There’s a growing contingent of men with an aversion to taking responsibility. You could see this as quite ironic, given that many of these men pride themselves on defending ‘traditionalist’ gender roles that would emphasize them taking responsibility. I just see it as sad.
Domestic violence has reached epidemic proportions. In my country, one in six women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner. One in four have been emotionally abused. You are over three times more likely to experience violence from a male than a female. These statistics are mirrored throughout the world, and overall, they’re getting worse.
The statistics are damning. The victim’s accounts are damning.
Why, then, must we continue to put up with insecure, deflecting males? Far too often, divorce court statistics, false rape accusations and the inane argument of “but men are victims too” are used to excuse and marginalize the fact that men are by far more likely to abuse their partners. Let’s make something clear: all domestic violence is bad. I don’t deny that there are cases of men’s unjust suffering, but we must face the facts and ask ourselves a deceptively simple question: why? Why are men more likely to abuse their partners?
Men are taught to suppress their emotions, such as sadness, surprise, fear. These are so-called signs of weakness. There is, however, one emotion we’re allowed to indulge in: anger. Recent research suggests that angry men are rewarded, whilst angry women are punished. As much as it may pain some to admit, yes, we are living in a patriarchal society.
This is the crux: we as men must take responsibility for the out of control domestic violence statistics and actively seek to fix it. Our current way of thinking creates insecure men who turn to violence as their only way of expressing the power we’re told we must all have as men. It’s not working, and we must do better.
Men are not the enemy (and I would certainly hope not, given I am one), and yes, not all men are abusive – in fact, the majority aren’t. But we must make sure that all men stand against domestic violence.
All men must condemn it, and all men must educate themselves – for our partners, daughters, mothers, and lovers.