Saturday, July 19, 2008

Research is Good, Public Policy Change is Better

I have been doing a bit of summer reading and wanted to share a book with you that I thought was a rather fair-minded view of domestic violence. The book Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse was written by lawyer and social worker, Linda Mills, who holds the controversial view that women can often be as violent as men. In an interview, Mills states:

Over 200 studies of violent relationships have confirmed a pattern: Of relationships that are violent, one quarter of the violent incidents are initiated by women and one-quarter are initiated by men. What may be most surprising, however, is that 50 percent of the cases involve men and women who are inititating violence against each other--there is a back and forth.

The book has a good chapter on the anatomy of intimate abuse with sections such as "Are Women as Violent as Men? and "The Feminist Backlash Against Those Who Speak Up." Mills states that women are more likely to report abuse than men and that men are expected to tolerate hurt feelings, abuse, and even injury, since it supposedly tests their manhood, and they are often taught that they should hide their suffering. Apparently, only 14% of men who have experienced significant incidents of intimate violence even bother to report it vs. women who report such incidents at twice the rate.

Mills points out that homicide statistics report that women are far more frequently killed by intimate partners than men are but another trend suggests that a different pattern is emerging:

The Department of Justice reports that between 1991 and 2000, the number of girls under eighteen convicted of aggravated assault crimes increased 44%, whereas for their male contemporaries, the percentage decreased by 16%. Similarily, crimes involving weapons increased 18% for girls while decreasing 29% for boys. These patterns have also been detected in reports of dating violence.

A study by Murray Straus published in 2008 reveals that approximately 30 percent of college students who are dating in the United States experience a physically violent episode in their relationships. Overall, Straus found that approximately 21% of thse violent incidents were initiated by women, 10 percent by men. As these young women move into adulthood, we may very well detect an increase in intimate violence among married couples.

While it is all well and good to report the research and I am glad that Mill's book sheds some light on the real gender stats, this research needs to translate into policy changes in domestic violence laws such as VAWA and predominant aggressor laws that unfairly target men. For in the coming years, if there is an increase in domestic violence due to women's increased participation, guess which gender will pay a legal price for that domestic violence and guess which will just get away with it more often?

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Blogger Unknown said...

If "A" is physically weaker than "B" but initiates a sequence of physically violent actions involving both, "A" is more likely to get seriously injured first, and hence "B" is more likely to get convicted. Thus in a relationship the physically stronger person might have to show more restraint, physical strength is a weakness in "civilized" society.

1:23 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Danny said...

The anecdotes I hear from the local cops suggests this, aleast in the city of Ann Arbor: that domestic violence occurs frequently in lesbian couples., and that in many DV incidents in hetero couples, the female is the instigator in about half the cases. However, being less stronger than the male, they end up getting hurt, even if they instigated the entire incident.
Seems women from every social strata are found to be instigators in both hetero or lesbian household DV incidents.

1:44 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger campy said...

If "A" is physically weaker than "B" but initiates a sequence of physically violent actions involving both, "A" is more likely to get seriously injured first,

Not if "A" picks up a shotgun and shoots "B" in the back while he sleeps.

2:02 PM, July 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I certainly don't want to give the appearance of being one of those guys who make a cathedral out of a little evidence that, say, women can be violent, but this article of Dr. H's reminds me of an incident that occured years ago while I was working in a large hospital in Boston.

I'm in the Emergency Room to recruit a study patient for an eyedrop protocol and I see a sign on the wall. "If you are the victim of physical abuse by a man, call this number." Below that: "If you are the victim of abuse by a woman, call this number."

The difference was the second one (abused by a woman), was in all caps and in a font size three times as large as the other one.

During lunch, in the cafeteria, I was sitting with a group of doctors and asked why there was such a striking difference between the two public service announcements. A woman doctor who routinely worked the E/R told me the following. Men can be very brutal when they abuse people, and normally it is the women in their lives. But the majority of them do not push the limits of their victims' physical stamina. Most satisfy themselves with a few slaps to the face and then stop. But some women, notably involved in lesbian relationships that go off the tracks, once a confrontation gets physical, will not cease their assault until their victim is unconscious or bleeding profusely.

I was stunned. When I looked around at the other doctors, they were all nodding their heads. "When you spend 40 hours every week in a trauma center or E/R," one doctor said, "you will learn things nobody else will want to tell you. When I see a woman with two black eyes and a broken tooth, I know her husband or boyfriend did it. But when a woman comes into the E/R with brand on her face the shape of a hot-iron, I know another woman is at fault."

It was their viewpoint that some women, once they get angry, will not call off the attack until their victim is gasping for life (kinda like Divorce Court).

Again, not a pretty picture, and one the TV news doesn't want to share.

2:41 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Larry Sheldon said...

You keep this up, NOW is going to demand you return you membership card. And maybe further require you to show up for mandatory lynching or something.

It is nice to read somebody on our side for a change.

2:50 PM, July 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

larry said: "It is nice to read somebody on our side for a change."


3:06 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger . said...

Of course, female domestic violence has been an accepted part of our culture for a long, long time already. The truly amazing thing is that researchers are always "astounded to discover XYZ."

Ever see an angry woman throw a glass vase across the room at a man on the TV? You know, where he ducks and the glass shatters on the wall? Ever wonder what his face would look like if he didn't duck? And did everyone laugh or recoil in horror? I'll bet they laughed. Would they laugh if a man tried to give a woman an open handed slap, but she ducked in time? No, that's not funny at all.

How many times, and for how many years, have we witnessed women delivering slaps across the face, or knees and kicks to the groin?

That is, of course, all domestic violence.

We have always, as a society, accepted female violence and written it off as "cute" or "spirited" behaviour on the part of the woman.

Here is an excellent example of hoards of women bragging, and downright revelling in the violence they have inflicted upon the men in their lives (be sure to read the comments - you'd be hard pressed to find a thread with men talking like this):

If these researchers of that which is as plainly obvious as the end of your nose wanted to really investigate the extent of female violence, they would also start to research how often women manipulate two males to inflict violence and injury upon eachother. The typical ex-boyfriend/husband getting beaten up by the new boyfriend, while the woman stands safely to the side, feeling honored by all this attention, is a pretty common thing in society and usually involves many subtle, long term manipulations by the female.

This type of aggression is known as social, or relational aggression, and it is stereotypically female (although, research on this seems to be mainly directed at adolescent girls being victimized by the bullying of girls, cause, um, who cares if women do it to men, right? We certainly wouldn't pay to have a study done on it!)


Bullying styles are generally considered to fall under two categories, direct and indirect. Direct physical bullying is to, hit, shove, kick, trip, push, and pull. Direct verbal bullying can involve name-calling, insults, threatening to hurt the other. Indirect bullying, I>also known as social or relational aggression (Crick 1997) involves attacking the relationships of people and hurting the self-esteem. It is subtler and involves behaviours such as spreading nasty rumors, withholding friendships, ignoring, gossiping, or excluding a child from a small group of friends.

There is no doubt that stereotypically, males are more physical and direct in their bullying styles and females more manipulative and indirect (Olweus, 1997; Bjorkqvist, 1994; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995; Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist & Peltonen, 1988). Boys in our Western culture are encouraged to be tough and competitive and as they maturate slower and develop social intelligence at a slower rate they will use physical aggression longer than girls (Lagerspetz, Bjorkqvist, & Peltonen, 1988; Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz, & Kauliaien, 1992). However there is no reason to believe that females should be less hostile and less prone to get into conflicts than males (Burbank, 1987, in Bjorkqvist 1994; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). As females are physically weaker, they develop early in life other bullying styles in order to achieve their goals. Indirect aggression in girls increases drastically at about the age of eleven years (Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz and Kaukiainen, 1992) whereas physical aggression among boys decreases during late adolescence, to be replaced mainly by verbal, but also indirect aggression (Bjorkqvist 1994).

There is a growing body of research in gender differences of bullying and other adolescent aggressive behaviours. There are hundreds of studies dedicated to the topic, many placing the emphasis on boys or the forms of aggression, more salient to boys. Forms of aggression more salient to girls has received comparatively little attention (Crick, 1997; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995).


Of course, the above is in reference to adolescents, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to translate it into adulthood, or into male/female relationships.

This is why changing public policy on Domestic Violence will not work. Much of female aggression is hidden and relies upon plausible deniability to boot.

Including men in VAWA and whatnot is NOT what society needs.

What society needs is for VAWA and the entire sickness that is the DV INDUSTRY to be completely abolished.

Assault and battery laws can protect us all just fine.

Everytime the government sticks its nose into something, it makes things worse. This is, of course, the whole purpose of having Limited Government!

Let's get the government and the ideologues out of our homes and our personal lives.

The personal is NOT the political.

We can't just re-engineer human nature, and trying to do so through government policy and the law will only result in totalitarianism.

4:36 PM, July 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rob fedders makes numerous and salient points. One that strikes home is that whenever the government gets involved, things only get worse. I attribute this to the nature of the democratic system: if you want to be elected, you must be popular. Being right has nothing to do with it!

I am amazed and saddened by what I see around me with regard to what is happening to females in our society (both women and girls). I have never subscribed to the notion that "a woman's place is in the home," or that "women should do women's work and remain silent." I was not raised in the 17th century. But to look at girls' role models and to read the covers of women's magazines is to wonder what on Earth women aspire to. Young men read Field & Stream or motorcycle magazines and, yes, they get a huge kick out of Playboy. But "mainstream" women's magazines like Cosmo are full-tilt filled with articles like "The 10 rules of giving GREAT Oral Sex!" and "His G-Spot and how to make him beg for more." Why don't they call it "Screw Like A $2 Whore" Magazine??

Okay...I'm a prude. Kill me for it.

There seems to be no shame, no moral code of conduct and no desire for character improvement in the books and magazines girls/women read and in TV and movies. If your life sucks and you're female, a man is to blame. Men are dogs, pigs and we have every right to despise them...even if we desire them in our lives.

This is, of course, a sweeping generalization, and I realize there are many terrific women around. It just seems to me that the societal forces and influences that guide women's lives have shifted to what is often called "skank culture" and that women who look at men as though we were also human beings are marginalized (the female version of the "Uncle Tom").

It's so depressing.

5:06 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

When ever this topic comes up I feel compelled to post this link.

5:32 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Tea said...

Women are getting quite insane these days. It's truly frightening!

7:15 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Mike said...

I'm curious how the government would respond to a man using something like Aikido on a woman. Aikido is based on turning your opponent's energy against them, not using your own physical attacks. That's why I'm curious, since any harm to a woman from Aikido would be by definition a defensive move.

8:07 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I'm laughing at this "Indirect Bullying" business. That is another word for passive aggressive. There is tremendous pressure on girls to "be nice" or, as our friends in the FLDS term it: Keep Sweet. Girls learn quick that any attempts at direct confrontation will result in a verbal reprimand by an authority figure or parent. Where as, with boys, authority figures are more apt to let them work through their differences with heated verbal discussions. Girls turn into women and the 'Indirect Bullying' methods get refined and perfected. Then they bring the dysfunction into their adult relationships.

In that famous book "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus" there is a whole chapter devoted that men will verbally confront disputes, where a woman will hold her tongue, be sweet as pie until she can take it no longer and explodes. This probably has something to do with the "fight to the death" attitude that is seen in the emergency room. Women are probably so thrilled with themselves that they finally get up enough nerve to attack, they don't know when to quit.

As far as this indirect bullying goes, I have been a victim of it myself. I am 47, reasonable well adjusted, fully capable of verbal discussion and verbal confrontation if I need to be. Yet, even women my age and older, fully educated and with very successful careers routinely pull this indirect bullying move. And let me tell you something, this passive aggressive business really gets under my skin. I will not tolerate it and I make sure there are consequences when it is used against me.

When it comes to calling these ladies on the carpet for their passive aggressive actions they think they are clever by promising me they had no ill intentions, lying, crying, telling me that I'm the big bully, running to their boyfriends and accusing me of hurting their feelings. There is never and admittance of what they did and there is NEVER an apology. Women rarely apologize.

Indirect Bullying also appears in adult men as well. They too are under pressure to keep sweet, especially in the work place. They don't have their passive aggressive skillz as fine tuned as most women though. I've had enough boyfriends use indirect bullying to attempt to get me to explode and into a heated verbal discussion so I will look like the bad person. Just to let you know, that doesn't work with me.

As far as those sex articles in Cosmo are concerned, that has a great deal to do with a false sense of gaining power over another person. Cosmo didn't come up with the idea that women should be oral sex magicians, they publish those articles because that is the information that women are desperate to hear.

If you learn to be wonderkind with oral sex, a woman figures that her man will stick around and be very very nice to her. This is why there is such an effort to give great head, give him 10 orgasms a night, this is to keep him begging for more. The girlfriend is in full control of the relationship.

8:33 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

miket --

Having studied Aikido, let me assure you that they indeed practice offensive moves, not just defensive and some of those defensive moves are designed to create massive damage. It ain't no passive discipline.

9:13 PM, July 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I studied Aikido for a while after jumping off the taekwondo bandwagon. oligoncella is very correct: you don't defend yourself by mastering the art of napkin folding. Aikido might offer tremendous latitude for the practitioner to defeat an opponent with minimal bodily damage...but that doesn't mean the aikidoka can't snap your neck and spine like uncooked spaghetti if they wish to. Go on YouTube and look up "Gozo Shioda" if you want to see a puny little Japanese guy wreak havoc on an opponent.

9:38 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger . said...


There is a difference between passive aggressive and social/relational aggression that you are missing.

The tone and nature of your post is passive aggressive, however, you are the only one aggressing here.

If you had contacted 3 of your girlfriends and said, "Hey, you girls should all log into Dr. Helen's and poke fun of what this guy posted there," that would be indirect/social/relation aggression, because you would have been enlisting the help of others to achieve your goals.

Indirect aggression utilizes third parties to inflict harm, while allowing the true aggressor a large measure of plausible deniability.

The only reason I posted that blurp was to illustrate that such behaviour is stereotypically female, and most often ignored.

Probably the most famous example of such behaviour comes from mothers themselves when they threaten their children by saying, "Wait till your father gets home."

This has several effects. It allows the mother to be aggressive to the child, while still not being the aggressive one herself. She is threatening the child with the physical force of a third party, who is not involved in any way, while still appearing to be the non-physical one herself. The child ends up fearing the wrath of the father, not the mother who is actually the angry one, and thus, the mother sidesteps the negatives and is still seen as "the softer one."

I have had an ex-girlfriend deploy such tactics upon me for a period of over 4 years.

She fabricated a story about physical abuse after I caught her bumping uglies with my college room-mate, and tried to have me expelled from the university we were both attending. (She used the powers of others to aggress against me).

When we both returned to our hometown, she went on a longterm campaign against me with each and every boyfriend she had for the next several years, resulting in most of them seeking me out and either threatening or actually inflicting physical violence against me. Once, I was even on crutches when I got punched in the side of the head. In most instances, the ex-girlfriend was right there, smiling and laughing.

In every case, she was able to hide behind plausible deniability. She never opened her mouth in public when these altercations took place, and always seemed the sweet, innocent little girl. It was the two horrible men punching eachother that were the disgusting brutes. Poor Princess! I feel so sorry for her.

But, make no mistake, in each of those instances, she had manipulated people I had no involvement with, into physically aggressing against me on her behalf.

Indirect aggression/violence.

Women do this all the time. Even in the Bible, Joseph was thrown into prison as a woman aggressed against him through her husband, by lying that she had been raped by Joseph, and therefore causing the husband to become enraged with Joseph.

A woman calling the police to inflict state backed force upon her husband and have him thrown out of the house is another example of women utilizing third parties to aggress against males.

Anyway, the point is that if we took into account how much inter-male violence is the result of manipulations by a female, we would likely start to look at women as far more prone to inflict violence upon others than we currently do.

9:57 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Getting one' boyfriend to beat one's exboyfriend up is a small part of the games women play. Encouraging third party aggression is just one trick in the indirect bullying arsenal.

I really wish psychologists would take a harder look at this behavior, and do a few more studies. I'd like the public to be more aware.

Rob, be glad your not female. Anywhere you see large groups of women, especially in the work place, indirect bullying occurs. Women are less likely to bully a male coworker this way, but, boy, do they like to do this type of behavior to each other. Emails, gossip, phone calls, rumors, innuendo, you name it, it gets done.

And no, my comment is pretty direct, I don't like this behavior and I don't see where I am being passive aggressive (unless you see something I don't). I discussed this subject because you brought it up.

10:35 PM, July 19, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by cham's most recent post (re women, 3rd-party bullying and such). It has been my observation over the past 30 years in the workforce that women seem to get very nasty to each other in the workplace. I will explain.

While living overseas 10 years ago, I watched Lethal Weapon 2 (the one involving the South Africans) with some Brits who had lived in South Africa. They all thought LW2 was a ridiculous depiction of South Africans for a rather oblique reason: "You Americans all think that white So. Africans are the worst nightmare that ever befell the black population. Let me tell you something, for every black So. African that is murdered by a white, there are over 2,000 that are killed by other blacks." See, when a white person commits a crime against a black person in So. Africa, the whole western media covers it. But when thousands of tribal members invade a town and slaughter a warring tribe...not a peep from CNN.

It has seemed to me that for every woman that has been mistreated or "dissed" by a male boss or coworker, far more women are mistreated by other women...and nobody dares say a peep, because there's no winning that battle.

After Michael Crichton's "Disclosure" was released, I asked some longtime female coworkers if they would prefer working for a male or female boss. I fully admitted preferring a male boss, as I'm a guy and we can probably connect on the "guy frequency." With a woman boss, I usually have serious communication problems, and I get accused of having a bad attitude. A male boss has never found my attitude lacking. So I assumed that women would prefer working for another woman.

Nope! Almost 3/4s of the group happily said they would prefer a male boss, as there "is a lot less politics and backstabbing to deal with." And they were serious.

What's up with all the cattiness women have to deal with? I am really in the dark on this one.

11:01 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger . said...

Kevin M,

That is pretty a pretty astute observation, and one which I have struggled with over the years.

It is something that frustates me to no end when dealing with females.

It is quite easy to get females to admit to absolutely horrible behaviour on the part of other females... so long as the females you are talking to are allowed to portray themselves as victimized by the manipulations of other females.

However, the instant that it becomes a male becoming a victim of such 3rd party manipulations, the women seem to all start singing the song "Solidarity Forever," and will deny that a woman could be such a horrible abuser to a male.

The male, of course, is left to twist in the wind.

This is exactly the opposite of male behaviour.

Most males are not violent or vindictive towards females.

This is the entire concept behind a "gentle-man." A man is a strong, powerful creature, and he can reach out with a powerful hand, which could easily inflict great harm, yet, such a hand is used to gently caress one's cheek. Thus, a "gentle-man."

However, pretty much all men seem to recognize that a "gentle-man's gentle hand" could also be used for ill, and thus, men are quick to condemn and punish other males for breaching the conduct of a gentleman.

Women, however, seem to fully realize that they have the upper hand in mental/emotional manipulations, to the same degree that men have the upperhand physically.

Yet, they really only complain about female hostility in regard to how it affects other females. But, they ALL seem to fully understand that females can be extremely nasty to males, especially when referenced to how badly they have been treated by other females.

However, when push comes to shove, they seem to immediately take sides with the female during any dispute.

And so do the males.

Women's manipulative powers are as great as men's physical powers. And men are as underpowered against female manipulations as women are against a male's physical aggression.

Yet, "gentlewoman" is a phrase that rarely enters into the language.

Why is that?

Why do women automatically choose solidarity with even the most manipulative of women, while men will come down like a hammer on other men for even a slight hint of abuse of physical power?

This seems to be a fundamental flaw in human nature, and likely had much effect on the way society was structured in the past.

11:59 PM, July 19, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

What's up with all the cattiness women have to deal with?

In my experience, it's just insecurity. Some women need to tear others down in order to build themselves up.

So, prettier, smarter, thinner women, women with a better job, better relationship with the boss, better husband or boyfriend might get the catty treatment.

But, I did not experience this much, in 20 years of working. (Maybe I just wasn't perceived as a threat to anyone.) I can't say I had a gender preferences on bosses. I've had good ones and bad ones of both sexes.

1:00 AM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

After several decades of telling females that it's OK to burn people alive in bed and such, I'm not surprised at the rise in female violence.

Lesbian domestic violence is about the same as heterosexual domestic violence. The ER stuff is interesting.

I suspect as long as violent women are given early release from prison, not prosecuted, never arrested, NOW comes to the aid of every violent woman, etc that female violence will continue to rise.

Cham's point of 3rd party violence is quite true. I've saw it many times in high school. My son's ex-girlfriend tried to do it to him this past school. Fortunately, he handled the situation well and no violence occurred.

In general women are given a free pass to smack around males. Pay attention to TV and see how often a women hitting a man is used for comedic effect. Violence against men is funny!

1:26 AM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking about what rob fedders stated concerning the perception white South Africans have of a typical American's view of them. Although there has to be much more to South Africa than apartheid and diamond mines, that's about all I know. That's about all the media has felt is important for me to know. Or it could be said, wants me to know.

Our opinions of them, and their perceptions of our opinions, are filtered through, and perhaps jaundiced by, the media - here and there. I doubt I am much different from another typical American. I have no desire to travel outside of U.S. / Canadian borders, though.

One thing I have slowly come to realize is how little Americans (or at least me, anyway) know of other cultures and nations in general. As long as it is fashionable to hate America, fueled by the American left's hate of self and those who do not think as they do, I don't imagine I'll spend much time in contemplation over it.

On another path, as traveled in this thread, I agree that some things women do to each other is pretty vicious. My daughters have experienced some of this growing up in school scenarios. Only once have I been placed in a situation where an ex-girlfriend sent a new boyfriend after me, and that was such a long time ago. Eighth or ninth grade. A fight was avoided, and the girl was again left without a boy friend, once things came clean and out in the open. Otherwise getting beat up by a hired gun is kind of humorous. It is amazing what the calipygian form can due to a young man's mind.

6:33 AM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the misspelled word in the last sentence. It was a Freudian slip, I think. Calipygian and Laurie Dhue are synonymous in my mind I'm afraid.

6:48 AM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rob fedders: If I take your point correctly, the gist seems to be that men have a "code" to live up to and women don't. I don't mean to oversimplify the issue.

marbel: I've had more bosses than I care to remember, but two stand out as being #1 and #2 in professionalism and general leadership skills. One was a man and the other a woman. Here's the odd thing: Both were 2nd-generation Polish-Americans. Nicest two people I have ever worked for!

br549: (First, isn't br549 from that old TV show Hee-Haw??). I have long scoffed at how people get weird and inaccurate notions of foreign countries because of media portrayal. I worked with several people from Colombia and found them gregarious, fun-loving and very hospitable. But our notion of Colombia seems to be that it's just a place where they grow great coffee and bomb judges who try to put away drug cartel members.

A bit off-topic, but this is very telling:

Before heading overseas to teach English as a foreign language, I had a 30-day job in Boston at a language school. We had about 155 foreign students, 92 of whom were from Japan. In the last week of class, all teachers were told to give the same lesson. Teach the word "surprise" and use it in several contexts. Then we asked our students "Is this your first time in the U.S." "How long have you been here?" "Before you came here, you talked to friends and relatives, read books and magazines, watched TV and movies depicting the U.S. Now you are here. WHAT SURPRISED YOU?"

Every single one of the 92 Japanese students had the EXACT SAME ANSWER, almost right down the the very words they used:

"We haven't seen anybody shot yet!"

In Japan, one of the most common aquisitions a person makes before travelling to the States is a bulletproof raincoat! The Japanese are bombarded with messages about life in the US being a shoot-'em-up gallery like it's the Old West. One of my students insisted that I must have a pistol in my briefcase and wouldn't retract his position until I emptied it for him. They were stunned when I told them I have never owned a gun.

The media...don't even get me started.

9:28 AM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

kevin m. - your surprise story reminds me of my brother-in-law's college roommate from Iran. He thought that when he first arrived women at the airport would be wanting to have sex with him, that all Americans were ridiculously wealthy and such. The one thing that turned out to be true: butter was cheap and easily available.

11:12 AM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dadvocate: I have met a small number of Iranians here in the States, and all of them said the same thing. One said that Iranians believe the "streets are paved with gold, and most people don't have to work."

While I was in Saudi Arabia, one of my colleagues was a man who had taught English in Iran for 14 years. When I asked him how he liked Iran, he said "I worked there for 14 years. Do you think I hated it?" He went on to say that when you compare the average Persian to the Average Arab, it's like "comparing the average Harvard grad with the average Appalachian hillbilly." Most Persians, according to him, are far more sophisticated and cosmopolitan than most Arabs. I am inclined to agree.

11:17 AM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Kevin M. - my brother-in-law's roommate said the same thing about streets paved with gold but I didn't include it because it seemed too unbelievable but that must have been a popular belief in Iran.

Regarding the reference to hillbillies, plenty of hillbillies go to Harvard or, in the case of drHelen's spouse, Yale. A hillbilly from Mason Co., KY will be playing football for Harvard next year on scholarship. A history professor I had at the University of Tennessee who grew up in a place called Dixie Lee Junction, TN ended up being a professor at Harvard. If you see your ex-colleague again, tell him to find a better comparison.

2:40 PM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dadvocate: A semantic snag has reared its ugly head.

When I was living in Vermont, it came up in conversation that there is a difference between being a "redneck" and "white trash." It's one of those subtleties of language overlooked by most.

I'm not entirely certain how you would define "hillbilly," but, for lack of a better reason, I have satisfied myself with how it was employed in the film Deliverance (i.e., someone raised in a remote, rural area with little or no contact with larger societal structures and influences, and thus all the predictable baggage that follows in tow).

Were I to define "hillbilly" as somebody who grew up in a decidedly rural area (and nothing more), then I have the honor of having worked, at Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary), with a hillbilly who became Chief of the Immunology Service and one of the top three immunological ophthalmic surgeons and research scientists on planet Earth.

But that, I am sure you will agree, is a sentence that will raise more than a few eyebrows (no pun intended).

I meant no offense, and I am certain that my former colleague meant none either. I, too, grew up in a very rural area. While taking the new-hire orientation tour of a major publishing company for my first job, a new coworker, upon learning that I was from Vermont, asked me "if it was true that incest is very popular up there?"

They were born and raised in Manhattan, and they actually asked a new coworker such a preposterous question.

"Mom and I were never much into trends," was all I could muster for a reply.

3:02 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

kevin m --

Does that comparison hold true to other traits, like Appalachian hillbillies being far more honest than Harvard graduates?

3:06 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger . said...

Kevin M,

I'm not sure if simply writing it off to a code of honour is accurate, although, certainly chivalry comes into play - much of it unearned and entirely unneccessary in the modern day.

I tend to view it as something much closer to how the human race operates at a more animalistic level. We are still of the animal kingdom, after all. Our "great brains" are not nearly as objective as we like to think, and often our intellect boils down to merely tempering the animalistic tendencies that are within us. For example: We don't choose to be jealous, or to fall in love, or to become angry or whatnot... those things just "happen to us," and from there, our brains temper how we respond to what nature throws our way.

On the baser level of humanity, males and females operate on the same level that virtually all other life on the planet exists on, and that is, the male is the servant of the female.

A female's success is entirely dependent on how well she learns to manipulate males to do her bidding. (Or, it was).

It seems to me that men almost have some sort of mental blinders on in regard to such female manipulations that makes her job easier for her. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Schopenhauer wrote about women's three phases of relationships with males throughout her lifetime.

The first is with her father in childhood, the second with her husband in adulthood, and the third with her son in old age.

In each phase, the woman manipulates the male to do her bidding, to ensure her survival.

Little girls all become "Daddy's little Princess," and one can observe coy behaviour develop in girls quite early. Little girls have their fathers wrapped completely around their fingertips. Daddies are just ga-ga for their little daughters and spoil them rotten - much moreso than their sons.

During adulthood, females really only had two choices (up until the modern world's technology made the workplace friendly to females). They could convince a male to sacrifice of himself and his labours to ensure her and the children's survival (it would be pretty hard for an 8 month pregnant woman with a couple of toddlers to care for, to plow the fields with oxen and plant/harvest the corn), or they could congregate together in a "herd-like" existence with large amounts of other females, and rely upon eachother for survival - like a herd, or a communist society, to divide the necessary labour amongst those females who are not pregnant, to ensure the survival of those who are. (It takes a village, you know). But, it seems humanity/civilization chose the path of male/female pairings, rather than the communist model.

In old age, before the advent of social security, it would be her son that replaces the now-deceased father/provider, and ensures her survival. We see this today in countries like China where sex-selective abortions are commonplace, and favour males (at the hands of the mother). This is because in China, with only a one child policy, mixed in with a life of a peasant, girls grow up and get married and then move off to become part of the male's family, leaving the old mother on her own... whereas a male child will stay and take over running the family rice paddy, and thus, the old mother has her "social security" taken care of through her son.

In each phase of life, however, the female relies on manipulating a male to take care of and provide for her.

This is not quite so neccessary in the modern age, obviously, but if we dialed the clock back 100 years, we would quickly revert back to this system. In a high technology, highly socialist world, women have little need for males - but, you can't just stamp out 12,000 years of human nature because Betty Friedan wrote some silly book 45 years ago.

Also, notice that throughout each of these phases, the female's survival also will rely on how much attention she can garner. A female who cannot attract attention will not be able to manipulate the males to do her bidding.

Btw, my own father passed away a few years ago, and I can tell you first hand, that my relationship with my mother changed instantly! I now often find her playing all kinds of games with me to get attention and so on. Lol! It's alright though, she is my mother so she is allowed - But I can definitely see that I have replaced my father in many respects - perhaps this is also why mothers and their son's wives seem to clash so heavily, as they are both competing for the attention of the son/husband.

At any rate, it seems to me that women's natural default is to manipulate males to do her bidding. And... men's natural default is succumb to these manipulations willingly, in fact, almost gleefully.

And men most certainly do!

I know one woman who divorced and used her lottery winnings, erm, divorce settlement, to purchase 160acres and an old house in a new town. Men who had never been sexual with her (and who had little chance of being so in the future), did absolutely everything for this woman. One guy drove a trailer filled with her furniture etc. over 1,200kms one way for her, a new neighbour used his expensive tractor to hay her fields for her... and that winter, another man spent his weekends putting up drywall in her house for her. All of these men did these things completely free of charge. The woman even giggled to me that she can get men to do anything that she wants. (This is what I mean - women KNOW!)

Even as a mass culture, men run around like toy poodles trying to do women's bidding.

When women told us men we had to "get in touch with our feelings," all of the men suddenly became Alan Alda and sprouted tears to show women how sensitive we were. When women found that men who cry were nice as friends, but a sexual turn-off, they told men that they had to share women's interests instead, and a whole generation of metrosexuals started shaving everything from their legs to their nether regions, competing for tanning bed and hairdresser appointments, and well, trying to be better women than women were. When women told men they had to take care of children like mothers do, men suddenly tried to become mothers. Now women are wondering where the "real" men are. (Lol! They left the building way back when they were told they had to cry.)

Whatever women want, men give it to them. And men absolutely love doing it! Jewelry, vacations, big homes etc. etc. Men thrive on giving women what they desire.

So, it should also come as no surprise to anyone, that when a woman desires to be malicious, and bring violence against another human being, she could much more easily (and effectively) do so through another male, than with her own fists.

Women certainly are not scared of males either, and full well know the power they have over males. Otherwise, how could a 120lb woman possibly justify flying into a fit of rage against a 240lb male, and even remotely think she could get away with it? (Few 150lb males would dare try that with a 180lb male) Yet, this happens all over the place in society. Women are quite aware that men are very reluctant to lay a finger on them, despite what the DV Industry tells them on a daily basis.

This is pretty basic stuff.

But, the most fascinating phenomenon which I see is how quickly women divorce themselves from the obvious when it is in their best interests.

For example: The woman above, who bought the property, once whinged at me about the wage gap, and when I asked her to consider how much free labour and goods she was able to garner from males, and how a man would have to pay that out of his own pocket, she completely denied that she had such powers, even though she had outright admitted it (while boasting) only a few months before.

The same goes when one tries to discuss with women the "sexual signals" they give off to men they wish to be involved with. A woman will completely deny that she has any clue what men are talking about... the hair twirls, the touches, the sly comments etc., all designed to bring about the males aggressiveness so he will make the first move on her (so she maintains a cover of plausible deniability). And you can argue with ANY woman until you are blue in the face about this, and she will deny such things exist. HOWEVER, once you are dating said woman, see how quickly she can turn downright nasty on another woman who uses such tactics on "her man," and invades her territory. She can spot such behaviour from a mile away, and yet denies such behaviour exists the next day.

The same goes with women's aggressiveness. It is quite amazing to hear how quickly most women will regale you with all kinds of tales about the nastiness of other women, and how completely horrible it is to be around women who are always so catty and stabbing them in the back. Nearly universally women will admit to prefering to work with men instead of females, and have a list of stories as long as their arm. So long as you keep talking about how bad women are to HER, she will tell you gobs of things... so, file that to memory, and watch, 6 months later. When it boils down to a confrontation between a man and a woman, in which the woman is using highly manipulative and malicious tactics... not only will the same woman who regaled you with all kinds of tales of female nastiness now deny she even knows what you are talking about, but she will actively support the woman who is inflicting abuse upon the male, as if it is a woman's right to treat men like crap.

We can't "change" these things. We can only learn to live with them.

Lizzy Borden gave her mother 40 whacks, and when she seen what she had done, she gave her father 41. - BUT, Lizzy Borden did not receive punishment for her famous crime. Society refused to give it to her, they felt sorry for her.

We could rewrite every anti-male law in the books to state that women are to be held equally accountable for their actions, and women still won't be held equally accountable.

They never have been, and they never will be. It is human nature.

Even Aristotle wrote about this in "The Spartan Women" where he discussed how men were brought to be equal under the law and readily succumbed to "the rules." When they tried to bring women under the law, however, Aristotle says that women actively resisted being held to the law in the same manner as males, and the result was mass confusion.

The only thing we can possibly do is remove the laws that give women far to much manipulative powers over males (ie. state force and so on), and be satisfied with that.

All else is an equation that can never be solved until we live in 100% totalitarianism both in public and in our homes.

We must truly believe we have become gods when we deem ourselves so superior that we can change base human nature.

Stories like the Tower of Bable and Iccarus flying too close to the sun suddenly come to mind.

3:08 PM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella & rob fedders:

I'm not entirely sure what kind of pile of poo I have apparently stepped in, but the whole "hillbilly" thing seems to have taken a life of its own.

A former coworker made a casual comparison between Persians and Arabs to highlight the relative differences between their respective mentalities as they apply to knowledge of the world around them and their common viewpoints of non-Persians and non-Arabs. It was a comment made in private, 10 years ago, between two guys who knew each other enough not to make a federal case out of it. Neither he nor I had any kind of predisposed bias for or against Harvard grads or "hillbillies."

Were I to make the analogy that, say, a debate on foreign policy between Christopher Hitchens and Nancy Pelosi would look like "a full-contact bout between Chuck Norris and a little old lady," I would not be suggesting any personal feelings about either Norris or the elderly, male or female.

[Running madly back to base camp, crawling into my sleeping bag and zipping the door flap shut as I clutch my bottle of Glenfiddich, I remain, Cordially Yours]

3:50 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

One of the best things my husband taught me about arguing is to avoid using words like "never," "always," "all," as in "you never take out the trash." Because most likely there is an example that disproves the point and nullifies the argument. Our disagreements are much more productive now.

And you can argue with ANY woman until you are blue in the face about this, and she will deny such things exist.

Careful there. You are weakening your argument. Just saying. :-)

3:51 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger . said...

Lol! Indeed, it just isn't actually a rule unless there is an exception, eh?

However, I think most people are beginning to find the politically correct disclaimers to be growing weaker and they get so commonly used that they actually detract from the argument.

4:00 PM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella: "Does that comparison hold true to other traits, like Appalachian hillbillies being far more honest than Harvard graduates?"

On reflection, I feel obligated to answer that question.

Appalachian hillbillies may, indeed, be more honest than Harvard Grads, PROVIDED we're talking about those in Harvard Business School. Harvard Med students are quite deserving of their positive reputation.

rob fedders: It seems your most recent post had nothing to do with the whole "hillbilly" debacle, and you were referring to my previous comment re the "code" men (at least gentlemen) feel obliged to live up to. Didn't mean to drag you into the rural WW3.

Your post is very thoughtful and cogently argued. Food for thought. I must digest it.

[Back to my Glenfiddich]

4:05 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Kevin M - gee,didn't mean to start an uproar. Being born and having lived the first 38 years of my life in Tennessee, I've found that to almost anyone outside of Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia we were hillbillies.

One of my father's brothers used to tease up about being hillbillies despite that my father was the first college educated person in his family and the first person from his hometown in Ohio to get a Phd, etc, etc.

It just gets tiresome after a while. Plus, there are large pockets of poverty, ignorance, and all that other bad stuff in the metropolitan areas where the people who like to laugh at hillbillies live.

5:21 PM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@dadvocate: "Kevin M - gee,didn't mean to start an uproar."

You didn't. This is the natural process of things on the Internet.

"...there are large pockets of poverty, ignorance, and all that other bad stuff in the metropolitan areas where the people who like to laugh at hillbillies live."

Yes, there most certainly are. As I mentioned in a previous post re my experiences with people from Manhattan.

Rest easy. No civil person could accuse you of anything at all.

For the record, I am from the Northeast, and I have long accepted the fact that Southerners are far more concerned with the niceties of human intercourse than are us Yankees; hence, civics and common courtesy are actual school courses in the south while in the north we just consider all of you hayseeds a bunch of Klansmen.

You should be proud of yourselves.

Let's let this matter die.

6:00 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

kevin m --

"...PROVIDED we're talking about those in Harvard Business School..."

Thankfully, I read that before getting coffee.

8:13 PM, July 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spent 12 years in upper east TN. That would be where one may wish to consider TN hillbillies to be from.

I am happy to be thought of as a hillbilly, although I was born and raised on the east coast in the middle atlantic area of virginia. I am considered southern no matter what. I'd be lying through my tooth if I said I was ashamed of being southern, or a hillbilly.

This entire thread is pretty cool. I'm having a blast reading it.

Oh, by the way, yeah. br549 was the phone number for Jr. Samples' car lot. I acquired that as an "internet handle" in 1988 when moving to upper east TN, and I began poking around on the internet looking to see what was out there besides lab rats sharing info. I no longer live right outside Johnson City. But I sure wish I did.

10:11 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

br549 - I wish I lived outside Johnson City too. Beautiful area. Kayaked the Nolochucky River near there once.

10:18 PM, July 20, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

As one born and bred in Tennessee I would like to join in on the pertinent matter of hillbillies. To me the word refers to the geographically isolated and hence, backwards residents of Appalachia. They are fewer hillbillies than there once were becasue there is much less isolation due to the interstate system.

A redneck is someone who talks country. A dog is a dawg. Rednecks are not as geographically confined as are hillbillies. I have heard of rednecks in Michigan. They are merely rural people who speak authentically. Hillbillies are clueless and backward rural inhabitants.


11:27 AM, July 21, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...


Thanks for the clarification. I was starting to think hillbillies were uberhonest Harvard trained doctors. ;)

12:57 PM, July 21, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Cham, only a few of them are.



2:22 PM, July 21, 2008  
Blogger Larry J said...

I am happy to be thought of as a hillbilly, although I was born and raised on the east coast in the middle atlantic area of virginia. I am considered southern no matter what. I'd be lying through my tooth if I said I was ashamed of being southern, or a hillbilly.

I was born in Alabama (unofficial state motto: "Thank God for Mississippi!"). Not a redneck or hillbilly but southern just the same.

I've noticed over the years that when I mention to someone from the northeast that I was born in Alabama, I can actually hear the music from "Deliverance" playing in their head. It's about the only thing there.

My wife is a nurse. She has told me many times that she prefers working with men, but being in a female dominated profession, that seldom happens. There are times that she wishes she was a man. Since I'm not gay, I tell her that I'm glad she's not a man.

5:17 PM, July 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know Trey, another way of looking at that is the thought that hillbillies don't like, and don't want any part of, outsiders. They are certainly (and rightly so) suspicious of them. More people bring more government. And we all know what more government brings. Back in the 30's, more than one TVA rep got shot by hillbillies thinking the TVA guys were government "revenoors" looking for stills. Many of them (way back in there) are direct descendants of Scots and Irish clans.

I travel a lot for work, and have spent much time in many of the "civilized" areas of our country, including all of the one million plus population cities. I hate asphalt, concrete, and high rise buildings. I've been in many areas of the "fly over states" where people are pretty great as well.

Unless one has been to southern Appalachia, listened to the wind swish through the pines and rustle through the hardwoods, seen the views, the rivers, lakes, streams, perhaps they would not understand the peace and quiet. I was bowled over by how much nicer people are. I will admit it took a while to get used to the slower pace of life. I learned how to stop and smell the roses there.

I can't imagine preferring row houses on 218th street in the Bronx, high rise condo living, the I-95 parking lot in eastern Connecticut, or the superior attitude most people have over people from the south.

Perhaps a more peaceful existence is an acquired taste. I know putting up with city life is.

However, hillbilly? I resemble that remark.

6:22 PM, July 21, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was watching that new "green channel" last night on the tube. Remember Steve Thomas from this old house? He hosts this particular show where people buy older homes and "green" them up. A white yuppie type couple bought a brownstone in Harlem to re-do. It was a crack house when they purchased it. The former residents were also printing fake S.S. cards in the basement. You gotta love that. Forget the fence, keep 'em comin'!

6:09 AM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:57 AM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Where are all those meth labs that people keep talking about and where does all that highly potent cannabis come from?

8:01 AM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Yeah, where is that highly potent cannabis????


9:30 AM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

cham --

"The primary misconception about them is that they are located in shacks and run down motels. Not true."

The top ten marijuana producing states are California, Tennesee, Kentucky, Hawaii, Washington, North Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia and Oregon."

9:58 AM, July 22, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...


From your site it turns out that meth labs, in Adams County anyway, are located in houses, vehicles, hotels and sheds, but not shacks or motels. That's nice to know.

10:24 AM, July 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I't want to get into that. But a lot of pot is grown back in the hills of upper east TN. One needs to watch where he hikes sometimes. Should you stumble on an acre or two in a national forest, turn tail and run before the "owner" sees you.

I've never grown any myself, of course. Honest!

3:15 PM, July 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting, larry j , how people from the northeast start thinking "deliverance" when they meet a southerner.

Every time I have ever heard Arianna Huffington's voice, the "Green Acres"
theme song starts playing in my head.

8:30 PM, July 27, 2008  
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5:07 AM, June 08, 2009  
Blogger Serket said...

One of my friends is currently going through a divorce because his wife was emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive and apparently a little insane. He told me that in the US women are more likely to be the abuser and that in situations where the man is abusive, the woman usually retaliates.

Kevin M wrote: I worked with several people from Colombia and found them gregarious, fun-loving and very hospitable. But our notion of Colombia seems to be that it's just a place where they grow great coffee and bomb judges who try to put away drug cartel members.

My uncle's friend was dating a woman from Colombia and she lied about being pregnant to get married and become an American and now they are divorced. One of my best friends met a Colombian through the internet. He is fluent in Spanish. They are now married and have one son. Hopefully it works out!

"We haven't seen anybody shot yet!"

I have also heard that foreigners think we have a lot of crime and violence.

2:04 PM, September 26, 2009  

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