Walking on egg shells

I will never forget the day a big burly man confided in me that his x wife was abusive. He was totally serious. Apparently she used to control him by leaving him notes. Apparently she would ‘flip her lid at the drop of a hat.’ Apparently he was ‘walking on egg shells.’ And worst of all, she was trying to limit access to his kids. She was a nasty, devious, manipulative bitch. I felt sorry for him. For surely he wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Then I met her. She was a tiny, slender woman with a look of shock in her eyes. She was nervous, stressed, haunted. She fretted about window locks and police response times.

Abusive men are the most twisted, underhanded, conning, devious, malicious, controlling arseholes I have ever met and they can be found in every quarter of society. They are so adept at lying and so righteous about it that they will convince even themselves of their absolute virtue.

Couldn’t, possibly, be you.

If you are a man who is using female abuse against male partners to demolish the argument that over 90% of domestic violence is perpetrated by men, then you are revealing only that you fear the loss of your domination and are trying to hold on to it by using female foul play to undermine the domestic violence argument. Ironically, this use of counter-evidence is part of the abuser’s toolkit. It blocks discussion on the original ground, subverts the argument and makes it about female abusers and male victims.

I don’t doubt that there are a lot of men (and women) using this strategy who haven’t thought through the consequences, who are adopting a stance that has become fashionable. There are other ways to engage in a discussion. For example, it is possible to think through the reasons, examples, justifications, assumptions, implications and consequences of a claim on its own ground. None of this is possible if counter-evidence is used for the sole purpose of blocking inquiry.

 

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