Next up: black people saying slavery ain't so bad.

So, I saw a video posted by Cristina Rad in which a woman defends men who beat women.  Her justification?  The woman might be nagging him.  I recall thinking to myself that this was a lone nutjob preaching to nobody and proceeded to ignore her.

Turns out she has a following.  I mean, it’s probably a following of men who want to feel justified in hitting a woman, but it’s still a following.  Just…wtf?  I read this article linked by Ed Brayton and about had my head asplode.  Watching this woman try to use reason is like watching a toddler trying to dunk a basketball.

Here is the quote from her.  She’s defending a piece titled, no shit, A Domestic Violence Manifesto which is based on the thesis that, “Women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.”  (trigger warning for domestic abuse below the fold)

I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.

A man I know who has experience with men in abusive relationships would get his clients to answer a questionare. Things like, “after the violence, did you have sex?” “If so, how would you rate the sex?” 100% of men in reciprocally abusive relationships said “yes” to the first, and “scorching” to the second.

He also posited that the much-quoted cycle of violence–the build-up, the explosion, the honeymoon period–correlates with foreplay, orgasm and post-coital bliss.

Erin Pizzey called it “consensual violence”, and said in the main, that was the type she’d see at her shelter. It is also the type that results in the most severe injuries in women, surprise surprise, likely because our “never EVER hit a woman” mentality has those men waiting until they completely lose control of their emotions before giving their women what they’re demanding.

The DV in Sleeping with the Enemy is the most rare form out there, half as common as “matriarchal terrorism”, and injuries are typically less severe. It’s seriously foolish to treat all cases like the most rare type, and refuse to address women’s instigation and participation in violence.

I don’t really find too much in the article that strikes me as seriously ethically questionable. DV isn’t pretty. Neither is the article.

So, if you’re annoyed at a woman, that justifies hitting her?  In fact, you should hit her early in your annoyance, lest you beat the living shit out of her later when you’re really mad?  Of course, the fault will be hers for annoying you, not yours for having the physicality of a grown man but an infant’s mastery of your emotions.

Pro tip: if you’re dating someone who annoys you, the solution is TO STOP FUCKING DATING THEM!!!  The solution is not to hit them. This is going to blow your fucked up little mind, but it’s actually possible to have good sex without beating your partner.  Even if I were to grant the premise that beating a woman against her will resulted in awesome sex (I don’t, that premise is stupid), that’s like saying you should stab yourself because it releases endorphins.  No, it’s not: it’s like saying you’re doing someone else a favor by stabbing them because it releases endorphins.  The response is simple: try bowling, it releases endorphins without the pain you didn’t get permission to inflict.  Also, you’re a terrible human being.

I wonder if the same strained reasoning works on children.  After all, kids annoy their parents and our “never EVER hit a child” mentality has those parents waiting until they completely lose control over their emotions before giving their kids the ass-kicking they’re demanding.

So why not give them a good thrashing when they don’t wash the dishes to keep them from getting pregnant later (that’s when you’re so mad that the crowbar comes out, and nobody wants their child to make them do that)?  That’s why the children of abusive parents always turn out so well-adjusted and happy, right?

Wait, every psychologist on the fucking planet says that’s not the case?  Well I’ll be damned.  What about men hitting women?  Ditto?  But…I knew a couple one time where the guy regularly lost control and beat the woman and they looked happy in public, even though I’m fully aware that the woman in the relationship frequently displayed signs of unhappiness (screaming, crying) because I could hear her in the apartment above me.  I’m going to believe they really were happy, that it was on account of him smacking her, and that psychologists don’t know shit.  Men’s rights, woooooooo!

If you need a psychologist to tell you that being beaten doesn’t lead to psychological health, you have an immunity to the obvious that makes me wonder how you manage to turn on the computer so you can type stupid shit on reddit.  The idea that you’re a good person because you hit someone smaller than you when you’re aggravated is repugnant and could not be a greater inversion of reality.  As much as it annoys me though, I won’t hit anyone over it, because I’m an adult with a conscience.

Who the fuck argues that it’s their right to harm another human being because they’re upset?  Shitty people, that’s who.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Mriana

    Stupid woman. Any woman who believes Domestic Violence is ever justifiable is a stupid woman. Unfortunately, she may lead too short of a life in which to learn that domestic violence is never justifiable. She will either be dead, because her husband killed her, or if she is lucky to survive the assault by killing her husband, she’ll be in prison. Either way, women who condone domestic violence are stupid.

  • Alukonis, metal ninja

    “Consensual violence” is what the BDSM community is for. They have these things called “safe words” and “negotiating” and “setting up limits and boundaries before starting to play.”

    Because, you know, it’s actually consensual.

    Defending domestic violence is so gross and calling that shit consensual is so fucking wrong I can’t even.

    • Kaoru Negisa

      That is exactly what I was coming here to comment on. I used to be really involved in my local BDSM community and still enjoy kink play, and it pisses me off seeing this moron paraphrasing another moron to completely turn the idea of “consent” on its head. I’m in no way sure how this is consensual, unless the argument is that annoying your partner is consent to physical abuse.

      This sort of thing is not only asinine, but ends up doing real damage to people. This particular woman is trying to be the Chill Girl of Domestic Violence, allying with the most despicable representations of power because she’s sure that so long as she talks the talk, she’ll never have anything to fear. And she unintentionally maligns the BDSM community, which advocates for safe impact play (among other types of play) by focusing on consent as a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

      • Nathaniel Frein

        There was a subgroup in my local area who were dead set against safewords.

        I stayed the fuck away from them.

  • Jeremy

    I wonder if she has ever say gone out to lunch with that couple? If she has, I wondered if she noticed that the wife cowered like a fucking sheep when her husband spoke. I wonder if she just so happened to notice that the poor woman’s husband spoke for her, talked down to her, criticized her, all while she sat there and took it. Did she react when he made a swift movement? Does she carefully and painfully choose her words to avoid his wrath?

    If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it isn’t a fucking healthy relationship!

    Sweet Jesus H Christ on burned toast how can someone possibly articulate actual human words and be so profoundly stupid?

    It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which these fucking pandering morons go. I do have to say, if she were my wife, I would have a hard time not beating the shit out of her to see if she feels the benefit it adds to our marriage. Moron.

  • br0kenmech

    The other day I told a feminist that the argument that patriarchy was bad for men too, was analogous to saying that slavery was bad for white people.

    They responded by with “yes, slavery was disempowering to white people.”

    • karley jojohnston

      It was, although obviously nowhere near as badly as for black people. For example, if you have slaves, you don’t have to hire fickle white people. So there’s less jobs for them.

      Also, the whole Civil War thing. I know it’s not popular to say, but it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for slavery. Plenty of white people were “disempowered” (re: killed or otherwise) in that .

      • DaveL

        Quite true. Also, by dividing those who were marginalized by the plantation system along racial lines, it effectively prevented them from joining forces to challenge the existing social order. In her book The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander outlines several examples in American history where up-and-coming working-class coalitions were dismantled by the ruling class by sowing racial division.

      • br0kenmech

        You know what… you’re right. Slavery was even bad for the rich white men. Sometimes you had to feed your slaves even when there was no work for them to do. There was always the trouble of making sure they didn’t escape… Whipping a slave under the august sun is no picnic either. slavery was really hard on white people.

        • Sassafras

          Slavery was bad for white people because it encouraged and supported them in doing evil things. It encouraged them to give up their humanity and deny the humanity of others. It made them into murderers and monsters and made them think it was good to do so. As karley said and you ignored, slavery encouraged white people to go to war and resulted in the deaths of both the people supporting slavery and those fighting against it.

          Obviously that’s nowhere near as bad as what it did to black people, but no one said that it was, not even the feminist you mentioned in your first comment. “Patriarchy is bad for men too” does NOT mean “Patriarchy is exactly as bad for men as it is for women”.

          • Jennifer, Uppity Bitch and General Malcontent

            Correct! None other than Frederick Douglass made powerful arguments for the dehumanizing effects of slavery upon white people. He did not prioritize those effects above the damage done to slaves themselves, but he did acknowledge them. Being in the role of oppressor dehumanizes the oppressor. (However, I may be forgiven if I have rather less sympathy for the slaveholder than I do for men at large in our society.)

        • Isabel

          “You know what… you’re right. Slavery was even bad for the rich white men…slavery was really hard on white people”

          Right. because “rich white men” = “white people”.

          “Being in the role of oppressor dehumanizes the oppressor.”

          The poor, starving out-of-work whites were oppressing someone?

  • br0kenmech

    I don’t agree with gww on everything, but if there is one thing she definitely isn’t, it’s stupid.

    Amy Roth even gets a mention in this excellent video.

    • JT Eberhard

      I know zero about her aside from this. But her opinions expressed here? They’re stupid. They’re not just wrong, they’re stupid.

      • Orion3T

        Can you be more precise? You think she’s factually wrong on the evolutionary stuff? Or just wrong about her conclusion that feminism (at least her view of what feminism is) is not the right way to approach gender issues?

        I’ve watched a few of her videos, her ideas on the evolutionary and cultural background of gender issues can be quite interesting. And I have to agree with br0kenmech that she’s not stupid. She might be wrong, misguided, or both, but I really don’t think she can be easily dismissed as stupid.

        That said…

        I really cannot see where she was coming from on those comments about domestic violence though. She does try to explain it on her blog, but it is kind of an aside and pretty much just says she is being misrepresented, what she actually meant was that for that particular writer, who most of the MRM disapprove of most of the article wasn’t too objectionable. But that some of it she did find objectionable, including the bit which she was representing as condoning. Or to be more precise she says exactly the following:

        “I’m going to allow that these people are unfamiliar with the MRM’s general sentiment toward Ferdinand Bardamu, which is that pretty much everything he writes is expected to be so awful that we no longer even remark on the awfulness, but concentrate our discussion on the things he occasionally says that are NOT awful. But let’s deconstruct this a little.

        “I really don’t find too much in the article that is seriously ethically questionable.” From this, we can infer that some of it IS seriously ethically questionable, but other parts are insightful or morally neutral or contributory to a discussion of the real dynamics of domestic violence.”

        Yet my assessment that there was not “too much” in the article that was seriously ethically questionable was interpreted and portrayed as complete agreement with the most seriously ethically questionable portion of the article (and you know that the worst bit is going to be the bit posted, right?).

        So by essentially saying that I find a portion of the article seriously ethically questionable, while most of it is just observations of human nature, I am portrayed by the folks at FTB as condoning and agreeing with the most seriously ethically questionable part of the article.

        So here we have a group of people who claim I am accusing someone even after I have specifically and unambiguously stated, publicly in two places and privately to her face, that I am not accusing her, who then go on to impute beliefs and values on me based on the fact that I found some, but not all, of a Ferdinand Bardamu article ethically questionable.”


    • satanaugustine

      Even if her “neotony makes us innately sexist (treating women as objects and men as agents), which means we’ll never be rid of sexism” hypothesis were to turn out to be true (unlikely, since it goes too far, giving neotony far too much and too broad of explanatory power) she’s engaging the naturalistic fallacy here: because it is so in nature, it is also correct. She may as well argue that since we’re innate racists we’ll never be rid of racism and that since racism is natural, it’s good.

      Even more troubling, it’s very easy to interpret her “we’ll never be rid of sexism” comment as “we shouldn’t bother to do anything about sexism because we’ll always have it.”

  • RenDP

    I probably shouldn’t say this and will get people mad at me, but since when did that ever keep me quiet?

    Normally I would say that violence towards women is never justified, however, I did see my dad hit my mom twice. He stayed and put up with her because of me, and every few years she would get in one of these moods where she would ride his ass and tell him what a loser he was for not making enough money, losing his hair, or whatever, put her finger in his face, scream at him, shove him, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until he would beg her to stop because he was about to snap, which only encouraged her. She got off on it. He would try to go for a walk to get away from her before he lost it, and she would grab him and keep on and on, until he would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then he would snap. He said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. He felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but she wouldn’t let him. I can’t fault him for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been her.

    Go ahead and tell me I’m evil. I can take it. I think violence against women is deplorable, and I wouldn’t put up with it myself, and would tell anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out. But I can also understand why someone would snap if they were incessantly poked and prodded and then reacted accordingly.

    With kids, it’s different. I might get mad at my child but I don’t hit her. I have the option of leaving the room to calm down and I do it. If my husband and I get into a spat, we walk away and regroup later. My mom never gave dad that option. If she had, he would have been able to de-escalate the situation.

    • Jeremy


      I’m sure that does happen some of the time. But it’s the response that is the most important. There are women and men alike out there who like to provoke, like to belittle, get some sick satisfaction from making their spouses feel insignificant. But the response you give to that is a testament to your character, not theirs. Yeah, they are awful people, and yes, on some degree perhaps they are asking for a fight. But you have to be better than that.

      My wife pisses me off sometime. Really pisses me off. But I make an active choice. I could lose my cool, i’m bigger and stronger, I could hurt her if I chose to, but i’m better than that. Even of her worst day, and my worst day, I still couldn’t bring myself to do that because I am not built that way. I will walk away. We will revisit that situation after we are both calm, but I won’t do something stupid because I am better than that behavior.

    • Timid Atheist

      Your mother was the one being abusive. Men are victims of domestic violence too, not as often, but it still happens. I do not know often women act like this in the US or around the world, but reported domestic violence case statistics say that men are more likely to be a the abuser.

      I don’t think it was right of your father to hit her, because I don’t think that hurting anyone is okay. But I think he was justified to fight back.

      That kind of situation is not what GWW is advocating though. And even if that’s -all- she was advocating I’d still encourage her to change her stance and encourage the men to get help instead of hurting the women they are with.

      These kinds of situations are why DM shelters for men and women are important. Along with that, education and counseling are important resources for people who are abused by their spouses. It’s too bad your father couldn’t reach out for things like this in order to get help, but that’s often how domestic violence works, it scares the victim into keeping quiet.

      I’m sorry to hear you lived with such a situation and I’m sorry your father did too. I hope he got the help he needed and was able to move on.

    • DaveL

      I want you to consider for a second that the remedy prescribed for your situation by the article in question would have been for your father to beat your mother regularly. Do you really think that would have been an acceptable solution?

    • lrah

      Your mother was the abuser in this situation. Hitting her was probably not the *best* solution, but I certainly am not going to fault your father for it in this case.

      There’s one thing I’d like to add to the “violence against women is never justified”-sentiment. I don’t think that it really works. Using violence – or, rather, force – against women is exactly as accaptable as using force towards any person: Justified in some situations (like self-defence), but utterly unacceptable as an everyday problem-solving device – and certainly not the answer to things like “They pissed me off”.

    • F

      Just consider all the other responses to your post. Yeah, I don’t think the best thing would have been hitting, but there is sometimes a point where one might lose control when one is not an agressor, but this still doesn’t make it right. But he certainly was abused, and that does have an effect on people.

      One of the issues here, though, would be the myth that “staying together” is better for a child than getting away when shit is this bad. But that is an idea enforced by culture and religion.

      Thing is, I know this sort of deal, only the man was abusive as well, though he really didn’t want to hit his wife. At times, she did force* him to do something, but walking out of the house or whatever would have been best.

      *She literally begged him to hit her, got into his face, backed him into a corner, physically attacked him (once pulling a refrigerator on him. Again, he wasn’t/isn’t the nicest guy, and I can’t imagine that either would have thought the idea of therapy acceptable, but shit calmed down a lot when they both stopped drinking in their mid sixties. I don’t think he actually hit her except in extreme circumstances, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t abusive, either. She certainly has the moral upper hand now when he acts like an ass, but still provokes him sometimes, although the off the wall batshit has stopped. And this is to say nothing of what their children went through growing up.

      Whatever, nothing excuses men using power and violence over women. You can always find situations that are different than what some people are talking about, but when you do, you have to realize that those situations are not what is under discussion in the first place, and there is no reason to defend some guy who decked a woman because she stabbed him with a kitchen knife in his sleep.

      I don’t think you are evil, even though I cannot know all the historical facts to make some judgement. I think you were emotionally dragged into the topic to bring in personal experience. It just doesn’t really relate to the idiotic defense of abuse JT addressed.

  • F

    Fuck wow. Yeah, this reminds me of way too much shit.

    Not only is this woman dead wrong, but she thinks all the violence is brought on by women starting the violence or “nagging” their way into being beaten? Shit.

  • br0kenmech

    I knew a guy “cough cough” who was married to a woman who would follow him from room to room, refusing to allow him to disengage from the conflict. She would physically stand in the doorway to prevent him from leaving the conflict. These situations would occasionally result in her punching him in the face.

    • DaveL

      You knew a guy who was in an abusive relationship. What’s your point?

      • br0kenmech

        In a nutshell, my point is that it is not black and white. What should a person do if they find themselves being threatened with physical harm, while having their escape routes blocked off. The last thing you want to do is to engage in any physical contact with the abuser, but at some point it could become necessary. If that point arises, it is not clear that a physically violent altercation can be prevented.

        • DaveL

          None of that does anything to rescue the premise of the article in question, which merely suggests you trade one form of abusive relationship for another.

          • br0kenmech


            I’m not attempting to rescue the premiss of the article. I’m merely pointing out that sometimes a reasonable person can be provoked to the point where violence is justified as a response. Verbal abuse, threats, and blocking of exits can create a dangerous situation for even the most reasonable person.

            The question of whether or not the best long term solution is to dissolve the relationship is also much more complex than many would have it appear.

          • DaveL

            If you’re not going to address the premise of the article, then you’re just derailing the thread. Have fun.

        • eric

          What should he do? One possibliity is to take the punch or defend himself with minimal force. Wait until she’s asleep, then walk out and never come back.

          What you are really asking is how he is supposed to stay in the relationship but make it better. He may not be able to do that. There is not necessarily any magic bullet solution that is going to give him a nice relationship with this woman. Very likely, his choices are going to come down to: pay the big social cost of continuing to have a shitty relationship, or pay the big social cost of leaving.

        • John Horstman

          What should a person do if they find themselves being threatened with physical harm, while having their escape routes blocked off.

          Call the police. If one cannot get to a phone and one is more physically powerful than one’s attacker, one can conceivably use passive resistance to get past the attacker, or engage in defensive responses to the attacks to subdue the attacker enough to get away (for example, catching punches and holding the attackers hands while one sidles past, physically lifting the attacker out of the way, etc.). If necessary, one may have to resort to active force, but, as has been pointed out, self defense is really not what the article is addressing. It is acceptable to hit women in all the same cases where it’s acceptable to hit men – almost never – but that is very much not the stance the article in question adopts.

    • Kaoru Negisa

      Yea. That guy could have been me. I spent six years in an abusive relationship very much like what you’re describing. She never hit me, but she made me feel terrible about myself, made me afraid to speak to her, kept me constantly on edge for her moods, made me feel guilty for wanting anything for myself, and not only wouldn’t let me disengage from arguments, she wouldn’t argue either, just prevent me from escaping while she made her anger with me know via brief, pointed comments and behaviors that played on my desire to make people happy.

      I wanted to hit her many times. I never did. I was lucky and had family and friends that didn’t give up on me when she tried to cut me off from them, and they helped me get out. I’m glad I survived, but even having been there, I still can’t abide the idea that if only I had beaten her regularly, none of that would have happened. It would just have made me a monster.

      That seems to have affected me more than I thought it would. Please, don’t suggest that abuse excuses abuse. There are better ways to fight back.

      • Kaoru Negisa

        I’m sorry, I misread part of that. However, I still feel you’re comparing apples to oranges here. What you’re describing is self-defense, a reaction to violence that is far above nagging, which is what was advocated in the above video.

        • http://none luis

          how thick can you be? is there not a point where nagging can become verbal and psychological abuse? is abuse only ever percieved as physically hitting someone?
          there are people led into suicide by verbal abuse. Cyber bullying is the MOST OBVIOUS proof that verbal abuse can be more dangerous than physical abuse. Why? because a MENTALLY-UNSTABLE PERSON will HURT ITSELF and OTHERS.

          Psychological abuse IS or should be of BIG CONCERN to our society!

    • F

      Uh, yeah, so you turn the situation around. So what? That isn’t a guy perpetrating domestic violence on a woman. (I would think that if he is capable of stopping the woman by punching her in the face, he must certainly have had other options as well, so this example fails where the generic premise might hold.)

      Sure, I knew I guy who was completely nonviolent, and moved from Texas to Pennsylvania to get away from a woman who hit him with things like cast iron frying pans. Which is what you do – get away. Sure, it may come down to one party defending themselves from the other, but that is not then perpetrating domestic violence. So I don’t know why it is brought up. (It looks nothing like the illustration against which JT or anyone else argued, either.)

      ***< excised and put at end because Trigger Warning>

      But to be clear, no, guys don’t get to use this as an excuse for remaining in a relationship where they punch their partner in the face on a regular basis “to defend themselves”. That’s bullshit. And as to “what about teh menz”, no one said that some men don’t suffer abuse from another woman or man. So what you posts end up looking like is mansplaining.

      Trigger Warning ↓

      I’ve also seen to men in an argument on how to appropriately abuse a woman, which turned into a fight. Point of contention: If you are going to hit a woman, at least be a man and use your fists, not a golf club. Yeah, vomit.

    • Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven

      I was about to agree with you that this particular woman was despicable but that while self-defense by men in an abusive relationship is perhaps a reasonable argument for qualifying blanket statements about domestic violence it has no relevance to the specific discussion here.

      Then I read down and I realize you’re dishonestly derailing and deploying a “provocation” excuse rather than actual self-defense. Now I feel a little dirty.

  • Jack

    The “pressure relief” theory of catharsis has been debunked for a long time now. It’s amazing how prevalent it still is.

    Over-indulging negative emotions increases their frequency and intensity.

    Going-off is a risky tactic even without violence. With violence its usually disastrous.

  • karley jojohnston

    I appreciate all the stories in the comments about how women force men into hitting them. It’s not derailing at all.

  • jamessweet

    I’m perfectly willing to grant than in at least some cases of domestic violence, negative behaviors on the part of the victim may be a contributing factor. Even aside from the fact that such a thing is more or less irrelevant (are we really going to argue that being an annoying jerkwad is in the same moral ballpark as physical violence?? REALLY??), how anybody could put that forward as a healthy model for a relationship is quite beyond me.

    I have a relative who is, well, pretty disastrous in relationships. She’s so difficult to deal with that even a lot of her family have turned their back on her, sadly. In the relationships she’s had with men, some have been abusive towards her, while some have simply left her rather than put up with her shit. Now, are we really going to argue that the men who hit her were the ones in the right here? SERIOUSLY?? Yikes.

    • br0kenmech


      are we really going to argue that being an annoying jerkwad is in the same moral ballpark as physical violence?

      I agree, but there is a lot of grey between being annoying and being physically violent. As in the examples given above, by myself and RenDP, there can be situations such as someone blocking your ability to exit the conflict. Another example would be that one party to the conflict begins throwing things… perhaps the objects being thrown are not connecting, but it is dangerous for the target to remain in that environment. It is not so simple to know what to do in that situation.

      • Improbable Joe

        No the fuck there isn’t grey area, there’s a thick, solid black line between not hitting someone and hitting someone.

        • br0kenmech

          So if I threaten your life, demonstrate my willingness to throw potentially lethal objects, while blocking the exit… you would never resort to violence.


          • Kaoru Negisa

            You’re no longer talking about the subject. This woman isn’t advocating self-defense in the case where a woman is physically threatening a man’s life. She’s saying if women are annoying that men should beat them immediately so that they don’t get so annoyed that the beating becomes lethal. Completely different situation and entirely off topic.

          • F

            See exactly what Kaoru Negisa said. You have now changed the entire premise.

      • Makoto

        Blocking someone’s exit is unlawful restraint, which can be successfully argued in a self defense case if you must use violence to escape, though you should be sure that your violence is measured in response to the threat.

        And if someone is throwing things at you, again, it becomes self defense, even if they’re not hitting you, not domestic violence in many cases, so long as there is no escalating history (ie, both parties keep attacking each other more and more until there is a police response is domestic violence for both parties, instead of using violence to escape the situation, which is domestic violence for one, self defense for another).

        So yes, while I can agree that violence may be the correct response, it is still not domestic violence as is normally described, but instead self or other defense (in the case of using violence to rescue your kids). That is very different from a couple where one or both beats on the other, then they go out for dinner.

      • eric

        If there are situations, plural, it means you chose to stay in the relationship in between them, knowing the same thing might happen in the future. You can do that, but you don’t have to. You could choose to protect yourself from harm as best you can during the event, and when it is safe to leave, leave. Take your valuables, take the kid, go to the police or a friend’s house or someplace safe, and address how you divide up the stuff etc. through third parties and chaperoned discussions.

        • Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven

          It really helps to know you CAN do that. I stayed in a deeply abusive relationship for years because I realized that 1) my then-wife was so completely fucked up that if she wound up with custody she’d probably be prostituting our daughter within a year and 2) I had been left with the deep-seated belief (that STILL haunts me in trying to negotiate with her), partly due to her description of her childhood experiences with her parents’ divorce and, in retrospect, actively cultivated by her, that it was basically impossible for a father to obtain custody in a divorce case unless there was a severe imbalance in ability to afford legal counsel.

          It’s off-topic for this post, but raising awareness on this point might be worthwhile.

        • br0kenmech

          You make it sound soooo easy. Reality is just a little bit messier though. What makes you think she would not claim it was you who violently abused her? You take her kids and you think she isn’t going to claim to be the victim?

          That sounds like a nice planet you’re living on.

          • Makoto

            Okay, at this point I can’t tell if you’re a troll, a poe, or just clueless. If you’re a poe, you’re insulting to people who actually are beaten into submission in domestic violence situations, of which there are many, some of which are actually killed, and I hope you stop because it isn’t the right kind of thing to pretend to be a troll about. If you’re a troll, please, find something better to do.

            If you’re just clueless, please explain how your proposed situation has anything to do with the article, or the linked articles and videos. As I said earlier today, I can easily see situations where violence may be the best situational answer, but in no way was I trying to excuse domestic violence with my response.

          • br0kenmech

            I can easily see situations where violence may be the best situational answer, but in no way was I trying to excuse domestic violence with my response.

            That seems contradictory. The thing is that adults can and do choose what relationships they stay in. Sometimes those relationships will involve domestic violence. If anything it is easier for a female to leave an abusive partner than it is for a male. The system is inherently less sympathetic to male victims of domestic violence, and where children are involved the odds of him leaving with sole custody of the children are slim to none.

          • Makoto

            It only seems contradictory if you see violence and domestic violence as the same thing.

            I described a few situations in my earlier response where a person may need to use violence to extract themselves or those they were protecting (children) from an event. I fully support such instances.

            Domestic violence, however, is a different beast. In law, it is generally regarded as violence against a domestic partner. It has nothing to do with self or other defense. You proposed situations of violence (holding someone against their will, throwing objects against someone), and to those I says yes – perhaps violence is the only answer. But against words or other non-violent approaches? No. Just leave. Get your kids and leave. Call the police and have them escort the person off your property along with a restraining order. There are many, many solutions.

            And your earlier arguments didn’t say anything about kids or custody, so I couldn’t pre-respond to them. I’ll leave that for another time, unless you want to shift focus away from the domestic violence aspect for now.

          • Makoto

            And I’m guessing you’ll find a way to disagree, so I’m curious, what do you say to ? (Please, follow the links, they have more info!)

          • br0kenmech

            MYTH 5: Abusive fathers don’t get custody.
            MYTH 6: Fit mothers don’t lose custody.

            Interesting that there is no mention of abusive mothers maintaining custody being a myth. No mention of fit fathers losing custody being a myth.

            I wonder why?

          • Makoto

            Well, I’d say it’s because it’s a top 10 list, so they’re debunking the top 10 myths they’ve encountered, not every myth (which is also why they don’t deal with elves stealing babies from their cribs, I suppose).

            Interesting that you say so little about the rest, and don’t follow the links from that site. I wonder why?

          • DaveL

            This is not an article about the dirty tricks that go on in divorce and child custody battles. This is about an article and a video that present violence against women as part of a normal, healthy relationship, as an antidote to emotional and physical abuse by women against men, even as a remedy to the serious physical injury caused by violence against women.

  • DaveL

    Brokenmech, this is not about the use of force in defense of oneself. Please stop pretending that it is. This is about a video made in defense of an article claiming:

    “Women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.”

    It proceeds to cite instances of mutually violent abusive relationships, as if to legitimize the claim. It is, in essence, claiming that these mutually abusive relationships are somehow healthy. That a relationship where the woman is verbally or physically abusive is dysfunctional only because the man doesn’t abuse her back. This is madness. A mutually abusive relationship is still dysfunctional, epically so. This is not some bourgeois prejudice about what relationships ought to be. It’s the inescapable conclusion of generations of psychological research, not to mention the undeniable results pouring in from police reports and medical records.

  • John Horstman

    Pro tip: if you’re dating someone who annoys you, the solution is TO STOP FUCKING DATING THEM!!!

    But JT, how will teh poor menz get his dick wet then?

  • John Horstman

    Also, this is a brilliant line:

    If you need a psychologist to tell you that being beaten doesn’t lead to psychological health, you have an immunity to the obvious that makes me wonder how you manage to turn on the computer so you can type stupid shit on reddit.

  • iknklast

    Maybe if you don’t beat your wife, she’ll act like a bonobo. Then…sex. More sex. Still more sex.

  • br0kenmech

    Who Perpetrates Teen Dating Violence?

  • DaveL

    What does this have to do with the OP?

  • smrnda

    Late to thread, but as I read it, the article isn’t looking at ways where violence *might* be acceptable because it’s the only way out, or when provocation is severe enough where violence is warranted or excusable. Those questions imply from the get-go that violence is a bad thing. It’s actually saying that violence in a relationship is healthy and fine because of some anecdotal reports of good sex and a single observation about a couple in a relationship where there is domestic violence who it seems, on one occasion, appeared normal enough in public.

    The alleged ‘study’ by a guy who ‘has experience with men in abusive relationships’ (what is this guy? It doesn’t say psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, parole officer, crystal ball gazer, professional drinking buddy?) sounds a bit lacking in precision and rigor.

    Also, if violence is so necessary then how are non-violent, functioning and healthy relationships to be explained?

    I also get sick of the idea that saying “never hit women” leads men to be more violent towards women. It’s like arguing that telling white people to not use racial slurs makes them more racist, which I do hear a lot but I think is bullshit as well.

  • vicarofartonearth

    Wonderful blog article I want all the young women and men in my life to read.

    I am reminded of Miss and Mister Nursing home who were sent around the country 30 years ago to show how life in an institution was better than having a home and family for people with disabilities. Most charities, schools, and programs were all geared to locking people with disabilities up for the crime of being too disabled. One of the big things taken from the early woman’s movement was to convince ourselves we had the right and ability to live in the community.

    In social services one of the hardest situations was getting a women, especially with kids on programs only to have many, not all go back to a worse situation. I love him even if he hits me, I did it for the kids, my religion says God wants me to go through with this marriage until I die. I never really understood it. I do think that part of the solution is to go back to group discussion of the women’s movement for all genders to find our place.

  • Ani J. Sharmin

    Thanks very much for writing, JT.

    Concerning some of the points raised in other comments, of course, there are people of all genders who are abused. The quoted piece, though, is specifically making excuses for domestic violence against women.

    Whenever there’s an article or blog about violence against women, there will be comments about situations in which the woman started the fight and he was defending himself. Which, of course, can be the case, too, as people of all genders can be targets of abuse. But when people bring up this argument all the time, whenever abuse against women is mentioned, it gives the impression that they don’t care about or don’t believe the situations in which a woman was the one being abused.

    Plus, as DaveL and smrnda wrote above, the quoted piece isn’t even about cases where there might be self defense. It’s basically advocating in favor of domestic violence against women. And that is disgusting.