Picture this: you're sitting a park when a couple starts arguing nearby. The two of them are so loud that people walking by can't help but stare. The man suddenly slaps her in mid-sentence, causing most of the onlookers to laugh and cheer. He slaps her in the mouth, and even more people laugh. The woman then begins walking away from him, but he grabs her arm and continues to yell at her. She manages to pull away, but he grabs her by the hair and yanks her closer. By now, people are recording with their phones and cheering him on as he yells at her and beats on her.
Perhaps you, at the very least, would be angry that so many people are watching this unfold and somehow being entertained by it. Maybe you'd break it up, maybe you wouldn't, but you'd expect at least one person in the crowd to be brave enough to do it. So why is everyone just allowing the woman to be attacked?
What if I told you that this was a normal reaction to domestic violence in public? But there's one exception: just reverse the genders.
If you've never seen the proof in person, look up social experiments about domestic violence. The above scenario is based on what the female actresses get away with in several of those videos. Witnesses only step in when the man is attacking, whether he's the aggressor or trying to defend himself. Some people even call the cops on him. Meanwhile, females punch, slap, and kick the man, pull his hair, and even throw hot coffee on him, and get away with it.
This raises a few questions. How many of the men serving time for attacking their girlfriends/wives are there because they simply defended themselves? How many of the men who have been beaten up by vigilantes for "abusing" their partners have been acting in self defense? How many incidents of men beating their girlfriends and wives are the result of her being the abuser behind closed doors, and him finally losing it?
It's a fact that women commit just as much, if not more, domestic abuse. Harvard University puts that figure at 70%. In 2010, Professor Murray Straus famously exposed the intentional suppression of male victims for the past 30 years or so. Activist Erin Pizzey, who ran a women's shelter, learned from her work that women are just as abusive, and has been attacked, threatened, and nearly killed by feminists over the past few decades for speaking out. I wonder why. And the crazy thing is, most of us see those numbers in action, treat it like no big deal, and still deny the facts.
Everybody knows about the "crazy girlfriend" stereotype. The woman who will make a scene in restaurants, salons, stores, etc. without a care of how many people are watching. The woman who will start swinging if her man screws up. The woman who will take her shoes off and beat a man with them. The woman who proudly claims that she needs a man to handle her. For some reason, we find all of this amusing and even label her a strong woman. We're so unfazed by women abusing men that we joke about it with ridiculous phrases like "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and visions of an angry wife with a frying pan.
Would it still be cool if your son grew up to end up with a "strong woman" like that? Probably not, but the fact that we are so busy applauding only makes it that much easier for these women to do what they do. In addition to the witnesses who do nothing, and the glorification of abusive women, even the laws tend to work in their favor. For one, let's look at a few incidents that made the news:
Woman Runs Over Ex, Gives Him Brain Damage, and Gives Thumbs Up After Avoiding Jail
Woman Committed to Hospital for Raping Man While Threatening Him with Machete
Oxford University Stabber Avoids Jail Because of Her ‘Extraordinary’ Potential
And then there's the fact that men receive 63% longer sentences on average than women do, and women are twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted. The gender gap is about six times as large as the racial gap in criminal sentencing. Oh, and did I mention that men who call the police are likely to be arrested instead of their abusive girlfriend/wife?
Unless you're one of the few who care when men are abused, what's stopping them from attacking your son? If he defends himself or calls the cops, he'll be the one in jail. If he asks for help, people will just make fun of him. If people see her attacking him, they'll just laugh and pat her on the back.
Speaking of glorification, look at the praise given to women like Lorena Bobbitt and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Not all of it is because of what their men did to them; quite a few people find the actions themselves amusing, and they will playfully threaten to do the same to their boyfriends and husbands. Regardless of whether you think those men deserved payback, let's look at the actions from another point of view. If a man burned down the home of his cheating girlfriend, would we treat him like a hero? If a man cut off his abusive wife's breasts, would we make jokes about it? Would it be acceptable to ask whether those women deserved it?
If we're willing to just stand around laughing at or making excuses for abusive women, then we're doing them a favor. There are people do stuff like this because it's so easy to get away with. We're paving the way for our sons to later be in toxic relationships with no escape and no help. We're enabling a law system that allows women to get away with murder while the families of those men are left to just get over it. We're giving hurt men plenty of reasons to eventually snap and start beating on women, while claiming that there's never a reason for a man to hit a woman.
If for no other reason, let's put an end to this glorification of domestic violence now before the men and boys we know end up suffering for it tomorrow.
If you or someone you know is going through an abusive relationship, here are a few support systems:
One in Three List of Resources
Battered Men's Shelters in the U.S.