Title: Women and Violence — Gender Myths: A review of some literature from the other side
Topics: feminism, violence
Date: 2004
Source: Retrieved on January 1, 2005 from www.greenanarchist.org
Notes: from Green Anarchist #73–74

President Clinton launched the 5 billion dollar funding for the “Violence Against Women Act” in 2000. He spoke of the 900,000 women beaten every year, “one every 12 seconds” and refused to mention that that figure was actually closer to the number of men beaten every year. [1] And he’s one that should know! Just a year before he was on tv sporting a nasty red welt on his head. Sources in the White House leaked that the injury was due to an attack from his wife and that secret service agents had to pull her off him the night before.

The fact that women are violent is not really that interesting. We’re civilised too, so what do you expect? But it’s the fact that so much of the evidence about violent women is covered up and suppressed — the double standards, hypocrisy and whitewashing displayed by so many feminists — that is interesting.

In “When She Was Bad” Patricia Pearson looks at many different aspects of female violence. From husband bashers to serial killers, she notes the way in which women are rarely afforded the same agency as men in similar situations and are more usually treated as victims than as autonomous adults.

From PMS, post-birthing psychosis, and even ‘lactational insanity’ women are viewed to be totally at the mercy of their bodies and hormones, under the control of their bodily functions and cycles (which being part of nature are unpredictable and destructive, according to civilised doctors and psychologists).

Why this need to pretend women aren’t capable of the same violence, anger and spite as men are? Surely the problem of all this violence and hatred is not a gendered one, but one of civilisation, of the way we are forced to live today?

This ‘victim’ shite can reach really ludicrous heights as in the case of Guinevere Garcia, who, just released from a stint in jail for smothering her baby daughter, shot dead her husband in cold blood. On death row she’d requested that her execution go ahead as she felt she’d done wrong and wanted to be punished. What happened?

“Everyone ignored her. Amnesty International sent Bianca Jagger to tell the prisoner review board that ‘Garcia is the quintessential case of a battered woman and an abandoned child.’ Garcia responded, ‘This must be her cause for the week, rather than the Screen Actors Guild or cruelty to animals.’” The press reported her fifteen years enduring abuse at the hands of her husband, “a battered wife who exploded after years of abuse” (New York Times) and that “after a life filled with tragedy she is not capable of choosing her own fate” (National Public Radio).[2]

Garcia had just been released from jail for killing a kid — she couldn’t have been suffering as a battered wife in jail! But the battered wife syndrome is certainly one designed to stop any questions. It has become part of public perception that most women kill out of fear or selfdefence, yet that’s not true in the majority of cases. Peter Cook mentions a study he looked at in his book, “Abused Men — the Hidden side of Domestic Violence” which found that most female spouse killers don’t kill for either of these two reasons.

“Some murder out of greed, others because they have taken a new lover, and for a variety of other reasons. There are many such cases in the anecdotal newspaper record. For example, there is Donyea Jones of Seattle, who was shot by his wife in the back of the head (not a case of imminent fear) in front of their children, and then was dragged out of the house and set on fire. This murder took place in National Domestic Violence Awareness month, but of course, neither Seattle newspapers nor any domestic violence advocate in Seattle pointed to this case.”[3]

Partner battering is just as common for women to instigate as men (some studies including the one mentioned further on show them as being even more likely to beat their partners), yet you’d never think it to read the official documentation, newspapers, etc. Lesbian couples suffer the same high rates of domestic violence and many studies are now showing women as just as likely to abuse their children too, with high rates of neglect and beatings.

Pearson mentions the Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz book, “Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family”, which showed mothers had a 62% greater physical child abuse rate than fathers.

“Mothers beat their children nearly twice as often as fathers do, and fathers are less likely than mothers to throw objects at, slap, spank, or hit their child with objects.” [4]

Mothers are also more likely than fathers to murder their children. (Do they do this to their children out of fear and self-defence too?) 55% of under-twelve killings according to US Dept of Justice.[5] And if the child is very young, chances are the deaths will be put down to SIDs (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), a catch-all for any death with unknown causes. This is not to say every SIDs mother has killed her baby — of course not — but like with the battered wife defence it has been manipulated and used in inappropriate situations. Interestingly enough in the case the SIDs label was manufactured from in 1972 the mother later confessed to smothering all five of her children. But it was twenty years later and by then the label had stuck and coroners were using it indiscriminately.

But don’t expect the truth when you’re dealing with popular perceptions. I recently went into the local video shop where two new releases looked equally uninviting. One was about John Wayne Gacy, infamous US serial killer. The cover looked pretty menacing and the description on the back was the usual ‘monster who stalked the community’. The other video was about Aileen Wuornos who according to the back ‘killed out of self-defence’ and only because she had been traumatised by a life on the street. The fact that she murdered innocent men who picked her up as she hitchhiked and that her attacks were completely unprovoked won’t be dealt with too seriously. And the fact that Gacy was abused by his father as a young boy won’t get him too much sympathy either! [6] One standard for women, another for men.

The video touted Wuornos as the first female serial killer in the US.

“Only four years earlier, ten female serial killers had been arrested across the United States. Less than two years before, Dorothea Puente was convicted. And less than a decade earlier, the state of North Carolina executed Velma Barfield, who poisoned five.”[7]

When the moron majority get to spouting they won’t be mentioning the many women who’ve been serial killing in the past. (All white by the way — Puente is a marriage name)

“Not the dozens of women who killed up to forty patients in hospitals; nor the dozens more who have killed ten men, or twenty; nor Puente and others who preyed upon tenants. Never mind Marybeth Tinning, or any of the mothers and angels of death.”[8]

The point is not that women are violent — living civilised they could hardly not be. The point is the amazing level of disingenuity feminists display on this subject. Research in 1985 showed that women were being beaten in the home on average once every 15 seconds. Feminist groups rallied around the figure and it became household knowledge. But that same study showed that men were being battered on average once every 18 seconds![9] The researchers received death threats for their troubles — a common occurance for those daring to threaten the feminist gravy train.

Erin Pizzey, founder of the first womens shelter, now has to have a police escort for public speaking because she started looking at the ways in which to help men who suffer beatings from their female partners.

“There is now an established domestic violence industry which fears any acknowledgement of the well-established scientific fact that women can be as violent as men with their intimate partners... Because of these views, and daring to speak out, I’ve been vilified and physically threatened many times by women in the domestic violence movement. Don’t tell me women can’t be violent! Nowadays, you won’t even find my name or my domestic violence books mentioned in the established domestic violence literature... I’ve been erased because of heresy, for daring to speak the truth.”[10]

This industry needs to propagate various myths so that they can soak up all the funding. There’s big money in ‘victim women, nasty men’ routines. Clinton allocated 5 billion to womenonly services in the early nineties, so a lot of feminists stand to lose out if mens groups start leaching their money.

Well, they could cater for both sexes and get all the money still like in a very few shelters in the US, but that’d require a change in ideology and a little more imagination — not something those feminists are keen on.

So what if this culture is patriarchial? Individual men are just as disempowered as individual women. They suffer the same shit living within civilisation as their civilised sisters. Male or female it doesn’t matter, if you’re living tame and demoralised and working for Leviathan, then you feel the same rage and self-loathing. Living in a culture which denigrates sharing and compassion, both men and women have little of either. Living under conditions that humans were never supposed to live under (little box, screaming brats, isolated from any community, pressures of money — hey we all know these things!) why are we surprised if we lash out at those closest to us? I don’t believe patriachy is the problem. It’s one of the symptoms of a sick, unbalanced, unhealthy way of living. Civilisation is the problem and until feminists (and that includes all you men too) start addressing that they’re doing nobody any service.

By continuing to view womens violence as non-existent, trivial, a result of bodily functions over which they’ve no control or as a result of male coercion (frequently given as an excuse in partnered violence), civilisation can continue to explain away the huge levels of hatred, distrust and agression that civilised humans commonly display. And with men as the big nasties, no-one has to look at the real problem — civilisation itself.


[1] pg 127 “The Whole Truth about Domestic Violence” by Philip W. Cook, in “Everything you know is Wrong — The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies”, ed Russ Kick, Disinformation Co. Ltd, 2002. An excellent article with plenty of links and articles for further research.

[2] pg 59–60 “When She Was Bad — a controversial and explosive look at female aggression” by Patricia Pearson, Virago, 1998. If you want the details for any of the cases mentioned here, the book explains them and more in a straightforward, nongory way. Very well referenced with plenty of leads to further info.

[3] pg 128 “The Whole Truth about Domestic Violence”.

[4] pg 263 “When She Was Bad”.

[5] pg 111 Ibid. And although the bias is towards looking for male molesters, some research has shown upward to 25% of sexual abuse perpetrated by female molesters pg 263 Ibid.

[6] Who hears about Texas serial killer Henry Lucas regular beatings by his mother while a little kid? Or Mansons early life as a rejected and uncared for kid?

[7] pg 156 Ibid.

[8] pg 157 Ibid.

[9] Murray Straus, and Richard Gelles, ‘Societal Change and Change in Family Violence from 1975 to 1985 as Revealed by Two National Surveys’ quoted in “The Whole Truth about Domestic Violence” pg 125.

[10] Erin Pizzey, founder of first womens shelter and author of “Scream Quietly or the Neighbors Will Hear” quoted in “The Whole Truth about Domestic Violence” pg 131.