Let’s not hit each other, ok?

What’s far more troubling than admitting I watched the Vanderpump Rules reunion special yesterday? That the show so quickly glazed over domestic violence. Though in this case, it was female-on-male.

Now, now, now — I’m well aware that 85 percent of domestic violence is perpetrated against women, and oftentimes those violent acts happen in the midst of a relationship. One-third of homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner — that shit isn’t to be taken lightly, and it isn’t to be overshadowed by what I’m about to say.

But, lately I’ve seen a lot of double-standard acceptance of female-on-male violence. In Vanderpump‘s case, Stassi admitted to physically hitting ex-boyfriend Jax during an argument — to the point where she bloodied his nose. If you’ve seen the muscle-bound Jax and the small Stassi, you probably shrugged off her admission as harmless — along with his agreement that he deserved it, a statement far too many women confess sans Jax’s confident, self-assured demeanor.

But I kind of hate that. Self defense aside, I don’t like the public acceptance of this kind of violence. Or maybe I don’t get the public acceptance that a woman isn’t dangerous and can’t inflict actual emotional and physical harm on a man. Or maybe I hate how these interactions trivialize assault and violence — after all, many victims don’t have Jax’s confidence and strength when faced with abuse.

I’ve blogged many a time about male-focused abuse regarding Amber Portwood from Teen Mom and her violent behavior — and yes, once regarding Tool Academy but it’s important to remember. We should label domestic violence as a seriously offensive act, but we can’t be selectively outraged about who the recipient is.

It’s counter productive, even to those who recognize that women are far more disproportionately the victim.

P.S. I still think men should be able to march in Take Back the Night, too.

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2 Responses to “Let’s not hit each other, ok?”

  1. Max Says:

    Interestingly (and not to go all “men are the true victims in society” here), its generally agreed that the reason 85% of domestic abuse victims appear to be women is because domestic violence against men is perhaps the single most under-reported crime in the entire country. You can google “domestic violence against men under-reported” and find a pile of sources, though here’s one of the better commentaries on it:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/07/feminism-domestic-violence-men

    The bias is most definitely in favor of women on this in terms of social perception, creating significant pressures on men to simply “take it like a man”.

    As for female victims, an angle that is not mentioned much in this conversation is that women are generally held in a sacrosanct position where harming them if you are male is considered especially heinous. Whereas men fighting it out physically is just kind of a “boys being boys” consideration.

    For a recent popular example, Ronda Rousey had to push through extraordinary barriers to be able to simply fight other women in her weight class on national tv (the commissioner of the UFC even asked at one point, essentially “who will watch two women beating the hell out of eachother?”), but the idea of, say, her fighting a man who is in her weight class is unthinkable because how many viewers would be comfortable watching a man and a woman beating the crap out of eachother until there was blood and twisted sinew all over the place?

    In principle there’s no substantive difference: equal footing fighters just like any other fight. But that’s certainly not the way it would be taken.

    We hold women sacrosanct, and it creates some very strange and oftentimes anti-feminist mentalities in our society.

  2. Another Food Critic Says:

    On topic, had expected to see something one way or another from you on this controversy:

    http://lightbox.time.com/2013/02/27/photographer-as-witness-a-portrait-of-domestic-violence/#1

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