Sunday, October 11, 2015



Australia:  You can't win.  Wrong to say “Real men don’t hit women.”

The new Prime Minister has won enormous praise for putting domestic violence on the agenda, but there’s one big problem with the way he’s been talking about it.

Malcolm Turnbull came out swinging when he promised a tough approach to domestic violence during the second week of his newly claimed Prime Ministership.

“It has been overlooked, to some extent ignored, for far too long. We must have zero tolerance for it. The growing level of awareness is vital,” he said, building up to a simple, blunt, and catchy punchline.  “Real men don’t hit women.”

It was music to the ears of most. Finally, a leader who wasn’t afraid to address this issue, who wouldn’t be beating around the bush on the epidemic killing two Australian women every week.

But criminologist and gender violence expert Michael Salter, among others, felt his ears prick up for a different reason.  “We’ve heard it before, it doesn’t help, and really, it’s destructive,” he told news.com.au

Dr Salter says Malcolm Turnbull’s message, like those of generations of politicians before him, is sexist and ineffectual.

“It assumes that ‘real’ men are strong and ‘real’ men are protective and have authority, and that it’s wrong to hit women because they’re weak and passive. The statement only makes sense if we assume those things, and it reinforces those stereotypes.”

SOURCE


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

“It assumes that ‘real’ men are strong and ‘real’ men are protective and have authority, and that it’s wrong to hit women because they’re weak and passive. The statement only makes sense if we assume those things, and it reinforces those stereotypes.”

What abysmal nonsense ! Most men are stronger than most women.

Anonymous said...

Real men are liberals.

Dean said...

2:18. Unless they are conservatives.

Anonymous said...

What happens in gay spousal abuse? Who is the real man? Didn't Joe Jackson do a song about that?

Anonymous said...

10:40 Since neither gay man is hitting a woman the question doesn't arise - unless you imply one may be as submissive and weak as a woman is supposed to be in a hetero relationship.

Anonymous said...

I think it only means that if you are hitting women - you are not a real man, whatever that means.

Stan B said...

Funny how over a hundred years ago Rudyard Kipling managed to define Manhood without a hint of violence, domination over women, or "machismo" in any form, and he did it with a Western Education using values learned in a supposedly sexist, misogynist society.

Uno Hu said...

I am generally leery of sentences that lead with "always", "never", and in the case of men, "real men". In that last case the author of such a sentence is usually attempting to herd men in a desired direction but not necessarily in a direction men would want to go.

Is the statement that "Real men don't hit women" reasonable? Really - not ever? Under no circumstances? Not even in the situation of physical domestic abuse when the woman is the aggressor? What about if she has a knife or cast iron frying pan in her hand? (Are we to assume, in the face of considerable evidence to the contrary, that women are never the aggressors in situations of domestic violence?)

When a man is struck in the face by a woman, according to this dictum, he should not hit back? What about after receiving a second blow? How many times may a woman strike a man on a "free pass"? Must the man tolerate physical assault to the Biblical quantity of 70 times 7 before he can strike his assailant? Would it be "OK" even then?

I agree that men should not start fights with women; men truly should not strike the first blow. Beyond that, to women who would excuse their assaultive behavior behind their feminine gender, my advice would be "If you don't want to fight, don't raise your hand and strike someone. Is it really smart to start a fight with someone who outweighs you by 70-100 lbs. and compared to whom you typically have no more than 50% of his upper body strength?