MRA Comments on ‘Violent Women’ article – Sunday Mail

MRA Comments on the “Violent Women” article, Sunday Mail (Brisbane)28 March 1999

It isinteresting to note the “minimisation techniques used by Ian MacDonald of Relationships Australia (Queensland), Meeta Iyer of the DVRC and “Peter” from the Men’s DV Telephone line.

MacDonald, I would venture to suggest, exhibits, by the use of certainwords, a typical attitude, similar to his associate, Dawson Ruhl, also with Relationships Australia (Western Australia), who said at the Canberra Men’s Relationship Conference (June 1998): “Don’t worry – I’ve taken care of all three [men who are victims]!”

He indicates by his words – “because he hasn’t defended himself and he hasn’t behaved ‘like a man'” – that he expects the masculine response to be aggressive and exhibiting violence. Now that is utter nonsense. I would suggest exactly the opposite could be expected from MOST men – they will not retaliate or protect themselves for fear of hurting the woman and upsetting their children if they are present. Typically,* it is only at the extreme limit of their endurance that they might lash out, and it is usually spontaneous, unlike the planned, cold-blooded assaults that often result in death when a women attacks a man, as he sleeps or when his back is turned. We are expected to excuse these killings if a woman says she is a victim of domestic violence. (* I am not talking about the few who have a pathological problem.)

But what happened to the “no excuse for domestic violence” doctrine promoted by the women’s DV lobbyists? A severe case of ‘double-standards’ I fear.

Men have been taught throughout their life, “never hit a woman”.

That’s how most men have been raised though I do detect some changes in attitude, particularly younger men, under thirty, who have been raised in single parent, mostly female headed households and taught at school and in the media that boys and men are somehow inherently dysfunctional. They seem to be at a loss as to how to handle their masculinity and their strength, not realising, as Dr Malcolm George (UK) puts it, “while being male may give the power to be strong, it can also give the strength to be gentle” [Journal of Men’s Studies Vol 5, No 4 May 1997 pp 295-313].

Their confusion is understandable; having been subject to years of male denigration they are being raised with the expectation that they will be violent. Little wonder then when they live up to the characterisations and judgement society has already handed down for them.

The above commentary is by way of background to part of the problem.

MRA has serious doubts that the Australian Federal Government money, allocated after the Canberra Men’s Forum 1998, will be put to good use and for the benefit of men. This is particularly so when it is delivered into the hands of organisations like Relationships Australia, whose attitude towards men is publicly based on an extremely pro-feminist ideology that portrays men as little more than perpetrators of violence.

Research readily supports the fact women do commit violence within the family, but advocacy groups, of various persuasion, (feminist, counselling, legal, etc) seek to tell society that there is no problem

other than ……all men are violent and women are the long suffering victims.

Unfortunately, much research into domestic violence (like the Australian Bureau of Statistics Women’s Safety Survey 1996) only questions women, ignoring men and their experiences completely. Not surprisingly, this type of self serving research concludes that only women experience such abuse and violence.

Recent studies undertaken by Dr S. Sarantakos, Charles Sturt University considered the problem of husband abuse and whether women commit violence as an act of self-defence or not. The research confirms the existence of husband abuse and casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of violence perpetrated by women under the guise of self-defence.

(The papers can be viewed by clicking on the headings below.)

Husband Abuse – Fact or Fiction

Husband Abuse as Self Defence

It is not unexpected that men only minimally report family violence to groups such as Relationship Australia and the DVRC who obviously, by their public pronouncements, don’t want to see or admit that men have a problem and that some women are violent. In this regard, it is telling that the rate of reporting to the Men’s Domestic Violence Telephone Counselling Service is 20% – and even this rate of reporting is probably inhibited by their stereotypical blaming of men and efforts to minimise women’s violence.

Sue Price
Men’s Rights Agency