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  • Sun, 16, Dec, 2018 - 5:00:AM

I’ll stop blaming men when they stop deserving blame

I am angry. I am not only angry about the senseless deaths of women at the hands of men. I am angry about the bigger picture. I am angry that some men feel entitled to women’s bodies and kill them because of that entitlement. I am angry that some men force each other to conform to toxic ideals with violence. Most of all, I am angry that people are ignoring a central factor beneath this violence by not naming it.

Men are to blame for the vast majority of violence.

Man-hating feminist! Stop blaming men for everyone’s problems. One bad guy doesn’t mean that all men are bad.

I’m so tired of excuses and denials. Men are overwhelmingly responsible for violent crime. That is the truth and it shouldn’t be treated as controversial. Yet when we discuss our crime statistics, gender is a silent variable. It’s ignored. 

To speak out about the fact that men are the ones statistically most likely to act violently and hurt others is seen as having an ‘agenda’. Apparently, we’re attacking men by repeating statistics. When we highlight the gendered patterns of harm and evaluate their sources, it’s framed as hatred. There is nothing hateful about naming and analysing a visible problem.

Claims that men are the most likely to be responsible for violence are provable. The Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology provides statistics on New Zealand crime from 1994 until 2014. In 2014, 76% of acts ‘intended to cause injury’, 92% of murders, and 95% of sexual assaults were committed by men. Those percentages remain in the same range throughout the years.

Let’s imagine that 92% of murders were committed by women. Murder would be seen as a female problem. Everyone would think: there’s something wrong with women. Women would be blamed. There would be an uproar.

The statistics are clear. The fact that men are to blame for the vast majority of violent crime is obvious. The problem is, we think this is normal. Year in, year out, the statistics stay the same. This level of violence from men is the status quo, so we regard it as normal.

Men define what is normal. That’s why we don’t think anything of the obvious fact that they are responsible for violence. We decide that women are especially non-violent, rather than thinking that men are especially violent.

These patterns shouldn’t be seen as normal. Violence is not an inevitable biological outcome. It’s socially conditioned and rises from a culture that condones hyper-masculine behaviour. Men reward each other for violence. That has to stop.

With such clear evidence, why is it difficult to accept responsibility? Men defend and deny as much as possible when this problem is raised. They try to shift the problem onto society, claiming that no one is to blame for the prevalence of violence. They suggest that violence is perpetrated universally, by all human beings. The problem with those convenient arguments is that they’re not true.

A large number of these men love searching for people to blame for problems (the government, immigrants, the media, cyclists etc). But when specifically male problems arise, they are reluctant to blame anyone for the problem. They cry that scapegoating is bad and we shouldn’t point the finger at anyone.

It’s not ‘scapegoating’ to blame a privileged group for the harm they cause. Not when there’s clear statistical evidence that harm stems from that group. Men are privileged. They have power to change the culture of violence rather than deny that the culture exists. And unfortunately, they have the power to shut down conversations that challenge their privileged position and recognise the harm that they’re causing.

This is about power. This is about entitlement. Until we are unafraid to say that yes, there is a problem with masculinity and the violent ideals it conforms to, we cannot change the culture of violence. Denying that men are responsible helps no one.

TAGGED IN

  • Violence /
  • Feminism /
  • Men /
  • Masculinity /
  • Crime /
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Comments ( 1 )

  • crookedelbow's picture

    crookedelbow - Tue, 2019-07-23 09:20

    Entitled to what? What privileged position am I in exactly? I'm genuinely curious to know. Violence isn't an inevitable biological outcome? I think to some degree, it is. It depends upon the situation. On another note, I've never hit a woman. However I'm pretty certain if I did, I'd be screwed regardless of whatever the circumstances may be. I certainly wouldn't be rewarded for it. I've been punished for very clearly defending myself from assault. Women also commit violence fyi. It's a thing. Masculinity isn't violent by definition. It's a fairly recent occurrence that that violence has been tacked on as a masculine trait. Masculinity is punished and demonized when exhibited by males, but rewarded when exhibited by females. They're credited with being strong, empowered, independent women. Whereas masculine men are toxic, outdated, assho!e$. So what then? Is femininity the answer? Blanket the world with it and we'll watch the problems fade away?
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