Disclaimer: I am writing not as a representative of the Filipino Freethinkers but as an individual with an opinion. My views are my own and should, in no way, be viewed as an indication of what beliefs or values members of our organization hold. Throughout this article, I might use hetero-centric language in that, more often than not, when I refer to “men,” I’m actually referring to heterosexual men. Though I am aware of its importance, I decided, for the sake of brevity to omit the heterosexual part in the assumption that through this disclaimer I have clarified the context of the erasure.
According to Dictionary.com, a double standard is “any code or set of principles containing different provisions for one group of people than for another, especially an unwritten code of sexual behavior permitting men more freedom than women.”
In many instances the word double standard is commonly defined and commonly accepted as a belief or view that discriminates against women and provides men with unfair advantages and privileges. The most common example of this is the Stud/Slut double standard that goes something like, “If a man sleeps around, he’s a stud. If a woman sleeps around, she’s a slut?”
It is implied, even in most dictionaries, that when double standards occur, women are on the losing end of it. We always hear about female side about their problems with the double standard because women were actually smart enough to come up with a movement, feminism, that dealt with issues like this and that fought for policies that could educate and assist women in dealing with these matters.
Straight men didn’t bother (I’m making that distinction because gay men have the gay rights movement available to them), partly because they were expected, pardon the sexist idiom, to “shut-up and man-up.” Majority of straight men do not have a proper venue for productive discourse with regard to men’s issues because, in the dominant paradigm of gender politics, straight men are considered to be the privileged oppressors in patriarchal cultures and are, therefore, in no position to voice out grievances, especially grievances about the opposite sex. However, this postulation of dominance by males does not exempt them from bias, harmful double standards and oppression.
In fairness to Goldman, he made no mention of how his products were meant to be sold under the pretense of empowerment. In fact, in a news article by from National Post, Goldman explicitly denies that his T-shirts have anything to do with the girl-power movement. “I’m a guy. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about girl empowerment. Our market is teenage girls. I know what sells.”
He’s right. I haven’t found a single feminist movement that officially promotes these shirts as “empowering.” And, in my opinion, although these products reinforce false masculine archetypes that suggest that men are stupid liars, Goldman has a right to express his opinion and to take advantage of a trend to make a profit.
However, the fact that these products sell to such a degree, the fact that shirts printed with these slogans have mainstream acceptance, in my opinion, points towards a cultural trend of tolerance for violence towards men, especially, once we consider the target market for this merchandise – quoting Goldman, “Our market is teenage girls.”
In that article she writes:
“Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women.”
Nonreciprocal violence, by the way, is when a woman hits a man and the man doesn’t hit back. When he does hit back, it’s called reciprocal violence a.k.a. criminal violence; a violation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the States and a violation of Republic Act. 9262 Anti-violence Against Women and Their Children act of 2004 in the Philippines.
Some people would argue that violence by women can’t be as serious as violence by men because women are, most of the time, physically smaller and weaker than the men they fight with. Unfortunately, research proves that women also have a tendency to compensate for their smaller size through their greater use of weapons and the element of surprise, and that only a small percentage of female domestic violence is committed in self-defense.
An annotated bibliography of around 300 “References Examining Assaults by Women on their Spouses or Male Partners” compiled by Martin S. Feibert points to the same conclusion – within heterosexual intimate partnerships, women have a higher propensity for violence than men:
Doroszewicz, K., & Forbes, G. B. (2008). Experiences with dating aggression and sexual coercion among Polish college students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 58-73. (The CTS-2 was used to study dating aggression in a sample <men=100, women=100> of unmarried Polish college students. Results reveal that women were overall significantly more aggressive than men <48% vs 35.6%>).
Straus, M. A. (2008). Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in 32 nations. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 252-275. (A convenience sample of 13,601 students <71.5% women, 28.5% men> at 68 universities in 32 countries completed the CTS2. Findings reveal that almost a third of students assaulted their dating partners in a 12 month period. In terms of initiation, mutual aggression accounted for 68.6% of physical violence, while women initiated violence 21.4% of the time and men initiated violence 9.9% of the time.)
Leung, P. & Cheung, M. (2008). A prevalence study on partner abuse in six Asian American ethnic groups in the USA. International Social Work, 51, 635-649. (A large sample of Asian Americans were surveyed with the original CTS in the greater Houston area of Texas. Sample consisted of 1577 respondents: 610 Chinese, 517 Vietnamese, 154 Indians, 123 Koreans, 101 Filipinos and 72 Japanese. In terms of partner abuse high rates were reported for Vietnamese (22.4%) and Filipinos (21.8%)and low rates for Japanese and Chinese (9.7%). Overall women were more abusive than men (17.6% vs 15.3%).
If, according to science, women are more violent than men in their domestic relationships, how come our laws on domestic violence protect only women?
My idea of gender equality is legal equality. Anything beyond that is, in my opinion, gender biased. Violence should be criminalized regardless of who’s doing it. Apart from criminalizing male violence on females, you know what else I think could help reduce domestic violence?
Criminalizing female violence on males.
Unfortunately, misandry is not only tolerated in contemporary culture, sometimes it is even encouraged. Some radical feminist groups not only condone misandry and violence against men, they advocate it and laugh about it.
A popular feminist blog, Jezebel.com, published an article entitled, “Have You Ever Beat Up A Boyfriend, Uh, We Have.” Guess what it’s about! Right! How fun it is to hit boys who don’t hit back. Ironically, this article was what led me to the statistics on partner violence. Joan Arehart-Treichel’s article, “Men Shouldn’t Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence,” was cited as a source.
Tracie Egan Morrisey writes (bold emphasis, mine):
“According to a study of relationships that engage in nonreciprocal violence, a whopping 70% are perpetrated by women. So basically that means that girls are beating up their BFs and husbands and the dudes aren’t fighting back. With Amy Winehouse busting open a can of whupass on her husband last week, we decided to conduct an informal survey of the Jezebels to see who’s gotten violent with their men. After reviewing the answers, let’s just say that it’d be wise to never ever fuck with us.
“One Jezebel got into it with a dude while they were breaking up, while another Jez went nuts on her guy and began violently shoving him. One of your editors heard her boyfriend flirting on the phone with another girl, so she slapped the phone out of his hands and hit him in the face and neck… “partially open handed.” Another editor slapped a guy when “he told me he thought he had breast cancer.”(Okay, that one made us laugh really hard.) And lastly, one Jez punched a steady in the face and broke his glasses. He had discovered a sex story she was writing about another dude on her laptop, so he picked it up and threw it. And that’s when she socked him. He was, uh, totally asking for it.”
Articles such as this one encourage women to beat up their boyfriends, postulating this behavior, violence against men, as a humorous, laughable norm and going as far as to cite a popular celebrity, Amy Winehouse as an “endorser” for nonreciprocal violence.
On July of 2011 an Orange County man drugged his wife, tied her up while she was unconscious, waited for her to wake up, then sliced pieces off her vagina and destroyed the severed organs by throwing them in a garbage disposal. Hosts from the show laughed at the idea of little vagina bits bouncing around in the garbage disposal. The all-male audience laughed with them!
I’m just kidding. That didn’t really happen. That will never happen. No man would dare laugh about violence done to a woman on television because such a display of barbarity would end his career and maybe even his life. If a group of men publicly laughs at the idea of torturing women via vaginal mutilation, the public would call for their heads. People would claim that these men deserved to die, or at the very least, they would clamor that all the men involved in the incident lose their jobs. These men might even be attacked by random strangers who would feel justified in beating the shit out of these assholes out of principle. There might be rallies, demonstrations and women’s rights activists all over television.
But what if was the other way around? What if a bunch of women laughed about a man’s mutilated penis on television? I’m not kidding about that one. That really happened and will be discussed further in part 2.
(to be continued…)
All pictures taken from: