

HOWEVER, because today is NO BULLSHIT day, we are going to play a different game called;  Name the perpetrator!

Instead of saying this:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.  

Say this:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a man assaults or beats a woman.

Instead of saying this:

  • Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.

Say this:

  • Around the world, men beat & coerce into sex and otherwise abuse one in every three women during in her lifetime, most often, the male abuser is a member of her own family.

Instead of saying this:

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

Say this:

  • Male  domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings and Male rapes combined.

Instead of saying this:

  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

Say this:

  • Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of male domestic violence annually.

This one’s OK:  

  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.

This one’s OK:

  • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

Instead of saying this:

  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.

Say this:

  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing male domestic violence and male sexual assault as their top concern.

Instead of saying this:

  • Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

Say this:

  • Male domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

Instead of saying this:

  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.

Say this:

  • Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their male partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters or the police for help.

Instead of saying this:

  • The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

Say this:

  • The cost of male  intimate partner violence in the US along exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.

This is OK:

  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

The term “Domestic violence” completely denies the existence of the person who is doing the violence and makes it sound like women are getting beaten by their laundry detergent.  Instead of calling it “Domestic violence” , we should call it “Male domestic violence.”  Further, terms like “The war on women”, “Violence against women” and so on, act like smoke screens to hide what is really going on. They talk about the female victims and not the males who victimize them. They make it seem like some abstract phenomenon is killing women;  “Domestic, “the war” or “violence” hangs there detached without even a hint or suggestion that there is an arm attached to a hand that is attached to a hammer that is attached to a man that is systematically bludgeoning women.

We do this because of the false, misguided and utterly ironic idea that we need men to help us fight against the “war on women” and “violence against women”. We do this because we presume that if we never actually point the finger of blame at men for their “war on women” and their “violence against women” they will then join us in our fight against these mysterious female maladies. We don’t name the male perpetrator because we believe that if we do, we will alienate men and without men, we can’t win the fight. This of course is another patriarchal slight of hand, a lie and complete mumbo jumbo.  Continuing the denial in order to spare male feelings in an attempt to recruit them into the cause, has only harmed the cause by making it a female problem, instead of a male violence problem. This is the irony. If men continue their denial, and if we continue to walk on eggshells around the truth, this in and of itself thwarts attempts to solve it.  If we have to propagate a lie to get men to help, this is a problem in itself, because if men aren’t able to admit that it is a male problem and not just a female problem, then they continue to be the problem.

  • We can’t fix the problem by denying the problem.
  • We can’t fix the problem with the problem.

 

Michele Braa-Heidner

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17 Responses to “Let’s Play Name the Perpetrator!”

  1. Hecuba October 7, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    This is precisely what I have been saying/writing for years now. Naming the agent is essential if we are to challenge men’s individual and institutional power over all women and girls.

    Men and their Male Supremacist System do everything in their power (which is immense) to hide/deny fact it is males who are the ones subjecting women and girls to male violence in all its forms.

    Who are the agents committing violence against women? Is it Martians or is it ‘gender’ because Male Supremacy has now created a new euphemistic term which is ‘gender violence’ ah so it is ‘gender’ is it which is subjecting women and girls to violence! Or is it ‘gender’ which commits violence against men and boys?

    Notice too in men’s malestream media and popular culture that whenever women and girls are reported as having committed a crime naming sex of female perpetrator/criminal is always in the headlines. But whenever males commit violence against women and girls the sex of male perpetrator(s) is missing because men are default human species so no need to highlight sex of male perpetrators. Instead words people/persons are used to hide sex of male perpetrator(s).

    Julia Penelope a Radical Feminist names such hiding as Patriarchal Universal Language and in her book Speaking Freely: Unlearning The Lies of The Fathers’ Tongues she provides analysis of how men’s claims to ‘truth’s are nothing more than men’s lies and men’s propaganda.

    Unless we name sex of perpetrators who commit violence against women and girls nothing changes and men know this which is why naming sex of male perpetrators must never happen – but Male Supremacy forgets Radical Feminists have always named of sex of perpetrators and that is why we Radical Feminists are demonised. Telling the truth means we Radical Feminists will not be awarded men’s worthless ‘cookies’ but that was never our intention.

    • mbraaheidner October 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      Thank you Hecuba for your comment. I agree totally. I will check out Julia Penelope’s book.

  2. forestgreenfeminism October 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I really like this! But I’m also thinking that rape is a form of male violence. And this seems a bit confusing: “Male violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.” What about using ‘male partner violence’ for what gets blandly called domestic violence, and using ‘male sexual violence’ (as you do) for rape? Anyway, thank you for this!

    • mbraaheidner October 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      I agree with you forest about rape being male violence. I had to stick to the actual script that was at the “domestic violence” website in order to bring integrity to my post and to my point. Thank you for reading and your comment.

    • mbraaheidner October 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

      Forest, I revised my post to stave away any confusion. Thank you for your feedback, it really helped me to clarify my post. 🙂

      • forestgreenfeminism October 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

        Hey, you’re welcome, and you’re brilliant to boot! Thank you!

  3. Fermina October 8, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Thanks – Enjoyed this article, can I set it up so I get an update sent in an email every time you write a new post?

  4. Damien October 11, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    If the statistics are based on data that does not take gender of perpetrators into consideration and it includes data on women who beat other women it would be scientifically inaccurate to be gender specific when making statements based on such data. Were studies to be done which looked specifically at male perpetrated crime it would then be ok to use the phrases male and men. And I’m sure that is the case here.

    • Damien October 11, 2012 at 1:57 am #

      A good example of this is this statement

      “The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.”

      This no doubt also includes partner violence from women to men, men to men and women to women. It would be best to see the actual scientific data first before making a statement on the validity of its accuracy.

      • mbraaheidner October 11, 2012 at 3:56 am #

        Oh and btw, I wasn’t making statement’s about the statistics accuracies, I was pointing out that we never blame men for their violence! And your response, is exactly the reason why.

    • mbraaheidner October 11, 2012 at 3:50 am #

      Actually all of the statistics at the “Domestic Violence Statistics” website are talking about men violating women 99% of the time. The statistics are about men violating women, not women violating women or women violating men. Your response to my post is actually the exact mentality I talked about in my post. If we tell the truth and talk about men and their violence, people like you will pipe in explaining that women beat up women and women beat up men, watering down male violence. So Damien, you are dead wrong.

  5. Megan October 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Although domestic violence is majority male-dominated, it is not entirely. To say that “domestic violence” should instead *always* include the “male” preface is erroneous, and completely erases domestic violence from female and trans* populations.
    Sincerely, a female who has been the victim of male AND female domestic violence

    • mbraaheidner October 14, 2012 at 5:24 am #

      @Megan, you’ve missed the point of my post.

      • Megan October 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

        I honestly don’t doubt that!

  6. karmarad October 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Thanks for the discussion, Megan.

    Just wanted to point out that when MRMs talk about how men are raped too, they quickly turn to the infinetisimal stats regarding women who are convicted of rape, and studiously ignore the fact that men are overwhelmingly also the rapists of men.

    • karmarad October 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      Oops, that should be “infinitesimal”.

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