Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Mother-woman gives up whatever ghost of a unique talent she may have had

Or: Riding the Old Nag of Science to Death -- Backwards and Again

In the latest edition of Middle East Forum Phyllis Chesler is, so it seems, quite out of character carrying a torch for the Western male.

Differing Characteristics of Honor Killings and Domestic Violence
Honor Killings Domestic Violence
Committed mainly by Muslims against Muslim girls/young adult women. Committed by men of all faiths usually against adult women.
Committed mainly by fathers against their teenage daughters and daughters in their early twenties. Wives and older-age daughters may also be victims, but to a lesser extent. Committed by an adult male spouse against an adult female spouse or intimate partner.
Carefully planned. Death threats are often used as a means of control. The murder is often unplanned and spontaneous.
The planning and execution involve multiple family members and can include mothers, sisters, brothers, male cousins, uncles, grandfathers, etc. If the girl escapes, the extended family will continue to search for her to kill her. The murder is carried out by one man with no family complicity.
The reason given for the honor killing is that the girl or young woman has "dishonored" the family. The batterer-murderer does not claim any family concept of "honor." The reasons may range from a poorly cooked meal to suspected infidelity to the woman's trying to protect the children from his abuse or turning to the authorities for help.
At least half the time, the killings are carried out with barbaric ferocity. The female victim is often raped, burned alive, stoned or beaten to death, cut at the throat, decapitated, stabbed numerous times, suffocated slowly, etc. While some men do beat a spouse to death, they often simply shoot or stab them.
The extended family and community valorize the honor killing. They do not condemn the perpetrators in the name of Islam. Mainly, honor killings are seen as normative. The batterer-murderer is seen as a criminal; no one defends him as a hero. Such men are often viewed as sociopaths, mentally ill, or evil.
The murderer(s) do not show remorse. Instead, they experience themselves as "victims," defending themselves from the girl's actions and trying to restore their lost family honor. Sometimes, remorse or regret is exhibited.

Is she? (Colouring added by me.)

In 2003 I wrote about Chesler's, then new, book "The New Anti-Semitism":
I read the book and I was disappointed. Chesler is an annoying woman, and that in more than one respect. A founding mother of second-wave feminism, she is not just a man-hater and sloppy researcher if it suits her agenda (in her 1986 book Mothers on Trial she stated that 70 percent of mothers in custody battles lost, which was based on an extremely non-random sample of 60 women, but frequently used as a feminist mantra) and, even worse, one of those irritating women who send their dignity, education and brain flying when they marry a Western-educated Muslim, followed him to his native country, find it -- surprise, surprise -- less than accomodating there and are then jumping on the victim-bandwagon.


Not to speak of Chesler's basic credibility problem. An "academic" who writes, as Chesler does in "Women and Madness", that "mother-women give up whatever ghost of a unique and human self they may have when they 'marry' and raise children" (inverted commas by the author!) has lost any right to have her say on any conservative cause. Correction: On ANYthing.
And to answer my own question: no she isn't. This man-hating ogre (or is it ogress?) who has presumably destroyed as many families as the average post-WWII armed conflict, is -- again -- up to her old tricks and, under the disguise of informing about the difference of "normal" domestic violence and Muslim "honour killings", fudging in her anti-social feminist drivel.

What is the truth about domestic violence?
Despite the criticisms leveled at Steinmetz and her concept of the battered husband, violence directed at husbands has been reported by others. For instance, Murray Straus, Richard Gelles, and Suzanne Steinmetz (1980) estimated that about one in eight men in the United States acted violently during marital conflict. However, they estimated a similar number of women also acted violently during marital conflict. They also noted that in a majority of these cases, violence was a mutual or bilateral activity, with only 27% of cases finding that husbands were the sole perpetrators of violence and 24% of cases finding only wives acting violently. With respect to serious violence, as judged by the Conflict Tactics Scales (Note 2), these authors stated that the rate for men beaten by their wives was 4.6%; a figure that indicated "over 2 million very violent wives." While 47% of those husbands who beat their wives did so severely three or more times a year, 53% of women who beat their husbands severely did so three or more times a year.

In a later article, Straus and Gelles (1986) reviewed both their own and other studies in the United States and reported somewhat equivalent assault rates for both male-to-female and female-to-male. In their 1975 survey, Straus, Gelles, and Steinmetz (1980) estimated that approximately 38 out of every 1000 families experience severe husband-to-wife violence, while 46 out of every l000 families experience severe wife-to-husband violence. Ten years later, Straus & Gelles (1986) reported that the rates have dropped from 38 to 30 and 46 and 44 per 1000 couples, respectively. In overall acts of violence, as defined by the Conflict Tactics Scales, husband-to-wife rates of violence were 121 and 113 and wife-to-husband rates of violence were 116 and 121 per 1000 couples for the two study years (i.e., 1975 and 1985).

Although Straus and Gelles (1986) did not dwell on these comparisons, they did make a statement that seems to run counter to the prevailing academic and public perception of the time, namely, that "an important and distressing finding about violence in American families is that, in marked contrast to the behavior of women outside the family, women are about as violent within the family as men" (p. 470). The small change in the wife-to-husband rate of violence, as opposed to some change in the husband-to-wife violence, was suggested to result from a lack of attention or concern to male victimization. The case for giving due regard to domestic women-on-men assaults and an acceptance of this higher level of victimization was backed by reference to other studies finding similar levels of male victimization (Brutz & Ingoldsby, 1984; Gelles, 1974; Giles-Sims, 1983; Jourilles & O'Leary, 1985; Lane & Gwartney-Gibbs, 1985; ; Laner & Thompson, 1982; Makepeace, 1983; Sack, Keller, & Howard, 1982; Saunders, 1986; Scanzoni, 1978; Steinmetz, 1977, 1977-78; Szinovacz, 1983).

In conclusion, summarized such data as Straus and Gelles (1986) indicating that women engage in minor assaults against their male partners at a slightly higher rate than for the same attacks upon women by men. In situations in which both partners use violence, men and women were also almost equally responsible for the first blow, but in only one quarter of these relationships was the man the sole victim. At more potentially injurious levels of assault, men were considered to exceed women in their aggressive behavior and it was suggested that a relative rate in the order of 6 or 7 to 1 (male versus female) was evident for the perpetration of injurious assaults.
Can we really believe that the scientific findings from decades ago have not yet arrived at Professor Chesler's desk?

In post-Renaissance Europe, society ostracized and humiliated hen-pecked husbands. In France, for example, a "battered" husband was forced to trot around town riding a donkey backwards. It is safe to assume that enough men are, despite the worst efforts of a feminist society, still carrying some faint remnants of the patriarchal ethos telling him that a husband is expected to protect his wife and family instead of being beaten by her. Thus, a battered husband may be just -- dare I say it -- ashamed to admit that he has been the victim of female violence, which makes one wonder about the number of unreported cases.

But, thanks to the Cheslers of this world, as we children of the post-feminist age know, men do not suffer from subtle feelings like shame, victimization or humiliation. Only women do that.

I wish that hysteric woman would just shut up or at least stop abusing her academic position to deal with her personal problems. As a saviour -- saviouresse -- of Western civilization she is simply miscast.

We have dicussed "honour killings" and the matter of "honour" in Muslim societies generally (for example) here, here, here, here or here. Many continuative links provided.