Maggie Gallagher opines that "battering is largely a male perogative, the way a tiny fraction of evil men seek to control the women they sleep with"
Washington Times December 12, 1999, p. B5 Edward E. Bartlett
("His and her abuse readjustment" Dec. 3, 1999). This statement is a riveting example of selective perception, how strongly-held preconceptions keep people from noticing the obvious.
When researchers crank out study after study showing female complicity in domestic violence, they hit a wall of collective amnesia. Consider these examples: Remember when the wife of TV star Phil Hartman murdered him and then turned the gun on herself? Everyone was sympathetic to Mrs. Hartman’s fate, but no one commented on the problem of husbands as victims of domestic violence.
When you watch the Jerry Springer show, have you noticed that it is the woman who usually initiates the attack on her boyfriend? Have you seen the Norelco commercial being shown on NFL football games this fall? It portrays a jealous girl who forcibly bashes her boyfriend over the head. Does it amaze you these antics are being used to sell men’s shavers?
If you have gone shopping for a greeting card lately you might have seen the card depicting a woman on the cover saying, "Men are always whining about how we are suffocating them." Open inside to read the punch line: "Personally, I think if you can hear them whining, you’re not pressing hard enough on the pillow."
Looking for a book as a holiday gift? Go to your local bookstore and ask for the SCUM Manifesto, by Valerie Solanas. The anti-male invective in this, and many other feminist books is too shocking to repeat in a family newspaper.
Did you see the recent movie, Adventure Alaska? Remember the scene when the woman clobbers a man with a snow shovel? Did it occur to you this was an assault? When you were dating, were you ever involved in a face-slapping incident? Be honest: Who slapped first, the man or the woman?
Perhaps you are thinking, "Yes, but these are just anecdotes. What does the research say?"
Martin Fiebert is a psychologist at California State University who specializes in domestic violence research. He has compiled a listing of 95 scholarly investigations, 79 empirical studies and 16 reviews and/or analyses of partner assault (www.vix.com/menmag/fiebert.htm).
His conclusion? Women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.
The research is so compelling that even women’s advocates have come to acknowledge the obvious. Writing in the 1994 issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly, two feminists concluded, "Strong support appears evident in studies reporting women to be as aggressive, if not more so, than men in intimate relationships."
And a forthcoming article in Psychological Bulletin will report that men compose one-third of persons who require medical attention as a result of domestic violence.
It’s a painful truth, but needs telling. When it comes to initiating domestic violence, women are the full equals of men.