Monday, January 20, 2014

Male Violence is not just "a woman's issue"
It's interesting that if you google "Statistics of Male Violence", many of the first articles that come up will be statistics about "men who are victims of female violence".  It's almost as if, once again, women are to be blamed, or dismissed,  for the overwhelming statistics of  male violence.  Yes, there are women who do violence - but overwhelmingly  it is men who are mass murderers, men who rape, men who molest children both male and female, men who beat women, and men who kill other men. What got me on that search was the poem below, forwarded to me by a group list I'm on. I like the way the poet closes with "praying for a resocialization miracle".      My response to this poem was what got me surfing the internet, and I came up with some interesting videos, among them one by Jackson Katz, who speaks eloquently about that deflectment, denial, and dismissal of the tragedy of violent male culture, and addresses the fact that it's not "just a woman's issue", but a man's issue, a human issue.

I'm happy to find there are men, like Dr. Katz, so passionately addressing the issue of male violence and gender imbalance (to use a nice term for a great worldwide injustice). 

 Sociology 101, First Night of Class

I wanted to like him
This twenty-something ex-Marine
Young enough to be my son
Too young for the things he's seen.

His cragged smile creased his face
Reflecting back the horror
Buried deep in his eyes
His giggle belying his past.

What broken scene makes a man
glorify murder? Causes him to gloat
As he recounts his fun--shooting turtles
On a friend's twenty acre ranch.

What makes him wish he was an infantryman
Because they get away with
Bursting through doors
And killing whatever moves?

What mother ever raised her son
To be this monster?
Laughing as he talks of killing,
As though it's a picnic in the park.

And I, his Jewish sociology teacher
Who takes her sacred obligation
"Thou shalt not murder" seriously,
Pray for a resocialization  miracle.

Debra L. Winegarten
All rights reserved

Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity

While the social construction of femininity has been widely examined, the dominant role of masculinity has until recently remained largely invisible. Tough Guise is the first educational video geared toward college and high school students to systematically examine the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the U.S.  Jackson Katz argues that widespread violence in American society  needs to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity.


 **  For a powerful interview with Amy Goodman on Domestic Violence - the subject is an HBO Film  "Private Violence: Survivors & Advocates Confront Victim Blaming & the Epidemic of Domestic Abuse" currently at the Sundance Film Festival.

Another statistic:  Since the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, CT, there have been at least 35 school shootings in America - here they are.  Every one was instigated by a (young) male.




School Name

1. 1/08/2013  Fort Myers FL Apostolic Revival Center Christian School
2. 1/10/2013  Taft CA Taft Union High School
3. 1/15/2013  St. Louis MO Stevens Institute of Business & Arts
4. 1/15/2013 Hazard KY Hazard Community and Technical College
5. 1/16/2013 Chicago IL Chicago State University
6. 1/22/2013
Houston TX Lone Star College North Harris Campus
7. 1/31/2013 Atlanta GA Price Middle School
8. 2/13/2013 San Leandro CA Hillside Elementary School
9. 2/27/2013 Atlanta GA Henry W. Grady HS
10. 3/18/2013 Orlando FL University of Central Florida
11. 3/21/2013 Southgate MI Davidson Middle School
12. 4/19/2013 Cambridge MA Massachusetts Institute of Technology
13. 4/29/2013 Cincinnati OH La Salle High School
14. 6/7/2013 Santa Monica CA Santa Monica College
15. 6/19/2013 W. Palm Beach FL Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
16. 8/15/2013 Clarksville TN Northwest High School
17. 8/20/2013 Decatur GA Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy
18. 8/23/2013 Sardis MS North Panola High School
19. 8/30/2013 Winston-Salem NC Carver High School
20. 9/28/2013 Gray ME New Gloucester High School
21. 10/4/2013 Pine Hills FL Agape Christian Academy
22. 10/15/2013 Austin TX Lanier High School
23. 10/21/2013 Sparks NV Sparks Middle School
24. 11/1/2013 Algona IA Algona High/Middle School
25. 11/2/2013 Greensboro NC North Carolina A&T State University
26. 11/3/2013 Stone Mountain GA Stephenson High School
27. 11/21/2013  Rapid City SD South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
28. 12/4/2013 Winter Garden FL West Orange High School
29. 12/13/2013  Arapahoe County CO Arapahoe High School
30. 1/9/2014 Jackson TN Liberty Technology Magnet HS
31. 1/14/2014 Roswell NM Berrendo Middle School
32. 1/15/2014 Lancaster PA Martin Luther King Jr. ES
33. 1/17/2014 Philadelphia PA Delaware Valley Charter HS
34. 1/20/2014 Chester PA Widener University
35. 1/21/2014 West Lafayette IN Purdue University

Data: These are incidents in which a firearm was fired or brandished on school property, including colleges and universities. Incidents were identified through media reports, so this is likely an undercount of the true total.
Last updated: 01/21/2014


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

What's interesting about all this is that women are still blamed - for whatever. It's been that way since- when? Medieval times? Salem?

lauren raine said...

I think it goes back considerably farther. "Eve" is blamed in the Bible for the "beginning of sin" and the fall from grace. That's a lot of blame and "religious justification" for the enslavement of half the human race, not to mention the complete absence of a female voice in the Bible, perceived by millions and millions of people as the "word of God".

But then, "God" in that view is an old man without a wife, sister, or daughter, so I guess he's biased.

Mana From The Muse said...

I enjoyed this informative article . You really are a great writer and I so appreciate your blog.
I almost have my voice back . I will give you a shout in another day or two. I have an appointment with the lama in San Fran on Valentines Day.. At Noon. I love it. My valentine is a Buddhist Lama.. Well that does sort of sound normal for a girl like me I guess.. LOL Be well dear Lauren.

Wes Hansen said...

You know, there's a sculpture in a front yard here in Houston of a wee little man shooting a big GIANT man. It is quite obvious that the artist was exploring the correlation and possible causal link between the proliferation of male-on-male gun violence and the Biblical story of David and Goliath. It's interesting to note that many of these school boys who resort to gun violence are wee little ones generally not very well integrated into things . . .

Back during the run-up to the Iraq War I was living under an abandoned railroad bridge not far from that sculpture and the homeowner put this terribly gaudy, "patriotic" (isn't it interesting how patriotic seems a merging of patriarchic and idiotic?) rosette over the gun in the wee man's hand, concealing it. Obviously, in the case of the Iraq War, Iraq was the wee one and the U.S. the Goliath. Every time I went by there, pushing my grocery basket of scrap metal, I would take the rosette off and lay it on the ground. Of course I also had a sign on my back, "Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, I did it my way . . . George Dumbya is a Punk!" which wasn't well received in Houston, Texas. The homeowner kept putting the rosette back on the gun so I finally climbed it high up into the oak tree in his front yard and tied it to a branch. Heh, heh, I won that little argument.

lauren raine said...

Quite a story, Wes. Thanks for sharing it!

Like the Quakers and many others, I'd like to think that humanity still could evolve to a world that despises, instead of celebrates, violence, where boys are truly socialized to be "gentlemen", and a sensitive, creative, gentle boy does not have to suffer, but rather is encouraged for his compassion.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

5 out of the states you list occurred in florida, One of them was practically in our backyard - Dreyfuss. I had hoped that newtown wold spell change. It hasn't. What's it going to take?

lauren raine said...

To be honest my friends, I'm not sure it could change unless there was a huge, huge massacre. Gun control, like the perpetration of violence, is deeply embedded in patriarchal culture, mythos and values. Just witness the endless stories about guns, and the rape/murder of (mostly) young women on TV - our "entertainment".

Still we have to keep raising our voices, and educating the young.