Categories
a voice for men a woman is always to blame antifeminism domestic violence excusing abuse FemRAs GirlWritesWhat misogyny MRA victim blaming

Abused women “demand” their abuse: How MRAs make the abusers’ arguments for them

Arrestreport

An Orlando man, Faron Thompson, was recently charged with battery and child neglect after an altercation in which he allegedly tried to force his fiancée to swallow her engagement ring when she tried to leave him. (More details here.)

This sort of abuse is depressingly commonplace when women try to free themselves from abusive and controlling men; indeed, if I posted every news account along these lines on this blog I wouldn’t have time to do anything else.

No, I mention this case because something that Thompson reportedly told police reveals a lot about the mindset of abusers. When they arrested him, police say, Thompson complained that:

Women always claim assault, but never accept responsibility for provoking someone.

That is how abusers think.

It’s also how a lot of MRAs think.

Indeed, when I read Thomson’s reported remarks, the y immediately brought to mind something written not that long ago by Karen Straughan, the YouTube videoblogger who goes by the name of Girl Writes What. Straughan describes herself in her A Voice for Men bio as “the most popular and visible MRA in North America,” and given the rapturous reception her videos get on You Tube and on Reddit, this may not be an idle boast.

In the rather revealing Reddit comment I’m thinking of (which I blogged about earlier), Straughan suggested not only that abused women regularly “demand” the abuse they receive, but that many of them also get some sort of sexual charge from it. Oh, I’m sure she’ll deny that she really meant all that, but I can’t see any other way to read the following.
fmragwwdv1

Oh, and in case you were wondering what article she’s referring to in the last paragraph — the one she says isn’t “seriously ethically questionable” — it’s a post from the repugnant Ferdinand Bardamu arguing that men should “terrorize” their partners because that’s the “the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.” For more about that charming piece, titled “The Necessity of Domestic Violence,” see my post here.

I’m having less and less of a problem with calling the Men’s Rights movement “the abusers lobby.”

I’m sure there are some MRAs who are as repulsed by Straughan’s argument as I am. If you’re one of them, and want your movement, such as it is, to be remembered as something other than “the abusers lobby,” you need to call out all those MRAs who make such arguments. Might I suggest that you start by challenging the “the most popular and visible MRA in North America,” otherwise known as Girl Writes What?

325 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
eline
eline
9 years ago

@Tina

I think the best way to get rid of rape-victim blaming is to take a good look at the statistics. It’s “common sense” that “staggering out late at night in little clothing” puts you at higher risk for rape. But that’s not what rape statistics say. In fact, it would appear you are at higher risk indoors, in the presence of men you know, not strangers. This is often the case with “common sense”; it’s not really based on reality, just on preconceptions.

I’m afraid I don’t have any good tips on the MRA issue.

eline
eline
9 years ago

Oh I misread… if the MRAs are victims, then replacing genders works. If they are just victim-blaming and don’t want to learn, well, I dunno how to feel sympathy.

LBT
LBT
9 years ago

RE: Baglesan

Yeah, what you say. Plus, during the years when I was recovering from my rape and furious at my inability to do anything to my rapist, I found myself realizing I couldn’t wish rape on anyone. Because let’s face it, even if my rapist did get raped one day, that wouldn’t make him go, “By golly, what I was doing was really fucked up! I should change my behavior!” It would’ve just likely made him worse.

Then I realized I couldn’t think of a single instance where rape improved ANYTHING. Like, even killing someone can have some horrible alleviation of other horrible things, but I’ve never seen such an instance for rape.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

Then I realized I couldn’t think of a single instance where rape improved ANYTHING. Like, even killing someone can have some horrible alleviation of other horrible things, but I’ve never seen such an instance for rape.

Basically this. I’ve seen pretty much every crime except rape have a possible justification, like theft or even killing someone, but rape is uniquely unjustifiable.

Alex
9 years ago

A man I know who has experience with men in abusive relationships would get
his clients to answer a questionare. Things like, “after the violence, did you
have sex?” “If so, how would you rate the sex?” 100% of men in reciprocally
abusive relationships said “yes” to the first, and “scorching” to the second.
He also posited that the much-quote cycle of violence–the build-up, the
explosion, the honeymoon period–correlates with foreplay, orgasm and
post-coital bliss.

That awkward moment where you if you’d been drinking something, it would now be all over your screen. Seriously, what the fuck did I just read?

blothne
blothne
9 years ago

The word “realize” should go between “where you” and “if you’d”.

katz
9 years ago

Ugh, GWW is my absolute least favorite. She’s just weaselly enough to maintain plausible deniability and not quite sound horrendous to normal (ie, non-MRA) people, and yet…awfulawfulawful. And I can’t think of any way to do a comic of her.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
9 years ago

Anything that follows a MRA or MRA-supporter typing “A [noun] I know” is just an assanecdote. I would appreciate anyone who knows a language other than English being able to provide me with a more elegant form of that neologism.

🙂

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

Anything that follows a MRA or MRA-supporter typing “A [noun] I know” is just a

Lie? Blatant falsehood? Uh, mentira? ;p

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
9 years ago

I just remembered the NZ military term for it: “bumpluck”, often used in combination with a mime of the action.

mxe354
9 years ago

“Basically this. I’ve seen pretty much every crime except rape have a possible justification, like theft or even killing someone, but rape is uniquely unjustifiable.”

That’s probably because rape is an act of dehumanization. And I’m sure you’ll agree that no act of dehumanization is justifiable.

katz
9 years ago

So someone who’s actually knowledgeable about DV, help me out here: What’s up with this “reciprocally abusive” thing? MRAs seem to think this is incredibly common (remember that guy who was like “any woman could accuse her partner of abuse at any time, because all couples get in violent fights every week or so”?). Does this actually happen, like, ever? Or are all cases actually one really-abusive partner and one partner who does something in self defense?

katz
9 years ago

Also, one order of extra-strength brain bleach, please. Preferably animals doing nice things for other animals/people (or vice versa).

ec
ec
9 years ago

To be honest, in the scenario GWW describes (assuming it is factual) I would classify the woman’s behaviour as abusive as well. Following your partner around for hours yelling and throwing things is not something that happens in a healthy relationship.

Of course, this does not mean it was excusable for the man to respond in kind or escalate the situation to physical violence, just makes it doubly absurd that GWW would bring this sort of relationship up as an example of marital bliss.

Carleyblue
Carleyblue
9 years ago

Horrible topic aside, I do find it kind of funny that the ‘most popular and visible MRA in North America’ is a woman. The (male) MRAs must feel a bit resentful about that, especially since most of them think men are better than women at everything.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
9 years ago

@katz: that’s a really difficult question to answer as the interpersonal behaviour evolves over time. It could be psychic self-defence, it could be learned behaviour from when the abused partner was growing up, it could be retaliation, it could be reinforced behaviour where the only time the partner gets attention is when it triggered by a “negative” action on their part (where positive action doesn’t give any attention). It’s just too difficult to say, and inaccurate just to judge on the current state of the relationship.

So the MRA characterisation of this type of relationship is extremely simplistic and unhelpful. Gosh, what a surprise.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
9 years ago

One order of brain bleach coming up: http://catmoji.com/

Alex
9 years ago

I don’t know if this quite counts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBNhJVlTbLQ

Maude LL
9 years ago

One thing that strikes me in her argument is that her friend only asked men accused of abusing their girlfriend/wife how the sex was after (scorching!).
Is it news to anyone that abusive people get off on, uh, abusing? How about the beaten partner (in this case, the woman)? That would seem important.
The answer might be “scorching” from the abused women too. But that doesn’t support the “preliminaries” hypothesis either, since a “push-pull” behaviour of an abuser easily triggers a sense of acceptance in an abused person.
Actual preliminaries for great sex in this case would be called BDSM. As in, actually consensual, role playing fantasies. In which case there’s a safe word.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
9 years ago

There’s a couple of other really important points to consider. First, if the person is in an abusive peer group, then they will be more likely to partner with an abuser/be an abuser. People tend to partner within their peer groups, and the peer group defines the normative behaviour. Some people don’t realise that non-abusive behaviour exists, because they literally have never experienced anything other than abuse.

Second, and we’ve discussed it before, abusers don’t tend to go around with a neon sign above their heads saying “ABUSER”. The start of any relationship tends to be the “honeymoon period” where people are on their best behaviour. The time period for this varies, but around 3 months seems to be an okay estimate. As the honeymoon period winds down, people start reverting to their normal behaviour. Where one partner is an abuser, this is where the abuse starts to ramp up (there may have been some – relatively speaking – very minor abuse during the honeymoon period). What some people do, is that they think that the honeymoon period behaviour is the normative behaviour for the partner, and that the abuse is just some type of temporary aberration, and the person will revert back to being “themselves”.

Third, abuse ramps up over time. At the start, the abuse may not be evident as such (e.g. “he’s telling me to take more care with my appearance because he wants me to look my best” rather than “he’s telling me this because he’s a control freak”). Assuming the abuse escalates slowly, and understanding this is typically performed simultaneously with isolating the partner from their historic support networks, the partner can apparently suddenly find themselves in a very abusive relationship, with no support. There is a huge grey area of “it might be abuse, it might not be” before it gets to “definite abuse”. Also, during this time, the partner will be told that they are imagining things, getting things out of context, making mountains out of molehills, so they will be mistrusting their ability to judge whether the relationship is abusive or not. This is the perfect storm.

katz
9 years ago

Who else finds “survey of abusive dudes finds they think the sex is really hot” reminiscent of “incestuous dads think incest is great, but their daughters don’t for some reason”? Why the hell didn’t they survey the women too?

Alex
9 years ago

@Maude LL
“asked men accused of abusing their girlfriend/wife how the sex was after (scorching!).
Is it news to anyone that abusive people get off on, uh, abusing? How about the beaten partner (in this case, the woman)? That would seem important.”

To me, it sounds like the abusers raped their partners after beating them into submission. And I’d really like to know what the abused partners in these relationships thought. Of course, as you say, they may well have thought it was “scorching” sex too, for the reasons you said.

Alex
9 years ago

@katz, yes, it sounds exactly like that, actually.

katz
9 years ago

Of course MRAs don’t consider women’s experience with sex to be important, so no surprise that they think “the dude’s sex was good” to be proof that the relationship is good, but you’d think GWW might consider the woman’s experience to be important.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
9 years ago

Assuming it even happened, what was this guy doing with getting his “clients” to answer a survey? Flying Spaghetti Monster on a stick:
– developing surveys is a skill that requires training (make sure the questions don’t cause people to answer a particular way, the order of questions can influence responses to later questions, if it’s using a Likert scale items people don’t tend to respond at the extremes, he might be only using questions that support his view so the survey suffers from self-fulfilling bias, and so on….)
– the sample he had (his clients) could be biased, e.g. if he’s known as a counsellor sympathetic to abusive men, that will skew his client base and therefore the survey responses he gets
– and last but not least, it’s A Fucking Survey Not Observational, so the guys responding can put down anything they like and no-one will be able to confirm the accuracy or not of the answers. So if you’re in counselling because you beat your partner, a good way of excusing your actions is to blame her for it. And this tendency will be reflected in the survey answers.

So would this “survey” be proof of anything? Fuck, no.

%d bloggers like this: