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July 1994


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"D. S. Cunningham" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Jul 1994 12:30:30 PDT
text/plain (58 lines)
could you please just give it a rest. We're aware of your views--they
just don't jibe with MY experience of the world. I don't want to fight
with your "facts and figures." Most all of are aware of how statistics
are compiled and how surveys are taken. I grew up in rural, all white,
southern Ohio and spent my summers in central Tennessee--in forty
years I have seen women and children beaten by men--hit, whipped with
a belt, slapped, stomped, and shot (including me). The only woman *I*
know who hit or hurt a man in my life is me--in reponse to a
kidnapping attempt by my roommate in college's ex-boyfriend. (I am
proud to confess that I broke his knee using a technique taught to me
by me Green Beret older brother). I myself Have suffered three
(unsuccessful) rape attempts (all by men I knew and trusted) and my
youngest sister was sexually abused by a neighbor when she was 8.
I have worked in rape crisis and domestic violence centers. Most of what
I have seen was perpetrated by men on women--Ahhh, but this is
unscientific, almost none of it was reported to any authorities--so I
guess it doesn't count for much.
I will grant that women respond to violence with violence. And guess
what? More women abuse and neglect their children than men because
many men choose to simply abandon their children. Many more children live
with their mothers than their fathers, and hey, guess what--many
live in poverty, in the most humiliating and degrading
circumstances--some take drugs, some are not altogether mentally
healthy, some must leave their children to go to work, etc--and we all
know how supportive our social system is in helping thses women, in
providing them with health services and daycare and and decent housing ...
These are not EXCUSES for domestic violence, they are reasons.
The economy of violence, especially domestic violence, is far more
complex than we want ot admit--it is way crazier than any two-way street--
more like the traffic in Paris, where everyone assumes s/he has the
"right of way."
You decry the media representations of exaggerated danger to women,
of the pc atmosphere you so hate, of the representation of men as bad,
dangerous, evil, preying on and hurting women, and the wholesale
adoption that women are always the victim-- then you turn around
and spout the facile Rush-Limbospeak of femi-Nazism--bashing the evil
feminists for creating the poisonous atmosphere of male/female
relations. I count myself a proud feminist. And "normal"; I don't
think my experience with men in my life is in anyway extraordinary;
neither do I believe all women are put upon or abused--we do, however,
live in more danger than men no matter what your facts and figures.
Just ask the women in your life.
>Again, thanks for the supportive post.  Nice to know there are
normal people out there who think what they want to think based on the facts.
If you don't think that most of us on this listserve are "normal or "think" for
ourselves, I invite you to leave us alone.
Donna Cunningham
University of Southern California
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