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July 1994


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Alison McKee <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Jul 1994 19:33:00 PDT
text/plain (53 lines)
> To Alison McKee,
> It is very dangerous to say "Gee, something is not part of my own social
> reality, therefore it doesn't exist."
That's not the substance of what I said.  Not even close.  Please re-read my
> Let's review some facts:
> 1) Violence against female spouses is a terrible problem, as noted by
> the fact that over 90% of all violence reports to the police come
> from women.
So far, I'm with you.
> 2) A growing body of literature on family violence indicates that women
> are more likely than men to be initiators of the cycle of violence (that
> is, they are the first ones to start hitting).
This is a problematic "fact," even as you state it:  a cycle of violence can
start before the first punch is thrown -- be it by a man or woman.  The
information you cite needs to be contextualized within a
broader social/economic/class/race framework for it to shed any light
on the issue.  However, I agree that some of the literature on the topic
does support the contention that women physically abuse men. The literature
needs to be evaluated work by work, of course, both in terms of its
research and its connections to institutions and funding sources.
> 3) Violence by men toward women causes more damage to women than the
> reverse, but ...
> 4) Women are more likely to use more extreme violence against men;  thus,
> 52% of all spousal murder victims are male.
> Domestic violence is not just a male problem.  It is a problem for
> both males and females.  To suggest that presenting *these* facts is
> dangerous misses the point.
I agree entirely with your last point ("Domestic violence is not just a male
problem.  It is a problem for both males and females.")  I argued that point
myself, I believe;  I did *not* argue that to do so is dangerous.
I *did* object (and continue to object) to the tone *and* substance of
another poster's messages on the topic, for the reasons that I stated.
> Rod Carveth
> University of Bridgeport
Alison McKee
Department of Film and Television
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