Making Boys ‘Bad’ – Misandry Strikes Again

Posted: April 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/apr/16/domestic-violence-teenage-girls?INTCMP=SRCH

The Guardian has been looking at ‘teenage domestic violence’. In an article published today, Sandra Laville – one of the paper’s ‘crime correspondents’ wrote:

‘Ask a group of teenage girls how many terms of abuse are directed at them in school on a regular basis and they struggle to answer. Every week, they say, boys and young men in their peer group add a new phrase to their lexicon of disrespect.

“At my school we hear three words, slut, sket and slag, every day. It’s got so it’s not worth challenging it, it is not worth arguing about because it just doesn’t change anything,” said Bea Larby, 15.’

The article is based on interviews with teenage girls at what I think are inner city schools. It links violence against girls in their relationships with boys/young men, to the ‘misogynist’ language of the playground, and intimidating and anti-girl groups and sites on Facebook and the internet in general.

‘”Sket” sites, where pictures of girls are posted by vengeful ex-boyfriends, often in compromising situations, are set up on Facebook and other networking sites, or the images are circulated on smart phone messaging systems, along with a request to give marks out of 10 for the “sket” or “bitch”.’

The context for the piece, which by the way does not include any boys’ voices, is recent acknowledgements by powers that be that teenage girls are ‘the group most at risk of domestic violence’ in the UK:

‘ Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, put the problem at the top of the agenda, warning that teenage girls between 16 and 19 are now the group most at risk of domestic violence, closely followed by girls aged 20-24 – all victims of a new generation of abusers who are themselves in their teens and early twenties’.

This was the bit that got me the most:

– all victims of a new generation of abusers who are themselves in their teens and early twenties’.

Labelling a whole generation of teenage boys and young men as ‘a new generation of abusers’ is frankly, appalling, and an example of misandry in action. What chance to lads have of being listened to, learning to deal with their problems, and growing into men who are respected members of society if they are labelled like that before they have even done or said anything?

The story is placed firmly in the narrative of feminist campaigns on domestic violence, linking violence against women by their male partners to ‘verbal intimidation, abuse and misogyny’ in social settings such as schools. The director of Tender, an anti-violence organisation that works with young people, brings out that ‘statistic’ of two women a week being killed by a partner or an ex partner in the UK. The assumption is these partners or exes are men, but I have never seen a report that lays out the stats clearly.  But it is worth remembering that ‘two women a week’ is a grand total of just over a hundred deaths a year. Obviously this is a horrible state of affairs. But in a country of over 60 million people, it is a small number.

‘Leading agencies in the domestic violence field, senior police officers and prosecutors believe the verbal intimidation, abuse and misogyny apparently treated as the norm in many school playgrounds are at the beginning of a spectrum of abuse suffered by girls and young women.

“You have to look at that whole spectrum to try to tackle this,” said Susie McDonald, director of Tender UK which works in schools. “At one end there is this kind of behaviour and at the other end you have the horror of two women being killed a week by a partner or ex-partner in this country.”‘

The article makes some tenuous links to language used in TV films, and rap music, with violence against teenage girls. The mention of rap music, the picture of a black girl at the top of the piece, and a reference to a report by an organisation called ‘Race on The Agenda’ all bring a racial aspect to the story, without mentioning race or ethnicity directly. It just hangs over the piece, as if these ‘bad boys’ are being painted as young, possibly afro-carribean lads, who listen to rap music and call women ‘bitches’ and ‘hos’.

‘A report published this month by the thinktank Race on the Agenda (Rota), which interviewed girls in Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester, identified how verbal disrespect can escalate into horrific abuse and sexual assaults on girls as young as 13.

Again, the ROTA report is based on interviews with girls and not boys. I don’t mean to be snarky, but if you ask only one group of people if they have been victimised, you are not going to get a full picture of events are you?

http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/default.aspx

I don’t know. Maybe domestic violence amongst teenagers is on the increase. But this kind of scare-mongering, girls as victims, boys as ‘abusers’, littered with racial references, is the kind of misandrist rubbish I am coming to expect from the Guardian. If boys are turning to violence due to a sense of lack of control in their lives, ‘low self-esteem’ and other horrible concepts, wouldn’t one way of giving them a bit of humanity be to actually talk to them?

Or don’t bad boys deserve even that?

Originally posted at GraunWatch:

http://graunwatch.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/making-boys-bad-misandry-strikes-again/

Comments
  1. Clarence says:

    ARRGH.

    Propoganda at its finest.

    No mention of course that by their very same standards almost as many boys are being verbally or physically abused each week.
    Then there’s the “horror” one is supposed to feel because there are , on average, two women a week being killed by their domestic partners.

    Yes, that is bad, and in some cases I would wish that GB had the death penalty.

    But there’s also men who are killed in domestic disputes. Where’s mention of them? Nowhere, it seems because that wouldn’t allow them to “genderize” domestic violence in the way they do.

    And two murders a week? In all of Britain? I’m sure there must be many more drug murders per week in your country, not to mention the actual, real horror of places like Uganda or even parts of Mexico, where recently a whole busload of people was emptied out and shot by what they think are narco-traffickers, and the body count is measured in the tens of thousands per year.

    By the way, I live in Baltimore, MD. We have something like 50 domestic partner deaths per year, here alone.

    Are you panicking yet about being around males, QRG?

  2. Clarence says:

    Quiet Riot Girl:

    Not to get off-topic but no, it is not guns.
    Baltimore has some of the strictest gun laws in the country as my state of Maryland does also.
    While in almost 40 states it’s legal and relatively easy for a citizen with no criminal record to get a “concealed carry” permit under their “shall issue” statutes, Maryland has “discretionary” concealed carry which means, in practice, that unless you know someone in the state police, are rich and famous or important in some other way, you will not get one. And as I said, (as in the case with most large cities in the US, remember only recently did the US Supreme Court declare that Chicago’s absolute bans on handguns was unconstitutional) Baltimores laws are far more strict than our state laws. So no, guns have little or nothing to do with it. Indeed, some of the least crime ridden areas of the state are the more rural areas where almost everyone has a gun, and they tend to have murders in those counties (subdivisions of the state with their own local government, above cities in terms of political power) in the single digits.

    Sorry, QRG, but there is nothing that people in other countries understand about Americans less than the subject of guns. We have thousands of different laws at both the state and federal levels but things vary so much by state, and usually between rural counties and urban population centers, yet many people think the US is some wild west place where you almost have to carry a gun at your hip. In fact the vast majority of gun deaths in this country involve one drug dealer killing another, and that’s the fault of our stupid war on drugs.

    Ever notice that we tend to declare war on just about everything yet we never manage to solve hardly anything or win any of those wars? The American political culture is stupid and toxic.

  3. AlekNovy says:

    Labelling a whole generation of teenage boys and young men as ‘a new generation of abusers’ is frankly, appalling, and an example of misandry in action.

    You know what makes it extra sad/deceptive? Stats show that most buys don’t even get their first girlfriend until they’re out of high-school.

    So its the typical… Bully disregards PC, gets all the girls… Then media generalizes out of the bully’s actions and shames “males” as a group? I.E. more PC.

    Guess what that does? Yes, it makes non-bullies, non-sociopaths even MORE PC, and even more scared shitless of offending girls (hence not even flirting, asking out etc)… And makes for bullies to monopolize teenage dating even more.

    • interesting way of looking at it Alek I hadnt thought of it quite like that!

      • AlekNovy says:

        Hey Riot, I’m glad you understood what I was saying. Now that I re-read my own comment it seems barely coherent. I don’t think most other people will get my point though, so I’ll rewrite it below in a better writing style.

        Basically…

        Most boys today don’t even get their first girlfriend until they’re out of high-school. A very small percentage of boys does most of the hooking up in high-school, and this is usually the bullies.

        Why the bullies? Do girls like bullies? While some “nice guys” go so far as to believe that women actually want an abusive boyfriend – my answer is NO… Girls, or most girls do not want abusive boyfriends.

        The problem is this – PC culture has scared the shit out of most boys. Most boys today can’t even flirt or talk to a girl out of fear of offending her. So who’s doing most of the talking and flirting and hitting on girls? Yep, you’ve guessed it, bullies. Now, bullies aren’t everything, there are some decent guys who gets lots of success in high-school if they’re handsome or popular… so its a mix of bullies and/or popular and handsome guys

        So what does the media do to handle so many girls being in abusive relationships? That’s right… Blame the entire male gender. How does that make sense? How are the 70% of boys who never had a girlfriend in high-school responsible for what half of the 30% do?

        Its a vicious cycle… The media actually will end up creating even more abusive relationships… Because these stories make non-sociopathic men even more scared of offending girls… And girls aren’t changing… They’re still waiting to be pursued = result = bullies and sociopaths strengthen the monopoly on relationships.

        p.s.

        Random anecdotal story. I actually met an 18 year old boy who wanted to commit suicide due to never having kissed a girl. I’ve mentored and coached him through it…

        Guess what… He actually looks like a male model, face-wise he a catwalk model, and body wise he can be on the cover of any fitness magazine. He’s got a ripped six-pack year round, and yes, he’s a virgin (now at 20).

        Why does this happen? COZ THE GUY HAS BEEN RUINED BY PC! He has so much guilt of the very thought of talking to a girl and “not offending her”. He’s been brutalized into submission by PC.

        I mean, I walk down the street with this guy, and girls stare and start dripping wet seeing him… AND HES AN ACTUAL NICE GUY. Like not “nice guy TM”, but an actual good-hearted good guy, who happens to look like a male model.

        Guess what? All those girls who dream about him don’t have the fortune of dating him because he’s been beaten to submission by the system. He’s been driven insane with guilt for merely being born a guy and being attracted to females.

        His guilt is so deep that he REJECTS advanced out of guilt. Yes, he gets hit on all the time, but ends up shutting down and like “backing away”, because he’s afraid of “hurting the girl”…

        What evidence is there that he could possibly hurt a girl? He was born with a penis… That he’s the most kind-hearted person i’ve ever met doesn’t seem to matter.

        That’s what PC does to you…

        • thats a sad story Alek.

          It is hard for young men it is true. I think women get confused as well. As they may be attracted to the idea of a ‘dominant’ sexual partner but that goes against what they expect from men as people in life. And, the whole idea that men may ‘attack’ or ‘rape’ them, even though it tends to be bullshit, doesn’t make women’s approach to sex/relationships healthy either imo.

          • AlekNovy says:

            I think women get confused as well. As they may be attracted to the idea of a ‘dominant’ sexual partner but that goes against what they expect from men as people in life.

            Can you expand on this. I’d love to hear more on women’s perspective/conflicts with the current system.

        • Henry says:

          Excellent comment.

          I think PC has scared a lot of MEN – not just boys. Some women (being more natural emotional “negotiators” than guys – according to me!) automatically assume a tough position in conversation with men.

          It seems to me a lot of guys are pretty unchallenging in reply – so it’s partly men’s fault as well. They need to get a bit better at dealing with women :)There’s no need to be rude or aggressive to be challenging – just say what you think rather than let people walk over you because they happen to be women.

          • AlekNovy says:

            I think PC has scared a lot of MEN – not just boys

            Oh, of course🙂 I didn’t mean to imply that these boys get out of high-school and immediately overcome the brainwashing. A lot never do.

            Its just that for example some MRA and AntiFeminists go too far and claim 20% of men get 80% of the women… and well that’s an exaggeration, not verified by stats.

            It might be close to true in high-school, but gets better over time. Of course, its still a huge problem, and a HUGE percentage of men never overcome it, and most only PARTIALLY overcome it.

  4. But I end up having discussions like this with men, or the very occasional non-feminist women. The PC Brigade just pretend its not there and carry on whining on about women as victims of nasty men all the time!

  5. Im getting on a bit now Alek but even looking back at my teenage years, I was partly desperate for a man to just ‘take control’ and be assertive with me. I resisted having sex for a long time even though I was dating. And partly it was because I didn’t want to be the one taking the inititative. I look back and make this analysis as now I know I am quite submissive. But at the time I just thought I was scared of sex. I tended to go out with genuinely nice guys, who wouldn’t hurt me. But also, they wouldn’t really, you know, DO ME! The kind of boys/men who would DO ME I thought of as ‘bad’. or even looking for that kind of assertive man might make me a ‘bad girl’. Which I very much wasn’t.

    I don’t know for sure how it is for girls now but I think it may be even worse. There are more information campaigns about rape etc. for example. But I think girls are scared to allow for men to be dominant, and men are scared to be dominant, for fear of being labelled ‘rapey’ or ‘rapists’ or bad boys.

  6. This comment is from Typhon Blue. I am posting it here as I have closed the 101 Wankers thread. But it is very relevant to both discussions!

    “Thus, to call a man a wanker when he was only having a bit of harmless fun calling a woman a slag is totes Misandry fo sho, apparently, and totally the same as establishing a link between criminality and the “negroid” genetic type.”

    Equating criminality and masculinity is the same dynamic.

    “Because white people have a history of being arrested because of the colour of their skin just like black people, and men live in total fear of shouting abuse at women in the street because the police are just waiting to swoop in with their “calling a woman a slut” detectors and cram you into the ever-overflowing prisons.”

    Because men have a history of being discriminated in the judicial system because they are men.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525090554.htm This article

    Women have the privilege of automatically being seen as the victim. I’ll be the first to say it’s a double edged sword, particularly for women like me, but it is also a privilege.

    That means for white women their victim privilege eclipses all else and most certainly eclipses that of mens.

    Due to that fact we see the victimization of white women but only because we’re looking for it; and we don’t see the victimization of men, but only because we aren’t looking for it.

  7. violet says:

    It’s really quite remiss that no boys were spoken to on this. It’s as if the authors think the girls’ accounts speak for themselves – that boys are just becoming more beastly and that’s that. I want to know much more, please!

    In my line of work I meet a lot of young men and do notice the sort of thing the article mentions in the attitudes some have about females – I find it notable because it’s something that’s newly-emerging and different, and not totally commonplace. It quickly becomes apparent that for a lot this is bravado and eagerness to project a certain notion of masculinity (of having no particular need for a relationship with a woman, of seeing them as being only for sex) that fades away fast when they’re not with their mates. Plenty show a different side when they’re on their own, and when actually in relationships. I think tons of boys who are like that or pretend to be like that tend to grow out of it. This doesn’t mean it isn’t unpleasant for the girls concerned, obv.

    I also work with a lot of DV perpetrators of all ages – mostly male-on-female, but female perps becoming more common (though quite a few are admitting stuff like that to me without having been convicted, and men are disclosing things they won’t report). It’s so, so important to understand the complex interaction of factors that lead to this kind of crime, of which crappy attitudes about women/men/gender roles might only be a small part – in some cases these are the crux of the problem, in other cases it’s pretty peripheral.

    Which is why I find articles like this frustrating, as there’s no attempt to understand, to explore the extent of links between such attitudes and domestic abuse and consider interactions with other issues that might be more important. It’s not useful. Men convicted of DV offences are often quite vocal about this sort of thing, feeling written off and oversimplified as human beings. Interestingly, I find women convicted of f-on-m DV seem to be more comfortable justifying their violence with gendered generalisations – that men can take it, that they need to be knocked into shape to make them ‘man up’. Not that men don’t do this, but they tend to be more cagey about it nowadays – how DV is talked about seems to have an effect on how men and women feel they are able to speak about their actions. Both sexes can cite violence form the other as a factor, and that shouldn’t be dismissed in favour of a one-size-fits-all ‘cognitive deficits/bad attitude’ model.

    Sorry, I’ve gone off on a ramble, but this subject generally has that effect on me! The unexplored racial insinuations are interesting, thanks for picking that out. I don’t think it’s totally far-fetched to say that getting used to dehumanising people with language makes it easier to then go on to dehumanise them in other ways, but making links like that is a complex and frequently dodgy business and the case isn’t being made at all here – just stated as fact.

  8. violet says:

    Just a bit of anecdotal wittering, it’s a style I seem to have evolved for better or worse… I do think gender is important in understanding any DV (your point about sex being about power particularly pertinent I think), but it’s more complex than it’s often presented. The programme m-on-f perps are commonly put on as part of some sentences (Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme, IDAP) is very specifically for m-on-f cases and takes gender issues into account, but views on masculinity are a big part of things as well as attitudes to women and femininity. It’s more nuanced than perps tend to expect, and frankly than some of my colleagues working on seem to get. Not sure how much material is available online and am on my mobile at the mo, but let me know if the info would interest you, can dig stuff out.

    We’re very much in the early days of working systematically w/female perps or same-sex relationships though. Doesn’t seem to be a lot of appetite, perhaps because convictions are rarer.

  9. 2020 says:

    You know what Violence sucks it doesn’t matter who’s doing it to who. There’s no place for it in a healthy society and if it is on the increase especially among one of the most vulnerable groups of people teenagers than it needs to be tackled in a way that doesn’t just lump the blame on one particular group. By denying boys the right to speak it gives them a sense that there problems are not important. However it’s not just the so called PC messages that are damaging them, there’s also the fact that if a teenage boy dares to speak out about some of the hardships they face they are accused of not being manly enough and shamed for it because men are just expected to suck it up and take it(ugh THANKS GENGER BINARY ). This is equally wrong in my opinion and only serves to worsen the problem and makes sure that the decent teenage boys voices are never heard.

    • ‘there’s also the fact that if a teenage boy dares to speak out about some of the hardships they face they are accused of not being manly enough and shamed for it because men are just expected to suck it up and take it’

      yeah 2020 that is very true.

  10. AlekNovy says:

    Hey qrg, you might want to check this bit out about how PC is screwing up dating for men and women. It’s by a lesbian who lived a year as a man.

    http://aleknovy.com/2011/04/18/on-being-a-man-vs-being-a-woman-and-the-male-version-of-the-madonnawhore-complex

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