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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Rethinking Domestic Violence, Rethinking Motherhood

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Author Topic: Rethinking Domestic Violence, Rethinking Motherhood
Dzuunmod
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Spending the time on the bus recently commuting to and from work that I have, I've had the opportunity to read lots and lots of newspapers. I've also begun to see some wisdom in a place that I never thought I would: the editorial page of the National Post.

Here is something that caught my attention just a couple of weeks ago. The columnist, Donna Laframboise, is the Post's token anti-feminist. She usually, as such, doesn't really speak to me. This column is an exception, though, as she notes that women who are violent with their families aren't usually lumped in with the problem of 'domestic violence'.

Why do you think this is? Do you agree with her sentiments?

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Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
'rin
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she seems to really have a point, but it's hard to read past her slant. she is arguing that news is presented in a slanted manor...while presenting news in a slanted manor. but she's human, so it's forgivable. i do see some validity in her point tho. i got very angry about some of the coverage of the recent bathtub drowning of 5 children by a woman pregnant with a six....not because it was covered but because sooooooo many people came forwards and felt sorry for her. i mean really...it takes time to drown a person, it's not a quick thing. this woman didn't go berserk and kill them all in an instant with a gun (not forgivable either but easier to understand the insanity defence there), she did something that allowed her plenty of time to back out. she didn't back out. shes a mass murderer, a spree killer if you will. while i understand that a sane person wouldn't do such a thing i have sympathy for the husband, who will spend his life wondering what he could have done to prevent it and blaming himself wether or not we blame him, for her parents and his who were robbed of seeing their grandchildren grow up, for everyone who knew those children. but not for her. the fact that most of the media presentations paint her as a victim when in fact she is the confessed agresserin this scenario makes me sick.
'rin
sorry to rant

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
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Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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Come to think of it, it does seem like the media filters these crimes to some extent and just attaches whatever popular label they want to it.

Every time I arrested anyone, male or female, for "two-seventy-three-five" (273.5, the penal code section for Domestic Violence)...we called it what it was. It was a Domestic Violence case, plain and simple. When charges were filed with the District Attorney's office, it was still a Domestic Violence case. But if the incident was big enough for the media to get a hold of it, the name of the crime sometimes changed. It went from Domestic Violence to Assault and Battery. It was still a 273.5 violation, but it wasn't called that anymore.

Honestly, I don't remember if that happened more with female suspects or male suspects, I shall have to look that up. But I do recall seeing some of that...and it is definitely an interesting phenomenon.

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Rizzo
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I have no problems with the sentiments of this article, but I do detect the anti-feminist bias of the writer. Anyhow, I think the idea of applying the term "domestic violence" to mother on child violence is interesting... I'd never thought about it before. But before I would push too hard to completely redefine the term, I'd have to see some stats as to what kind of family violence is most common. I assume (or perhaps I'm just falling for the feminist propaganda) that husband on wife violence is still most prevalent.

Either way, I like the line at the end about demystifying the role of mother. Being a mother isn't all about roses and the Madonna and unconditional selfless love. On the other hand, it also seems very popular to blame mother for every psychological distress you have later in life. Seeing mothers as human, what a novel idea.


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Beppie
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I remember the first time I watched The Full Monty, which is an excellent movie, but there is one scene where the wife of this guy slaps him repeatedly, really hard, because she suspects that he is having an affair. When it becomes clear that he is not having an affair they make up and their marriage continues stronger than before. I just thought- if their positions were reversed, that part of the movie would have been seen as a statement about domestic violence, but since it was the woman doing the hitting, it was okay to forget about it and say "it's all okay" the moment that they kiss and make up.
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'rin
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wow yeah....i watched that movie in the theatres, twice (once in an art house once after it went mainstream) and that never even stuck out to me. guess i'm not as enlightened as i hoped i was.
'rin

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"-and i hope i'm not shooting my mouth off...again...and i pray i'm not tempting the fates....."
-james, off millionaires


Posts: 219 | From: lost in yonkers | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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Yes, husbands hitting wives is more common than wives hitting husbands, but by no where near the magin that it is popularly pervived to be the ratio is more like 60/40 than the 95/5 that is commonly percived. In cases where both hit, it is invariably, or almost so, that the man is the one arrested. men are much more reluctant to come forward and report abuse than women are, (while there is still some stigma for a woman comming forward, it is nothing compared to what a man would face. Imagine him in the office the next day, he would likely be ridiculed, while the woman would get lots of sympathy and nobody would think of ridiculing her) and there are infinately fewer resources available to battered husbands than there are for battered wives.

For further reading on this see http://www.vix.com/menmag/domviol2.htm
(thats a small L not a one at the end)

[This message has been edited by John Doe (edited 07-31-2001).]


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John Doe
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Rizzo,
Regarding the idea of including mother on child violence as domestic abuse, why is that all of a sudden a new idea, domestic means family in this context, and last I heard children were part of the family.
By the way, the most common form of child abuse is mother/son, this includes fatal child abuse. Male child abusers are much more likely to be step fathers/live in boyfriends than biological fathers.

Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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John, can you show me where you got the data about mother/son abuse? That would just stand counter to almost any criminal.abuse data I have ever seen, as I have yet to see any area of violence in which the perpetrator was not overwhelmingly male.

I certainly know (and have experienced) that mothers/women also can and do abuse. But I have never seen any data that shows women have more so than men, or even anything close. Not an argument, just would like to see what you're looking at.

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John Doe
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some of the figures come from Warren Farrell's "The Myth of Male Power". I don't have the book handy to give you a spicific page number refference or his underlying source, although the book is extremely well footnoted. It is a very good book and well worth reading. He isn't a mysoginist, he was actually elected 3 times to be VP of the NY chapter of NOW back in the 70's. Another source is http://www.vix.com/menmag/domviol2

note that is a small L, not a one before the 2

Also worth looking at is the sidebar http://www.vix.com/menmag/kparker.htm which cites a study by Dr. Murray Straus of UNH

[This message has been edited by John Doe (edited 08-03-2001).]
http//:www.vix.com/men/abuse/studies/murder-rate.html http://www.vix.com/men/battery/studies/oleary-etal.html http://www.vix/com/men/battery/stats/smiller-collex.html http://www.vix.com/men/battery/stats/doj-deaths.html
http//:www.vix.com/men/battery/studies/kirk.html http://www.vix.com/men/battery/studies/add-cite.html http://www.vix.com/men/bash/quotes

[This message has been edited by John Doe (edited 08-03-2001).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by John Doe:
why is that all of a sudden a new idea, domestic means family in this context, and last I heard children were part of the family.

John, I can't shake the feeling that you are arguing over semantics. It's not that applying "Domestic Violence" to parent-child violence is a radically new idea, it is just that the catchphrase "Domestic Violence" was simply used as a euphamism for "Spousal Violence" and nothing else. In the state of California, this was done because it was wisely determined that not every couple was heterosexual and could legally marry. As a result, the term "Domestic Violence" was coined to lump all instances of abuse between couples into one category. And a separate term, "Child Abuse" exists to distinguish between violence between a parent and child.

Interestingly enough, by January of next year the California Penal Code will be modified to refer to "Domestic Violence" as a more appropriate (in my opinion) "Domestic Partner Abuse." I'm sure you will still hear the old term used, but at least the penal code will have adopted a tern which can more clearly delineate the crime.

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blackbird
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In addition to the Full Monty, there is also the scene in uh..Jerry Maguire where his ex-fiancee smacks him so hard that she leaves the impression of her ring cut into his cheek.

I just saw this thing on MSNBC a few nights ago about a couple who weren't arrested for the murders of their nine children until twenty years after the last one died. It wasn't until the fourth one died that the cause of death had anything to do with child neglect. The oldest child lived until she was 14 months, with the rest dying within a few months of their births. The causes of death were so bizarre that investigators didn't seem to want to think that it could have been the "unthinkable act" of a mother killing her own children. After I think it was the fourth one died, some investigators did want to look into the mysterious deaths some more, but it kept getting quieted down because at the time, domestic violence between a mother and a child was unheard of officially. And like I said, about twenty years after, it was finally identified as domestic violence and both parents were finally arrested and charged with the murder of all nine children.

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Posts: 354 | From: san mateo, california, usa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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