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145 responses to “White Ribbon Foundation study: culture and domestic and sexual violence”

  1. Ambigulous

    Thanks Kim,

    a stark and thought-provoking report indeed. Good, at least, that it received wide coverage. Sad contents.

  2. Michael

    I remember quoting the “1 in 7″ figure during that rather odd discussion over at Troppo a few months back, on Nick’s bizarre comments about a domestic violence study.

    Worryingly, some seemed to think that this was not too bad.

  3. Mark

    Yep, thanks for posting on this, Kim. I agree that disseminating these findings is important and urgent, as is a serious effort to address the causes of violence against girls and women. I intend to read the report when time permits.

  4. steveh

    Hi Kim,
    Good post – when I saw the report it shocked me at first then I got to thinking about my upbringing.
    I went to a boys-only high school and the place had a very bad women-as-objects culture.
    Several blokes there used to hit other kids using a telephone book to “hide” the bruising and at one time or another it came out that they’d learnt the technique from seeing their “old man” in action.
    The attitude to sex was “try your hardest and if you don’t get anywhere, try again!”.
    One favourite game was to try and “break” (ie. get tears out of) the femaile prac teachers.
    My biggest regret in life is going to that place – and the fact that despite god-knows-how-many-complaints the “boys-will-be-boys” mantra was regarded as normal.
    If you locked up half the teaching staff and put 3/4 of the kids through councelling then you would’ve reduced the incidence of unwanted births, and rapes in that part of Australia by half.
    Try telling that to the local coppers – half of them were old-boys.
    The real pity of it was there were some excellent teachers there who did fight this as well as they could – it might have changed more recently (dunno about that), but I’d be skeptical.
    Anyway…that’s enough ranting on my part – those who know where I’m talking of will recognise it.

  5. Ambigulous

    Ha, steveh

    I reckon that old-boys from at least 200 DIFFERENT schools would think you’re reminiscing about their old school….

  6. Fine

    It’s great that you point out that unwanted sex is, indeed, rape even if the young women involved don’t use the word.

    I wonder has this figure increased or decreased over the years? It’s certainly nothing new, after all.

    The question then is; what to do about it? Judging from the Nick Gruen blog there seems to be a lot of well-educated men who are depressingly ignorant about rape. So, if they don’t get it, who will? And how do we persuade people to get it?

  7. derrida derider

    I always distrust “findings” from a survey run by an advocacy group, no matter how worthy the cause they’re advocating. I’d want details of the questions asked and the survey sample selection before I’d take the slightest notice of these “results”.

    None of which, BTW, is to say that there isn’t a serious problem – casual observation suggests that there are a lot of yobbos around still. Its just that “headline grabbing” figures are rarely worthwhile evidence of a problem, precisely because their purpose is to grab a headline.

  8. Mark

    derrida derider, it’s open to you, I’d have thought, to read the report (which seems to me to be a good piece of work on a quick inspection) and to follow up on any methodological issues should you desire. While I agree that there needs to be some scrutiny of research published by interest groups, the level of suspicion about findings on issues to do with violence against women seems to me to be highly suspicious. (Note that I’m not attributing this to you – but making a general statement about the propensity I’ve observed – not least on the thread Michael referred to – for some to view any findings about rape and sexual violence with apparently automatic distrust.)

  9. Mercurius

    Important report Kim and thanks for raising it.

    I’m in favour of the recommendations the report contains — and especially on page 36 where it endorses a more pro-active approach to personal responsibility by the men who perpetrate this violence, and the men (fathers, brothers, peers) who encourage them to do it.

    I know it sounds trite, but violence by men will stop only when men choose to stop committing violence. All the other programs targeting social disadvantage, alcohol, school counseling etc. will only go so far. In the end, it’s up to every man to be a real man and refuse to use violence against women.

    A little responsibility goes a long way. There’s been quite a positive response here in the USA to Obama’s calls among African American families to stop feeding Popeye’s chicken to their kids for breakfast, and telling the ‘gangsta’ teens to, you know, pull their feckin’ pants up…

    It would help a lot for past offenders to call out men and boys now at risk of committing violence and explain to them the consequences of that violence.

  10. Kim

    Well said, Merc.

  11. Mercurius

    Oh, and steveh @ 4: yeah, I recognise.

  12. Howard C

    This is just an area where men just need to do the right thing and not make any sort of mitigating remarks.

    It is wrong to hit women.

    It is wrong to rape anyone.

    Men have to realise that they have responsibility over their own actions. That way we can help women escape from abusive relationships and situations, and also make those situations less likely in the first place.

  13. Pavlov's Cat

    steveh @ 4: would that perchance be the one I used to live across the road from in Barkers Rd, Hawthorn? Amazing what one can see on the playing field from one’s upstairs flat.

    If so, or indeed if not, I would be really interested to hear testimony (of whatever kind) on this subject from blokes who went to all-boys’ schools, most of which presumably had religious affiliations. Was there ever any overt connection between the school’s religious instruction and the general school culture of how to treat other people?

  14. adrian

    Yes, sad as it is, this doesn’t surprise me at all. We may have supressed the most overt forms of agressive sexism from our society, but if you look closely it’s lurking just beneath the surface in many areas of our lives.
    Sometimes I think it comes down to the deceptively simple concept of respect. Not enough men genuinely respect women (as they would other men), and they behave accordingly.

  15. FDB

    Well PC, my coed govt high school came down like a ton of bricks on anything resembling sexual harassment or violence towards girls, having made very clear from day 1 of year 8 what is and is not appropriate behaviour.

    The only attitudes I encountered along the lines of Steveh’s stories came from the year 10/11/12 blow-ins from boys schools (usually expelled). Once we formed a posse to kick two of them out of a party where they’d cornered a drunk girl and started trying to undress her. Sometimes, in some ways, these boys were fun to hang out with. But somehow it always felt like I’d regressed back to year 7.

  16. spog

    I’m with Derrida on this one, even after a perfunctory look at the report. I was hoping to see what questions were asked. That’s because I have been asked about this sort of thing before, involving a question that went something like “Do you think it’s ever okay to hit a woman?” I answered yes. I’d be amazed if anyone could honestly answer “no”.

  17. FDB

    “Not enough men genuinely respect women (as they would other men), and they behave accordingly.”

    I doubt many rapists actually respect anyone. Witness what happens sexually when a bunch of violent dysfunctional men are cut off from women.

  18. PaulW

    From the report:

    “Over half (58%) had witnessed their father or stepfather
    yell loudly at their mother/step mother.”

    What is the point of including a bald figure like this, without any context, if the intention is not to smear men??? How many women yell at their partners? Who yells first? Who stops yelling first?

    From the poster:

    “1 in 3 year 10 girls say they have experienced unwanted sex. As Deborah says at In A Strange Land, that actually means rape”

    Does anyone seriously believe that 33% of year 10 girls have been raped? Most girls by that age haven’t even had sex. Did you stop to ask what the respondents meant by unwanted sex? Did it include sex that was later regretted but was nonetheless consensual? Does it include sex that the girl was ambivalent about but nonetheless consented to?

  19. Katz

    One in three Australian boys thinks that it’s okay to hit girls

    How many boys think it’s okay to hit boys?

    When is it conceded to be okay to hit anyone?

    When is it conceded to be okay for a boy to hit a boy but not a girl?

    Is it okay for a girl to hit a girl for a cause that is not appropriate for a boy to hit a girl?

    When is it not conceded to be okay to hit anyone?

    My preferred option is that it is never okay to hit anyone. But I’m just a bit dubious of projectors of causes, no matter how worthy, who rely on statements like the one I quoted above.

  20. Chris (a different one)

    HowardC @ 12 said:

    It is wrong to hit women.

    I think this is better restated as “It is wrong to hit anyone”.

    It should be as unacceptable for a boy to hit a boy as for a boy to hit a girl.

  21. adrian

    Geez, of course it’s not OK to hit anyone, but surely we are discussing this report in the context of a society in which there is inequality between men and women, and women are more often than not the victims of this inequality, sometimes through violence.

  22. FDB

    Adrian – a society in which it is okay for boys to hit boys, but not girls, is exhibiting inequality. The message that hitting boys is a normal part of being a boy, while hitting girls is taboo, is another facet of Teh Patriarchy at work, surely.

  23. myriad

    careful Adrian, you’re sticking to the point and avoiding red herrings. ;-)

  24. Robert Merkel

    The statistic about unwanted sex comes from this study of adolescent sexuality in Australia. The relevant section starts on page 31.

    The quoted statistic refers to the proportion of sexually active individuals who had experienced unwanted sex. It’s not exactly clear what they defined as “sexually active” but it’s only a fraction of the total survey participants.

    The relevant question asked was Question D5, which asks:

    Have you ever had sex when you didn’t want to?

    with the following answer options:

    No
    If YES, ? as many as you think apply:
    Yes, because I was too drunk at the time
    Yes, because I was too high at the time 1
    Yes, because my partner thought I should
    Yes, because my friends thought I should

    It is noteworthy that 22.6% of sexually active Year 10 boys also reported having unwanted sex by the same definition.

    So, firstly, it’s 30% of that fraction (around a third) who are sexually active, so at a guess it’s 1 in 9. Secondly, if one takes the view that every encounter classified as “unwanted sex” by the survey participants was rape, by the same standard about 1 in 12 boys of that age have been raped.

  25. klaus k

    “That’s because I have been asked about this sort of thing before, involving a question that went something like “Do you think it’s ever okay to hit a woman?” I answered yes. I’d be amazed if anyone could honestly answer “no”.”

    While I can, at a stretch, imagine situations where it might be necessary – although have never actually been in one – I would honestly answer ‘no’ to this. Even if I felt I had been put in a position where I had to hit a woman – perhaps in order to protect a third party – I wouldn’t feel that it was ‘okay’.

    More troubling for me on reflection is the extent to which I do feel it’s sometimes okay to hit men, in the sense that I probably wouldn’t lose much sleep over it in certain types of cases.

  26. PaulW

    “Secondly, if one takes the view that every encounter classified as “unwanted sex” by the survey participants was rape, by the same standard about 1 in 12 boys of that age have been raped.”

    So now that Kim knows the full details of the survey question and how loose the definition of unwanted sex was, will she withdraw the claim that 1 in 3 year 10 girls have been raped?

    Over to you Kim.

  27. klaus k

    “The message that hitting boys is a normal part of being a boy, while hitting girls is taboo, is another facet of Teh Patriarchy at work, surely.”

    Yes, I think this is intimately related to questions of gender, and thus to gendered forms of violence. But it’s a fine line between introducing critical perspectives on violence against men, and obscuring the broader point of having this discussion. Given I don’t have the energy to walk that line, I’m going to refrain from talking further about violence towards men I think.

    You can ignore the last sentence of my comment at #25.

  28. FDB

    Paul – it’s probably a mistake to concentrate too much on what you obviously see as misuse of the word ‘rape’. It’s an unwelcome distraction if what you want is to talk about what is happening between girls and boys, rather than what to call it.

  29. Paul Burns

    Well, it shouldn’t be okay to hit anyone, women, children or men, except in very rare cases of self-defence, and even then the preferred alternative should be, if its possible, to run like hell in the opposite direction of the person who is trying to hit you.
    I’m curious, is there a difference in the number of cases of violence against women (ie hitting women)in rural and provincial areas as opposed to metropolitan areas? The reason I ask is, when I moved from Sydney to the country, I came across many more cases of domestic violence than I did in the city.Apart from working girls in the Cross, some of whom were close friends of mine (I lived there for fifteen odd years)I didn’t come across overmuch violence towards women. Though I have to admit it took some men of my generation quite some time to get it that No means No.
    I won’t bother going into the tips I got as a young fella from slightly older fellas on how you get your rocks off with a chick, if you’ll excuse the vernacular, as, in a thread of this nature I think it would undoubtedly be gratuitous.

  30. steveh

    Pavlovs Cat@13,
    Nope – the place I went is in NSW and definitely not religious (unless you include footy).
    FDB@17 sums it up nicely – the whole isolated, “them vs us” nature of the place didn’t help.
    Violence was always regarded as the first option – emphasis on not getting caught and “disgracing the school name”.
    PaulW – Ok the questions might not be perfect but if this report decreases the likelyhood of violence then that is not a bad thing in my book.
    At The School such a report would’ve been instantly dismissed in the way Kim predicted – as for your statement that most girls by the age of year 10 haven’t had sex – I’d be surprised if it was less than 40-50% where I grew up. Anyone who’s spent time in rural Australia will know such things depend strongly on the type of town it is!
    To fix the major problems at that particular school would require a long-term change – and while some posters might disagree, having more interaction with the opposite sex and the outside world (in a supervised environment) would IMHO make a major difference.
    I know myself and quite a few other blokes had to unlearn many things (at uni in my case) before we could even get a handle on normal society and how to live in it (let alone how to interact with the opposite sex).
    From what I’ve seen the religious high-schools don’t quite have the same mentality, but instead actively promote ignorance about things such as sex education (god forbid we should upset The Churches).
    Such education IS important and would help many people have a better grasp of what IS acceptable behaviour from a younger age – ignoring it (the way exclusive schools sometimes do) is not the solution.
    It doesn’t matter what way you look at the stats – most rapists know the victim (even just looking at violent rape cases). To stop rapes from happening an ounce of prevention (in attitudes/etc) is worth every damn cent.

  31. myriad

    Robert, I’ve just gone and read the relevant sections of the report you are commenting on and would point out that your statement that “It’s not exactly clear what they defined as “sexually active” but it’s only a fraction of the total survey participants.” is completely incorrect. the study shows quite clearly, broken down by sexual activity the proportion of sexually active, and states in the summary and at the start of page 31 “The majority of young people in years 10 and 12 are sexually active in some way”.

    So:

    – the majority of young people in year 10 are sexually active in some way
    – the percentage of those females who are sexually active who have experienced unwanted sex in some form is significant
    – the white ribbon report accurately represents this study’s fundings.

  32. Robert Merkel

    Obviously, violence, perpetrated overwhelmingly by men, and sexual coercion of any kind, remains a blight on society and stamping it out remains an enormously high priority.

    Back on one of my own bugbears, I wonder what a “war on violence” or, more specificially, a “war on sexual violence” funded similarly to the “war on terrorism” could have achieved.

    I also agree Kim’s point about gender equality in relationships being a key component of reducing such violence, which was the primary point of the post.

  33. Pavlov's Cat

    Surely one of the things at issue here is, as so often in so many situations, the abuse of the power differential. There’s something particularly despicable about physically attacking someone when you’re bigger and stronger and more capable than they are. Or, as one former academic colleague once said to another, who had been bragging in detail about his part in a pub brawl (yes yes, I know, academics: shocking), ‘Let me get this straight: you king-hit a little drunk?’

    So I’d say it’d be pretty bad for a big strong state-trained woman to hit a puny little unfit man, too. Unfortunately most men are bigger and stronger than most women.

  34. Nanuestalker

    Important report if for only one reason it brings it to the public eye. Like Derrida Derider, I’d be interested in the detail when I’ve time to read the report.

    I do have one question though in terms of the concept of wanted sex being rape. I can understand the fear element in a rape situation causing a victim not to say stop or no, but I don’t think doing something you don’t want because the ‘social culture’ that causes you to decide that you have to ‘to fit in’ is the same. In the same way that the cycle has to be broken with the boys, I think the cycle has to be broken with the girls.

    This male ‘culture’ of thuggery is something that has stuck me since I came to Australia (some 14yrs ago) as being unfortunately embedded in the culture and wrongly promoted as being the Australian way where men are men and women are for …. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly or uniquely Australian, but its presence is noticeable. I find the female ‘culture’ one that abandons self-respect with it’s obvivious detrimental effect on self-confidence.

    Both the male/female cultures are equally disturbing, one for being overly aggressive and the other overly submissive. If I spoke let alone behaved in such a manner as a young boy/man growing up, 9 out of 10 times I’d be put in my place by the young girl/woman (and that’s in Ireland, well known for it drinking culture and not particularly it social etiquette.) Respect for self & others is the key.

  35. The Marvellous Mr B

    PaulW, forgive me if I’m wrong, but you appear to be saying that it’s okay that 1 in 9 year 10 girls are being raped as long because at least it’s not 1 in 3 OR that it’s okay because unwanted sex isn’t rape – and this is forgetting the fact that many year 10 girls can not legally consent to sex anyway. Care to correct me at all?

    For the record, a lot of the girls I know (I’m not trying to infantilise, none of them call themselves women) who are sexually active have been raped. There are even more if you include “unwanted sex”. This is just the ones I know and talk to about these things, who trust me enough to tell me. Doubtless there are more.

    It’s completely unacceptable behaviour, and these are unacceptable attitudes. It must stop.

  36. myriad

    bugger it didn’t link the the exact page – page 34 I think, so not far on from page 31.

  37. Robert Merkel

    myriad: If you read the survey more carefully (and I only just noticed this, have a look at the top of page 10 of the survey form) the “unwanted sex” question is in a section that only people who have had sexual intercourse fill out.

    If you look at table 5.2, that represents 27.8% of Year 10 boys, and 24.2% of Year 10 girls.

    So, it’s the proportions are of those who have had sexual intercourse. It’s actually 30% of 24% – about 7% overall – of Year 10 girls reporting having had unwanted sex.

    I didn’t get my original figures quite right; it turns out that it’s a smaller fraction than what I stated in my original comment. Furthermore, it seems that the proportion of boys reporting unwanted sex is quite similar.

    I fully agree that this level is “significant” and indeed unacceptable, and I think it’s unfortunate to have to get hung up on this particular statistic when it’s really not the key point of either the White Ribbon study or Kim’s post. But it’s important when quoting rather inflammatory statistics to get it right.

  38. myriad

    Ah ok Robert – interestingly the way it’s reported in the study doesn’t match how the survey is set out. I read the study, and presumed, I think quite reasonably, that ‘unwanted sex’ covered intercourse, digital penetration or touching and oral sex. I suspect the white ribbon study has made the same mistake.

    I actually think it’s both disappointing and misleading that the study only got students who had had intercourse to answer the ‘unwanted sex’ part, because as most stat. definitions bear out, ‘unwanted sex’ aka rape includes digital rape and forced oral sex.

    And anecdotally, the number of young women who ‘buy off’ pushy boyfriends with ‘oral’ is significant.

  39. Kim

    I’m sorry for not being clearer – was writing quickly as I’m working today – but I thought it was obvious that the figure would refer to girls who are sexually active. My apologies. But I can’t see that it’s “inflammatory” – it’s deplorable, surely, but why anyone would be inflamed by such a report – well, that’s part of the question about all this, isn’t it? That’s not directed at you, Rob, because unfortunately I think you’re accurately reporting the reaction some have to learning about such figures.

  40. Kim

    And myriad, yes, I have an issue with those sorts of things affecting the framing of the question as well.

    In any case, I have duly amended the post to clarify it.

  41. Robert Merkel

    I actually think it’s both disappointing and misleading that the study only got students who had had intercourse to answer the ‘unwanted sex’ part, because as most stat. definitions bear out, ‘unwanted sex’ aka rape includes digital rape and forced oral sex.

    Agreed, that appears to be a serious flaw in the study.

  42. Ambigulous

    Pavlov’s

    The behaviour you observed may have been atypical. Depends on the era, depends on how seriously we should take the public mouthings of braggarts, etc.

    I know of the experiences of lads at about 4 private all-boy schools. All these lads were explicitly taught to respect girls and women. The schools were run by churches, Protestant or RC, but the amount of religious observance and bible study, catechism etc varied from school to school. Any outbreaks of bullying (between boys) were dealt with sternly. The schools organised supervised “socials” (dances)for older lads, and some offered “dancing classes” [waltz, foxtrot... etc].

    Yahoo behaviour was strictly constrained. Does this sound old-fashioned? Yes: Melbourne in the 1960s, just before the winds of change and licentiousness arrived. I don’t believe any of the lads and their confreres thought sexual assault was OK. Neither their friends at co-ed schools. The boys at the boys’ schools tended to be shy and confused when in the company of girls.

    They got over that, subsequently.

    I’m not claiming they weren’t social snobs, BTW. Just that they weren’t encouraged to rape or stalk.

  43. Robert Merkel

    Kim: it’s inflammatory because it implies that each and every man counts amongst his closest friends and relatives at least one violent criminal who by rights should be spending years in the klink for their actions.

    Of course such a claim is going to provoke a strong reaction.

  44. Kim

    I don’t know if I agree with that, Rob. What people need to realise is that sex without consent is the same thing as rape. If it’s inflammatory to come to terms with that, then tough. It’s the definition of the concept.

  45. Born Under Punches

    In my opinion, it’s a disservice to the important (and troubling) work done by this study to make reductive statements like “unwanted sex is just another word for rape”. As Robert pointed out, “unwanted sex” includes sex which occurs under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and I’m not sure that we want to argue that two people have raped each other if they have had too much to drink and done some things they might not have done sober. Regretting something and not consenting to something are different things.

    While rape would certainly be subsumed under the definition of unwanted sex, to argue that the two things are one and the same is a gross oversimplificiation, and unhelpful.

  46. Ambigulous

    Kim,

    I think you may have misunderstood what Robert found ‘inlammatory’. As I read his comments, he’s not claiming to re-define rape. It’s criminal. He says it’s unacceptable, at whatever percentage.

    What I read in his earlier post, which he now confirms at 1.57pm, is that he believes a claim that on average EVERY man counts at least one rapist as a relative or close friend, is liable to be “inflammatory”. Now, it may be that most rapists are so deeply ashamed of their violent criminality that they never speak of it (so their family and friends never find out), and men tend to be taciturn anyway, but…….

  47. myriad

    Just to add to what Kim said, Robert, sure if you only think of rapists as ‘violent criminals’ it risks being taken as an inflammatory statement because we have such stereotypes of what ‘rapists’ look and act like.

    I’d argue it’s precisely because we have such hammishly stereotyped images of rapists that so many acts of ‘unwanted sex’ aka rape go sight unseen and unacknowledged. As a society we have such appallingly narrow colloquial definitions and low recognition of behaviour that is sexual assault or rape, that you hardly need to know a hardened crim to know some man who’s forced a woman to have sex, and hell, I’m prepared to accept might not even realise / or be confused about the fact that that’s what he did. Rape within marriage comes immediately to mind.

    You only have to listen to commercial radio, listen in on men talking etc. to hear the level of casual verbalised sexual violence aimed at women (“I’d have her”, “I’d give her one”, “she’s asking for it” etc etc).

    The other alternative is to believe that there’s this small group of violent thuggish men who go around repeat offending on such a grand scale that they’ve got to xx% of the women in the community, and a few men to boot. Which I’m sure you don’t believe.

    Personally I think if men would be open to the fact that statistically there’s a good possibility that someone in their friends group/network has raped someone, and openly asked about it, we’d get a lot closer to an open and useful conversation on the topic.

    cripes my grammar is even worse than normal.

  48. FDB

    “each and every man counts amongst his closest friends and relatives at least one violent criminal who by rights should be spending years in the klink for their actions.”

    Well I do, and he is.

    Of the women to whom I’ve been close enough to discuss such things candidly (that’d be… um… 5), 3 have been sexually assaulted, and two raped (by anyone’s definition).

  49. Ambigulous

    *inFlammatory*

  50. Spiros

    “Several blokes there used to hit other kids using a telephone book to “hide” the bruising”

    Just like the police. Except that they didn’t hit people with the phone books, because that would leave evidence of assault. What they did was one of them held the phone book to the victim’s stomach while another one punched the phone book. It worked a treat, with not a trace of evidence.

  51. FDB

    To clarify, that leaves 2 who said they’d never been assaulted.

  52. Robert Merkel

    Ambigulous, thanks for the clarification.

    I’m not trying to redefine rape for one minute. I agree that the forced and coerced sex, under any circumstances, is rape. I’ve no doubt that it is a hell of a lot more common than the rates criminal prosecution might suggest, and men who don’t fit the stereotype of “hardened criminals” make up the majority of perpetrators. I’ve had such events explained to me by close female friends.

    First, accuracy in use of statistics matters a great deal. Furthermore, I am still uncomfortable, with the interpretation (as Burn Under Punches has ponited out) that every instance of “unwanted sex” as recorded in the original 2002 survey, can be interpreted as rape.

  53. Howard C

    Look, I’ve never hit anyone, but I do play footy, and have been hit (and not retaliated). But if someone grabbed me in an inappropriate place on a football field, I wouldn’t like to commit to any level of behaviour. I suspect I may go spare.

    Of course it should never be OK to hit anyone, but under any circumstances, it is never OK to hit a woman. I can think of some circumstances where it could be defensible to hit another man.

  54. Nanuestalker

    Interestingly, I’ve heard/read that most perpetrators of violent crime including rape are disempowered men/women and most victims are disempowered men/women.
    (I can’t remember the source so don’t ask, but it did sound very reasonable to me that it could be factual)

  55. Ambigulous

    Howard C

    In legal circles that’s known as “the Hopoate Defence”

  56. Evan

    This one in seven who think it’s OK to force themselves on a girl worries me. What kind of society produces such people? What sort of values have their parents been imparting to them? It’s fucking frightening.

    If this survey is accurate, then we’re in deep, deep shit.

    Forget about what sort of adults they’re going to turn-out to be, what level of damage are they going to cause before they even reach adulthood?

    You can’t expect kids to be rational, but there’s gotta be some level of empathy and this “treat others as you would have them treat you” stuff instilled into them. Otherwise we’re just producing battalions of psychopaths.

  57. FDB

    “under any circumstances, it is never OK to hit a woman.”

    I see you are a casuistry novice. Come on Howard, let your imagination run riot. Let’s say a woman is beating a baby to death with a bag full of kittens, while singing Aqua’s Barbie Girl and defecating on a bible. Okay to give her a wee nudge?

  58. Razor

    Robert Merkel @ 32 – when I start seeing car bombings, train bombings and planes used as cruise missiles because of sexual violence, then I’ll happily support a War on Sexual Violence.

  59. Katz

    So that would rule out a “War on Drugs” too?

  60. moz

    From what I’ve seen, asking the people who ran the survey for detailed information doesn’t get anything more than a generic “thank you for asking, the press release is all you get”. So my suspicion that the questions were slanted is reinforced and the credence I give this press release and the group that released it drops further. Not that it was very high after I read the “full report” with it’s “we’re not just talking about violence that involves physical contact and we reject academic rigour as inappropriate” qualifiers. Not to mention their refusal to make the questions gender-balanced (tell me, what proportion of girls think it’s ok to hit a boy, or coerce him into sex?)

  61. Grumphy

    It was a literature review, as far as I am aware, not a survey. Anyone bleating about methodology has best be sticking to questions related to range of sources and accurate summarising on the part of the foundation’s staff. Survey methodology problems would be largely the responsibility of the individual researchers quoted in the review, AFAIK none of them actually work for the Foundation.

    IIRC, someone at Hoyden mentioned that the source list runs to 8 pages, so I question whether anyone commenting anywhere in the media has had the time or inclination to examine even some of those.

  62. albi

    Let’s not let the survey blind us to the real message of White Ribbon Day. It’s a day for men to wear a white ribbon and makes the joint statement that violence against women is never ok.

  63. Razor

    I went to an all male school. Violence between students was frowned upon – sometimes earning a suspension. That said, physical contact on the sporting fields was not to be shied away from, especially against the Micks (all with th spirit of the game and the rules of course).

    Females were placed on a pedestal. Female staff members were treated with the utmost respect. No one bragged about their exploits with the opposite sex although unsubstantiated rumours wouldn’t have been denied. I doubt many had lost their virginity by the time we finished Year 12, despite our best efforts.

    I acknowledge the negative spin of this thread from the report. I also see a lot of positive. As with most stories relating to our youth, this report also shows that the vast majority are fine young people, well rounded and coping well with the world they find themselves in. Something to have hope for the future in as long as they don’t become to brainwahed by the feminists, environmentalists and socialists (although they are young and allowed to make mistakes from which most will learn).

  64. Desipis

    It was a literature review, as far as I am aware, not a survey. Anyone bleating about methodology…

    Their “methodology” was to cherry pick statistics and reinforce gender stereotypes. They offer nothing new other than fresh attempt to paint girls as innocent little angels and boys as horrid monsters.

    Sexual violence is serious issue and we shouldn’t approach it with a set of blinders on.

  65. albi

    spaminated :-(

  66. Razor

    I grew up with sisters – I always remember never being allowed to hit my sisters, unless I was defending myself. My older sister gavce me a beauty of a black eye once from a straight right. She also tried to crack a boiled egg on my head which gave me my own egg.

  67. Razor

    Katz – yeah, not big on the War on Drugs. War on Drug gangs and cartels and crime syndicates is a different matter.

  68. Leon

    … the link between “traditional gender-role attitudes” and attitudes towards violence … The report emphasises the positive contribution of gender equality in relationships to fostering a non-violent culture.

    … it’s up to every man to be a real man and refuse to use violence against women …

    I find the the “real men reject violence”-type slogans interesting. It seems they’re pitching towards an attitude of gentlemanly self-control or masculine stoicism. And I’m sure they’re effective.

    But you’d never find the equivalent slogan for women: “real women don’t hit men”, for example. The “real men” idea seems to aim not for gender equality — i.e., treating different genders in the same way — but for a better model of masculinity that restrains male aggression. They are two very different approaches.

    I think that the gender role confusion responsible for male violence against women is not “traditional” at all. It is in fact the absence of any cultural male gender role whatsoever, which gives innate male violence freer reign.

    As evidence, consider the message of the film Fight Club — men, reacting against bland consumer culture and a cushy self-help mentality, resort to senseless violence and fascist-like social structures.

    Or, as a brainstorming exercise, think of culturally “feminine” virtues — easy enough: caring, openness with emotions, affection etc, etc. Now think of “masculine” vices — aggression, competitiveness, thuggishness, etc. Stereotypically feminine vices are familiar sexist tropes: bitchiness, gossip, indecisiveness, etc.

    But what about “masculine” virtues? The only things that come to mind, for me at least, are olde fashioned virtues like nobility, courage, etc., none of which really exist in mainstream cultural discourse, let alone education.

    I’m not trying to excuse the shocking, morally repugnant attitudes Australian young men seem to have toward women. But the only way to restrain male violence is to recognize that it is a male problem. It needs to be dealt with through a better conception of masculinity, and through male role models; not through “equality”, as if boys and girls/men and women deal with exactly the same problems.

  69. myriad

    Let’s see you prove that they ‘cherry picked’ Desipis – I expect an 8+ page list of references contravening the results of the 8+ pages of studies this reports collated results from forthwith.

  70. klaus k

    “As evidence, consider the message of the film Fight Club — men, reacting against bland consumer culture and a cushy self-help mentality, resort to senseless violence and fascist-like social structures.”

    As evidence of what? That the film depicts those things?

  71. Kim

    Just to clarify the discussion I was having with Rob earlier, before I was rudely interrupted by work, I agree with what myriad said @ 47 – we need a broader understanding of the fact that sexual assault is not necessarily (and indeed not predominantly) a random act perpetrated by a hardened criminal. I don’t think that implies that everyone should regard any form of sex without consent as equivalent, but the conceptual definition is highly important because it wakes people up to the fact that there is a real degree to which sexual acts without consent are heinous, and to remind people that this is so, even if such acts are much more likely to be a relatively frequent and normalised “everyday” occurrence than some out of the blue crime. I think that the issue of changing attitudes and behaviours needs to be separated, at least strategically, from discussions of the criminal law.

  72. Adrien

    Yeah Kim I saw this last night. Sadly altho’ it should be shocking it wasn’t. I wasn’t surprised.
    .
    Given common behaviour merely on the street you see there’s a naked absence of any civility amongst many young men. I don’t mean to do the fuddy-duddy young people of today routine but I have a sense it’s gotten particularly bad over the last little while. These lads’ female contemporaries aren’t exactly models of decorum either. The same paper carried a column by a woman discussing being shoved out of the way by a mob of young girls in Albert Park who called her ‘a fucking slut’ repeatedly. She relates how a friend told her not to take it personally, it was a common term.
    .
    This isn’t strictly pertinent to the substance of the report but I wonder about a culture in which such brutal and charged language is used. I’m not sure how this research was conducted how ‘unwanted sex’ is defined for example. But if this is truly referring to rape and not merely some regretted episode the number should cause for the highest alarm.
    .
    I don’t think the usual Voices of Conservatism will be saying boys will be boys here. They’ll be calling for flogging to come back I’m sure. Blaming gangsta rap inevitably (and not unreasonably). They’ll also be talking about the erosion of traditional gender roles.
    .
    Do they have a point there?
    .
    That could possibly be a useful discussion amongst persons neither dogmatically inclined to traditionalism nor inherently hostile to it. After all what information have we got about the social mileu of today’s young generation: what is a normal family? Is there one? How are boys taught to be men? Are they? Well in terms of what I was taught – no. There seems to be a significant number who’re brought up to be beasts no more.
    .
    I think the conservatives have a point but if they want to bring back the Ma and Pa days that never were they’re barking. The world’s changed and women are expected to make their way in the world. ‘Traditional’ gender roles such as they were are based on a time gone by. These roles were of course fixed so men called the shots. But there were rules.
    .
    It isn’t boys will be boys, it’s quite a few boys grow into destructive shits when they’re not properly cultivated. We need new rules. And harsher punishments for this kind of thing.

  73. Adrien

    I am still uncomfortable, with the interpretation (as Burn Under Punches has ponited out) that every instance of “unwanted sex” as recorded in the original 2002 survey, can be interpreted as rape.
    .
    I think it very important to clearly distinguish rape. Both when conducting research and as a matter of common sense. The advantage of etiquette is that it makes these things clear. Altho’ I find it hard to fathom how it could not be I’m sadly inclined to think perhaps it isn’t.

  74. Helen

    Time to quote this famous article by Kate Harding, because it’s a classic. I don’t think anyone has ever said it better.

    You are missing an opportunity to help stop the bad guys.

    You’re missing an opportunity to stop the real misogynists, the fucking sickos, the ones who really, truly hate women just for being women. The ones whose ranks you do not belong to and never would. The ones who might hurt women you love in the future, or might have already.

    ‘Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…

    I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.

    But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.

    And that guy? Thought you were on his side.

    As long as we live in a culture where the good guys sometimes sound just like the misogynists, the misogynists are never going to get the message that they are not normal and that most people–strong, successful men included–do not hate women.

    When you trivialize what even the women you love are saying to you, when you let sexist remarks slide, when you insist that women view things from your perspective (rational! calm! reasonable!) because you don’t feel like trying to see theirs (emotional! hysterical! nuts!), when you sit around laughing with other men about how crazy chicks are before you go home to the wife and daughters you love more than life and always treat with respect, when you say the fact that online harassment disproportionately affects women somehow doesn‘t mean we should be considering it through the lens of women’s experiences in particular, you’re not fucking helping. You’re being willfully obtuse. You’re enjoying the luxury of not having to take what we’re telling you seriously–and that’s why we get so goddamned frustrated and angry and hysterical. Because we don’t have the option of not caring about this shit, and you just keep telling us not to.

    Read the whole thing.

  75. Desipis

    You are missing an opportunity to help stop the bad guys…

    And you’re missing an opportunity to save a life by donating a kidney. Expecting people to give up a part of themselves to help someone you deem more worthy is a bit much.

  76. Rayedish

    “And you’re missing an opportunity to save a life by donating a kidney. Expecting people to give up a part of themselves to help someone you deem more worthy is a bit much.”
    Once upon a time slavery was the norm, and we had then racist laws banning interracial marriage,and there were a whole heap of other unjust laws we have moved on from. Just because something is hard, and changing societal norms is hard, doesn’t mean it is not worth the attempt.

    Certain aspects of our masculine culture are dysfunctional. Also some of feminine culture is also unhealthy. Besides the over prevalence of rape, we have other forms of ‘unwanted sex’, situations where sex is used as a game – guys hassling their buddies into having sex with willing and or drunk girls and the girls substituting self respect and companionship for sex, thinking that wearing playboys bunny logos is empowerment.

    I say it is worth the effort to examine these issues.

  77. Robert

    I’m late to the discussion, but I’m hoping you can help. I’ve been trying to dig back to the source material. One figure that’s been getting some attention is that 30-odd per cent of teenage boys think hitting a girl is “not a big deal”. The report cites this report in support — but that question isn’t mentioned anywhere. Is there somewhere the full survey results can be accessed?

  78. Desipis

    Once upon a time slavery was the norm, and we had then racist laws banning interracial marriage,and there were a whole heap of other unjust laws we have moved on from.

    I’m not the one seeking control over other people. You are.

    I say it is worth the effort to examine these issues.

    I don’t have a problem with examining those issue, particularly those where there are social pressure for people to behave in inappropriate ways. However the quote from Helen criticised men for discussing their experiences, or releaving stress by making a joke. I don’t particularly want to live in a world where i cant discuss things as how I see them or can’t make jokes. And I certainly don’t want to live in world where I take the blame for the actions of others who may unreasonably misinterpret what I say.

  79. Mark

    Rob, as I said, I’ve only had time to skim the report, so I can’t comment directly, but I would suggest that – contrary to what some seem to think – emailing the author/s directly or phoning might be fruitful. It’s a recognised ethical protocol in research that survey instruments should be disclosed on request.

  80. Mark Richardson

    From the report linked to above:

    “Only a weak association was established between attitudes and actual relationship violence between young people.”

    The domestic violence literature usually focuses on particular stress factors as causes of violence, such as instability in family life, unemployment and alcohol abuse.

  81. Leon

    Helen @74 –

    I agree with that post entirely. The problem is that, in other places in the article, Harding says that online harassment is a “women’s issue”. That’s true, in the sense that women are the abused ones. But it is also misleading, because men are almost always the abusers: it’s a men’s issue too, as she pleas so honestly. I think the identity-political “ownership” of issues has to break down before the oppressors can join the discussion.

    Masculinity is too often either identified with patriarchy, or dismissed as outdated in a gender-neutral kind of way. But what’s needed to help curb violence is a model of good masculinity that channels men’s aggressive tendencies away from violence.

    There used to exist a concept of gentlemanliness, such that you could tell men cracking sexist jokes like that to grow up/be (gentle)men and you wouldn’t be laughed at. That’s not the case any more.

    For an interesting conservative perspective, this article from City Journal is really excellent.

    As evidence of what? That the film depicts those things?

    In one sense, it’s evidence of a social trend — if a film deals with an issue, it’s likely to be on at least someone’s mind. Also, the movie was received well, and its popular status has endured.

    And also, of course, that young men who may not get the movie’s “message” still enjoy watching people beat the crap out of each other. I guess the existence and popularity of action movies testifies in itself to male aggression.

  82. Mark

    And those factors are discussed in the part of the report I’ve read, Mark – along with attitudinal factors.

  83. klaus k

    Leon, you’re going to have to be a bit less vague about the relationship between film and social trend to convince me.

    “I guess the existence and popularity of action movies testifies in itself to male aggression.”

    Does the existence of Harry Potter testify to magic as a capacity of the human body?

  84. klaus k

    “I think the identity-political “ownership” of issues has to break down before the oppressors can join the discussion.”

    There is absolutely no sense in this sort of argument that the issues under consideration here would not be being talked about at all if it weren’t for a whole lot of ‘identity-political’ work (or whatever you want to call it). It’s an admission of sorts, but it’s also a disavowal of the very agendas that have brought us to the point of admission. It’s also a perfect formula for reiterating a position of privilege. It’s basically a weak response to a challenge of this sort to just throw it back on those doing the challenging and suggest that they change, and then we’ll talk.

  85. Mark Richardson

    Mark, the specific factors are mentioned but aren’t given due weight. Let me give you a comparison.

    Dr Flood, co-author of the White Ribbon report, draws on a 2001 study called Young Australians and Domestic Violence. In the 2001 study, it was found that 23% of young people had witnessed domestic violence at home. However, specific “stress” factors were found to have had a significant impact on this figure.

    For instance, if a child lived with both parents the figure fell to 14%, but if a child lived with mum and a boyfriend it rose to 41%. So the authors of the 2001 study concluded that:

    “The implication is that strategies to prevent domestic violence must have particular relevance to disadvantaged communities … an integrated approach is needed … to identify pockets in the community where risk factors exist …”

    Dr Flood, though, puts much greater weight on the influence of gender roles. His conclusion is:

    “Given the evidence that social norms, gender roles, and power relations underpin intimate partner violence, strategies that address these will be critical to successful prevention efforts.”

    Dr Flood has been advocating such ideas for many years. He is someone who believes that “male” and “female” are social constructs designed to oppress women; this means that he understands traditional masculinity in negative terms as a marker of violence, aggression and domination against women.

    If you are someone who starts off with a belief that masculinity is harmful in itself and is constructed around violence, aggression and dominance, then it’s not surprising that you will focus on it as the source of violence against women.

  86. steveh

    Hi all,
    Well I must say I’m heartened by the many people here who did not have the same school experience.
    As many of you point out – instilling a respect early on is a positive thing…

  87. klaus k

    “If you are someone who starts off with a belief that masculinity is harmful in itself and is constructed around violence, aggression and dominance, then it’s not surprising that you will focus on it as the source of violence against women.”

    I think there is a bit of slippage going on here between masculinity as such, and certain aspects and forms of masculinity.

  88. Leon

    It’s also a perfect formula for reiterating a position of privilege. It’s basically a weak response to a challenge of this sort to just throw it back on those doing the challenging and suggest that they change, and then we’ll talk.

    Well, I’m happy to talk with feminists about “women’s issues”. But I’m an educated, middle-class arts student with educated, middle class parents. I think you’ll connect far better with most men by saying “real men respect women”, or something like that, than by saying “this is a women’s issue, stop reinforcing patriarchy, masculinity is a violent social construction”, even if the latter is partly true.

    “I guess the existence and popularity of action movies testifies in itself to male aggression.”

    Does the existence of Harry Potter testify to magic as a capacity of the human body?

    No, it testifies to children’s fascination with magic — they get kicks out of seeing fantastical stuff on screen. Action movies testify to men’s fascination with violence — they get kicks out of stuff blowing up and people hurting each other.

    Based on Mark’s quote, Flood thinks masculinity is both violent and oppressive, and constructed. I think common sense and evidence both suggest that masculinity is aggressive and competitive, and to some extent inherent. If you accept the first option, you can adopt a gender-neutral, equality-based approach. But if you think men are inherently aggressive, it makes sense that they need different role models and standards to women, to channel that aggressiveness away from violence.

  89. klaus k

    “But if you think men are inherently aggressive, it makes sense that they need different role models and standards to women, to channel that aggressiveness away from violence.”

    This is a point on which we will inevitably continue to disagree. However, to the extent that contemporary masculinity is a fait accompli, then I can see the merit in thinking about the kinds of approaches that address it as such. My problem is the way in which a lot of those approaches disavow feminism. Why can’t we do some work with improving how men feel about feminism while we’re at it? I think if more men expressed their willingness to respond ethically to criticisms of their privilege, it could work hand in hand with thinking about new ‘models’ for masculinity.

    My feeling is that there also needs to be work done on the processes that form masculine subjects – I see a large part of how men express aggression etc as being about how they are socialised. I’m willing to cede a fair bit of ground in terms of questions of innate levels of aggression because I don’t think it’s as important as how aggression emerges, and how it is channelled, and these things, in my opinion, are closely related to gendered socialisation.

    “Action movies testify to men’s fascination with violence — they get kicks out of stuff blowing up and people hurting each other.”

    Of this I have no doubt, but only if you add “watching” before “stuff”. And that’s where I have a problem, because I don’t see the relation between the viewer and what’s going on on screen as one of simple identification. We don’t necessarily get kicks out of stuff because we want to do it at some fundamental level. Nor does it necessarily incite us to do it. There is a lot of stuff in media and cinema studies on this, and I think some of it is quite meritorious.

  90. Helen

    I would hesitate before taking anything by Chuck Palahniuk as a template of “normal” anything!

    I’m not talking specifically about any commenter here, but if one wants to bolster gender essentialism by taking the position that men are inherently more aggressive, then one can’t also take the “but women are equally violent!” line with regard to domestic violence. You can’t have it both ways.

    To me, in regard to Leon’s comment, my question would not be “how do we channel male aggression seeing as they have such a lot of it?” but “given that both genders have agression in varying degrees, maybe it isn’t such a good idea to valorise its expression as a part of male identity?”

  91. Desipis

    I think if more men expressed their willingness to respond ethically to criticisms of their privilege

    Most people have trouble accepting criticism of something that don’t believe exists. A clear, objective, evidence-backed definition might be a good place to start.

    but if one wants to bolster gender essentialism by taking the position that men are inherently more aggressive, then one can’t also take the “but women are equally violent!” line with regard to domestic violence. You can’t have it both ways.

    Sure you can. Men are inherently more likely to be violent, while women are socialized to be more violent. I’m not saying I support such an argument, but it’s certainly not inconsistent with itself.

  92. David Rubie

    Pavlovs Cat (amongst others) wrote:

    So I’d say it’d be pretty bad for a big strong state-trained woman to hit a puny little unfit man, too. Unfortunately most men are bigger and stronger than most women.

    My maternal grandfather used to put it this way: never hit anybody smaller than you, never hit women or children ever. Sure it’s paternalism, but it works.

    And before FDB starts up with the casuistry game: there are other forms of physical restraint other than trying to knock someones block off that don’t involve potentially crippling them.

    Helen wrote:

    “given that both genders have aggression in varying degrees, maybe it isn’t such a good idea to valorise its expression as a part of male identity?”

    No, it isn’t. There’s too much tied in the quaint depictions of rugged individualism and it’s relationship to violence as a primary mechanism of asserting that independence, rather than as a last resort. At some point, “walk softly, carry a big stick” morphed into “carry a big stick” for which I blame the films of Clint Eastwood (as much as I like to watch them).

  93. Paul Burns

    I’ve never considered myself the most masculine of men. I generally don’t like going out and getting pissed with the boys, when I was younger I used to wait for women to put it on me most of the time, I hate most sport etc, etc. But … i think the mark of a really masculine man is that he never hits women and children and he has the courage to walk away from a fight.(I could add he never fights with a knife or a broken glass, but only with his fists, if he’s forced to fight, and never kicks a male opponent when he’s down, but sadly, the world has changed.)

  94. Desipis

    But … i think the mark of a really masculine man is that he never hits women and children and he has the courage to walk away from a fight.

    I would regard a ‘real’ man (or ‘decent person’ in general) as one who effectively and decisively deals with any real physical threats, while rationally weighing the costs/risk of the options available. Being victimized by a woman or child makes you no more a ‘real man’ than victimizing one yourself.

  95. Desipis

    I think you’ll connect far better with most men by saying “real men respect women”, or something like that

    I think you’ll have real trouble defining “real men” as separate and distinct from “real women” in one breath, then claiming “men and women are the same” in the next.

  96. Ambigulous

    Helen…. “given that both genders have aggression in varying degrees, maybe it isn’t such a good idea to valorise its expression as a part of male identity?”

    This is worth pursuing: male identity in Australia has so many facets. Aside from hedonism, many involve being courageous or strong in socially beneficial ways, e.g.
    * volunteer firefighters, SES, first aiders, surf lifesavers, pool attendants [yes, many are women]
    * spontaneous rescuers, givers of aid to those in danger or after a car smash, etc [inc. women]
    * assistance to neighbours, strangers in extremis [by men and women]

    The most spectacular instances receive wide publicity, e.g. the courageous intervention to assist a young woman being assaulted in a Melbourne street by a young Australian (Brendan Keilar) and a young backpacker (Paul de Waard), both just passers-by; the Aussie paid with his life.

    The everyday volunteers and professionals are sterling, non-violent role models for young Australian men. RIP Brendan Keilar.

  97. Mark

    This is a little extraneous to the report itself, but I’d wholeheartedly agree that there are different masculinities which ought to be cultivated other than those which are prone to a valorisation in some circumstances of violence. It’s noteable, I think, that in some of these debates, some male participants find themselves defending a “masculinity” which – I would hope and trust – they don’t model in their own lives and dispositions under the mistaken assumption that this is akin to defending masculinity itself. In fact, there’s no, or should be no, attack. Framing these sorts of debates in antagonistic terms is itself part of the problem, I’d suggest.

  98. Pavlov's Cat

    then claiming “men and women are the same” in the next.

    Who here has said anything of the kind?

  99. Adrien

    FDB – a society in which it is okay for boys to hit boys, but not girls, is exhibiting inequality. The message that hitting boys is a normal part of being a boy, while hitting girls is taboo, is another facet of Teh Patriarchy at work, surely.
    .
    Is it? Is patriarchy an entirely social thing then? I put it to you that the rules that Richie’s dad expresses at #12 (well said Mr C) were originally instituted as a civilizing measure.
    .
    A boy hitting another boy is different from a boy hitting a girl: can you guess why? That said another civilizing measure is not to hit boys unless they’re hitting you. Interestingly enough the proven method of civilizing violence is by teaching martial arts. Properly taught these imbibe one with the capacity to control one’s savage inclinations. They also discourage less civilized boys.
    .
    But one never hits a girl even if she’s hitting you. Unless it’s one of these two.
    .
    Then you run. :)

  100. Lawd Weginald

    SNOTTYTWITS
    Translation Services
    .
    The following excerpt written in Postmodernian:
    .
    This is a little extraneous to the report itself, but I’d wholeheartedly agree that there are different masculinities which ought to be cultivated other than those which are prone to a valorisation in some circumstances of violence.
    .
    Reads in Victoriaposh:
    .
    Boys must be brought up gentlemen
    .
    Cheers wot!

  101. Lawd Weginald

    Robert #24
    .
    It would appear that ‘unwanted sex’ in this survey is intended to address sex that wasn’t wanted but was consented to. The cause might be peer pressure, pressure from lovers or inebriation. The range of answers doesn’t ask for rape.
    .
    In fact in those terms I’m surprised the percentage isn’t higher.
    .
    This is therefore unwarranted hyperbole. And unethical too I’d wager. There does appear to be a decline in sexual civility. We could do with reliable information.

  102. Peter Kemp

    The domestic violence literature usually focuses on particular stress factors as causes of violence, such as instability in family life, unemployment and alcohol abuse.

    Mark Richardson @ 80 has hit a major nail on the head, but my focus from that is on alcohol abuse.

    The people we are talking about, violent offenders, I see and defend almost every day I’m in court. These people’s violence, (vast majority male)is fueled by alcohol. So often they are so smashed on booze that they can’t remember bashing the partner the next day and therefore want to plead not guilty. One client I showed a colour photo of his partner (literally black and blue over significant parts of her body) and he couldn’t believe he’d done it. And then he cried, but perhaps that was also because I told him he was going to jail (repeat offender), after a guilty plea.

    As a question of priority, before trying to educate morons not to physically/sexually abuse women, IMHO, solve the alcohol problems first and you solve 90% of the abuse. Period. With the kids, I believe alcohol is a similiar factor. With indigenous people, the alcohol problem is much much worse.

    I’d love to have the stats in NSW of a common charge, breach mandatory ADVO, (apprehended domestic violence order, alcohol invariably the major factor. It’s horrific and endemic amongst the uneducated from where I see its results, in the courts.

    Solution: Tax alcohol until the pips squeak, and use that excess revenue to reeducate the remaining morons, through schools-whatever.

  103. Adrien

    How do you solve the alcohol problem Peter? Ban it? Put these guys thru therapy?
    .
    I don’t have your experience but I’ve had a fair bit of experience with guys such as this. The boozing is part and parcel of an ethos which includes violence. One doesn’t cause the other. I’ve known these dudes to describe wife-bashing as the Australian way. They also think it’s the Australian way to seek chemical oblivion every night of the week.
    .
    Those creeps in Werribee sold quite a few copies of their DVD and were defended by many in their community. Their actions, which I regard as sub-human, were even lauded as ‘the Werribee way’. The boozing would unleash demons. It does, no doubt. But treating this flagitious nastiness as a kind of pathology requiring therapy and not punishment essentially tolerates it.

  104. Adrien

    Tax alcohol until the pips squeak, and use that excess revenue to reeducate the remaining morons, through schools-whatever.
    .
    And they will buy cheaper alcohol. I will have to pay more for a bottle of wine even tho’ I’ve never been violent to women and or men (unless in self-defense). Vineyards around the country will suffer. And for what?
    .
    If you’re prone to violent behaviour when you drink then you shouldn’t drink. If you do you’re responsible for what happens. I don’t care if you cry afterwards. Apparently Chopper Read used to suffer pangs of remorse. I’m sure it made all the difference to his victims. :)

  105. Mark

    Despite his withering critique of my well intentioned lapse into postmodernese, I’m inclined to agree with Adrien! ;)

    I must confess that I haven’t looked into any of the literature, but I’m a big believer in the old tag in vino veritas. I tend to be either a happy or a sentimental drunk personally! :)

    I doubt that alcohol per se inspires violence unless people are prone to being violent.

  106. The Devil Drink

    In vino veritas, to the contrary, Mark and Adrien, is one of the great glorious lies. A true insult to decently furtive drunks, who can and do lie at their most sublime when they’re outside a few.
    Unfortunately, there is an unavoidable correlation between alcohol abuse and violence. Causality, I suspect, runs both ways.

  107. Adrien

    Mark – I ain’t the only one. Personally I think Jason’s trying to cash in on my online snide translation services market.
    .
    On violence I think the answer lies in the fact that the hypogean plexacologico-psychonean premise of the discursive formations annunciate the internalized neuro-textual subfunctional heterogenies underpinned by institutional practise.
    .
    I don’t see how anyone could possibly disagree with that. :)

  108. Mark

    Thanks for the link, Adrien. I see the trajectory of Catallaxy continues apace. Without Birdy to kick around, they’re reduced to riffing off Greenfield’s incoherent poseur crap. Does “libertarianism” now consist solely of puerile pissing contests about TeH Left? Silly question, I know.

    There was a time when the intellectual standard of threads there was reasonably high. A long time ago, obviously – it’s been ages since I’ve been in the habit of reading it. Evidently, though, they’re a lot more interested in us than we are in them.

  109. klaus k

    What’s more (and definitiely off topic) it seems Greenfield is getting some love at Catallaxy now. He’s scattered his flyspots all over that thread, and is meeting with approval. I’m glad he’s found somewhere comfortable to excrete. It was touch and go there for a while with Mr Soon.

  110. klaus k

    Partial comment cross, I think.

  111. Mark

    klaus, I suppose a charitable view might be that giving Greenfield an outlet for his prolific comments represents some sort of public service.

  112. klaus k

    I am genuinely glad he’s found his niche, in part because he isn’t fouling up threads here as much.

  113. Mark

    Touch wood!

    But, yep, Catallaxy does appear to be a nice fit with Greenfield. No doubt libertarianism is only enhanced by singing the praises of Camille Paglia and fantasising about 3am visits to spas.

  114. Peter Kemp

    Mark re:

    I doubt that alcohol per se inspires violence unless people are prone to being violent.

    I think violence is part of our genetic makeup, repressed for most people most of the time. In the animal kingdom generally when the adrenalin starts pumping it’s an instantaneous decision for “fight” or “flight”.

    I’ll put my proposition another way: I cannot recall a client who beat up on his partner ever being stone cold sober.

    Adrien re:

    And they will buy cheaper alcohol. I will have to pay more for a bottle of wine even tho’ I’ve never been violent to women…

    I think there’s a utilitarian argument to be made for your sacrifice Adrien.

    Now what would be interesting if ever some statistics could be found, is a comparison with Islamic societies on domestic violence.

    If you’re prone to violent behaviour when you drink then you shouldn’t drink

    The Legal Aid Commission of NSW might just employ you Adrien to offer this sort of advice to those before the courts, however, you’d have to be much more convincing than that :-)

  115. Peter Kemp

    But treating this flagitious nastiness as a kind of pathology requiring therapy and not punishment essentially tolerates it.

    But we do punish, and part of the punishment (as it should be) is “therapy” in the form of alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Sometimes sentences are not completed until the defendant has been through an extensive in-house rehab program for many months. Compliance and evidence of developing insight to the alcohol abuse can and does often vary the ultimate sentence.

    Problem is, underfunding of rehab centres to the extent of excessive waiting lists. (Don’t get me started on mental health facilities.)

  116. su

    Punishment is a poor deterrent for domestic violence though, Adrien. Unless you want to lock offenders up permanently. And that just sequesters the violence rather than treating the causes which can’t be narrowed down to simple substance abuse (or simple anything except perhaps,in the moment, rage but not the narrowly determined rage Greer spoke of) although I think they have to be pretty much clean and dry for any other interventions to work.

  117. Tyne Tees

    Mark:

    That’s why American feminist’s plans for a “Take Our Sons Home Day” to compliment the “Take Your Daughters to Work Day” failed – too many boys and men saw it as an attack on them or as a punishment for being male – so the feminist idea of a day to help liberate boys as well as girls from gender restrictions never got off the ground

  118. Adrien

    Mark – Without Birdy to kick around, they’re reduced to riffing off Greenfield’s incoherent poseur crap.
    .
    No you are lying :) .
    .
    Actually Jason’s routinely abused John for his inconsistency more than incoherence. He’s crueler to John than you guys are. I think John’s angry and this decentres him, I think he might have valid and interesting reasons for being angry however. He’s guilty of devolving conversation but it works both ways. His stance on the Culture Wars brings him an instant swarm of doctrinairre opposition. There’s no willingness to converse.
    .
    There should be. Without stern contradiction any field of intellectual inquiry will atrophie. Inevitable. I feel it is doing so.
    .
    An empirical basis for this assertion might start with the apparent persistent reign of a classic bit of film theory which, tho’ interesting and a conversation starter, is inherently flawed and needs development: in my view an empirical investigation of the phenomenon it describes.
    .
    That it was cited with such aplomb a few months back was telling. It had come to my mind to cite it but I thought: surely that’s way out of date by now. Sadly not.
    .
    No doubt libertarianism is only enhanced by singing the praises of Camille Paglia and fantasising about 3am visits to spas.
    .
    Yep. :) .

  119. Adrien

    Moderation. Why? because I mentioned the war? Whatever you do don’t mention the war. I did once but I think I got away with it. :) .
    .
    Paul – I think there’s a utilitarian argument to be made for your sacrifice Adrien.
    .
    Only if it works Paul. My point is that it doesn’t. Forgive my Freudianism, but alcohol releases the Id and retards the Superego, most definitely. But why do some people beat up their wives and others just get jolly? And are violent people always pissed? I’ve encountered my share of Melbourne’s now infamous recent surge in mindless violence. None of the perps was drunk.
    .
    Still if you could stop violence by banning booze you’d ban it. It’s been tried. Worked real well. :)

  120. C.L.

    I see Mr Greenfield (via Adrien’s link) saying you’ve completed the doctorate, Mark. Haven’t been here for a long while so I’m not sure if that’s so.

    If so, congratulations. ;)

  121. Mark

    His stance on the Culture Wars brings him an instant swarm of doctrinairre opposition. There’s no willingness to converse.
    .
    There should be. Without stern contradiction any field of intellectual inquiry will atrophie. Inevitable. I feel it is doing so.

    Adrien, what you’re missing here is that a “willingness to converse” requires a conversation opener that’s in good faith. Whatever Greenfield is doing with his comments, he’s neither making an argument nor inviting a discussion in good faith.

    Moderation. Why? because I mentioned the war?

    No! The G word!

    Haven’t been here for a long while so I’m not sure if that’s so.

    Many thanks, C.L.! Just about completed – I’ve navigated the hurdle of the final seminar and just need to do a little bit of tidying up in response to the panel’s feedback and then it goes out to the external examiners in early January.

  122. klaus k

    “I think John’s angry and this decentres him, I think he might have valid and interesting reasons for being angry however.”

    At those times when Greenfield has refrained from expressing utter contempt for me and what I do (and what he seems to think I stand for), I’ve actually had some fairly sane conversations with him. But I pretty much gave up on him after an extended period of this, when on the very next thread he was more dismissive than ever. As though we had gone nowhere of interest and nothing had changed, which I didn’t feel to be true at all.

    I don’t reject angry dissident voices as a category, but I’m far past the point of seeking “valid and interesting reasons” from Mr Greenfield.

  123. Steve

    Women continue to attack and pollute the male mind by devaluing their sexuality through dressing as one dimensional sex objects so its easy to understand where misogynist attitudes originate: women.

    Women have been socialising the male sex for centuries to perform all the hard yakka in the places of war and work while women (still) have the easy road in life. No wonder misogynist feelings in men toward women are so rampant.

    How about affirmative action equality from self preserving sexist women sharing the burdens in the hard yakka professions alongside men as TRUE EQUALS and in equal numbers? HA!

    Women peddle their outdated sexuality as a social weapon of hate to avoid all hard work thereby keeping men’s wellbeing and health inferior to womens. Rampant UNCHECKED sexism from the girls everywhere, everyday, yep.

  124. The Groke

    Someone’s had too many chocolate easter eggs…

  125. Casey

    Actually, I thought it was be a passage from Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho? No? So you get psychosis from an easter egg overdose? Go figure.

  126. Paul Burns

    Fear I have to defend Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. I know its a book that is frankly sadistically pornographic in part, but it is also a searing condemnation of American capitalism and the depersonalisation that comes with it. (I’m not actually a great fan of the book, but I’m just sayin’.)
    And, Steve@123, it takes two to tango. If gender relationships have broken down as badly as you imply (and I don’t agree with you -I’ve met far too many worthwhile feminists to be able to) BOTH men and women are responsible.

  127. Link

    Gee Steve, you oughta get out more, or on second thoughts no don’t. But should you ever travel out from that part of your anatomy, where the sun is today not shining, nor ever likely to, you’ll find in many countries the majority of women doubled over in fields or carting water on their heads across vast distances or resting on their haunches over a smokey fires of camel dung, preparing food. While the men play backgammmon in tea houses or form gangs and make violent ill-advised plans to kill each other.

  128. Paul Burns

    And, Steve, if men are being destroyed by back-breaking work that destroys their health and spirit, (and I don’t totally disagree with that critique, especially in regard to shit low paid jobs) its got nothing to do with women. Its because of their exploitative capitalist bosses who permit unsafe work practices or governments who fail to protect the worker from the untrammeled push for profit. And look where that’s got us – or haven’t you heard of the GFC?
    I might add that nowadays many women do the same shit jobs. Capitalism hassn’t done them any favours either.

  129. Pavlov's Cat

    Someone’s had too many chocolate easter eggs…

    No, no, he hasn’t had enough.

  130. Bisexualist

    As was proved on Club Troppo not long ago, research like this is usually bogus.

    http://clubtroppo.com.au/2008/08/21/name-a-worse-peice-of-research-troppo-competition/

  131. Casey

    Oh yeah I remember that. The infamous stupidity that was “The Thread of Doom”.
    The most hysterical post in the history of blogging. The post that didnt mention the research but more than mentioned the outrage of the blogger. Ad Nauseum.

    What was it he said?

    “I guess, if I wasn’t tapping away on this keyboard, I could be raping someone right now”

    Devastating.

    And did someone tell him it wasn’t actually about him?

  132. Laura

    “Women peddle their outdated sexuality as a social weapon of hate to avoid all hard work ”

    gets my permanent vote for the insanity win of the year

  133. Pavlov's Cat

    As was proved on Club Troppo

    You know, ‘Bisexualist’, I really think you need to look up ‘proved’. There is clearly some misunderstanding.

    Women peddle their outdated sexuality

    Can anyone tell me what constitutes non-outdated sexuality?

  134. Pavlov's Cat

    And while they’re about it, could they teach me how to use the *&^%$#@! blockquote thingy properly?

  135. Nabakov

    “Women have been socialising the male sex for centuries to perform all the hard yakka in the places of war”

    So why weren’t your kind smart enough to think of that?

  136. tigtog

    As it happens, Bisexualist (Greenslime?), I did in the end do a detailed listing of research examining common attitudes/perceptions/myths regarding rape in this post at Hoyden about a month ago: Rape myths, rape myth acceptance, and community perceptions of victims of sexual violence. There was absolutely nothing in that conference paper that was so objectionable to the Troppo author that is not supported by other research.

  137. Casey

    Tigtog that post and all the work you put in is fantastic. Thank you for all of that. I missed it when you put it up and have found it compelling reading tonight. Well done.

  138. The Groke

    By “proved”, Bisexualist means “ranted ineffectually about”.

    And thank you, also, Tigtog.

  139. Nabakov

    Hey, when it comes to war (smashed bodies and eggshell minds) us blokes rock!

    Name a great female general. ‘Zactly. When it comes to ordering men (ex-babies) to tear each other into bloody shreds, you women are complete pussies.

    Most men, including me, do wonder and/or go for it about the warrior elite thingy and/or getting mobbed up to defend the tribe if the need arises.

    But basically, and because of the points I made above, I think blokely blokes don’t make very good generals. I want my military commanders to be more girly. I want them to fight like a cornered tigress while also remembering what they fighting for beyond immediate victory.

    Allenby pressed flowers, Monash wrote poetry, Nimitz cried in public after his fuckup at Leyte Gulf, Slim personally ripped Japanese skulls off his army’s vehicles and Arthur Wesselley weeped as he walked through the aftermath of Waterloo. The two things they all had in common.

    One. They were real girlymen by today’s media pundit bravado and bluster standards. A bit too feminine if you know what I mean. Pressing flowers, poetry, crying.

    Two. They were great leaders who brilliantly won battles. And did so not least because their troops felt the respect and confidence was mutual.

    But yes, it’s unlikely we’ll see a great female combat officer at general staff level. Mainly because you dames are smarter than that.

    However I look forward with great interest to Hillary taking over direction of the campaign against the latest bunch of corsairs to plague the empire’s trade routes. It’ll be the The Wind And The Lion in reverse.

  140. feral sparrowhawk

    I saw something about a bunch of American comedians sueing the Republicans, Fox News etc for self-parody, on the grounds it made their jobs really hard. I think Steve’s effort deserves to be added to that list.

  141. Paul Burns

    Nabakov @ 139.
    Booudicca? Zenobia? There were quite a few female warriors around, y’know.

  142. Fiasco da Gama

    The obvious historical woman field officer: Joan of Arc.
    Also, though not technically an officer of field rank, let me introduce you to Captain Agustina Raimunda María Saragossa Doménech. War hero, escaped POW, guerrilla, artillery officer and all-round arsekicker.

  143. Liam

    Uh… yeah. Down, sockpuppet. Down.
    Where would we be without Peninsular War stories, anyway? Certainly we’d have lost to history the best-named British officer ever. Look at that half-smile.

  144. Sean

    Liam, while we can all sympathise with Boudica’s motivation, her execution was somewhat wanting.

    Now that thing about unwanted sex: Now that we’ve all seen the question, and the stats for girls **and** boys, isn’t the problem there the non-gender specific teenage perception that rooting is cool and grown-up? And also that intoxicants make both genders less likley to think with their brains?

    Males using their superior strength to coerce sex is also real problem of course. A **separate** problem. Surely there are more than enough stats about this latter, eg see Tigtog above, without bringing in something irrelevant about non gender specific peer pressure?

  145. Adrien

    Well someone’s little baiting game caught a few guppies dinnit?