Over at Laura’s on her post “An Article that Teaches Wives How to Train a Husband Like a Dog” she received the below comment. I tried to respond over at Laura’s but was unable to do so, so I posted it here.
Are you really puzzled as to why there is a double standard?
It has to do with how women were treated in history–back in the days when beating your wife was legal, when women couldn’t own property, when their feet were bound and broken so they could hardly walk, when they were literally sold by their fathers into slavery (read recent Chinese history for proof).
Since there is a history of treating women almost like dogs, making a joke about it comes too close to home.
On the other hand, men are the ones who commit domestic violence the majority of the time (visit any shelter to see the battered, broken women there). They are the ones who control society through voting, physical strength, and discriminatory laws. So making a joke about teaching them to “heel” is far more palatable.
July 11, 2010 5:20 PM
Anon 520 (should that be 420?)
Your reciting the men-beat-women meme is completely unconvincing. The facts are that women commit DV at a slightly higher rate than men, as posted upon by Elusive Wapiti. Compound this with severe under reporting of female on male DV and it is no doubt significantly higher
To quote from EW’s article (note PV = Partner Violence, rather than the more commonly used Domestic Violence):
Feminist-friendly scholar Murray Strauss of the University of New Hampshire is a profligate publisher in the arena of PV. Last year, he published a paper titled “Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence: The Evidence, The Denial, and the Implications for Primary Prevention and Treatment”.
There are 200 studies that demonstrate equal rates of PV. Evidence that PV is symmetrical in context and motives has been available for at least 25 years.
The majority of PV is mutual combat, accounting for about 50% of PV incidents
Female-only PV is somewhat more prevalent than male-only PV
Female PV is a key antecedent of male PV; in other words, she often starts fights which result in the male fighting back in response. Moreover, female PV helps legitimize male PV. Both serve to increase the rates at which women are harmed in PV episodes.
This is also highlighted by a graph showing the acceptability of female violence compared the the acceptability of male violence. The above puts the lie to the feminist claim that men are the ones who commit DV the majority of the time.
The study goes on to say:
Symmetry in Coercion and Control
Both sexes use PV as a tool of coercion and control, contra to the feminist characterization of PV as a tool of the “patriarchy”**. Women who commit female-only PV (data for men was not provided by the studies Strauss quoted) offered the following reasons for their violence:
46% “My partner wasn’t sensitive to my needs”
44% “I wished to gain my partner’s attention”
38% “I didn’t believe my actions would hurt my partner”
38% “My partner was being verbally abusive to me”
43% “My partner was not listening to me”
90% assaulted their partner because they were “furious, jealous, or frustrated”
In a study of couples in the first three years of marriages, wives used slightly more controlling behaviors than men
In a study of college students in 1991, men attributed their violence to anger 37.5% of the time, while women attributed their violence to anger 57.6% of the time. Moreover, men reported a desire to control their partner 8.3% of the time, while women reported using violence as a tool of control 22% of the time.
Other studies reported that the motivations of coercion and control were slightly more prevalent in the PV committed by women than in men.
Note the petty reasons listed by these female DV perpetrators: Not sensitive to my needs, to gain my partner’s attention, My partner was not listening to me. These aren’t even reasons to be violent. How is it that the so-called gentler sex is committing violence because she is not getting attention? How does that equate to self defense, or the “evils of patriarchy”
I could go on and tear down some of the rest of your statement, but I will leave it at this one aspect for now.