Violent Femmes


New at Reason: Is the conventional wisdom on domestic violence starting to change? Cathy Young was there first.

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  1. Kudos to Cathy Young. But (pedantic comment imminent) Patricia Pearson had a chapter in her book “When She Was Bad” on this subject back in 1997. (I just happened to be re-reading it last night: , if you’re curious.)

    And I’ll bet there were others before this.

  2. Hate to say it, but this is old news…the Uniform Crime Report often cited by feminists and Battered Women’s Law advocates actually had female on male domestic crime outnumbering male on female domestic crime…and this was in the early 80’s.

  3. Wendy McElroy over at has expounded on this topic before, and received death threats for her trouble. Her whole ‘ifeminist’ idea sounds not just a little like libertarianism, now that I think of it.


  4. Oh, I say, the fact that someone mentioned that topic, ever, means that Ms. Young is wrong about the general perception? That explains all the PSAs and requests for educational funding to “teach women how to protect themselves” pretty neatly

  5. To quote Andy Sipowitz : I don?t mind hittin? a woman ?cause when they hit back it don?t amount to much. That bit of inappropriate humor aside, a man will probably go to jail for defending himself in his own home no matter how he was attacked, in the current situation. What?s fair in that?

    True equality would mean that if a woman hits a man, she thinks she can whip him and is willing to find out. Men learn early that they had better be right about it before they start something.

  6. no, i am not saying she is wrong. it is amazing how much time has to pass before someone in the media really notices.

  7. “And I’ll bet there were others before this.”

    Not Guilty: The Case in Defense of Men, David Thomas, 1993


  8. It’s been awhile, but I learned a lot about this in an Anthropology class in college. If I recall, the chinese are the only culture where men are more likely than women to abuse family members. Women are also more likely to be child abusers and to use a weapon. Of course, men are the most likely to cause a serious injury.

    I’d be interested to see figures on emotional and sexual abuse as well as physical abuse. You also have to be careful about how the researchers defined abuse, sometimes they include spankings, which not everyone agrees with. By their criteria, I was probably abused by my mother for years. 🙂

  9. BTW anon at 3:14…on this page it states very clearly that Cathy Young “was there first”

  10. I kinda wish I’d taken a pic of the oferta in the basement of the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio. It looked like other large ofertas, with pictures of the dead women, descriptions of them, etc. It was also stocked with books with men-victimizer/women-victim titles. In one way it was kinda like an altar to PC, but on the other hand I didn’t want to completely run it down.

  11. Note that I, not Cathy, made the comment about her being there first. She never claimed to have been first on this story, and I only said it as a fancy way of saying “Nanny nanny boo boo.”

  12. Cathy Young deserves a round of applause for yet another clear-headed view of an unpopular subject.

    As an advocate for the “forgotten victims” of domestic violence since 1999, I’ve come to realize that current programs and services actually help very few people. Their single solution — divorce or moving away from an alleged
    abuser — does little to address the problems faced by their preferred clients, the female victims. Male victims, female abusers, and people addicted to violence are forgotten or simply ignored by shelters. To make matters worse,
    bogus information on the subject has been repeated so often in the interest of
    fundraising for established programs, that the realities of domestic violence have gone unrecognized for far too long.

    Perhaps it will take another 30 years for unbiased study and practical solutions
    to appear, but at least a few people are beginning to overcome the handicap of
    political correctness and face the untidy truths.

  13. Love the ref. to a pretty good band. The Battered Wives is another.

  14. “Mills does not deny (and neither does anyone else) that male violence toward women is more likely to result in physical injuries than the reverse, and that women in abusive relationships are more likely than men to be in danger.” The reality is that most figures on injuries from domestic violence come from doctors’ reports. It is well known that men are less likely to seek medical attention than women. Male injuries usually have to be more serious before they see a doctor. Moreover, doctors are generally trained to look for signs of domestic abuse in women patients but not in men. This explains why the number of males injured in domestic disputes is largely hidden, and does not show up in official statistics. There is also growing evidence to show that women are more likely to use weapons in domestic disputes in order to compensate for any physical disadvantage.

    Women in abusive relationships actually have more power to deal with the situation. A woman can call the police and have him arrested, or she can often call upon male relatives to exact revenge on the man. If a woman kills a partner who is allegedly abusive, she can often escape a murder conviction by pleading battered woman syndrome. Yet it is far less likely for a man to be excused of killing a violent woman. Also, men are often prevented from leaving violent women because they have less chance of gaining custody of the children, and therefore have no way of protecting them from the woman’s violence. In reality, men in violent relationships are actually far more trapped and helpless than women.

    The truth is that domestic violence by women is probably much higher than even these new studies indicate, because men are far less likely to blow the whistle on female violence. Men rarely talk about all the nasty things that their mothers did to them (except for Eminem), yet it is far more common to hear women talking about abusive fathers.

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