Hero to Zero
A response to
GLA Proposals for a London Domestic Violence Strategy
"Addressing the crime of domestic violence: Developing a strategy for London"
"Proposals for Consultation on the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Strategy"
Suite 367, 2 Lansdowne Row, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1X.8HL
Email:Head.Office@mankind.co.uk v1 Fax: 0207-493-4935
Introduction a - b
Summaryi - iii
Response1 - 16
Appendix 17 - 28
Appendix list (approx.)
my funny valentine Feb 6th 2000
ManKind welcomes any initiative that reduces crime and enhances the quality of life for everyone.
ManKind, as a men’s and fathers civil rights charity supports any measure that will reduce the levels of crime and the resulting tensions on our streets. It operates to promote equality and safeguard the human rights of both women and men regardless of colour, creed of religion.
ManKind is increasingly active in meetings with Whitehall departments and in the regions where it is playing an increasingly pivotal role in domestic violence forums and men’s health expenditure by health authorities – particularly cancer.
But ManKind sometimes has difficulties in resolving central and local government policy objective, when it is clear they will adversely impact on one community. Too frequently the policy makers listen to only one voice, when two or more voices should be heard.
Sadly, the last 30 years has seen a landscape littered with failed and stalled social policies. The common denominator found in all these fiascos has been an absence of input from 50% of the population, ie men.
Women’s groups are invariably listened to and given audience but they do not have all the answers and the certainly do not have answers that translate into polices that actually work at street level. But Mankind can enhance that endeavour.
In cost-effective terms the GLA cannot afford to mis-spend ratepayers taxes. In simple self-preservation electoral terms, the GLA cannot afford to be blind or deaf.
London’s restored Mayor, Ken Livingstone, said on March 8th 2001 at the launch of 'Addressing the crime of domestic violence: Developing a strategy for London' that he was setting out a visionary strategy. He detailed how his domestic violence strategy would addressed and achieve London’s needs.
The three key areas were; 1. increasing safe choices for women and children, 2. holding abusers responsible for their behaviour undermining tolerance of domestic violence and 3. educating young people on alternatives to domestic violence
A fourth but unmentioned area is men. Young men, old men, middle aged men, all risk far greater incidences of physical assault than women or dependant children. They have no safe choices. They never have their abusers held to account. And any education for women abusers isn’t contemplated.
Eyes Wide Shut, the strategy blunders past the larger problem faced.
We all agree in believing that perpetrators should be held accountable and that domestic violence should be treated as a criminal activity but at the same time we all recognise the cipher, in that this is intended only to apply to male perpetrators.
Equally the Mayor's 8-point proposal is most laudable but the skewing towards preferential treatment for one sex is painfully obvious.
Where we do categorically disagree with the document is in the area of statistics. It would be interesting to test the source that indicates domestic violence accounts for a quarter of all violent crime reported to the police and results in around 30 murders each year in London alone. ManKind has its own analysis, which may prove very illuminating.
However, those figures quoted as originating with Betsy Stanko and Liz Kelly are more ideologically driven than factual. Later in the text we will demonstrate why figures from value-laden academics cannot be taken at face value.
Mankindis a men’s and fathers civil rights charity. We have some experience of dealing with domestic violence forums and of the women (and the few men) who usually staff these reference groups.
At a meeting of the Met Police domestic violence forum we discovered that all the women there (there were no other male delegates) though frantically citing reports in support of doing more had, in reality, never read them. No doubt these genre of women will again be highly visible in this London-wide proposal to curb domestic violence.
HOS 191 and every other longitudinal study show women initiating violence more often than men. In addition women far from being traumatised by domestic violence are actually more able to cope with the psychological pressures than men.
This will inevitably result, if the Home Office guidelines are strictly interpreted and enforced, in far more women being convicted of domestic violence than men for physical assault.
And if the guidelines are strictly interpreted and enforced with regard the Home Office’s new definition of domestic violence, ie emotional manipulation, financial and psychological intimidation, then 90% of all adult women will be under threat of imprisonment.
Domestic violence, far from going down, will go up. Domestic violence will be overshadowed by a steady increase in murders.
Injuries sustained in domestic violence incidents will become more severe as the punitive nature of GLA policies unfold. All the good work and steady progress will be undone. For example, the National Family Violence Survey (US) found that " ….. compared with 1975 … severe violence against wives had in 1992 decreased by 48% but violence against husbands (by wives) had decreased only 2%. Although overall violence (including minor violence like shoving or slapping) against women decreased, overall violence against men increased." (Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say, page 142).
This building on shaky foundations leads us to the questions, "Has violence against men been censored out of public life ? And, if so, why ?
It's ironic that women who vehemently maintain that women ‘couldn't be violent’ can be the people threatening violence.
Although one group of women never harmed Steinmetz physically, they did try to damage her career.
This sort of behaviour from women’s groups was evident at the first international conference on male victims of domestic violence held in Dublin a few years ago. Delegates from women groups could not get it into their heads that domestic violence was a social, not a gender, issue. Richard Gelles wanted to present both feminist and non-feminist perspectives on domestic violence in a forthcoming book he was going to edit but feminists withdrew their collaboration.
In Canada, a University of Alberta study found 12% of husbands were victims of violence by their wives and 11% of wives were victims, but only the violence against women was published.
It also led to a torrent of lurid news features about battered women.
Similarly, another major Canadian study of dating couples found 46% of women as opposed to 18% of men to be physically violent. Again, the 18% male violence was published immediately. Not only was the 46% female violence left unpublished, but the authors did not acknowledge in the Canadian Journal of Sociology (see Vol. 18, pp137-59) that their study had ever included violence against men.
It was only when he exposed the refusal in his next book, combined with another three more years of pressure, that the 46% female violence figure was released and published. By that time (1997), Canadian policy giving government support for abused women but not abused men had become entrenched.
A research director, when asked whether the research to determine need had included abused men and children, answered "No".
The amount donated to abused men and children is $0.
Equally, in the US the cigarette giant Marlboro donates huge sums to domestic violence programmes, but only for women.
In 1979, Louis Harris and Associates conducted a survey of domestic violence commissioned by the Kentucky Commission on Women. However, when the results of the study were published only the abuse of the women was included; abuse by the women was censored out. For the record, in that study the women themselves acknowledged attacking men who had not attacked them 38% of the time.
If men have learned from an early age never to hit a woman, even when provoked, then why do some men batter their partner ? The same question is also true of women. Why do women batter children and men ? A mother has the power to kill and statistically mother kill far more frequently than fathers. Why are women more likely to abuse men who are powerless while curiously, men are more likely to protect women who are powerless?
Domestic violence is found in every culture and every country. Why ? Remember, women have survived and reproduced for millions of years by selecting protectors, which means knowing how to weed out men who can't protect her. Arguably, female abuse of men who can't perform is instinctive and to deny it is nonsense.
This also holds true among lesbian women – where the incidence of domestic violence is far higher than in the normal population.
Women generally have a support system built up and focused around the home. A man, if he does have a support system, has it centred at his place of work.
In 1997, the American Psychological Association's official journal, the "Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology", found domestic violence by men was more likely to be associated with indicators of powerlessness than it was when women were violent. The researchers found that physical violence among men was more strongly associated with unemployment, low educational attainment, and few social support resources. With male unemployment at 300% greater than women’s, a tinderbox situation already exists for London. The far higher incidence of domestic violence now seen among lesbian women will shift into the normal heterosexual population.
Men's greater physical strength would seem to indicate men are more likely to be violent towards women and that this all stemmed from ‘male power’. But as discussed in this paper this is far from the case, if only because men learn to harness that strength to protect women. Men will beat up or even kill a man who uses it against a woman.
We didn't, and still don’t, want to blame a woman who was battered.
At present large numbers of psychologists, social workers and workers at battered women's shelters counsel men. Those that counsel men who batter their female partner urge those men to give up their assumptions of male privilege and power. But they counsel using a female sourced profile that is ineffective for men,
Today’s repertory of politically correct excuses means that if a woman batters a man, it is by definition in self-defence – after all, he has the power.
The message "Men don't hit women" clashes with "She won't respect a man she can push around."
Sometimes, and this is always very hard for women particularly feminists to accept, the woman may be provoking him to stimulate passion and strength. Erin Pizzey calls this sort of woman violence prone.
For instance the ‘1 in 4’ figures referring to the number of women who will experience domestic violence clashes with the known fact that only DV only affects 4.2% of women.
Women's Aid throughout the yearlong meeting of the CAFCAS Advisory Board (2000-2001) insisted that domestic violence occurred in over half of all divorces.
Women's groups such as Women's Aid and Rape Crisis have outrageous 'factoids' (ie, fictitious facts) on their websites. One instance, from Rape Crisis, states that over 90% of all disabled women have been raped.
In the same manner the falsification of domestic violence statistics is endemic.
One American advert that caused paranoia among women stated that 42% of wives would be murdered by their husbands. In the year the advertisement was conceived 900 women were murdered by the man they married. That’s 900 out of population of 54 million married women in the United States, or 0.0016%. Home and marriage are the two safest places for a women.
As with lesser types of domestic violence it is alarming to discover that documented figures show that the two sexes kill their spouses' about equally. However, there are life-and-death consequences that result from feminists persuading the public that it is almost exclusively husbands who kill wives.
At first sight t might be reasonable to presume that more men kill women than vice versa. However, from various sources it seems likely that more wives kill husbands.
The US Bureau of Justice reports, women are the perpetrators in 41% of spousal murders. Men usually shoot, knife or strangle. Very straightforward to detect. By contrast the three female methods of killing are designed to not be detected, to have the man's death appear as an accident, so insurance money can be collected.
We have grave doubts concerning whether a responses to the above consultation paper is worth serious effort. It recommendations are a forgone conclusions.
Mankind is a men’s and fathers civil rights charity. We are committed to equality and to the full measure of justice to all citizens irrespective of whether they are male or female.
For many years the emphasis of many agencies has been on the perceived victim role and subservient position of women, yet not a moment has been spent looking at the hundreds of instances where men are far more disadvantaged then women.
This includes our modern education and exam system, employment policies and targets when there is 300% more male unemployment than female, a near monopoly of false allegations made against them, e.g. Neil Hamilton falsely accused of rape. The most common occurrence of false allegation today is in connection with custody issues and related in family court disputes - courts which operate in secret behind closed doors.
Men are the New Jews in today’s social order and this paper was very nearly given that title. New Jews is appropriate because in all too many directions new draconian measure are either being contemplated or have just been enacted that effectively penalise only men.
Men are not crudely put into labour camps but they are expected to perform and comply without murmur. If they step out of line or cross some new arbitrary line then the heavens fall in on them. When no longer useful they and their property and assets can be appropriated, Suddenly the ground opens up and they drop into the ‘Twilight World’ of rough justice that masquerades as the family courts justice system.
Rough, crude and unjust when an Australian MP recently committed suicide after falling into this twilight world as his marriage unravelled and he found he could not see his children. Perhaps unwittingly the GLA has added to that pantheon of measures.
But this crude justice can have its upsides. How very appropriate it is, in our view, that Mayor Giuliani of New York, who has been a tireless champion of women’s causes, at the expense of men’s, has now been hoisted on his own petard. He has been banished from not only seeing his children also from living at the official mayoral residence by his former (and un-elected) wife. She now lives at the mansion instead, cost free, and has banished him from using it, even for official business.
With regards domestic violence we have built up a considerable expertise in patterns and motivations of the sometimes false or exaggerated allegations made during custody battles. To understand the dynamics of the situation we have had to extend our knowledge base into associated areas including murder – a form of domestic violence not readily associated as such in the public’s mind.
That is why we can confidently conclude that the proposals as they now stand will not work.
That is why we were able to profile the killers of Damilola Taylor within days – certainly long before any other organisation and why we can give you now a profile of why, in the very recent case, the policemen probably killed his family and then himself. The psychiatrist interviewed on Channel 4 News got it nearly right, except for his last few sentences.
We have some experience of dealing with domestic violence forums and of the women (and the few men) who usually staff these reference groups.
At a meeting of the Met Police domestic violence forum we discovered that all the women there (there were no other male delegates) though frantically citing reports in support of doing more had, in reality, never read them. They had no idea that the report they were quoting, "Counting the Cost" by Prof. Stanko, was based on only 43 women’s response in the untypical borough of Hackney.
No doubt this genre of women will again be highly visible in this London-wide proposal to curb domestic violence (aka DV ). Our experience shows that the protagonists inhabit not only the police policy steering committee but also the GLA’s and are driven more by ideology than accuracy.
The officers and female delegates on that Met Police DV group also had no idea that in citing another report, namely HOS 191, they were actually arguing against themselves. That seminal work found that domestic violence is perpetrated equally by both sexes but (and this is crucial) that it is far less frequent among married couples compared to cohabitees or same sex couples.
It concluded that the factors relating to domestic violence were :-
These points were driven home yet again, this June, by the female academic Dr. Kieren McKeown’s report into domestic violence in Ireland. (Irish Times, June 14, 2001).
Other researchers, including Ms Terrie Moffitt, have concluded that the present official view of domestic violence is not a true reflection and this has also recently prompted author Doris Lessing to publicly raise the matter of bias and discrimination against all men.
There is overwhelming evidence from all corners of the world that undercut the very ground upon which the present domestic violence edifice is being built. HOS 191 and every other longitudinal study show women initiating violence more often than men. In addition women far from being traumatised by domestic violence are actually more able to cope with the psychological pressures than men.
This point will result - if the Home Office guidelines are strictly interpreted and enforced - in far more women being convicted of domestic violence than men for physical assault.
And if the guidelines are strictly interpreted and enforced with regard the Home Office’s new definition of domestic violence, ie emotional manipulation financial and psychological intimidation, then 90% of all adult women will be under threat of imprisonment.
Thus any programme based on proposals that the Met Police have in mind, or indeed. what the GLA has in mind, is doomed to fail. Not only that, but it will fail so completely that the council (Greater London Authority) will be forced to ‘throw’ more money at the "problem" because the official reason why the plans will have failed will be that not enough resources have been devoted into it.
Men, particularly married men, are the wealth producers in any economically advanced nation. Per head of the population they provide more income and taxes than other categories single men, single women, or married women.
They are not a cash crop that can be harvested nor are they a milch cow that can be raided to fund any fashionable notion. Disincentivise this sector and the tax burden for everyone will increase.
When opinions as divergent as the right wing views of George Gilder, in 1986, and the ardent left winger Patricia Hewitt, in 1994, both recognise this fact, it’s time to sit up and take notice.
To focus only on men, when they provide the wherewithal for these programmes and represent only a tiny fraction of the offenders, is grossly unfair.
We have no wish to tire you further in your work of sifting through submissions with a lengthy cataloguing of our position. But there is a desperate need to lift your eyes to see the bigger picture. Meantime we will attach a list of references you can follow up from all around the world that underscore out position and the threat posed if the proposal is adopted by the GLA. We include these few pointers by way of articles in our Appendices that may give an insight into just how gravely the present proposals are misaligned.
We can even predict what the results will be if the GLA buys into the present false mantra.
The GLA proposals run the risk of provoking the appearance of the Law of Diminishing Returns. Essentially, some men may very well take a view that as they are deemed the perpetrators, that may might as well ‘be hanged for a sheep as a lamb’. This surely can’t be a case of "… the sky too dark for dim eyes to see" ? And electorally, Londoners will not want to see the huge savings made by the Mayor’s approach to the Tube’s modernisation frittered away on programmes which when introduced elsewhere, show only marginal benefits.
Until the GLA opens its mind to the reality of events and the real causes and triggers of domestic violence there is little we can do to assist and little we can do to avert crippling civil actions that will adversely impact on the London taxpayer.
We have no real wish to be part of any policy that amounts to political suicidal. In the long run it will be far better for the GLA to proceed with all haste in it’s incompetence and then learn the bitter lessons as soon as possible. This is infinitely more preferable than a) spending time trying to convince the GLA of it’s mistake or b). drawing out the whole agonising proceeding in a piece meal application scenario.
In the meantime it is more than appropriate to quote extracts from Warren Farrell’s book "Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say", (pages 141 – 156). For it seems that evidence, as we have seen in the Canadian example, has been systematically suppressed and the GLA is therefore now acting on very questionable "evidence". That evidence has been available since the 1970’s. For example, the National Family Violence Survey (US) found that " ….. compared with 1975 … severe violence against wives had in 1992 decreased by 48% but violence against husbands (by wives) had decreased only 2%. Although overall violence (including minor violence like shoving or slapping) against women decreased, overall violence against men increased."  ("Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say", page 142). For ease of comprehension the reference numbers [xx] will remain the same as those found in the above book.
This building on shaky foundations leads us to the questions, "Has violence against men been censored out of public life ? And, if so, why ? Is this why we don’t know about it ?"
The short answer is "Yes". Studies reporting violence against men have indeed been censored. The underlying dynamics of this censorship is very simple. It’s not a conspiracy but the result of the collective action of many people many of whom have no idea quite what the impact will have in political terms. Take one American pioneer analyst of research in domestic violence, R. L. McNeely. Asked why few studies are published he replied "I'll tell you why - as soon as I published results along these lines, I received a letter threatening to stop my funding,"
It’s as simple as that. To a greater or lesser degree funding is the prerogative of either private industry or government departments. The fund suppliers have to feel they are getting value for money. They also have to be led to believe that more funding will bring them closer the results they want.
And at an evermore personal level lets not forget that a portion of government funding to a professor usually goes to the university and lets not also forget that the kudos of being given a multi-million pound budget reflects well on the university attractiveness to students and other sponsors.
Funding, therefore, often allows a university to keep the professor its hired. If the professor is supporting a family, it creates an ethical dilemma: When does being responsible become irresponsible ? Family and funding versus professional integrity ? And, of course, the instinct to protect the female (wife) can make the choice for him. Thus, when it comes to domestic violence, the censorship is both direct, which is a story, but it is the indirect, which is the ‘real’ story.
If we look at a well known instance of direct censorship we see that the American researcher Suzanne Steinmetz ("The Battered Husband Syndrome" article, 1978,  received threats.
At a speech she was giving at the University of Delaware she received a bomb threat. She received threatening phone calls at her home (from women) who said, "If you don't stop talking about battered men, something's going to happen to your children and it won't be safe for you to go out." It's ironic that women who vehemently maintain that women ‘couldn't be violent’ were the people threatening violence.
This isn't unique, the founder of the first ever women’s refuge in 1971, Erin Pizzey, had the same sort of experience. She was driven out of England by the level of the threats made against her by lesbian / radical feminists. In England she was persecuted to such an extent by these awful women that she had to have a police escort all around England when publicising her book "PRONE TO VIOLENCE". She also had to face placards and jeering women whenever she tried to speak at public events. The bomb squad warned her to have to have all her post delivered to them first. This was in the days of The Angry Brigade (and Moscow gold). Some senior figures have now settled into well paid respectable jobs in public life and can be found at senior levels within our institutions.
Later, when she was working in the US helping battered women there she received threats and to show 'they' meant business her pet dog was shot and then dumped on her front doorstep on Christmas day.
It is a disgrace that the subject of domestic violence towards men has been censored for the last thirty years and that those opposing it should do so with violence aforethought and with preservation of funding in mind.
Although the group of women never harmed Steinmetz physically, they did try to damage her career. It wasn't until many years later that she learned that these women had secretly contacted female faculty members at the university where she was employed to urge the women to work against her for promotion and tenure. Similar dysfunctional women, driven by ideology, drove Erin Pizzey out of her Refuge and the movement has remained captured by them ever since (see footnotes 12 and 13).
Richard Gelles, the co-pioneer with Suzanne Steinmetz and Murray Straus of these early studies, reports that Straus was rarely invited to speak at conferences on domestic violence after the three of them published their initial studies.
When he was, he was unable to complete his presentation because of yells and shouts from the audience that stopped only when he was driven from stage. 
This sort of behaviour from women’s groups was evident at the first international conference on male victims of domestic violence held in Dublin a few years ago. Delegates from women groups could not get it into their heads that domestic violence was a social, not a gender, issue. Perhaps they saw more clearly, and more immediately than the rest of us, that such a concept posed a real threat to their gravy train.
But in the case of Strauss, whereas he used to be nominated frequently for elected office of scientific societies (such as the American Sociological Association), he was not nominated for any office for many years.  However, since 1999, as the veil has been lifted on female aggression and he has been interviewed by more newspapers and is beginning to receive more invitations to speak on the college lecture tour circuits.
The indirect form of censorship is not only more numerous but is more insidious and attacks the very vitals of the ethos that is academia and learning.
Knowledge and true progress, as we Europeans have learnt to our cost, can only thrive in a free and liberal environment uncluttered by party dogma of either the tyrannical left or the fascist right.
Richard Gelles wanted to present both feminist and non-feminist perspectives on domestic violence in a forthcoming book he was going to edit. A feminist scholar accepted until she was informed there would be other points of view. She told Richard Gelles that she would not only refuse to submit anything, but would "see to it that no feminist would contribute a chapter. 
Similar things have happened to members of Mankind. Radio and television debates have been set up but at the last minute the feminist side suddenly withdraws, remembering a prior engagement. The result in both instances is lack of informed opinion and the continued ignorance of the public.
In Canada, a University of Alberta study found 12% of husbands were victims of violence by their wives and 11% of wives were victims, but only the violence against women was published.  This 1987 survey paved the way for the feminist legal academic Catherine MacKinnon to draft legislation that was later accept by the Canadian parliament. The official enquiry leading up to this cost $10 million dollars.
Even six years later, when someone was able to get the data from an assistant who had helped prepare the original study, and then wrote it up himself, he was unable to get it published. Only in 1999 did it see the light of day. So biased did it appear in 1999 that the National Post wrote :-
Similarly, another major Canadian study of dating couples found 46% of women as opposed to 18% of men to be physically violent. Again, the 18% male violence was published immediately.  Not only was the 46% female violence left unpublished, but the authors did not acknowledge in the Canadian Journal of Sociology (see Vol. 18, pp137-59) that their study had ever included violence against men.
When a Canadian professor found out about this suppression by the Canadian Journal of Sociology, he requested to see the data and was refused.  It was only when he exposed the refusal in his next book, combined with another three more years of pressure, that the 46% female violence figure was released and published  By that time (1997), Canadian policy giving government support for abused women but notabused men had become entrenched. With the entrenchment came entrenched views petrified into bureaucracies together with the private funding sources such as Canada’s "United Way".
The research director, when asked whether the research to determine need had included abused men and children, answered "No". 
By 1999, United Way of Greater Toronto increased their yearly allocation for services to abused women and children by $1 million, to $ 3.3 million per year. The amount donated to abused men and children - $0.
Equally, in the US the cigarette giant Marlboro donates huge sums to domestic violence programmes, but only for women.
But it was the United States that set the lasting precedent for this type of censorship. In 1979, Louis Harris and Associates conducted a survey of domestic violence commissioned by the Kentucky Commission on Women.  However, when the results of the study were published only the abuse of the women was included; abuse by the women was censored out.  For the record, in that study the women themselves acknowledged attacking men who had not attacked them 38% of the time.  The existence of that data became known and published only when some professors were later able to obtain the original computer tape.  Taken together, this is censorship on a truly Eastern European scale.
Why would academicians whose life passion is seeking the truth ignore these findings?
The answer leads straight back to where we started. To R. L. McNeely, and the name of the game namely, survival, dilemma, loyalty and kudos. If this seems too incredulous put the same forces into a commercial or industrial setting. The answers then become even more obvious. We all too readily accept the official version. Only recently the truth has emerged about the slaying of the Black Panther group in Chicago. They didn’t provoke the shoot out – it was the police.
If men have learned from an early age never to hit a woman, even when provoked, then why do some men batter their partner ? The same question is also true of women. Why do women batter children and men ? The answer (and causation) is not hard to find. Abuse is, in most cases, the result of ‘power’ and perhaps ironically the sense of powerlessness. More research needs to be undertaken but it looks, according to some commentators, as if the abuse inflicted by a mother is more profound, damaging and lasting than abuse inflicted by fathers.
Think how often you hear about mothers abandoning their babies or putting their infant into as the Americans would say "a dumpster". Isn’t this domestic violence resolving itself as child abuse ? A mother has the power to kill and statistically mother kill far more frequently than fathers. But isn’t it almost always a young single mom with few resources who is more likely to kill ?
Why are women more likely to abuse men who are powerless while curiously, men are more likely to protect women who are powerless?
Or, put another way (just to ensure there is no doubt), why, if he feels powerless, is he more likely to be abusive towards her and she is also more likely to feel inclined to be abusive toward him ?
Domestic violence is found in every culture and every country. Why ? Perhaps the reason owes much to our common ancestry. Perhaps she perceives him as no longer being able to ‘protect’ her, so acting on her instincts she unconsciously seeks to rid herself of a man who can no longer protect her. Remember, women have survived and reproduced for millions of years by selecting protectors, which means knowing how to weed out men who can't protect her. Arguably, female abuse of men who can't perform is instinctive and to deny it is nonsense.
She feels powerless when he feels powerless. Her powerlessness translates into sympathetic support systems and this restores her ‘power’.
This also holds true among lesbian women – where the incidence of domestic violence is far higher than in the normal population. The abused woman in a lesbian relationship was more likely to feel that ‘the problem’ of the batterer was dependence, not outright power.  With the GLA policy so committed to viewing only women as victims which partner will receive protection in same sex couples ?
So among women, feelings of power or powerlessness - or some combination - seem in various ways to be the catalyst leading to abuse. Women generally have a support system built up and focused around the home. A man, if he does have a support system, has it centred at his place of work. His would-be mentors are dispersed after work hours while hers always remain close at hand.
For men, it would seem, the picture is somewhat different. In 1997, the American Psychological Association's official journal, the "Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology", found domestic violence by men was more likely to be associated with indicators of powerlessness than it was when women were violent. The researchers found that physical violence among men was more strongly associated with unemployment, low educational attainment, and few social support resources (see HOS 191). It is at this precise point that the fatal flaw in the GLA strategy becomes apparent. All the classical ingredients required for a Warrior Class then emerge, ie a class of males incapable of being influenced by rules or law enforcement agencies and who seek no compromise. A social subset can feel manipulated or targeted when, for instance domestic violence laws effectively brands every man guilty. They may feel it resembles shooting fish in a barrel and the dynamics can suddenly and violently erupt. Civil order may even breakdown completely.
With male unemployment at 300% greater than women’s, a tinderbox situation already exists. Those unemployment ratio levels have existed since the early 1990’s and have never been addressed. The only policies pursued by both Central and Local Gov’t have been to incentivise work for women and single mothers pushing low-achieving men further down the ladder of self improvement and betterment. For this, and other reasons, we predict that the policy will boomerang and London will see greater levels of domestic violence and more ‘no-go areas’. The far higher frequency of domestic violence now seen among lesbian women will begin to be seen in the normal heterosexual population.
The same article in the "Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology also found that the use of drugs, personality disorders, and depression" were all strong indicators of an underlying experience of powerlessness. And those are all factors that London has in plentiful supply.
Men's greater physical strength would seem to indicate men are more likely to be violent towards women and that this all stemmed from ‘male power’. But as discussed above this is far from the case, if only because men learn to harness that strength to protect women. Men will beat up or even kill a man who uses it against a woman. It is only when the power of his masculinity breaks-down, or is seriously threatened, that he is most likely to be violent toward a woman. And it is the policies and proposals contained within the GLA strategy document that will bring about this very situation. Polices that deliberately target those men least able, by reason of poor schooling, unemployment, addiction or low IQ, to combat the faceless forces of institutions and bureaucracies will seek a way out in the only way they know how - violence.
As a local authority the GLA will have to overcome the resistance many people feel towards powerlessness. All too many people resist looking at the powerlessness of the batterer because we have all been assuming, in every case, that the batterer was a man. We didn't, and still don’t, want to blame a woman who was battered.
Yes, love can not only make us forgive but it can also blind us. HOS 191 fully shows this aspect when it reported " … half of those who were living with their assailant were still doing so at the time of the BCS interview". Love can make both people feel powerful or make them both feel powerless.
The treatment implications are enormous and create much hope. Out, for a start, can go the infamous Duluth Wheel. At present large numbers of psychologists, social workers and workers at battered women's shelters counsel men. But they do so from the wrong premise. They start from the perspective of the female victim and expect that approach to freely transfer onto men. Not true. We cited on the first page the very recent case, of the policemen who killed himself and his family. The psychiatrist interviewed on Channel 4 News got it wrong because he made that very same mistake. Those that counsel men who batter their female partner urge those men to give up their assumptions of male privilege and power. This is the false assumption born of the wrong premise. Counselling using this perfidious hypothesis will always fail. Note these key facts and phrases and see if you can pick out the thread:-
1. A Kent Police spokeswoman said officers were called to the scene by neighbours in the adjoining semi-detached house. She said: "The seven-year-old girl had knocked on their door in a very distressed state and they took her in and called the police. Our officers came round expecting to find a domestic.
2. Neighbours said they had heard Mr and Mrs Bluestone arguing in the past but said they were unaware of any domestic problems between the couple.
3. "We have heard a couple of arguments over there and saw them rowing once as unfortunately they left their door open."
4. "I can't believe what he has done to his kids. It seems so out of character as he adored them and they loved him.
5. It was his second marriage and he has a child who lives with his first wife.
6. "This is a totally unexpected and tragic incident. PC Bluestone's colleagues had not noticed anything wrong with him. Everyone is shocked by what has happened."- Aug 29th 2001, PC Bluestone, 36, Kent police.
Today’s repertory of politically correct excuses means that if a woman batters a man, it is by definition in self-defence – after all, he has the power. This leads to a "victim-either-way" scenario and the resulting rationalisation leaves men feeling blamed either way. In this no-win situation tensions increase and increases the likelihood of the battering of a spouse or partner, leading to the break-up of the relationship. This leaves millions of children raised without the love of their Dads, and as fathers are the only socialising force children have, the spiral of anti-social behaviour is initiated. In cost-effective terms it is far more attractive to keep the family together and work to iron out problems as a united whole.
Otherwise the only beneficial facet is that it is mightily remunerative for the lawyers and therapists.
A man who once wrote to an "agony aunt" saying that his wife broke his arms and ribs when she threw a heavy chair at him finally filed for divorce. But this was only after she had frequently attacked him with her fingernails, often drawing blood from his face and neck. His training to ‘never hit a woman’ stopped him and countless other men, from retaliating. Ashamed of his wife (and himself to a degree), he made up lies when he visited hospital emergency rooms. He stayed in the marriage for the child’s protection, but when he finally filed for divorce, she then accused him of child molestation. Although he was acquitted, he nonetheless felt violated, devastated. 
It was his wife who initiated the violence. This writer to an "agony aunt" man never hit back. So why do some men violate the ‘male mandate’ and retaliate - or even initiate violence ?
Possibly because when a man feels the woman he is supposed to protect is in actual fact threatening him or verbally carving-up his emotions, he begins to make a mental transfer from protecting her to protecting himself from her. She begins to lose her preferential status as a woman. When the nexus is at last reached, his protector instinct is thus compromised.
He becomes almost a split personality. Does he protect her; or does he defend himself ? When this happens, that is when his protector instinct is compromised, her love for him is then compromised. Her fear of him becomes irrational - which is her way of protecting herself. This irrationality then accounts for the wild and mostly unfounded statements paraded before judges in the family courts.
Once this nexus is reached another conflicting message also emerges. The message "Men don't hit women" clashes with "She won't respect a man she can push around."
Paradoxically, a man doesn't have the ability to ‘protect’ until he has the ability to stand up for himself. Sometimes, and this is always very hard for women particularly feminists to accept, the woman may be provoking him to stimulate passion and strength. Erin Pizzey calls this sort of woman prone to violence.
Like a magnetic force, these women may actually find it preferable or derive some satisfaction from conflict rather than cohabit with a disconnected other half.
In brief, there is often an intricately woven dance going on, which makes one-sided blame totally inappropriate.
We began this paper questioning the direction of the proposals and predicting its failure. Failure is inevitable because the proposals are based on false assumptions and flawed extrapolations.
For instance the ‘1 in 4’ figures referring to the number of women who will experience domestic violence clashes with the known facts that only it only affects 4.2% of women. The figures, sometimes given for domestic violence admissions to Emergency Room overlook the simple fact that A & E departments simply couldn’t cope with that level of extra attrition. They are at over-capacity now.
But just how big is the problem of domestic violence that so vexes and absorbs so much time and energy ?
According to Women’s Aid’s own website (funded by the Department of Health) there are over 400 refuges in England and Wales for 'battered women' and their children. Anna Coote and Beatrice Campbell endorse this figure in their book "Sweet Freedom".
But there is not one publicly funded refuge for 'battered men'. Only ManKind is addressing this problem.
With a population in the region of 250 million there are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States or one shelter for every 166,666 citizens or one shelter per 83,333 women (by contrast there are 3,800 animal shelters [Schneider, 1990] ).
In the England and Wales with a population of 24 million females and 400 shelters we have one shelter for every 60,000 women. Thus, in theory, every small town of 120,000 should have two shelters.
Will the vibrant policies adopted in the US (and the billions of dollars earmarked for VAWA and VAWA Mark 2) now set to be embraced by London see our ratio climb to 83,000 too ? And the expense, will that soar into the millions too ? If so, let’s do a numbers check first.
Speaking to former women’s refuge workers it is clear that many of the refuges take just a handful of women and children. "Jobs for the girls" is really how it is spent. "The money designed to give bed space for women and children goes into salaries for refuge workers and outreach workers etc. etc"
‘Women’s Aid’ who are perhaps the most well known organisation in this field, estimate that in 1995 "Around 50,000 women and children spent at least one night in a refuge in England during 1994-5 (WAFE Annual Survey, 1995, not published)".
Although 50,000 women and their children sounds impressive, it is only a measurement of "Bednights" and could be translated to mean only 125 women and children per Refuge. (50,000 / 400).
The population of England and Wales is in the region of 48 million, half of whom are women. Therefore 50,000 overnight stays represents only 0.2% of the female population. Cross-checking, 0.2% of 24 million amounts to 48,000.
The ‘Women’s Aid’ Report continues "Approximately two thirds of the refuge resident population are children (WAFE Annual Survey, Ball 1994). This key phrase means that mothers represented only 1/3 of bed occupancy. In other words, mothers and women constituted only 16,500 of the 50,000. And put another way 50,000 x 1/3 = No. Of women = 16,500 per annum /400 Refuges = 41 women per refuge per year.
Considering the funding, which runs into millions of pounds per annum, to keep these refuges open, by way of Gov’t grants Local Authority funds, private donations and lottery money, one must begin to question whether a 5 star hotel would not be a cheaper alternative.
The above brief calculations, of course, apply only to England and Wales. In Ulster there are currently an additional 400 bed spaces in fourteen hostels (known as refuges). In addition, there are 19 ‘move on’ houses for families who move out of the refuge. In the year 1998–99 1,154 women and 1,831 children were accommodated totalling 2,955. If the population of Ulster is in the region of 1.5m then this represents 0.197% of the whole population but only 0.0769% of the adult only population. In Scotland there are more.
The shortage of published information means that the above can only be conjectures and estimates. The whole matter of funding, misapplication of funds and value-for-money needs to be addressed. In the newly created "DV Industry" there is a need to publish reliable costs and numbers that would meet audit standards. Canadian columnist Donna Laframboise raised the same issue in her article of Saturday, Nov. 14th 1998 in the National Post .
One shelter worker told us "You are right about there being no properly published information - the government doesn't care what happens to women and children, but just wants Women's Aid silenced."
A conference this November, chaired by Cherie Blair, is all about stopping men who have been convicted of domestic violence seeing their children. While we can certainly agree that there are some men and women who are violent and dangerous (and they should not be given access to their children under any circumstances) they represent but a very small number of cases. Our concern is the political implications behind this conference.
Women’s groups repeatedly depict men as dangerous oppressors at every opportunity never seeming to pause to consider that but for their father, a man, they wouldn’t exist. Even in Preliminary meeting with CAFCASS, to look into ways in which Family Courts and contact could be improved, these Women’s groups activists relentless tried to drive home their point, ad nausea, that in over 50% of divorces domestic violence is experienced. ManKind who requested their source challenged this every time. This which was never forthcoming.
A moments thought shows their assertion cannot be true (see footnote 16). What is more likely is that domestic violence is raised in court as an issue to secure custody.
In common with HOS 191, the latest StatsCan data from Canada indicating the domestic violence can represents a figure as low as 2%.
"Since the vast majority of these incidents took place in relationships that people have already
left only 2% of women and men report violence with their present partner during the past year."
(See Appendix for Canadian article by Donna Laframboise, National Post August 1st, 2000).
The fixation that men are always violent reduces Women's Aid and other groups to taking the view that they would like to see a reversal of the apparent presumption that contact is always good for a child. Indeed, their website says this explicitly. They would appear to prefer a regime where all men are presumed violent and only allowed to see their children on licence, once they have proven they are no danger. If this is equality, then we would ask those women’s groups to reverse the genders and see if it feels like equality to them ?
This anti-father approach is the model adopted in New Zealand and the result is that men are increasingly boycotting the system because it’s a No-Win situation for men. It is the innocent men caught up in the regime who find it particularly galling. Few people realise, and apparently this includes Woman’s Aid that the greatest threat to a child in terms of all types of abuse (up to and including that child’s murder) comes from women, ie it’s own mother.
If we truly, and not hypocritically, had the children’s best interests at heart we would not give custody to mothers, and certainly not automatic custody, until they had been psychology tested to ensure they could cope and represented no danger to the child.
Meanwhile the great majority of male victims of DV feel that the police and social agencies are generally unsympathetic to their plight (Study 191), and indeed in some cases antagonistic. A Dispatches programme broadcast on Channel 4 (January 7th 1999) reported the experiences of 100 male victims of domestic violence by a female partner (10n). They found that:
* 30% had been attacked whilst asleep;
* 25% had been kicked in the genitals;
* 25% of the male victims had themselves been arrested after seeking police help rather
than the female assailant;
* only 7% of the female assailants had been arrested and none were subsequently charged;
* 89% of male victims felt that the police did not take their complaints seriously;
* only 50% asked for any type of help.
NB. - The Above bears Comparison with findings in adjacent fields. For instance, Coramae Richey Mann, in 'Getting Even ? Women Who Kill in Domestic Encounters', found that approximately 60% of all female murderesses premeditate their murder (see ‘Justice Quarterly’. March 1988).
PS. - It also bears comparison with the North Staffordshire Hospital videos showing over 30 mothers trying to murder their babies in the hospital’s children ward. None were charged and jailed.
Comparison of police statistics for male victims of domestic violence with the results of self-report studies suggests that there is gross under-reporting by men of domestic violence against them by women. Such reluctance stems in part from a perception that the police and other social agencies do usually not take their plight seriously.
Other barriers that appear to be unique to male victims is the shame or humiliation felt in admitting to being assaulted by a woman (particularly if she is physically smaller), the fear of being ridiculed or not believed, and an almost institutionalised presumption of guilt against them.
Additionally, for those with children, there is the sure and certain realisation that, regardless of who is at fault, if they complain, it is they who are likely to lose their homes and their children under a family law system hostile (or perceived to be hostile) to men and fathers.
The studies by Prof. Archer (10j) indicated that men actually show restraint and put up with a high level of violence by their wives or lovers. Indeed, Archer considered that women are encouraged to be violent towards men because women realise that men can generally be relied on not to hit back. A point hinted at in a recent report of one of Ms. Terri Moffitt’s more studies into DV.
Women's Aid throughout the yearlong meeting of the CAFCAS Advisory Board (2000-2001) insisted that domestic violence occurred in over half of all divorces. This is absurd simply because there are 150,000 divorces every year and 50% would mean that 75,000 domestic violence cases involving around 120,000 children would be heard in court, with Court Welfare Officers reports. This just doesn’t happen. Gov’t statistics don’t support the proposition. It doesn’t happen because Court Welfare Officers (CWO) file on average only 33,000 welfare reports per annum.
A moments thought shows the proposition cannot be true. What is more likely is that domestic violence is raised in court as an issue in order to secure custody – the silver bullet ploy.
Women's groups such as Women's Aid and Rape Crisis have outrageous 'factoids' (ie, fictitious facts) on their websites. One instance, from Rape Crisis, states that over 90% of all disabled women have been raped. How can anyone take that seriously ? Does this mean every time we see a woman in a wheelchair we will know for certain, because Rape Crisis has told us, that she has definitely been raped ? This is not only discourteous but also offensive to all disabled women.
Despite the huge body of international research showing a substantial level of female perpetrated domestic violence or abuse against men in couple relationships, the assumption that women are always the victims and men their victimiser. This belief and version of reality still largely underpins government and public policy. Indeed it provides the very rationale for giving ever larger sums of public money to women's groups and refuges, and virtually none for male victims.
The cumulative effect of this one-sidedness, certainly in the UK, has been to marginalise male victims of domestic violence and their children, in both public policies and support; this despite the probable existence of significant numbers of injured male victims and chronic male victims.
The cumulative effect of this one-sidedness, certainly in the UK, has been to marginalise male victims of domestic violence and their children, in both public policies and support; this despite the probable existence of significant numbers of injured male victims and chronic male victims.
There are few helplines specifically for them and a dearth of support or advisory literature (10m). What little money was available was withdrawn in 1999 and 2000 (sae Mall below). Despite the authoritative results of its own Study 191, the Home Office continues the polarisation of domestic violence issues. This petrified view persists in Government thinking and is endemic in most Whitehall deepest but especially the Home Office and the former Scottish Office. Principally this is fuelled by the Women's Unit, although it is now apparently focussing on outcome rather than culpability. Such a strategy of looking to blame and assign the burden the liability still focuses essentially on women as victims. By focusing more on outcomes The emphasis has moved from the previous grounds that (officially, at least) there were To few male victims to worry about, to the new premise of who is perceived to be the most harmed by domestic violence.
The consequent failure to treat victims of both sexes equitably has resulted in the only national helplines in England and Wales for male victims of domestic violence (Merton M.A.L.E.) being forced to close down
in spring 2001 due to lack of funding. This helplines was launched in 1991 and had since received about 8,000 calls a year as well as numerous letters. A similar helplines in Scotland for male victims has also been forced to close due to a refusal to fund it by the new Scottish Parliament following protests from women's groups! Such apparent official indifference to male victims of domestic violence is surely unacceptable in a society now so sensitive to equal rights and 'inclusiveness'.
In Scotland, 'zero tolerance' campaigns, including Behind Closed Doors and TV advertising, are being aimed essentially at women. A Women’s Aid group manages the national helplines for all domestic abuse. Such an arrangement is hardly likely to encourage calls from male victims, since Women's Aid is an organisation well known for its hostility to men generally and which has persistently denied the existence of any significant number of male victims or of female aggressors. In the Christmas TV advertisements, Scottish children were urged, if parents were violent or abusive, to inform on their fathers but not their mothers.
In February 2001, however, after representations by men's groups, the Social Justice Minister, Jackie Baillee, grudgingly announced that new research would be commissioned in 2001 into male victims of domestic abuse in Scotland. Sadly, she heavily qualified it by asserting the usual radical feminist polemic that domestic abuse is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women.
Policy statement made by ministers and or their Whitehall depts ought to indicate an open mind or willingness to explore the subject.
But such closed mind thinking is also reflected in the ongoing Europe-wide campaigns sponsored by the European Commission and the Council of Europe. They focus only on violence against women, but not by them. The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men adopted in Paris on 5 March 1999 the following declaration:-
"Gender violence is a fundamental violation of the right to life, liberty and security, personal, mental and physical integrity, equal protection before the law, equality within the family, as well as the right not to be subject to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Violence against women, which cannot be excused by any cultural difference, is both a serious obstacles to the achievement of women's equality, and a direct consequence of the inequality, which persists throughout Europe. Consequently, the fight to combat violence against women must be achieved by fighting for the equal rights and opportunities for women."
Men, possibly numbering many millions across Europe, have effectively sat patiently by while this onslaught has been unleashed.
They have suffered in silence and for the most part without any prospect of redress. Male victims of female violence in couple relationships, and fathers who have suffered unfairly or cruelly under family law, perhaps losing their children in the process, as well as their homes, savings, and income on family breakdown - might be excused a wince at the hypocrisy of this one-sided declaration.
Economists label situations in which one person's actions impose costs on others or society (or the environment) as "negative externalities".
In the same manner the falsification of domestic violence statistics is endemic. It has become the curse of proper academic enquiry and even feminist writers are being to debunk whole swathes of mythology.
Figures from feminist sources aren’t out by the odd 20% but often by 2,000%. Take, for instance, the present GLA document itself.
The feminist, Liz Kelly, writes in the document that 100,000 women are injured but cites no source for the assertion. We suggest the source is a 1991 book by Rosalind Miles and the numbers are totally fictitious.
Refuge activists and feminists are none to clever when it comes to numbers. In her respectfully reviewed book, The Rites of Man, (1991), Rosalind Miles wrote: "In the London area alone, more than 100,000 women a year need hospital treatment after violence in the home."
This represents 1 in 17 woman living with a man in London needs hospital treatment for injuries inflicted by her man. If, as we know, only 2% of domestic violence incidents are serious enough to require hospital treatment the true figure for incidents of domestic violence, including those unreported to the police and untreated by hospitals, must be gigantic
The 100,000 figure given by Miles for women receiving treatment in London hospitals after domestic violence, were queried by Sunday Times reporters at the time. When they telephoned to ask her source she said she ‘could not remember’ and when asked to comment on the discrepancy between her figure and the Home Office's (11,240) she terminated the interview.
Next day, however, she remembered "reading it" (the figure of 100,000) in the Evening Standard - a year before her book was published". She could give no date, author, context or origin for this item of scholarly research.
Explaining the discrepancy between its previous estimate (11,240) and the published facts, (25,000) a spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: "I can't explain that at all, but 25,000 is a wrong figure." Hence we see the birth of a 'factoid'.
But Mankind, backtracking through t archives can shed some light on the matter. Dr Susan Edwards has now admitted, in the last few years, that she knowingly falsified the figures.
In 1990, a spokesman on domestic violence for the Metropolitan police told the press that it received "about 25,000 calls a year" reporting incidents of domestic violence, That figure was "an extrapolation for London as a whole drawn from research in specific areas". For some reason, Edwards doubled them again. The figure published by Edwards in ‘The London Policing Study’, was more than double the number the Met had supplied her with.
She had simply doubled it from 11,420 to 25,000. But this figure wasn’t high enough for Sandra Horley, who was then, and remains today, the director of the Chiswick Family Refuge (founded by Erin Pizzey).
It then re-appeared as 58,000.
According to Horley, even that terrible number of 58,000 was an immense understatement. In a letter to The Independent in 1990, she wrote: "The Metropolitan police receives approximately 100,000 calls a year from women who are trying to escape male violence."
Are we to believe that Sandra Horley simply doubled again the 58,000 and came out with a nice round number – 100,000 ? If so, then another factoid was thus born and the mythology continued
A parliamentary reply of Oct 1994 produced the only reliable figure, ie, 11,420 domestic violence incidents recorded by the Metropolitan police in 1993. That figure is less than half the figure of 25,000 reported incidents previously given to the Sunday Times by the London Met. and less than a quarter of Edwards’s 58,000 figure.
Without that statement, by Mr Maclean, we would still be planing for 100,000 victims.
But of the 11,420 domestic violence incidents in the Metropolitan police area in 1993, how many would you guess involved the same individuals more than once? How many complaints were of the threat, rather than the reality, of violence? How many of those incidents were reported by men who were living with men? How many incidents of domestic violence were reported by men living with women ?
Imagine that Susan Edwards was in charge of preparing figures for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary or for supplying the junior minister, Mr Maclean, with her version of the figures. It would be the end of his career, Parliament would force the minister to resign. A point GLA members may like to absorb.
In the USA an ‘Ad Council’ advertisement showing the visual image of happily married newly weds had the sub-title warning for the bride of "42 percent of all murdered women are killed by the same man."
A frightening prospect, but a false one.
Happiness is an emotional experience. It does not motivate the casual female observer to undertake a statistical analysis of the 42% figure. It must be right, otherwise they wouldn’t print it. Wrong !
Most women may sense it is a statistical manipulation, but still that "feeling", the original dread, remains and the fear registers. And that is the adverts sole intent.
The value of stopping to do a statistical analysis is to make the fear appropriate to the reality. When it isn't, it's called paranoia. This advert is causing paranoia and women are beginning to fear 'fear' itself rather than reality.
In the year the advertisement was conceived 900 women were murdered by the man they married. 
That’s 900 out of population of 54 million married women in the United States, or 0.0016%. 
Which is more frightening, 42% or 0.0016% ?
The "42%" of all murdered women are killed by the same man, uses an old trick. Home and marriage are the two safest places for a women. Even HOS 191 recognises this.
The extraordinarily high figure of 42% is arrived at because so few married women are murdered to begin with (0.0016%) but when they are, husbands or ex-husbands account for 42% or about 0.0008%.
If we were to look only at husbands who murder while still married then the figure of 0.0008 would be considerable less. So it is not a matter of interpretation, or accidental conclusions, but of deliberate falsification (mis-information) that we have to contend with. More "negative externalities".
It is the same deceitfulness on the part of those who should know better that has given rise to the wholly phoney figures for rape – which incidentally, have been falling for over a decade in regards stranger rapes not only in this country but in many overseas countries. Yet more of those "negative externalities".
However, to return to domestic violence, it is an unspoken belief that husbands are more likely to kill their wives than vice versa. This is a common misconception.
Again, we enter the arena of "who's the biggest victim? As with lesser types of domestic violence it is alarming to discover that documented figures show that the two sexes kill their spouses' about equally. However, there are life-and-death consequences that result from feminists persuading the public that it is almost exclusively husbands who kill wives.
These consequences lead to the financing of only women's shelters and hotlines. No money is made available for shelters and hotlines for men. This leaves men with no place to go, no one to turn to when the danger lights begin to flash. They become the powder kegs mentioned earlier. This volatility can endanger their wives and female partners and it cannot be treated or assuaged by punitive policies or legislation.
So feminists inspired polices can lead to an increased murder rate.
It is men who are the people who cannot find a supportive ‘retreat’ even a temporary one, which could lead them towards a relationship language permanently.
No one knows ‘for sure’ which sex kills the other more. At first sight it might be reasonable to presume that more men kill women than vice versa. However, from various sources it seems likely that more wives kill husbands. But until the government is willing to collect data about the three female methods of killing, we can only make an educated guess. Our statistical gathering system has several major structural shortcomings. One implication of this relates to prison suicides. The Home Office and Prison Service's experts were unaware until alerted by ManKind, that the risk of young male suicides in prison (within the first 2 weeks) is directly related to fatherlessness. Equally, the Race and Violent Crimes Task Force (RVCTF) unit of the Met Police is set to gather data on murders associated with domestic violence. This connection it appears has not occurred to them before. A ‘RVCTF’ delegate will work with a detective on murders for any domestic violence correlation. But without two vital parameters that they have overlooked the whole expensive exercise will be futile.
American statistics are sometime more comprehensive and in-depth then our own. The US Bureau of Justice reports, women are the perpetrators in 41% of spousal murders.  However, the male method of killing is with a knife or gun, done by himself, often in the heat of the moment and it is easily detected and reported. By contrast the three female methods of killing are designed to not be detected, to have the man's death appear as an accident, so insurance money can be collected.
The first mostly-female method is poisoning with a pedigree that is pre-biblical.
The second is the wife hiring a professional killer.
The third is the wife persuading a boyfriend to do the killing.
Samson and Delilah and "Bring me the head of John the Baptist" immediately spring to mind. The last two methods, if discovered, are never listed by the FBI as a woman killing a man. They are placed in the ambiguously entitled "multiple-offender" killing category. 
We only know, according to FBI information, that in multiple-offender killings there are four times as many husbands as victims than wives.  That is, the 41% figure does not include either of the last two female methods of killing. The number of the first, ie undetected poisonings, is even harder to determine.
So if 41% were to represent 41 husbands and 59% were to represent 59 wives the actual number of husband murders would be in the region of 165 (41 x 4) giving an overall figure of three times as many husbands murdered than wives murdered. A very different picture.
In the UK the first and the third methods are the most common but the second is by no means uncommon.
Just how common multiple-offender killings, usually called contract killings, are we don't reliably know. Perhaps the best hint we have of how many husbands could be killed by contract comes from the FBI, reporting that some 7,800 men were killed without the killer being identified. For women the figure is a mere 1,500.  This number is almost nine times larger than all of the wives killed by spouses and ex-spouses put together.  However, this "nine times as many" figure is a very inadequate guide since many of these men were doubtless killed by other men, and many are unmarried. It just gives us an understanding that multiple-offender killings must be considered before we simplistically accept that more men murder wives than vice-versa.
Most importantly, of the hundred or so contract killings, only a small percentage were originally recognised as such. The very purpose in hiring a professional as with poisoning was to have the husband's death appear as an accident so the wife can collect insurance money.
Roberta Pearce, a teacher's aide, didn't have enough money to hire a real pro. But she knew if she killed her husband and got away with it, she would have $200,000 in life-insurance money, the mortgage would automatically be paid off for her and the home would be all hers. She offered two of her fifteen-year-old students $50,000 each, sex, and a car if they would do just one thing-kill her husband. Statistically, though, Roberta will not be listed as a wife who killed her husband.
A husband is much more likely to kill in an emotional fit of rage (so much for the rational sex!). Or he kills his wife and children, and then turns the gun on himself. Which is where we came in.
-oo0 E N D 0oo-
SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone)
Stanley Green, Men’s Advocate
Mr. Stanley Greenis an internationally-recognized spokesman for male victims of domestic violence and a certified advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Mr. Green’s workshops and presentations emphasize the human aspects of intimate violence, stepping away from the polarization of gender-wars stereotypes. Mr. Green was one of the first male survivors of domestic violence to break the silence on a social problem which many claimed did not exist. Nationally-syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker wrote of Mr. Green as "the battered male’s poster boy." He had been interviewed regarding gender issues by ABC 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Television of Chile, Newsweek, the Associated Press, and radio stations in the Los Angeles and Seattle areas. He advocates for policy change and serves on the Legislative Committee of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, and has served on the Public Information Committee of the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council. He has conducted training on gender and sexuality bias issues for programs including the YWCA and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
Christina Wolf, an honors graduate in psychology from Whitman College, writes: "Mr. Green was an excellent presenter who was obviously well-researched and passionate about what he was teaching. He opened our minds to looking at many angles of gender in domestic violence and sexual assault that are so often overlooked. He presented his material in a clear and interesting manner, and easily engaged us in the issues we were discussing."
Joe Manthey, Male Advocate
Joe Manthey is a male advocate who leads Kid Culture in the Schools and Raising Good Sons seminars. What distinguishes him from other battered men advocates is that he also focuses on family (and other) violence against boys. His professional activities have included being a public school teacher, and a panelist/guest speaker and writer on a host of men's and boy's issues, including family violence. Mr. Manthey, who works closely with The Wonder of Boys, A Fine Young Man, The Good Son author Michael Gurian, presents a male affirming portrait of boys and men that, while honoring the inherent psycho-biological differences between the sexes, allows the audience to see the often hidden emotional fragility of men and boys. As one workshop participant wrote in her evaluation, "As a school counselor and mother of a 12 year-old boy I'm realizing that this is just beginning to scratch the surface of these issues. Obviously there is a lot more material that needs to be reviewed. The ideas and issues raised are very thought provoking. I feel a new appreciation for boys in the schools and the community. I'm hoping that this will give me new insights to my son and the young boys I counsel."
Mr. Manthey has been featured on National Public Radio, Channel 7 News (S.F. Bay Area ABC affiliate), Dallas Morning News, Phoenix Sun, KQED FM (S.F. Bay Area NPR affiliate) and many other media outlets nationwide. He is in the process of establishing a Sonoma County Men's and Boy's Resource Center.
R. L. McNeely, Ph.d, J.D., School of Social Welfare, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
R.L. McNeely is a professor of social welfare and a practicing attorney. He has published two edited volumes, and more than sixty articles in social science and education journals, particularly on work satisfaction in the human services, balancing work and family life, organizational effectiveness in public schools, and on race and crime. Formerly a Fellow of the American Council on Education, he is a Research Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, he has testified before Congress on the issue of domestic violence, and he has served as a domestic violence consultant in the U.S. Army. His most recent article (forthcoming Fall 99) on domestic violence will appear in the journal for Human Behavior in the Social Environment, with co-authors, Philip W. Cook, and Dr. Jose Torres.
Dr. McNeely is a speaker who will challenge, enlighten, and educate any audience.
All inquires to :-
SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone)
PO Box 951
Tualatin, OR 97062
Suicide policeman kills wife and sons
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 29 2001PA NEWS
A policeman bludgeoned his wife and two of his sons to death at the family home before hanging himself, it emerged today. Officers were called to the semi-detached house in a residential area of Kent last night following reports of a domestic incident but found shocking scenes described by one as "horrific".
Detectives, who say the incident is being treated as a murder-suicide, said no gun was used in the killings. A hammer has been recovered by forensic experts.
The constable, named today as PC Karl Bluestone, 36, was found dead in a detached garage at the rear of the three-bedroom house in Marling Way, Gravesend. Officers found the bodies of his wife Jill Bluestone, 31, and their son Henry, three. The couple's three other children were rushed to the Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, where 18-month-old Chandler died of his injuries.
The survivors are Jack, eight , who is in a critical but stable condition in hospital, and Jessica, seven, who escaped with only minor injuries. Jessica raised the alarm by banging on a neighbour's door at around 10pm last night. Jack has been moved from Darent Valley to King's College Hospital in London suffering with serious head injuries. He remains in a critical but stable condition.
Mrs Bluestone worked in the accounts department at Essex County Council. Officers said they found one body upstairs and one downstairs and that all the curtains were drawn when they entered the house. All the children were dressed for bed when officers found them.
A Kent Police spokeswoman said officers were called to the scene by neighbours in the adjoining semi-detached house. She said: "The seven-year-old girl had knocked on their door in a very distressed state and they took her in and called the police. Our officers came round expecting to find a domestic. They were obviously not expecting what they found. They were faced with a horrific scene. The victims were in different rooms in the house."
Detectives are now trying to piece together what may have led PC Bluestone, a respected officer who is said to have adored his children, to kill and injure his family.
Neighbours said they had heard Mr and Mrs Bluestone arguing in the past but said they were unaware of any domestic problems between the couple.
Lee Watts, 43, who lives opposite the family, today said: "It is a shock to hear this had happened, especially with children involved. The first we knew was when we saw flashing lights of police cars at 10pm last night. All of a sudden it was pandemonium with cars arriving and tape going up across the road.
"As it was so noisy we could not sleep so watched what was going on all night. We knew it was serious when ambulance turned up and they carried out two children that were still alive on a stretcher."
Mr Watts said Mrs Bluestone kept very much to herself, but the officer always spoke to him when they met and "seemed like a normal guy". He added: "We have heard a couple of arguments over there and saw them rowing once as unfortunately they left their door open."
Police broke the news to PC Bluestone's parents, Christine and Gregor, who live in a street behind their son's home. The couple who were in the South of France on holiday, staying with their youngest daughter and her husband, are travelling home today.
Peter Snelling, a friend of the dead policeman's parents, said he had watched Karl grow up and had known him all his life. He used to take him to school and football with his own son of a similar age when they were growing up.
He said: "I can't believe what he has done to his kids. It seems so out of character as he adored them and they loved him. I heard the police cars turn up at about 10pm last night and then saw the youngest boy, Chandler, being rushed in to an ambulance. The other two kids who survived were then taken away in ambulances and I saw police officers come out of the house and slump on to the bonnets of their cars to have a cigarette. That was when I knew something was gravely wrong."
PC Bluestone grew up in Frobisher Way, Gravesend, with his two younger sisters. Mr Snelling said: "Everyone that knew him would say they could not imagine him being a violent person."
Marion James, 60, another neighbour, also expressed disbelief at what had happened, saying: "I knew them fairly well and I would always speak to them in the street.
"The kids always played with my dog if I was walking her. They always seemed nice ordinary people. I just cannot believe anything like this could happen."
She added that Mr and Mrs Bluestone were new to the street about eight years ago. The couple married in Middlesbrough in 1996. It was his second marriage and he has a child who lives with his first wife.
The weapon police officers recovered from the scene will be examined as part of the post-mortem, taking place today at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.
PC Bluestone, who joined Kent Police in 1987, went to work as normal yesterday and was due at work at 8am today. He was part of a rural tactical unit used to target specific crimes in north Kent, such as criminal damage or vandalism.
A police spokeswoman said: "This is a totally unexpected and tragic incident. PC Bluestone's colleagues had not noticed anything wrong with him. Everyone is shocked by what has happened."
Sunday Times, November 19th 2000 NEWS REVIEW
Man beaters behind closed doors
Domestic violence by women is rising as the balance of power in the home
Hitting out: women today have greater economic and sexual freedom, and are more inclined to use violence in a relationship.
Of course, such stories may well have another side to them. However, family lawyers say it is common for women to make false allegations of domestic violence in divorce cases. Mark Bowman, a lawyer with London solicitors Alistair Meldrum, said this had got a great deal worse recently after several court rulings and guidance from the lord chancellor laid down that if the courts thought domestic violence had occurred, they may conclude that it was better for a child not to see its father.
"In the last few months, the atmosphere has been poisoned by these rulings," said Bowman. "They mean that fathers now have to fight every allegation of domestic violence otherwise they will lose contact with their children." Yet it's hard to defend themselves as the women don't have to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt, only on a balance of probabilities. And the courts tend to believe them.
"Women have an incentive to exaggerate claims of violence," said Bowman, "as they can use them to get the man ousted from the family home." Moreover, he said, the legal aid rules required women who made such allegations to report them to the police as a condition for assistance. So on this basis alone, the police figures are likely to be inflated by these often false claims. The lord chancellor's guidance on domestic violence is itself a disturbing document. Although it says that the definition of domestic violence must be "gender neutral" and makes passing reference to evidence that most violence against children is perpetrated by mothers, it is almost exclusively concerned with domestic violence by fathers.
Cherie Blair: getting it wrong Indeed, domestic violence seems to have turned into an obsession among family lawyers. A draft "family protocol" from the Law Society advises lawyers to ask clients leading questions such as "Have you been arguing a lot recently ?" or "Do you generally have a lot of arguments ?" or "Do you and your partner ever lose your temper ?" as a way of sniffing out domestic violence. Even more sinister is its advice that "many forms of domestic violence are hidden and not recognised even by the client". So domestic violence, it seems, occurs even when the victim is unaware of it.
It's not just Britain that has fallen victim to the notion that endemic male violence is the symptom of patriarchal power over women. It's convulsing the legal systems in America, Canada, Ireland and much of Europe, too.
Yet Archer stands it on its head. Modern secular values, he says, have combined with the economic and sexual emancipation of women to enable them to end relationships with little cost and small risk of male aggression. The result is the rise in female violence. The balance of power between men and women has shifted. Why are lawyers and politicians so determined to ignore the evidence ?
E N D
Battered men want victim status
By JONATHAN MILNE, Nations News, 13 OCTOBER 2000 (New Zealand)
Men's groups are fighting hard to have men's status as victims of domestic violence recognised, as the Law Commission prepares to report to Parliament on changing the law governing battered defendants.
A 1998 Otago University study shows that women are more likely than men to be the perpetrators of physical abuse of their partners, while a 1999 Auckland University study shows that men and women are at least equally responsible for assaults.
The Otago University Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has followed 1037 people from birth through to their early 20s, created a political storm in the United States where it was published.
It shows that about 27 per cent of women and 34 per cent of men reported they had been physically abused by their partner. About 37 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men said they had perpetrated the violence.
However, the violence perpetrated by men was more likely to result in criminal action, as it was more likely to be severe enough to injure the victim.
The commission has set a deadline of this month for submissions on its discussion paper Battered Defendants: Victims of Domestic Violence Who Offend.
The report says the law is sometimes unable to deal with battered defendants, and proposes options such as lesser sentences for retaliatory murder, and a defence of "diminished responsibility". It deals in depth with the battered woman syndrome, but has been criticised for failing to deal with battered men.
Mana Men's Rights Group, in a submission, argues that it is difficult for men to defend themselves against allegations of abusing their partners, and even harder when they are also a victim.
Spokesman Bruce Cheriton said there were only four protection orders against women in Wellington region and more than 8000 against men. Men were treated more harshly by the courts if they hit their partners, he said. A battered man who killed his wife "would be doing life".
Auckland Men's Centre adviser Jim Bagnall said he knew of a case in which a battered man had called the police 97 times before they did anything. "By that stage he needed 36 stitches in his head, and his partner got only 18 months in jail."
Separated Fathers Support Trust spokesman Warren Heap said his organisation had tried unsuccessfully to set up a men's refuge in Auckland, because he believed battered men were committing suicide rather than complaining to police.
But Women's Refuge head Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said the evidence she had seen indicated that women were much more likely than men to be the victims of domestic violence. She also said: "I do believe there is an increase in violence, by women, toward their partners. It's just following the general trend of an increase in violence in our society."
Women are at least as violent as men, but the evidence is everywhere being dismissed or ignored
by Melanie PhillipsOctober 24 1999, NEWS REVIEW Sunday Times
Picture: Natural aggression: Muhammad Ali's fighting daughter Laila. Photograph: Jim McKnight
Mention feminism to most people and the reaction will probably be one of faintly amused indifference. Some men may be irritated by feminist rhetoric; some women might feel their agenda is a little extreme. But the extent to which feminism in its most extreme form has embedded itself within the institutions and thinking of Britain has simply not been grasped.
Feminism has become the unchallengeable orthodoxy in even the most apparently conservative institutions, and drives forward the whole programme of domestic social policy. Yet this orthodoxy is not based on concepts of fairness or justice or social solidarity. It is based on hostility towards men.
The idea that men oppress women, who therefore have every interest in avoiding the marriage trap and must achieve independence from men at all costs, may strike many as having little to do with everyday life. Yet it is now the galvanic principle behind social, economic and legal policy-making.
Buried within this doctrine, though, is an even deeper assumption. Male oppression of women is only made possible by the fact that men are intrinsically predatory and violent, threatening both women and children with rape or assault. Men are therefore the enemy - not just of women but of humanity, the proper objects of fear and scorn.
This assumption runs through feminist thinking as a given. "Most violence, most crime . . . is not committed by human beings in general. It is committed by men," wrote Jill Tweedie.
According to Marilyn French, men used violence both to threaten and control, as well as actually harm: "As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all women."
Moreover, it is marriage and family life that expose women most to male violence. According to Gloria Steinem, "patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself . . . The most dangerous situation for a woman is not an unknown man in the street, or even the enemy in wartime, but a husband or lover in the isolation of their own home".
All this has been enough to turn the stomachs of some feminists, particularly those who love husbands or sons. Novelist Maggie Gee said she once thought the sex war was exciting, but had now concluded it went too far. "Women are giving up on their relationships too quickly. Living with a man I love very much, I keep thinking that all the generalisations about men just aren't true."
These generalisations, however, are now the stuff of public policy. Male violence against women, said the government in June 1999, was no longer going to be "swept under the carpet". Virtually nobody questioned the premise that men were invariably
victimisers and women always their victims.
There is no doubt that some men are violent towards women; the evidence of women's injuries is real enough. However, this is one side of the story only. There is another side: the extent of women's violence against men and children. That, though, is a story that almost every official body in Britain and America has successfully suppressed.
There are now dozens of studies which show that women are as violent towards their partners, if not more so, than men. Unlike most feminist research, these studies ask men as well as women whether they have ever been on the receiving end of violence from their partners. They are therefore not only more balanced than studies which only ask about violence against women, but are more reliable indicators than official statistics which can be distorted by factors affecting the reporting rate - women using claims of violence as a weapon in custody cases, for example, or men who are too ashamed or embarrassed to reveal they have been abused.
Many people are likely to be astonished and sceptical about the conclusion drawn by these reports. The idea that women are as violent as men is counter-intuitive and simply disbelieved. So it is important to provide a flavour of the scope and significance of their findings.
A 1994 British study by Michelle Carrado and others, for example, interviewed 1,800 men and women with heterosexual partners. Some 11% of the men but only 5% of the women said their current partner had committed acts of violence towards them, ranging from pushing, through hitting, to stabbing. Five per cent of married or cohabiting men reported two or more acts of violence against them in a current relationship, compared with only 1% of women. A further 10% of men but 11% of women said they had committed one of these violent acts.
Study after study shows women are not merely violent in self-
defence but strike the first blow in about half of all disputes. The American social scientists Murray Straus and Richard Gelles reported from two large national surveys that husbands and wives had assaulted each other at approximately equal rates, with women engaging in minor acts of violence more frequently. Elsewhere, they found more wives than husbands were severely violent towards their spouses.
Moreover, there is now considerable evidence that women initiate severe violence more frequently than men. A survey of 1,037 young adults born between 1972 and 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, found that 18.6% of young women said they had perpetrated severe physical violence against their partners, compared with 5.7% of young men. Three times more women than men said they had kicked or bitten their partners, or hit them with their fists or with an object.
In any event, the idea that women are never the instigators of violence is demolished by the evidence about lesbians. According to Claire Renzetti, violence in lesbian relationships occurs with about the same frequency as in heterosexual relationships. Lesbian batterers "display a terrifying ingenuity in their selection of abusive tactics, frequently tailoring the abuse to the specific vulnerabilities of their partners". Such abuse can be extremely violent, with women bitten, kicked, punched, thrown down stairs, and assaulted with weapons including guns, knives, whips and broken bottles.
It is true that most women who are the victims of violence suffer domestic assaults. Yet the 1996 British Crime Survey reported that nearly one third of the victims of domestic violence were men, and that nearly half of these male victims were attacked by women.
Moreover, if a woman starts a physical fight with a man, even a mild slap might provoke him into retaliating, with far worse consequences. Women who murder violent husbands may be treated leniently because they were provoked; yet men who are violent against women are never granted the same understanding. Provocation, it appears, is a feminist issue.
Moreover, given the greater strength of men, it is particularly noteworthy that so many women initiate violence against them. The fact is that men hold back. The psychologist John Archer has noted that, among female college students, 29% admitted initiating an assault on a male partner. Of those women, half said they had no fear of retaliation or, since men could easily defend themselves, they did not see their own physical aggression as a problem. In other words, far from assuming that men are violent, women take men's non-aggression for granted.
Archer went on to remark on the apparent restraint shown by many men in western cultures. "We might speculate that to some extent a strong norm of men not hitting women enables women to engage in physical aggression which might otherwise not have occurred," he wrote. Male aggression, he suggested, was a kind of default value associated with patriarchal structures.
When these are overridden, as they have been by modern secular liberal values and by the emancipation of women, female aggression increases. "These values will have greatest impact in a relationship that can be ended by the woman at little cost, and where the rate of male aggression is low.
"We can speculate that these represent specific instances of a more general set of circumstances entailing a relative change in the balance of power between men and women."
In other words, as women have become independent of men, they have also become more violent towards them - because men have become dispensable. This unpalatable conclusion, however, has been completely overlooked in a culture that believes infamy is the prerogative of the male.
Much to everyone's astonishment, the Home Office recently produced its own evidence that domestic violence was not a male disease. In January 1999, it reported that 4.2% of women and 4.2% of men aged 16 to 59 said they had been physically assaulted by a current or former partner in the past year. Women separated from their partners were most likely to be victims, with 22% assaulted at least once in 1995.
The public reaction to the Home Office research was almost complete silence. The government, too, appeared impervious to its implications. Shortly after it was published, the Home Secretary opened a domestic violence court in Leeds that was founded on the explicit assumption that only men were violent.
In June this year, the Cabinet Office Women's Unit launched a campaign to "change the culture" that presented domestic violence as almost exclusively a problem of male crime. It managed to omit another under-reported fact: that most violence against children is committed by their mothers, not their fathers. A study by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children revealed a few years ago that natural mothers, not fathers, are most frequently the perpetrators of physical injury, emotional abuse and neglect. This is not particularly surprising, since mothers generally have much more daily contact than fathers with their children.
There was yet another notable omission: the Women's Unit material did not differentiate between couples who were married and people who were living together or had irregular lovers.
It therefore omitted a key fact: that the risk of violence increases significantly for unmarried couples. The Home Office study itself observed that marital separation was a "key risk factor". Only 12.6 in every 1,000 married women are victims of violence, compared with 43.9 in every 1,000 never-married women and 66.5 in every 1,000 divorced or separated women.
As husbands are replaced by partners and lovers, therefore, violence against women increases. Marriage is a strong safety factor for women.
Yet this is not said. Instead, the opposite idea is fostered, that violence against women typically takes place within marriage. In November 1998, the Women's Unit announced a new initiative. Children were urged to report violence against mothers and sisters. There was no mention of abuse against fathers. Instead, a television advertisement showed a husband berating his wife when she told him dinner would be late. That was the violence. It was followed by a helpline number for children to call if a woman in their house had been abused.
This fictional scenario illuminated some remarkable thinking by civil servants and ministers. It had become acceptable, it thus appeared, for children to inform on their fathers to teachers or "helplines" simply for shouting at their mothers. Shouting was now to be classified as domestic violence. If that is the case, then violence happens with enormous frequency in families. Don't women sometimes shout at men?
There was another telling aspect of this advertisement. It featured an "Oxo" middle-class nuclear family. The thinking behind this, according to the then Scottish Office minister Helen Liddell, was that "domestic abuse knows no boundaries of social class or social group". However, not only was this scenario not violence, but the nuclear family is the least likely setting for abuse of women or children. It was no accident, however, that it was chosen. The married nuclear family has to be demonised because it is said to be the vehicle for the oppression of women.
The outcome of all this is that it is now generally accepted that violence is intrinsically male. This is a gravely distorted picture. It is true that most recorded crime is committed by men. It does not follow, however, that most men commit crime. Yet this is the false conclusion that has been drawn, as the result of the suppression or distortion of the facts about violence as well as the message that is constantly promulgated that violence is a problem of masculinity. The evidence suggests that a quite different conclusion should be drawn. This is surely that both women and men are capable of aggression and violence, but that violent men, like violent women, are not typical of their sex.
© Melanie Phillips 1999
Extracted from The Sex Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, by Melanie Phillips, to be published by Social Market Foundation next Monday, £12.99. Copies can be ordered for £11.99 from The Sunday Times Bookshop on 0870 165 8585 and from ManKind, Fax 020-793-4935 Berkeley Square, London
Inspector General: HUD Wasted $1.1M
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer, Thursday September 6th 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) - The government wasted $1.1 million on a program that told public housing tenants which gemstones, types of incense and clothing colors would best improve their self-esteem, an internal audit found.
The Creative Wellness Program was funded through a federal anti-drugs and crime program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) starting in 1998. But in a report released Wednesday, the HUD inspector general
found scant evidence the money had resulted in less substance abuse or violent crime in the public housing projects.
``This represents an excessive and ineffective use of public housing drug elimination funds with no measurable benefits,'' the report said.
The inspector general also said that HUD employee Gloria Cousar, then deputy assistant secretary for public and assisted housing delivery, likely misused her position by awarding the contract for the program to Michelle Lusson, with whom she had a long-standing relationship through their joint leadership of the Virginia-based Community Center for Holistic Healing and other capacities. The inspector general said Cousar did not make enough of an effort to look for alternative contractors.
HUD spokeswoman Nancy Segerdahl said the department agreed wholeheartedly with the inspector general's conclusions about the wellness program.
The creative wellness program has been suspended and the contract with Lusson's Washington-based nonprofit, National Institute for Medical Options, was not renewed.
``The bottom line is, gemstones, mood rings, don't mean much to a family going without a roof over their heads,'' Segerdahl said. ``It's pretty clear the program did little to further the mission of HUD.''
Cousar has been removed from the position and no longer has authority to sign off on grant awards, although she still works in the agency's public housing division, Segerdahl said. Additional disciplinary action will be considered.
The wellness program, begun under then-Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo but canceled this year with his support, aimed to make public housing residents feel better about themselves and thus be less likely to be involved with drugs, domestic violence or crime.
The wellness effort was funded through HUD's $310 million drug-elimination program, which the Bush administration has proposed killing.
The wellness program provided ample ammunition to Republican critics of the drug-elimination program, which provides grants to municipal housing authorities for a variety of crime- and drug-fighting efforts. Congress is considering competing spending bills that would either cut the anti-drug program as Bush wants or restore full funding for it.
Though New Age-style techniques, wellness trainers poked participants in the glands to determine a person's personality type, named after 14 Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. Then, participants were counseled on the kind of diet, exercise, colors, gemstones and incenses they should surround themselves with to reduce stress and boost self-esteem.
The program was taught in public housing projects in nine cities, through two grants awarded to NIMO in 1998 and 2000 totaling $1.1 million.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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BREAKDOWN OF FEMALE AND MALE
A study produced on domestic violence was a Manitoba, Canada study by Reena Sommer, a research associate at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and Evaluation.
Entitled "Male and Female Partner Abuse: Testing a Diathesis-Stress Model," the study, an integral component of Ms. Sommer's Ph.D. thesis (which she successfully defended, thus earning her the title of Doctor), was conducted in two waves over a four-year period. The first wave, during 1989-90, collected data from a random sample of 452 married or cohabiting women and 447 married or cohabiting men, who completed self-administered questionnaires as well as a 90-minute formal interview with a researcher.
The second wave, during 1991-92, gathered follow-up interviews from 369 of the same women and 368 of the same men. In both waves of data collection, and both by self-report and report by their partners, women
were found to be more abusive than men. The study defined abuse as "an act (or acts) carried out with intention, or perceived intention, of causing physical pain or injury to another person." (Note: this definition removes from consideration such incredibly dubious types of "abuse" as simple yelling, while including abuse such as threatening violence without actually doing
violence). Acts of abuse also included throwing an object, pushing, grabbing, shoving or hitting. The study also examined "who started it," i.e., the initial perpetrators of the violent act.
Some statistics follow:
WHO STARTED IT: Breakdown of Female- and Male-Perpetrated
Violence as a Percentage of all Survey Respondents
Threw or smashed an object(not at partner)
Initiated by Women 23.6
Initiated by Men 15.8
Threatened to throw an object
Initiated by Women 14.9
Initiated by Men 7.3
Threw an object at partner
Initiated by Women 16.2
Initiated by Men 4.6
Pushed, shoved or grabbed a partner
Initiated by Women 19.8
Initiated by Men 17.2
Slapped, punched or kicked
Initiated by Women 15.8
Initiated by Men 7.3
Struck partner with a weapon
Initiated by Women 3.1
Initiated by Men 0.9
Violence Perpetrated in Self-Defense:
Initiated by Women 9.9
Initiated by Men 14.8
My Partner needed Medical Attention:
Initiated by Women 14.3
Initiated by Men 21.4
Initiated by Women 39.1
Initiated by Men 26.3
Alcohol Consumption during Violent Incident:
Initiated by Women 8.0
Initiated by Men 16.0
Dr. Reena Sommer, "Male and Female Partner Abuse: Testing a Diathesis-Stress Model," unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Dept. of Sociology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, June 1994.
The above is from Wave One data.
Alcohol consumption, alcohol abuse, personality and female perpetrated spouse abuse.
Sommer-Reena; Barnes-Gordon-E; Murray-Robert-P Journal: Personality and Individual
"Violence against men deserves attention, too"
by Donna Laframboise, National Post August 1st , 2000
When Statistics Canada released its latest domestic violence survey last week, it was difficult to know whether to celebrate or hoot derisively.
First, the good news: Spousal homicide has declined dramatically over the past 20 years.
In less than a generation, the rate at which men murder their wives has been cut in half - from 15 murders for every million couples in 1979 to seven per million in 1998. The rate at which women murder their husbands has been halved as well, to two murders for every million couples.
But that's not all. Only 8% of women and 7% of men say they've experienced a violent incident with an intimate partner during the past five years. (According to this study, "violence" includes shoving, pushing, grabbing and throwing objects as well as beatings and stabbings.)
Since the vast majority of these incidents took place in relationships that people have already left, only 2% of women and men report violence with their present partner during the past year. [emphasis added ].
In other words, 98% of Canadians currently enjoy relationships in which even the most minor forms of physical conflict are absent. The overwhelming majority of us are safe in our own homes. The typical husband, like the typical wife, is not a violent brute.
The other good news is that domestic violence is closely associated with being young - perhaps because people make better choices as they get older, but also because most crime decreases with age. While 5% of women under 25 report some violence in their current relationship, this declines steadily until only 1% of women aged 45 and over do (with violence against men following a similar pattern). Women under the age of 25 are twice as likely to be murdered by their spouse as women aged 25 to 44. Men, too, are five times more likely to be murdered before their 25th birthday as those between the ages of 45 and 54.
Now the bad news: Following the release of this study, violence-against-women activists disgraced themselves by insisting that husband abuse isn't worth worrying about. Merely asking men - as well as women - how often they've been threatened, kicked or slapped is, according to Vivien Green, co-ordinator of the Woman Abuse Council of Toronto, "criminal."
"I really think that totally irresponsible. It's criminal. It flies in the face of the reality of women's lives," she told a newspaper after hearing that Statistics Canada had (for the first time) gathered data about the abuse males also experience.
Now let's see. How seriously would we take a suicide prevention worker who said it's criminal to collect data about female suicide and who believes that doing so "flies in the face of the reality of men's lives" (four out of five suicides are committed by men, after all). Surely someone who viewed women's experiences as totally irrelevant would be immediately recognized for what they are: appalling, hard-hearted and narrow-minded.
Pamela Cross, another women's activist from Sarnia, Ont., responded equally scandalously. "It's a given that nobody should face violence," she told the media, "but I'm not prepared to spend two seconds of my time to think of a strategy to make Canadians take violence against men seriously when we haven't taken violence against women seriously enough."
Like many of her colleagues, Ms. Cross no doubt sees female violence as less of a concern since three women have been killed by their spouse for every man during the past 20 years. But according to this logic, there's little reason to spend two seconds on breast cancer research - since 15 times as many people die from heart problems as from breast cancer every day.
When historians look back at these years, they're going to shake their heads at the hypocrisy of feminist activists who insist that "no amount of violence is acceptable" when the offender is male yet never miss an opportunity to minimize violence when it gets committed by women.
For such people, abuse stopped being the real issue long ago. Their concern now is the measuring tape that indicates that the small number of men who behave violently typically inflict more damage than the small number of women who behave violently. Well so bloody what?
Domestic violence isn't a contest about who suffers more. It isn't a pointless argument about the degree to which one sex or the other is prone to bad behaviour. It's about kids growing up in families where neither parent strikes, bites, kicks or chokes the other.
E N D. Copyright © 2000 National Post.
Donna, Rudy Clash Over Kids - She rejects plan for joint custody
By Joanne Wassermann and Helen Peterson, Daily News Staff Writers, Monday, May 14, 2001,
The ugly divorce battle between Mayor Giuliani and his estranged wife, Donna Hanover, has escalated into a tug of war over the kids.
Hanover flatly rejected a joint custody proposal from the mayor, sources told the Daily News yesterday. Details of the proposal weren't cited in court yesterday, but a source familiar with the case said the plan called for the kids to live with Hanover, with liberal visitation by Giuliani. If approved, it would be revisited by the court in a year.
But Hanover vetoed the proposal and demanded sole custody, sources said, with decision-making power on schooling and other day-to-day issues for Andrew, 15, and Caroline, 11.
The looming custody fight was one of several developments in the Giuliani-Hanover saga yesterday:· A law guardian was appointed to represent Andrew and Caroline. Gracie Mansion remained shut to mayoral girlfriend Judith Nathan, as an appellate court refused to issue a stay of an order banning her from the mayoral residence.
A judge held off on appointing a mental health expert to evaluate the family, although it is still a possibility.
Hanover's lawyer, Helene Brezinsky, asked whether Giuliani is hiding some of his assets.
But the main story line dealt with the children. With Giuliani and Hanover unable to agree on when their kids should meet Nathan, Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Judith Gische appointed a law guardian to represent the children. Attorney Jo Ann Douglas [*] will be the kids' legal voice in the dispute and is expected to ask their feelings on being introduced to Nathan. The judge said she is encouraging Giuliani and Hanover to speak to their kids about "what is ailing them" and wants Douglas to talk to them about "what, if anything, bothers them about meeting Ms. Nathan." The mayor's lawyer Raoul Felder called the appointment of the law guardian — whose bills will be paid by both parents — unfortunate, but Gische said she had no choice.
"When the parents abdicate their parental decision-making to the court," Gische said, "[I have to get information] to make decisions in the case." ...and Giuliani himself, whose fight with Hanover continues in Manhattan Supreme Court. She did not appoint a mental health expert to evaluate the family, but left the door open. Once that became clear, Felder asked on behalf of the mayor for a private conference among Giuliani, Hanover, the judge, the law guardian and the lawyers.
"I am not sure my client wants to sacrifice his children on that altar," Felder said, referring to a mental health exam.
Brezinsky objected to the private conference, saying the couple is communicating less now than before their last private conference in December. She said she doesn't want to put Hanover through another closed-door session with the mayor.
"It's another opportunity to beat up on us," Brezinsky said. Gische disagreed, saying she didn't see what would be lost by opening the lines of communication.
She said she is concerned about the case taking on a life of its own and that it is "astonishing" that the lawyers couldn't even agree on whether Hanover or Giuliani should be deposed first. Eventually, Gische ordered Giuliani to be deposed July 17 and Hanover on Aug. 3 or 10.
Hours after the hearing, the Appellate Division refused to issue a stay of Gische's May 21 order prohibiting Nathan from visiting Gracie Mansion. The five-judge panel didn't explain its reasoning but said the mayor could
go ahead with his appeal. Felder characterized the decision as good news for Giuliani. "We're enthused by it because it is a very unusual decision," he said, noting that the court welcomed immediate submission of papers and granted
an expedited appeal.
That means that although the court refused to immediately open the mansion to Nathan, it is willing to consider in the near future whether she should be allowed to visit.
"They obviously thought this had important legal ramifications and wanted to deal with it," Felder said. "It goes beyond Mrs. Anonymous and Mr. Anonymous."
Because the court is closed for much of the summer, it's unclear whether the case would be decided before the mayor's term expires. Felder, however, said it could be done within a month.
Jo Ann Douglas. Court-appointed law guardian for Andrew Giuliani, 15 and Caroline Giuliani, 11. College: UCLA, Law School: NYU. Specialty: Family law
No stranger to high-profile cases, veteran litigator Douglas has worked almost exclusively as a law guardian for children for the last decade. How she sees her role as law guardian: "The attorney may act as a champion of the child's best interest, as advocate for the child's preference, as investigator seeking truth on controverted issues, or may serve to recommend alternatives for the court's consideration."
New York Law Journal, May 30th 2001.http://www.nydailynews.com/today/News_and_Views/City_Beat/a-115586.asp
The false assumptions that insult all men
By Melnie Phillips, Sunday Times Feb 20th 1999
Women are now so afraid of being raped or sexually assaulted that they will not leave their homes, says Lady Jay, the Cabinet Office minister. Home Office figures last week informed us that the number of women who were raped or sexually assaulted was likely to be up to 295,000 in 1996, rather than the official figure of 23,600.
What tripe. This is no new study. It is just bits of previously published reports and old crime figures cobbled together with some wild extrapolations to produce a figure alarming enough to justify the £6m being poured into women's aid bodies who have been invited to bid for the cash.
It is true that there is a "dark area" of crime that happens but, for one reason or another, does not appear in the statistics. So rates of domestic violence, like other crimes, are likely to be higher than reported. What the Home Office has done, though, is to produce a skewed account that is not only alarmist but a group libel upon men through statistical jiggery-pokery of a high order.
It arrives at its inflated figures by reference to two "dark areas" of crime. The first covers those rapes and indecent assaults that are reported to the police but which the police decide not to record as crimes. The second covers the difference between the number of rapes or sex assaults that are reported and the rate at which people themselves claim to have suffered them.
So the Home Office has calculated the "true" reporting rate and then multiplied that again by reference to the victims' own accounts.
Yet this is deeply flawed. Citing a report that showed the police decided in 1996 that 25% of reported rapes were not crimes at all, the Home Office says it is "safe to assume" that those dismissed complaints should be added to the reported figures. This completely ignores two crucial points. First, the report cited dealt only with rape. So it is wrong to use it to calculate the figures not only for rape but for other sexual assaults, too.
Second, the report pointed out that the most common reason why the police decided not to record these reports as crimes was that they believed the women's complaints were false or malicious. So it is certainly not "safe" to add these dismissed reports to the rate of reported crime, since it is likely that at least some, and probably most, of these rape claims were lies. Yet the Home Office has assumed they were all true.
It then multiplies this deeply suspect new statistic, this time using figures drawn from "various studies", which say that only 10% to 25% of women claiming rape report it to the police.
These studies were published in the 1980s, when women were far less likely to report rape than in 1996. So it is misleading to use their figures to multiply the 1996 statistic.
The fundamental assumption beneath this inflationary calculation is that women claiming sexual assault are always telling the truth. Not so. Only recently Martin Garfoot, a pharmacist, successfully sued his former colleague Lynn Walker for libel after she had falsely accused him of raping her. Some women do make such false accusations.
Nevertheless, the assumption that women are always victims
and men their victimisers underpins government policy. It is the rationale for giving public money to women's aid.
The striking fact is that the Home Office has chosen to ignore
altogether its own research, which reported an equal number of men and women saying they had been assaulted by their companions. Indeed, as I show in my book, The Sex-Change Society, there is now a huge body of international research showing that women initiate
often serious violence against their companions as frequently as men initiate it against them - and sometimes more often.
The crucial point is that these studies ask both men and women whether they have been at the receiving end of violence from the opposite sex.
Most British domestic violence studies - the ones on which the Home Office relies - are effectively rigged. They ask only women, often in self-selecting samples, about their experiences as victims. They also absurdly broaden the definition of violence to include "ridicule" or "control" or "shouting".
Such worthless "research" has produced the risible claim that one in four women experiences domestic violence. Yet there was Jay regurgitating this old chestnut last week, as she did last year when she launched the Women's Unit campaign to "change the culture" of violence against women.
When challenged about her strange omission of the victimisation of men by women, she admitted that domestic violence was not "gender-exclusive", but said the government could not get involved in such "subtle issues". Anyway, it was women, not men, who mainly got injured.
Well, of course some women are grievously injured by men. Yet the remarkable fact is that, despite men's superior strength, about one third of people injured through domestic violence are known to be men and this is likely to be a gross underestimate. Male victims overwhelmingly say their complaints are not taken seriously by the police. Worse, they are likely to find themselves arrested by officers who cannot believe that women can injure men.
So few ask for help or report what has happened. Data analysed last year by Professor Kevin Browne, of Birmingham University for the Dispatches TV programme showed that more than half of male victims had put up with persistent domestic violence for two years before telling anyone, because of the shame and humiliation of admitting to being assaulted by a woman.
In other words, it is now men as well as women who are likely to be under-reporting sexual assaults against themselves. The culture certainly needs to be changed; but not in the discriminatory way that Jay wants. We have to replace the false view that men are always victimisers and women their victims by the more realistic acknowledgment that each sex equally perpetrates violence on the other.
This, of course, would hurt the women's aid industry that attracts funds on the back of the belief that men are invariably victimisers and women their victims. Not surprisingly, therefore, hapless Home Office officials have come under severe pressure to destroy, repudiate or obliterate their own research showing sexual equivalence in domestic violence.
Nor is this all. Rape by strangers has declined while acquaintance rape is up. Rape convictions, meanwhile, are down. This is not surprising, given the ambiguities of a mating game whose rules have changed.
Yet the government wants more men to be convicted of rape and does not much care how it is done. So what if a new offence of date rape, or changing the definition of consent to sex, results in manifold injustices against men? Aren't they all guilty, after all, unless they prove themselves to be innocent? What an ugly and dangerous situation. The government is stoking up a hysterical and false animus against men. What is the Home Office doing lending its once-illustrious research reputation to such a farrago?
What has this government, composed of so many Jack the lads, got against men that it should unleash Jay upon
"Women emerge as aggressors in Alberta survey"
"67% of women questioned say they started severe conflicts"
OTTAWA - National Post, Saturday 10 July 1999 (by Brad Evenson and Carol Milstone).
Women are just as violent to their spouses as men, and women are almost three times more likely to initiate violence in a relationship, according to a new Canadian study that deals a blow to the image of the male as the traditional domestic aggressor.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the study, however, is the source of the data - a 1987 survey of 705 Alberta men and women that reported how often males hit their spouses.
Although the original researchers asked women the same questions as men, their answers were never published until now.
When the original Alberta study was published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science in 1989, it was taken up by feminist groups as evidence of the epidemic of violence against women.
The researchers, Leslie Kennedy and Donald Dutton, say they were primarily interested in male-to-female violence at the time.
In any case, the one-sided Kennedy-Dutton study was cited extensively in a 1990 House of Commons committee report The War Against Women, which ultimately led Brian Mulroney, the former prime minister, to call a two-year, $10-million national inquiry into violence against women. The inquiry's 460-page report made 494 recommendations aimed at changing attitudes in governments, police departments, courts, hospitals and churches. It also led to a torrent of lurid news features about battered women.
The current study, which will appear this week - again, in the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science - says that while the need to stop violence against women is obvious, violence against men is being ignored.
"Our society seems to harbour an implicit acceptance of women's violence as relatively harmless," writes Marilyn Kwong, the Simon Fraser University researcher who led this study. "Furthermore, the failure to acknowledge the possibility of women's violence ... jeopardizes the credibility of all theory and research directed toward ending violence against women."
The study shows roughly that 10.8% of men in the survey pushed, grabbed or threw objects at their spouses in the previous year, while 2.5% committed more severe acts, such as choking, kicking or using a weapon. By contrast, 12.4% of women committed acts of minor violence and 4.7% committed severe violence. The violence
is seldom one-sided. Of those surveyed, 52% of women and 62% of men reported that both partners were violent. When questioned about who initiated the most severe conflicts, 67% of women believed they had started it; only 26% believed it was their male spouse. Regardless of who started it, women appear to end up the losers in the struggle. A major U.S. study on the topic shows 3% of women suffer injuries in spousal violence, while only 0.4% of males were hurt badly enough to seek medical care.
Publication of the "other side" of the violence study provides a sharp illustration of how social science is manipulated to fit a particular agenda. "It happens all the time. People only tell one half of the story," says Eugen Lupri, a University of Calgary sociologist whose research shows similar patterns of violence against men. "Feminists themselves use our studies, but they only publish what they like. "As some feminists say, it's counter-intuitive. We would not expect that to
be true; and if things are not expected to be true, for some people they are not true."
Even the federal government appears to turn a blind eye. In 1993, Statistics Canada began to keep track of assaults by men on women in its Violence Against Women survey. But it does not measure the female-to-male violence. "At the time, it was decided that since violence against women was more prevalent, we would only keep track of that," explains spokesperson Shelley Crego.
Ms.Crego said this decision was based on police reports, noting women complain more frequently of assault by men than vice versa.
In her article, Dr. Kwong implies this creates an incorrect picture. "It is important to keep in mind that, within the criminal justice system, any of the physical acts endorsed by these respondents would constitute assault," she writes.
Nor does it appear that violence is confined to married or common-law relationships.
In a separate study to be published this week, researchers from the University of Regina and Wilfrid Laurier University report that 39% of males surveyed said they suffered violence while on a date, compared with 26% of females.
"This sex difference has been found in other studies of physical and psychological dating violence," report researchers Donald Sharpe and Janelle Taylor.
Our bodies ? Ourselves ?
By Allen R. Sanderson, September 9, 2001
Popular slogans such as "keep your hands off my body" or "a woman's right to choose" are generally used in the context of only one contemporary and controversial issue: abortion.
But any individual's right to choose what to do with her or his own self and the constraints society imposes on those choices are far more complex than can be put on a T-shirt or a bumper sticker.
All societies place some restrictions on individual behavior for the common good and protection for innocent third
parties. Having good eyesight, passing a written examination and carrying adequate insurance as a condition for driving an automobile is one common example; not talking on a cellular phone while behind the wheel may be a newer variation on the same theme. However, where we stand on vexing social questions may be a function of where we sit personally, and the positions we hold are often quite inconsistent and contradictory.
To some extent almost everything we do can affect others. My use of [an anti-theft device] to protect my car
increases the probability of your car being stolen, yet I am allowed to purchase one. But in many jurisdictions I am not
allowed a gun to protect myself or my home and family. Restrictions on drinking and driving would seem an obvious area for public interdiction, but current penalties are far too low to deter aberrant behavior or to cover the damages
drunken drivers inflict on other people and property.
Society also says that it is not our right to choose what drugs we can ingest, whether we want to wear a seat belt,
purchase an automobile without a growing number of air bags or ride a motorcycle with only the wind in our hair.
Mandatory bicycle helmets are just around the corner.
Society will go to great lengths to keep us from committing suicide and it prevents others from participating in
assisted suicides. I cannot walk nude on a beach or down a city street. I am allowed to sell my blood but not a kidney.
My government can force me in time of war to help defend my country and compel me to serve on a jury. It cannot require me to vote.
In the end, "just so long as you don't hurt anyone" is simply not a clear-cut criterion, nor is the line between what is
legitimately someone else's business and simply meddling in others' figurative and literal affairs. The only logical
conclusion one can often draw is that we not only want the freedom to make our own decisions, we also want the right to deny that freedom to others when we object to their choices. If posing nude or wearing fur is thought to cheapen, demean or coarsen, and opting to ride a motorcycle without a helmet may indirectly impose costs on others, then the same can certainly be true of having an abortion.
And thus other people - the father, the community - may have a legitimate stake in that decision. Or it could just be one of those instances such as war, capital punishment, shooting someone in self-defense - and maybe physician -assisted suicide in the near future - in which society condones killing. If we do not want the government and neighbors in our bedrooms, it may behoove all of us to get out of our fellow citizens' refrigerators, closets, garages and faces.
(Allen R. Sanderson teaches economics at the University of Chicago)
Copyright (c) 2001, Chicago Tribune
The war against boys
By Christina Hoff Sommers,
June 18 2000, NEWS REVIEW
Where you might see a boisterous boy, gender activists in America see a potential high school killer, or member of a 'wilding' mob in Central Park. They have declared war against boys, and would like to raise them as girls; but their misguided activities have made matters all the worse, writes Christina Hoff Sommers
It's a bad time to be a boy in America. When Alex Longo took invitations to his seventh birthday party to school in East Windsor, New Jersey, he was not allowed to hand them out to his friends.
He had invited only boys, and his teacher and school principal deemed this sexist and discriminatory. "I went into the cloakroom and cried. I felt bad," he said.
Alex was not alone. Young boys in schools throughout America are being punished when they show signs of incipient misogyny.
Jonathan Prevette, 6, kissed a female classmate and was punished as a harasser. In another case, a mother who came to pick up her three-year-old son was told he had been reprimanded and made to sit in the "timeout chair" for having hugged another child. "He's a toucher," she was told. "We are not going to put up with it."
A nine-year-old boy in Virginia who had been caught drawing a picture of a naked woman in art class (following a school trip to the National Gallery of Art) was accused of deliberately rubbing up against a girl in the cafeteria queue. School officials told the police. The boy was charged with aggravated sexual battery, and was handcuffed and fingerprinted.
"This is really a case of political correctness run amok," said the family's lawyer. "A nine-year-old bumps into a girl while reaching for an apple and all of a sudden you've got world war three declared against a fourth-grader."
Sharon Lamb, a committed feminist and a professor of psychology, was shocked to hear that her 10-year-old son and his friend had been charged with sexual harassment. A girl had overheard them comment that her dangling belt looked like a penis. "It's against the law," the teacher informed the mother.
When a social studies class of 11-year-olds in San Francisco made a quilt to celebrate "women we admire", a boy called Jimmy chose to honour tennis player Monica Seles, who had been stabbed on court by a deranged man.
Jimmy stitched a bloody knife on a tennis racquet onto his quilt square. His exasperated teacher, a gender activist committed to getting boys to take part in characteristically feminine activities, told him to start again.
After another of her classes, a boy confided to a visitor: "Men are pigs, you know."
The Columbine massacre: Revolt of the morally neglected?
AN unacknowledged animus against boys is loose in American society. We have allowed socially divisive activists,many of whom take a dim view of men and boys, to wield unwarranted influence in our schools. They write anti-harassment guides, gather in workshops to determine how to change boys' "gender schema", and barely disguise their anger and disapproval.
Others, although they bear no malice, regard the average boy as alienated, lonely, emotionally repressed, isolated, at odds with his masculinity and prone to violence.
Many popular writers and education reformers think ill of boys. Gang rapists and mass murderers become instant metaphors for everyone's sons. The false and corrosive doctrine that equates masculinity with violence has found its way into the mainstream. Only by raising boys to be more like girls, critics argue, can we help them become "real boys".
We have allowed ourselves to forget the central purpose of education. We have become overloaded with well-intentioned teachers who undervalue knowledge and learning and overvalue their role as healers, social reformers and confidence builders. We have also created serious problems for ourselves by abandoning our duty to pass on to our children the moral truths to which they are entitled and failing to give them the guidance they so badly need.
An extraordinary period of moral deregulation is leaving many tens of thousands of boys academically deficient and without adequate guidance. Too many boys have only a vague sense of right and wrong, are badly taught and left to "find their own values".
That boys are in disrepute is not accidental. For years women's groups have been complaining that boys benefit from a school system that is biased against girls. A stream of girl-partisan books cites research showing that boys are classroom favourites given to playground violence and sexual harassment.
The research is riddled with errors. Boys, not girls, are on the weak side of an educational gender gap. American boys, on average, are a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing; they are less committed to school and less likely to go to college. In 1997, full-time college enrolments in the United States were 45% male and 55% female. The American department of education predicts that the ratio of boys' entry into college will continue to worsen. But none of this has affected the "official" view that our schools are "failing at fairness" to girls.
A boy today, through no fault of his own, finds himself implicated in the social crime of "short-changing" girls. Yet the allegedly silenced and neglected girl sitting next to him at school is likely to be a better student. She is not only more articulate, she is probably a more mature, engaged and well-balanced human being.
Today's boy may be uneasily aware that girls are more likely to go on to college. He may believe that teachers prefer to be around girls and pay more attention to them. At the same time, he is aware that he is considered to be a member of the unfairly favoured "dominant gender".
His critics forget that the energy, competitiveness and daring of normal, decent males is responsible for much of what is right in the world. Nobody denies that boys' aggressive tendencies must be checked and channelled in constructive ways. Boys need discipline, respect and moral guidance as well as love and tolerant understanding. They face genuine problems that cannot be addressed by constructing new versions of manhood. They do not need to be "rescued" from their masculinity.
A small percentage of boys are destined to become batterers and rapists. They need strong intervention, the earlier the better. But this small number cannot justify a gender-bias industry that looks upon millions of normal male children as pathologically dangerous.
SINCE the early 1990s, American girls have flourished in unprecedented ways. The vast majority have moved ahead of boys academically in the primary and secondary grades, applying to colleges in record numbers, filling the more challenging academic classes, joining sports teams and en-joying more freedoms and opportunities than any young women in history.
Boys are languishing academically. More boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely as girls to be enrolled in special education programmes and four times as likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more than boys, but it is boys who actually kill themselves more often. In a typical year (1997), there were 4,493 suicides of people between the ages of 5 and 24: 701 females, 3,792 males.
When I asked the president of the board of education of Atlanta, Georgia, who is faring better in Atlanta's schools, he replied without hesitating: "Girls." Yet many teachers still feel that girls need and deserve special indemnifying consideration. Programmes for girls multiply, while boys continue to be seen both as the unfairly privileged gender and as obstacles on the path to gender justice for girls.
Girl partisans regard male aggression as the root of most social evils. They speak with straight faces about school-yard harassers as tomorrow's batterers, rapists and murderers. More and more schoolboys inhabit a milieu of disapproval. Routinely regarded as protosexists, potential harassers and perpetuators of gender inequity, boys live in a permanent state of culpability.
Many activists are persuaded that boys need special remedial attention. The belief that boys are being wrongly "masculinised" is inspiring a movement to "construct boyhood" in ways that will render boys less competitive, more emotionally expressive, more nurturing - more, in short, like girls.
This novel agenda is no Utopian fantasy. The movement to overhaul boys is well under way.
Carol Gilligan, professor of gender studies at Harvard graduate school of education, is matron saint of the girl crisis. In 1995, she also inaugurated a programme of research on boys.
Within a year, she was announcing a boy crisis that was as bad as or worse than the one afflicting girls. She argued that between the ages of three and seven, boys are pressured to "take into themselves the structure or moral order of patriarchal civilisation" - a traumatic and damaging process.
"At this age," says Gilligan, "boys show a high incidence of depression, out-of-control behaviour, learning disorders, even allergies and stuttering."
Gilligan and her colleagues helped to launch what they see as a profound revolution to change the way society constructs young males. It has enormous potential to make millions of schoolboys very miserable.
THE promoters of "gender fairness" have a great deal of power in schools, which have to listen to them to avoid running foul of federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination in any educational institution that receives public funds. But they are far too reckless with the truth, far too removed from the precincts of common sense and far too negative about boys to be properly playing any role in the education of our children.
In 1998 the centre for research on women at Wellesley College in New England sponsored a training seminar on "gender equity for girls and boys". It attracted 200 teachers and administrators, who could earn credits towards promotion by attending.
Nancy Marshall, a senior research scientist and associate director of the Wellesley centre, told the seminar: "When babies are born, they do not know about gender." Since babies know very little about anything, Marshall's comment was puzzling. They don't know their blood type either, but they still have one.
Marshall said gender is indeterminate at birth but is formed later by a process of socialisation that guides the child to adopt a male or a female identity. According to Marshall and her colleagues, a child learns what it means to be a boy or girl between the ages of two and seven. In those early years the child develops a set of ideas about appropriate roles, attitudes and preferences for males and females. The best prospects for influencing this "gender schema" are in these early, malleable years.
Marshall and her associates presented a slide show. One slide (to which they came back several times) showed a pre-school boy in high heels and a dress. "It's perfectly natural for a little boy to try on a skirt," they said. One of the participating teachers boasted of her own success in getting boys in her kindergarten class to dress up in skirts.
Most parents have no idea what their children are facing in the gender-charged atmosphere of the schools. The American department of education has funded a model curriculum guide for day-care teachers, Creating Sex-Fair Family Day Care, which offers concrete suggestions on how to change current male and female sex-role "stereotyping" in early childhood. Getting little boys to play with dolls is a principal goal.
The department also supports an anti-harassment guide designed to render 12-year-old boys aware of the ways males systematically inflict suffering on females. Some of the consciousness-raising exercises seem better suited for convicted sex criminals. This one, for example: "Ask the students to close their eyes . . . Once they've closed their eyes, say 'Imagine that the woman you care about the most (your mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend) is being raped, battered or sexually abused . . .'"
Students are asked to write down their feelings. The boys can only feel confused, hurt or defiant.
Martin Spafford, a schoolteacher in London, has made observations about British boys that also apply to American boys. Spafford favoured the pro-girl, anti-sexist measures of the 1980s. But now he observes that boys are under siege. "Boys feel continually attacked for who they are. We have created a sense in school that masculinity is something bad. Boys feel blamed for history, and a school culture has grown up which is suspicious and frightened of boys."
A large and growing body of scientific literature from biologists and developmental psychologists shows that many male-female differences are natural, healthy and, by implication, best left alone. Being a boy is not a condition or defect in need of a cure.
The girl-activists are at their most persuasive about the need to resocialise boys when they cite harrowing cases of young men tormenting female students. Katie Lyle, of Duluth, Minnesota, was viciously humiliated by a group of boys who wrote obscene messages about her in the school lavatories and taunted her on the school bus. Tawnya Brady, a high school student in California, faced a gauntlet of malicious boys who would moo at her whenever she passed, making remarks about the size of her breasts. In both cases, the school administrators failed to offer the girls effective protection.
Examples such as these, which are not rare, suggest the need to take resolute action. We might ask what is wrong with pursuing a vigorous policy of curbing boys' aggressive misogyny.
The answer is that boys do need to be educated and civilised. But school behaviour problems have very little to do with misogyny, patriarchy or sex discrimination. They have everything to do with children's propensity to bully and be cruel. The root problem is poor discipline. Too many children act maliciously with impunity. They need a moral environment, not gender politics.
Too many schools are rife with incivility, profanity and bullying. Girls do their share of it. Yet bullying goes unchecked by the authorities. It is as if all indignation must be directed at sexual slights and harms suffered by girls at the hands of boys.
THE vast majority of girls and boys are psychologically sound. But when it comes to the genuine problems that do threaten their prospects - moral drift, cognitive and scholastic deficits - the healers, social reformers and confidence builders provide no solutions. On the contrary, they exacerbate the problems and stand squarely in the way of what needs to be done to solve them.
Boys who are morally neglected have unpleasant ways of getting themselves noticed. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, newspapers carried shocking stories about adolescent boys exploiting, assaulting and terrorising girls. In the South Bronx, a group of boys known as the "Whirlpoolers" surrounded girls in public swimming pools and sexually assaulted them. In Glen Ridge, New Jersey, popular high school athletes raped a retarded girl. In Lakewood, California, a gang of high school boys known as the "Spur Posse" turned the sexual exploitation of girls into a sport.
Women's groups blamed the stereotypical male socialisation. But, in the Glen Ridge case, the real story is about how a group of adults - parents, teachers, coaches, community leaders - failed massively and tragically to carry out their responsibility to civilise the children in their care. The problem with these young male predators was not conventional male socialisation but its absence.
From the time they were small children, the boys who would later take part in the rape were opportunistically abusive and cruel to nearly anyone who crossed their paths.
This pattern persisted through adolescence. It affected their peers regardless of sex. Later on, it affected their teachers and schoolmates. The absence of any firm discipline, the failure of the adults in their lives to punish them for their actions, turned them into monsters.
What is so chilling about Glen Ridge is all the doting adults who had for years presided over their children's moral disintegration.
The story behind the Spur Posse is similar. The posse, a high school clique that took its name from the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, consisted of 20 to 30 middle-class boys who competed with one another in "scoring" with underage girls.
In March 1993 nine members were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes, ranging from sexual assault to rape. One of the alleged victims was a 10-year-old.
These boys had been permitted to terrorise a town with impunity for years. The group had a long history of antisocial behaviour, including burglary, credit card fraud, assault, arson and even an attempted bombing. They had little sense of the harm and suffering they were causing and no feelings of remorse or shame.
We gain little illumination by talking about Glen Ridge and Lakewood in terms of "patriarchal culture gone haywire". It is more to the point to regard them as evidence of what can happen when adults withhold elementary moral instruction from the young males in their charge.
Although boys are not morally inferior to girls, they are certainly more physically aggressive, more prone to violence and less averse to risk. It is precisely because boys are by nature more physically assertive that they so badly need a strict and explicit character education that places strong behavioural constraints on them, constraints that many progressive educators feel we have no right to "impose" on any child.
The more one faults masculinity in itself, the further one strays from acknowledging the failures of moral education in the last decades of the 20th century. Talking about moral failure is less stylish than talking about the inimical workings of patriarchy. But it is far more to the point.
The massacre at Columbine high school in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999 was the seventh American school shooting in less than two years. This time, more than ever, the public's need to make sense of such tragedies was palpable. How could it happen?
The usual explanations made little sense. Poverty? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the killers, were not poor. Easy access to weapons? True, but young men, especially in the West, have always had access to guns. Divorce? Both boys' families were intact.
To find the answers, we need to attend to the views of the progressive-education theorists who badly underestimated the potential barbarism of children who are not given a directive moral education.
It is not likely that a single ethics course would have been enough to stop boys such as Harris and Klebold from murdering classmates. On the other hand, a curriculum infused with moral content would have created a climate that might have made a massacre unthinkable.
An insistence on character development might also have diminished the derision suffered by Harris and Klebold at the hands of more popular students, which apparently was one of the incitements for their gruesome actions.
We know that the Columbine killers had attended anger-management seminars, had had weekly meetings with a "diversion" officer, had attended a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel discussion and had performed compulsory community service. But it seems they never encountered firm discipline.
Had teachers seen it as their routine duty to civilise the students in their care, they would never have overlooked the bizarre, antisocial behaviour of Klebold and Harris. When the boys appeared in school wearing T-shirts with the words "Serial Killer" emblazoned on them, their teachers would have sent them home. Nor would the boys have been allowed to wear swastikas or produce grotesquely violent videos.
By tolerating these modes of "self-expression", the adults at Columbine high school implicitly sent the message to the students that there is not much wrong with the serial or mass murder of innocent people.
One English teacher at Columbine, Cheryl Lucas, said afterwards that both boys had written short stories about death and killing "that were horribly, graphically, violent" and that she had notified school officials. According to Lucas, the officials had taken no action because nothing the boys wrote had violated school policy.
Speaking with painful irony, the frustrated teacher explained: "In a free society, you can't take action until they've committed some horrific crime because they are guaranteed freedom of speech."
MANY schools have entirely given up the task of character education, setting great numbers of children adrift without direction. Under the current laissez-faire policy, our schools are harbouring a great many inadequately socialised children. But leaving children to discover their own values is a little like putting them in a chemistry lab full of volatile substances and saying: "Discover your own compounds, kids."
We should not be surprised when some blow themselves up and destroy those around them.
The efforts to "reconstruct" boys - to interest them in dolls and quilts - continue apace. There have always been societies that favoured boys over girls. Ours may be the first to throw the gender switch deliberately. If we continue on our present course, boys will, indeed, be tomorrow's second sex.
By recklessly denying the importance of giving the young directive moral guidance, parents and educators have cast great numbers of them morally adrift.
In defecting from the crucial duties of moral education, we have placed ourselves and our children in jeopardy.
© Christina Hoff Sommers 2000
Extracted from" The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Sommers to be published by Simon & Schuster in America next month at $25
Toning down the girl power in schools
In Britain, not all boys are doing badly at school. There is concern about the 17% who admit to being disaffected and about the large number excluded from school. We know that boys are more likely than girls to leave without a qualification and find it harder to get a job. We also know that at least one quarter are thriving and confident.
But how can education attract those who are becoming alienated?
"They slag us boys off, but they don't do nothing to help us," said Gary, 15, in Leading Lads, a 1999 nationwide study of boys' views in Britain.
"We're the new ethnic minority," added Adam, 17.
In fact, there is a growing awareness of boys' needs. Some aspects of so-called feminisation in education have swiftly been changed, such as the choice of set books in English; boys now study literature with masculine themes while girls keep their Pride and Prejudice.
"The speed with which education has responded to concerns about boys is remarkable compared to how long it took to get changes for girls," argues Angela Phillips, the author of The Trouble with Boys.
The emphasis on boys as the problem can produce a scapegoat response from them, however, in which a boy blames "girl power" for his failures.
It also reinforces the idea that learning is what girls do. Which mega-male hard boy wants to be seen as girly?
A recent, unpublished Young Voice poll for BSkyB found that children are more likely to be bullied for being good at school work than for being stupid. Being physically and emotionally safe in school is a prerequisite for learning. Last March, 37% of boys said they had experienced violence from bullies.
Judith Mullin, principal of New College, Leicester, says boys and their problems should not be looked at in isolation. "There are a variety of factors," she says.
"Young people from a non-learning culture, with little family discipline, delinquency and poor role models of learning at home will find it hard to access education at any phase."
This is more than a simple gender issue. Although girls generally do better than boys, we still see a small minority with little optimism about their future. We should not overlook these young women and assume everything is going fine for girls so that we can now concentrate on "the boy problem".
Adrienne Katz is executive director of Young Voice, 12 Bridge Gardens, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9HU (www.young-voice.org). Copies of Leading Lads are available from the charity for £12
Researcher claims men, women equal abusers
by LINDA SLOBODIAN Calgary Herald Monday, November 6, 2000
Front page City Section Photo (Prof. Murray Straus)
Research proves men in Canada and the U.S. are victims of domestic violence almost as much as women are, says a sociologist who has written extensively on the subject.
But data is "covered up" by those with sinister agendas, said Murray Straus; co-director of the New Hampshire based Family Research Laboratory.
Those responsible for the cover up "are from the 'all men are bastards' branch of feminism," said Straus, who spoke Sunday at the Men's Educational Support Association family violence seminar, held at MacEwan Student Centre.
"I find it very awkward because I think of myself as a feminist in the sense that I want to see equality between men and women," said Straus, who has published five books and written 75 articles for scientific journals on the topic of family violence.
"We have all over the United States and Canada people who have gathered data on assaults by women and have not published it, including one person in my own lab," said Straus.
"They'll be accused of anti-women bias. And the repercussions can be very severe. I've had one of my colleagues, for example, there was a campaign to keep her from being promoted and receiving tenure because she published this sort of data," he said.
Straus cited a study released by Statistics Canada in July. "The rate in the Stats Canada study is seven per cent of men and eight per cent of women are assaulted by their partner. So it's practically the same," said Straus.
The report surveyed 25,874 Canadians in 1999. Victims were married or in common-law relationships and experienced at least one incident of violence ranging from threats to beatings and assault with weapons.
"I believe that's true. That's what we have found in repeated surveys starting in 1975. In the U.S. we get about 10 per cent of men severely assaulting a partner and about 10 per cent of women. It's within one per
cent. For both minor and severe assaults the rates are approximately the same."
Straus plotted the rates of men assaulting their partners between 1985 and 1992, and said because of awareness campaigns and support services there has been a decrease in female victims.
"Assaults by women have stayed the same. Women are not getting the message because there is no message that it's morally wrong and criminal for women to hit their husbands."
He said it also places women at risk. "When she slaps, she sets the stage for him to hit her. The safety of women alone demands we make a big deal of women hitting men."
Straus acknowledged women generally suffer greater fear and injuries. "Men are three inches taller, 30 pounds heavier, and better developed muscularly," he said. That is precisely why they don't report being victims of domestic assault.
"There's added embarrassment, the myth that a real man should be able to not let this happen."
Copyright; The Calgary Herald
"Preserving the Integrity of Fatherhood for the Sake of the Children" Men's Educational Support Association (MESA) Calgary, Alberta, Canada www.mesacanada.com
Men are the victims of a feminist myth
By Melanie Phillips, Sunday Times
An unmistakable sound of a bandwagon being leapt on is wafted on the summer breeze. Researchers, lobbyists, think tanks, journalists, ministers and civil servants have discovered a new social problem: men.
Fresh and lucrative empires are being assembled. Grant applications are being eagerly filled in. Pamphlets are being sharpened. Susan Faludi, whose book Backlash ripped into male-dominated society for waging war against women, is now about to berate us - according to the breathless publishing blurb - with the fact that men are "at the mercy of social forces distorting their lives" (in which, presumably, she does not include herself).
Having demonised men as wife-beaters, deadbeat dads, child abusers and criminals without whom the world would be a better place, salon society has decided that masculinity is in crisis. Fatherhood is now frightfully fashionable. Labour's house analysts at the Institute for Public Policy Research held a conference on the subject last month. The Home Office, which ran a seminar on men last year, is starting to throw money at men's issues. It is launching Fathers Direct, a nationwide service offering information, advice and support to fathers. The word is that it will also set up a commission on fatherhood. Men are now a cause for concern - official.
Yet last week, when the Men's Health Forum (set up by the Royal College of Nursing) came up with some hard facts about men's ill-health and disadvantage, the government merely flannelled. The forum reported that, compared with women, men died earlier, suffered three and a half times more heart disease and were four times as likely to commit suicide; yet the government was spending eight times as much money on women's health as on men's.
The forum is right. Health services are indeed skewed towards women's needs. Embedded in our cultural psyche is the belief that women are victims of life and of the men who dominate it. This gender resentment, which has so distorted our society, ignores the obvious fact that both men and women have needs and that women and men are capable of behaving both badly and well. Some women also attack their spouses, abuse their children, break up families and behave appallingly; and much ostensible discrimination in the workplace is down to women's choices, freely made.
The Men's Health Forum is a small step towards redressing the factual balance. The government's own initiatives, however, are rather more dubious. Most of the undoubted problems that men suffer from as a group have been caused by the very people who now seek official status as the saviours of this new victim class and who are minting new and bamboozling myths. The chief cause of men's distress is surely the collapse of family attachments and the related blow to their sexual identity. More and more boys are fatherless, with untold damage to their sense of self. Women claim that they no longer depend on men; that they no longer want them on board, no longer want them to be family breadwinners, no longer want them to be men at all.
Research bears this out. The family charity One Plus One has shown that divorce has devastating effects on men's health. Men suffer from the breakup of their families more than women, whose health also suffers. Divorce greatly increases men's chances of having heart attacks or cancer and of committing suicide. Top Man's Leading Lads survey revealed vulnerable boys who thought men particularly those boys not living with their fathers - had a were being written out of the employment script and who –
tremendous fear of being thought feminine. Indeed, so much of the male self-image is about reassuring men that they are not feminine. They recoil from emotional display. They value stoicism, restrained feelings, acting out their concern and commitment through practical deeds. That is why providing is so intimately wrapped up with fatherhood. That is why unemployment is far more devastating for a man than for a woman.
The new myth, however, turns this distress on its head. The very people who are willing the destruction of a distinct male role claim that men have lost their role in life; that as a result they are useless and becoming criminal or feckless; and that the only way out is to reconstitute themselves as quasi-women and look after the children (which women will never let them do, except as souped-up au pairs).
This is merely man-hating feminism in a more sophisticated guise. Masculinity is being talked up into a crisis in order to deconstruct it. Even some men, too chivalrous to tell women that they are talking rubbish, subscribe to this. There is a touch of it in the forum's report, which says the British workforce is now mainly female. This is untrue. Most workers are men; of the women who work, half work part-time, a proportion that increases greatly among mothers. So the idea that men's role as family provider and protector has gone down the tubes is simply false. Yet this myth is being assiduously promoted by those who wish it to be so.
Home Office sources say there is now wide acceptance that fathers matter and need special support and help. They want to talk up fatherhood, but the government itself is doing it down. It is destroying the idea of the male breadwinner; it refuses to provide incentives for couples to marry and stay married; indeed, it is endorsing broken family life by encouraging the fatuous idea that a man can be an effective father even if he is not living with his family, as long as he spends more "quality time" with his children.
Whether by accident or design, the Home Office is endorsing the feminist agenda of destroying marriage and reconstituting fatherhood and masculinity in the image of women. How else are we to explain the presence at its men's seminar last autumn of Angela Phillips, author of The Trouble with Boys? She advised that boys should no longer conform to "outmoded stereotypes of masculinity" and should find ways of shining in school "which were not to do with being macho - music, drama, dance".
How else are we to explain its enthusiasm for Adrienne Burgess, appointed to head Fathers Direct and tipped also to run the commission on fatherhood ? In her book, Fatherhood Reclaimed, Burgess tries to show that men's provider role is not a universal given. To prove her point she cites a number of tiny, dwindling primitive tribes as exemplars of New Manhood. In particular, she enthuses over the Arapesh tribe, where fathers are "intensely involved throughout pregnancy" and the minute-by-minute care of their small children. Yet the anthropologist Margaret Mead, from whom this information was drawn, described how the extreme passivity of Arapesh males meant that they were blackmailed, bullied and bribed by their more aggressive neighbours. "It is a society that makes it much more difficult to be a male, especially in all those assertive, creative, productive aspects of life on which the superstructure of a civilisation depends," Mead wrote. Oh, and their children died from hunger.
Welcome to the brave new world of new Labour man.
Love you to death, my funny Valentine
February 6th 2000, NEWS REVIEW
Revenge and love go together, but is female retribution really deadlier than the male's asks AMANDA CRAIG
When I fell in love with my husband I told him that if he were ever unfaithful to me I'd whack him with a Chinese meat cleaver. He thought I was joking. I opened a drawer and showed it to him.
"I also grow 21 poisonous plants in my garden," I said ominously, "most of which are extremely difficult to detect."
Reader, he married me, and the meat cleaver has lain rusting in a drawer for the past 16 years. In fact, having found someone humorous as well as brave, I threw it out after a year. But I believed that experience had taught me that it was no good being meek and suffering. Threatening dire retribution was the only way to arm myself against possible injustice.
If people think you will always roll with the punches and offer the other cheek, I thought, a great many of them are not able to resist either punching or slapping. Knowing that you would jolly well whack them back was the only way to make a man behave like a decent human being.
Love and revenge have always been associated, as the obverse of each other. Next Monday Duckworth publishes a collection of revenge stories, Valentine's Day, which has already stirred up some controversy, not least among its contributors. Many were astonished to find it subtitled Women Against Men and given a radical feminist slant by means of a jacket bearing Artemisia Gentileschi's painting of Judith beheading Holofernes.
Fay Weldon feels so strongly about this ("How would we feel if it showed two men decapitating a woman?" she says), that she has dropped out of promoting it. My own slight contribution is actually about a mother's revenge on her teenage daughters; though many women in the stories fantasise about killing a husband, father or lover, there is only one who does it.
Revenge is thought to be a peculiarly feminine trait, probably because men are supposed to lash out, uttering guttural grunts of rage, instead of being clever enough to plot retaliation. It's almost flattering to the female sex to have such wicked wiles attributed to us - but is it true?
The more conventional the man, the more terrified he is about a potential bunny boiler. Where women find revenge films like Fatal Attraction both hilarious and highly misogynistic, men take it all as deadly serious. Lorena Bobbitt, Pamella Bordes, Lady Sarah Moon and even Sara Keays have all passed into urban legend for variously castrating, re-tailoring or exposing their betrayers. And yet it is hard to find women who will openly support the idea of revenge, let alone carry threats out; and when they do they scarcely seem to get much satisfaction from it. I once sat on a jury in which we were asked to consider whether a jilted woman had poured paint over her boyfriend's car. Not one of the women members of the jury could bring themselves to vote guilty - not out of feminist solidarity, but because it was clear that of all the three people involved in her dreary love-triangle she had already brought retribution so thoroughly upon herself. In court she was a pathetic wreck.
Real-life Medeas, Clytemnestras and Judiths remain largely confined to distant myth. Women's liberation may have made female revenge chic, but since the sexual revolution, it has also been regarded as something civilised people don't indulge in when betrayed.
Powerlessness is key to the decision to take revenge, which is also, perhaps, why it is still looked down upon as vulgar. The mafia, with its dreadful blood feuds, was begun as a kind of trade union among the poorest people of southern Italy; to this day, it is the underclass that feels it necessary to exact retribution. Members of influential families never have to bother with devising stratagems in order to feel less awful - the family does it for them.
When a young man I know married into a certain famous British dynasty, it was remarkable how much work he was offered; but as soon as he fell in love with another woman his commissions suddenly dried up. He didn't work for almost two years.
This was how his former wife's family took its revenge. It was less violent than a duffing-up, but still horribly effective.
Private acts of vengeance are supposed to be supplanted by the courts - one of the incidental perils of cohabitation is precisely that there is very little means of formal, financial revenge on the erring lover. There are all the urban legends about stuffing curtain poles with prawns and running up vast telephone bills - but curiously, the only real-life version of the former I have come across was allegedly performed by a man on his woman boss.
Just as it is men who have to date written the best revenge stories, it's men who seem to go on fuming and frothing over an injury. Women may threaten revenge when feeling angry and vulnerable, but nursing an injury is largely impossible - there are too many other things in our lives that need nursing, for a start.
Which is not to say that women can fail to exact a very subtle and effective form of revenge. It is advocated in the Bible, and it is called turning the other cheek. If you are relentlessly kind and polite to somebody who has been very nasty to you, even the most conscienceless eventually begins to feel so bad that he or she might almost prefer the Chinese cleaver. I know this because I've done it, and it works.
Revenge is, after all, about making someone sorry.
Those nursing a grievance on Valentine's Day may enjoy the mild fantasies in the collection of that name - but just in case anyone feels like trying out the recipes for revenge, Francis Bacon's words on the subject should be kept in mind. "In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy," he said, "but in passing it over he is superior."
CAFCASS Project Team,
Lord Chancellor's Dept
105, Victoria Street
London August 3rd 2000
Dear Mr Lye
I wrote to Bridget on Tuesday, July 4th regarding para 3.3, (Hillary Saunders) on page 3 of the Minutes, Re: child murders and the dangers of domestic violence in contact matters.
At the time I wrote that, " ….. we should be focusing on the generalities, and not the particular. To focus on a very small number of aberrant cases, that fall outside the normal patterns of behaviour, would be unhelpful to CAFCASS at this stage."
Subsequently, at the July 25th meeting, a member of the committee again raised the problems of domestic violence and attempted to discount it as a minority occurrence. She stated that it occurred in 50% of contact cases.
A moments thought shows that this cannot be true. What is more likely is that domestic violence is raised in court as an issue to secure custody. Therefore, I suggest the aspect of false allegation is more worthy of examination.
Hillary also expressed doubts whether it could be a mere 2% as I had indicated it, in all probability, represented. I am therefore pleased to enclose, for consideration by all CAFCASS participants, the latest StatsCan data from Canada indicating the Domestic violence can represents a figure as low as 2%.
"Since the vast majority of these incidents took place in relationships that people have already
left only 2% of women and men report violence with their present partner during the past year."
Re-iterating the point made during the June 12th meeting, we feel CAFCASS and the Dept of Health should properly set aside aberrant cases and focus on the general, rather than the particular or anecdotal (Minutes July 25th, para 5.2, Georgina McCarthy). To that end, I enclose for circulation the full article from the National Post quoting 'Statistics Canada', the official Canadian Govt statistical office.
"Counting the Costs"
a critique of the report by Betsy Stanko,
We recently completed an analysis of a pamphlet by Prof. Betsy Stanko et al, of Brunel University entitled "Counting the Cost". This dealt with the level of domestic violence in a section of London, Hackney, well known locally in the past for its organised crime gangs and Jack the Ripper.
The sample size was minuscule - less than 150 postal questionnaires mailed out and only half of them were not returned. Approximately 23 were useable for the "survey".
Various local Town Council depts were approached. Most of them reported that they didn't see domestic violence as a problem but this didn't stop Stanko's team of 4 women.
Despite this Stanko’s team "trawled" through confidential Council and agency files. This gave them some results which were then cited as being in line with 4 or 5 previous surveys. For the most part these previous ‘surveys’ had less than 250 respondees (only one had a sample around of 500).
When compared to more realistic surveys, eg the US National Center for Health Statistics Study (1991) of 17,100 children in various family structures, the size and importance of these smaller sample surveys pales into insignificance.
A key feature among the handful of tiny surveys cited by Stanko in support of her findings was that only one was randomly distributed to respondees.
However, this re-assured Stanko enough, and she felt able to join in the current mantra that in the UK "1 in 4 women suffer domestic violence" (despite the Gov'ts own Study 191).
On a purely logistical basis it is highly questionable whether this is at all physically feasible. Hospital ‘A & E’ (Accident and Emergency) admittance capacity is only 13m per annum.
It is not clear that if domestic violence occurred on the scale alleged, whether services could adequately cope with the demand. Given that they are stretched with the present existing levels for normal treatments, the addition of only 10% of victims of domestic violence seeking treatment would almost certainly create "overload" and the system would grind to a halt.
Not content with adopting this lamentable attempt at a scientific survey, the British Gov’t then cites it in a promotion to "protect" women in preference to Home Office study 191 (ref Jack Straw, Press Launch, June 1999). This leads everyone to the conclusion that, as every one knows, only men perpetrate domestic violence.
[Source. The ManKind Trust. Oct 1999/10.
"Counting the Costs"
A report into domestic violence in Hackney, London
(by Prof. Betsy Stanko and others, 1998)
by Robert Whiston, "The ill eagle" 1999.
Much of our work is investigative. It has to be. Newspapers today have largely become mere conduits for 'official briefings'. With notable exceptions, they and by-line journalists; pawns in a political game of bluff reduced to testing the water for Govt policy manoeuvrings that will hit us a few months down the line. Scouring the Internet we downloaded on June 30th information from the Cabinet Office re: domestic violence ( www open .gov.ukà 'Organisational Index' à choose 'Cabinet Office' à 'What's New' - 30.6.99 Press Release).
This reported the joint Ministerial launch by the Home Office (HO) and the Women's Unit - but it appeared to omit certain key statistics, namely HO study 191. However, it did quote a study by 'Stanko et al', which claimed that 1/. Domestic Violence costs £278 million pounds in London alone and 2/. Govt sources or 'official' Govt figures showed that 1 in 4 women suffer domestic violence. All the national newspapers picked up and quoted these 'official' Govt figures.
Having debunked the ‘1 in 4’ figure in the summer of 1998 (see last issue) we promptly made enquires at the Home Office. They were evasive as to the veracity of the "official figures", stating they hadn't come from them. They did however direct us to "Stanko et al" as Prof. Stanko at Brunel.
Prof. Stanko replied by email; "I will forward you a copy of the report 'counting the costs'…. As for the figures used by the Cabinet Office [in "Press Release" above], there is no citation for that figure in the report. I suggest you contact the Women's Unit directly as I only received my copy of the document this week. I did not write it".
But Counting the Costs is written by Prof. Stanko together with 3 other female authors, and it does cite the "1 in 4" totem. It is published by Crime Concern and funded by the Children Society and Hackney Safer Cities.
The so-called "survey", of only 107 postal Questionnaires with 49 responses to agencies and 129 women in GP's surgeries, is loose, lightweight and limited, but still manages to stretch to 70 pages. The 129 represented only 79% of the 34% of the women who when asked agreed to take part. By the time the reader gets to page 9 it is blatantly apparent that this is a document based on speculation, estimates and assumptions. From the very beginning, is piles estimate upon estimate, guess upon guess, making magical intellectual leaps between them to arrive where the dogma says they should be, i.e. p 16. Domestic violence is defined throughout the paper as only women (and sometimes children) as victims.
Our understanding, from the Home Office, is that domestic violence is not actually a criminal offence, but the report states that it is (p 17).
Of the 107 postal surveys sent out to public service providers, only 49 were returned with some information on them, 23 resulted in no response at all and 29 were not completed. Those "key agencies" targeted also produced only 32 vague data on "the global cost" of their operations, 7 provided unit costs and with regard to number of clients only 10 knew the exact number or could estimate the ratio of domestic violence to clients (whatever that means).
"Key agencies" were defined as the police, solicitors, housing dept. Women's Aid, Social Services, GP's, health visitors.
The report is fond of using the word "trawl" to imply a thorough examination e.g. its trawl through local authority and agency files. *
Unfortunately for the researchers, many key agencies replied that domestic violence "was not a primary presenting problem" and few incorporated it into their daily practice monitoring framework (p 8). Indeed, at page 44 they concede "that some case studies" may not be thought to "represent true domestic violence".
This inflammatory report is based on Hackney. Hackney is not typical of England. 46% of its population subsists on Income Support (State Benefits). The average income of the rest of London is 66% greater than that of Hackney. Over 65% of housing in Hackney is "social housing". In the past it has been the stomping ground of villains like Jack the Ripper and multifarious gangsters e.g. the Kray Twins. The area is a melting pot of over 10 nationalities multiplied by as many cultures.
The survey reveals that except for Women's Aid and the Domestic Violence Housing Service, none of the public service providers (Social Services, Police, etc) could estimate the cost of domestic violence. Nor could they estimate the prevalence of clients that "present" themselves for help.
In 1996 the police introduced CRIS (Crime Report Information System) which has a mechanism for highlighting particular crimes e.g. domestic violence. But because of "teething troubles" and the fact that they were "acutely aware" that police figures would be "conservative", the Stanko team had to estimate again. The team also realised they had no way of knowing or even estimating the cost in educational terms of domestic violence, but they nonetheless were soon able "to generate local estimates".
Citing the 1993 Home Affairs Select Committee on domestic violence, which concludes that domestic violence was common and the Assoc. of Chief police Officers evidence that domestic violence is "not based on either reliable or accurate data", the report continues to assert that it is grossly under-recorded. However, they concede that while nearly a third of domestic violence incidents resulted in victims seeking medical support, only 3% actually sought hospital attention. This would seem to underscore the proposition that seeking medical care, if not for police purposes, is purely an emotional prop.
At page 13 of Counting the Costs we read of earlier surveys into this field. Beginning with estimates from the British Crime Survey (1996) it moves on (p 15) to Mooney's 1994 survey in Islington (less than 500) which found that 37% of women reported some form of domestic violence and 1 in 4 reported being injured from domestic violence in their lifetime - which is a meaningless statistic.
Painter's survey of 1,000 women; one in eight said they had been raped while married.
McGibbon et al survey (1989) (less than 500) in Hammersmith showed that of 281 respondees 39% had experience verbal or physical abuse by a partner.
Dominy and Radford (1996) - a survey of less than 500 - found that they had to add in a significant number of women who had suffered domestic violence where the women themselves (15%) did not view it as such. Of the above, only Mooney's was randomly distributed.
All research, the report concludes, shows that its findings, namely that 1 in 4 experience some form of domestic violence in their life time and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 in the current year, "echoed" the work of other researchers and Women's Aid.
Significantly, Stanko et al. state; "Perhaps more disconcerting is the number of women who continue to maintain their silence about their experiences, or those who, when they spoke to someone, were not heard". This is difficult to credit, given the setting and antics of the TV series "Eastenders".
One 70 year old who responded to the GP questionnaire said ". In old age sexual violence becomes mental cruelty. Weak shits remain weak shits".
It would be more accurate and trebly difficult (if not ideologically impossible) for 'Stanko et al" to come to the same conclusion about men who suffer domestic violence.
Of dubious interest is the assertion that domestic violence is a feature in 1 in 3 instances of separation or divorce (Hester 1996). It will take more research to find out whether that is true of only cohabitees or of married couples that separate and divorce. Actually, as we all know, allegations of violence during divorce proceedings, which cannot be countered in our courts, are merely a mechanism to validate the confiscation of a husband's home and children.
Other Stanko book, papers –
"Policing domestic violence: dilemmas and contradictions (Aus and NZ Journal of Criminology).
"Everyday violence" London, Pandora.
"Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse", Kersti Yllo and Michele Bograd, pub. Sage, 1988.
NB. Prof. Betsy Stanko was born in Canada before moving to Boston where she was instrumental in overhauling Boston Police DV methods. She is now working at Royal Holloway, London and is still actively influencing the DV policy of the London Met Police Service.
Social work bosses allowed bungling that let child die
Sunday Times Jan 14th 2001 ByJonathan Ungoed-Thomas and Deborah Collcutt
A SOCIAL worker accused of "supreme incompetence" after the murder of eight-year-old Anna Climbie was twice advised by social services managers to close her case.
Colleagues say Lisa Arthurworrey's bungled handling of the case was backed by two senior colleagues who agreed the file should be closed. Less than eight weeks later Anna died of multiple organ failure, hypothermia and malnutrition.
Marie Therese Kouao, 44, and her boyfriend, Carl Manning, 28, of Tottenham, north London, were jailed for life on Friday for murdering Anna in February last year. They had beaten her with a chain, a buckle and coat-hangers, causing 128 separate injuries. ….."
- - snip - -
The anguished father of Damilola Taylor has demanded a meeting with the prime minister. The anger of this cruelly bereaved family, who came to Britain for health treatment for another child, is unanswerable. What kind of society is this, one of the richest and most advanced countries in the world, where a child is bullied at school and then stabbed to death?
- - snip - -