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Erin Pizzey and the Canadian Elevator of Misandry

Men in Canadian elevators are sometimes also used as chairs.

Men in Canadian elevators are sometimes also used as chairs.

Does anyone here understand string theory and dark matter and all that physics crap? Because I am seriously beginning to wonder if Men’s Rights Activists literally live in an alternate universe that only partially intersects with our own.

In the universe I live in, Canada is a lovely and somewhat uncannily polite country to the north, the home of Rush and Kate Beaton and, I’m pretty sure, a lot of bears. To MRAs it is a land under the bootheel of a radical feminist gynarchy in which men cower in elevators because they are deathly afraid of being accused of sexual harassment.

No, really.

I was skimming through an old interview with good old Erin Pizzey, A Voice for Men’s pet domestic violence expert, probably because she’s the only one who thinks jokes about eating “battered women” — you know, like batter fried chicken — are hilarious.

In the interview, she was telling Dean “Long Tie” Esmay about a speaking tour she’d made in Canada — a place she describes as “one of the worst countries in the world.”  No, really. Here’s what she had to say about her harrowing ordeal:

I did a six week tour, with Senator Anne Cools, all across Canada. And there were some wonderful … uh, men’s groups, just struggling to keep going. And as we traveled and talked to men’s groups, we realized how terribly dangerous it is because it’s almost as though the entire government and the judiciary–the same people–had been infiltrated by very radical feminists out to get men. And I talked to people all the way across Canada. You know my mother was Canadian, and I’m half Canadian, and it hurt actually. See I was a child in Toronto, and my feeling as we went through is real fear. I remember I was working with Anne in the Senate and I walked in to the lift, and this man who was in the lift with me was cowering over in the corner. And I came out and I said to Anne, “What on earth was that about?” And she said, “Men are frightened. They just don’t know when they’re going to be told they’re sexually harassing somebody.”

I’ve highlighted several of the passages which I think may have entered our universe from the Bizarro Men’s Rights multidimensional wormhole of misandry.

But, seriously, what planet does this woman live on? Does she actually think something like this really happened? Was there really a man in an elevator with her who was literally cowering in the corner because he thought she would accuse him of  some sort of sex crime? Was there a man there at all? Was there even an elevator? Is Canada a real country? THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

Posted on June 11, 2014, in a voice for men, antifeminist women, bears, Dean Esmay, domestic violence, erin pizzey, excusing abuse, FemRAs, imaginary backwards land, misandry, misogyny, MRA, oppressed men, radfems oh my, sexual harassment, shit that never happened, straw feminists and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 137 Comments.

  1. woman who got sexually harassed while wearing a snowsuit

    I was momentarily confused, thinking of “snowsuits” in Finnish sense aka white camouflage suits used by soldiers in winter conditions.

    Obviously, if you get sexually harassed, you should’ve worn better camouflage…

    I’ve seen Confederate flags in Melbourne, Australia

    The South will rise…er, sink even deeper down under!

  2. *checks to ensure this is the relevant thread in which to post comment, confirms*

    I just use the Gugel to look at the Finnish snowsuit. Holy moly, those things are hot.

  3. The South will rise…er, sink even deeper down under!

    LOL!

    What the Confederate wannabes should do is keep going south, to the peri-Antarctic islands, as long as they’re not nature reserves.

  4. cassandrakitty

    Clearly I’m missing something, because when I google “Finnish snowsuit” I get this.

  5. When I read the original comment about the snow suit, I imagined a puffer type, or something like this.

  6. The point one Canadian posters made about us having a large personal bubble seems pretty spot on. Man or woman, its not so much that we cower from each other as that we will move to allow maximum dispersion. It used to amuse me to watch how people pick their seats in public buses. Typically, if the first in pick a seat in the front, the second will go in the back, the third around the middle. A shocker would be somebody seating right beside you if there are other choices. I did not realize that was a cultural thing until an African friend pointed to me that in his country, its totally different: people flock together in public transportation so they can strike conversations.
    I guess if MRA are frightened by Canadian feminists, they should stay out from my home province, Quebec. We don’t even take our husband names when we marry. A tradition I upheld even living in another province. It seems so weird to me and its an issue I feel strongly about, in a Miller’s The Crucible way: “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!”

  7. This story: someone hears that another person whom they did not see and do not know is in apparent distress. And there can be only one explanation: men are scared!

    Not only does it seem unlikely that this explanation would ever be offered, but even if it were, that still doesn’t make it true.

    “Someone was crying in public today. We asked Michelle Bachmann and she told us its because vaccines cause autism and they must have just learned their loved ones will be autistic.”

  8. Well, as a lifelong Canadian, I am shocked and appalled that no man has ever offered me his back to sit on in an elevator.

    Also there’s been far less cowering than I would like. Like, no cowering at all. Where is my cowering!

  9. @ Isabelle – I was in a Canadian supermarket once (in London Ontario) and noticed how wide the aisles were and how people with shopping trolleys started swerving to avoid each other from about 10 feet away. Wider personal body-space even than the English. Even more than the Scots!

  10. I’d never considered the large personal bubble before, but it makes perfect sense, especially in connection to our Canadian culture of politeness/apology. Seriously, getting on and off Toronto public transit, you will hear “I’m sorry,” or “excuse me,” at least a dozen times from every passenger. But when my mum, who has lived most of her life in a rural community, visits, she’s in turn disappointed by people’s manners. I think the difference in amount of personal space available, relative to the personal comfort bubble is at issue here. And yes, minimum contact with others is usually the rule. How does one of the world’s most polite and introverted country also manage to own hockey, of all sports?

    Also, yeah, in rural Ontario, I saw plenty of Confederate flags and trucks with pissing Calvins. Once a kid in my school was sent home to change for wearing a confederate flag shirt. He had no idea what it was supposed to mean!

  11. So I’m skimming one of Pizzey’s books:

    I sent Mike Dunne to speak to George. He was certainly angry, and was determined to get at Jo. She had taken his wallet and car keys. I stood behind

    Mike, and together we formed a barrier into the house. It did not help matters to have Jo leaning over my shoulder grinning at him. He lunged forward and threw a punch at me, but it was very half-hearted. Mike rugger-tackled him to the floor and held him while the poor man sobbed his heart out.

    He had been a student here, and was terribly lonely. The eldest son of a highly successful Nigerian family, he would finish his business studies, and then return to Nigeria to care for the family all his life. Meanwhile he was cut off from the warmth and friendliness of Africa, so he was desolate. As a people, the British are far more at home with the easy-going West Indian community than with the more serious Nigerian community. So he had fallen into Jo’s hands, and fortunately ended up in our arms, or he may well have got to her and injured her, and wrecked his life. He told Mike of his struggles to help her, of his need for her warmth and company, of her repeated betrayal of his trust and friendship. We explained to him that Jo behaved like this to all men.

    Now was not the time to point out that over the years we had known her she was much improved. In fact, the original Jo had been a vicious animal when she first arrived, festooned with six children. When George calmed down, we let him go, and he went outside. But he asked to see her. Jo was now crouching in a very small corner of the sitting-room. All the excitement, the rush of the chemicals of high arousal had drained away, and she looked grey and shaky. ‘Don’t send me out there . . . he’ll kill me.’ Once the high has gone, the prospect of death becomes the reality it is. ‘I don’t think so, this time,’ I said dragging her to her feet. ‘Consequences, Jo. You made the mess – you clean it up.’ It was a very shamefaced Jo that went down the steps to speak to George. That episode cured him of his need for Jo, but curiously enough, it also cured Jo of using us as a buffer between herself and the men against whom she warred. She recognised, I think, that we were her safe place, and that we loved her enough to risk ourselves before we would risk her

    *bangs head against wall*

  12. @ToolBox

    That has to be some of the worst handling of an abusive situation I have ever seen coming from a so-called advocate for abuse victims. Wow.

  13. cassandrakitty

    Pizzey seems to have really got off on the idea of herself as the wise mediator saving these poor foolish women from themselves. The more of her stuff you read the more awful she seems. As far as the idea that the victims were getting off on “provoking” their abusers, um, speak for yourself, Erin honey.

  14. Here I thought it was ridiculous to see Confederate flags in Nebraska. Australia? YIKES. I’ll keep that in mind the next time some Southerner says displaying the flag is “celebrating their Southern heritage [author’s note: of slavery, terrorism, Jim Crow, etc.].”

  15. “Festooned with six children”?! What, she was wearing them as lavalieres and brooches? Who talks like that?

    Well, Pizzey, obviously.

  16. cassandrakitty

    Must have been awfully small children if she was able to festoon herself with them.

  17. I find it fascinating that, despite being “half-Canadian”, Pizzey writes about Canada as if she were visiting the surface of a strange, alien planet, taking notes on the local sentient life forms.

    I also find this particular anecdote particularly distasteful in light of the Rebecca Watson/Elevatorgate mess. Watson mentioned, calmly, that a man had acted in poor form by hitting on her in an elevator, and she got lambasted for it. Pizzey perceived a man to be cowering in fear of all women everywhere in an elevator, but poor soul, it isn’t his fault and feminism really is that scary.

    The contradiction. It burns.

  18. @bluecatbabe Once you start noticing the thing about Canadian personal space, you just cant stop, its everywhere. I got no clue where it comes from.

    The American civil war had a complex influence in Canada, people were divided across religious, political, and plain self-interest lines. Canadians ended up joining on both sides and fighting each others. Here in NB, you had people from Saint John rooting for the South, while Fredericton was aligned with the North. Go figure…

    One thing I noticed is that the perpetrator of the recent shooting in Moncton (the one who killed 3 mounties), had talking points coming straight from US right wing libertarian playbook and owned a confederate flag. I lived for the past 15 years in Atlantic Canada, and I can honestly say that I saw a Confederate flag maybe once. I would not think its part of the rural culture, maybe only a very small sub-culture. I saw way more Newfoundland and Acadian flags floating in the boondocks than any other. Sad to say, there is also lingering racism in some part of Atlantic Canada, so maybe there is a link there. :(

    There are all kind of weirdness creeping in the Canadian society in recent times. Its like social progress has been stopped in its track. Like, I was surprised that we have our very own MRAs groups…At the risk of generalizing, I feel this goes hand in hand with the growing influence of Alberta at the national level. They don’t have a culture rooted in history, in the same way than the Eastern provinces do and they appear to borrow everything from the US Bible stomping right wingers. Even their religious brands seem different, as most religious groups in Canada leaned toward socialism, maybe not in terms of woman rights, but definitely they were on the side of the angels for labor rights.

  19. Argenti Aertheri

    Oh man, confederate flags…short story — I was speaking a weekend with my BF and stopped by my parents’ to feed to fishkins, pull up and what is covering the front door? If you said confederate flag, I still have Reese’s, enjoy! I say that I bet my mother hasn’t seen that yet and it will be gone five minutes after she does. Lo and behold, it was nowhere to be seen the next day.

    The neighbor’s directly across the street are black, and my father hates them, mostly for that (I’d say fully, but I get annoyed at middle of the night screaming fits, except, to him, it’s because of their race, not because smoke people are assholes [including him])

    I was going somewhere with that, I think, I need coffee…

    But yeah, that flag, in New England? Might as well get “I am a racist” tattooed on your forehead. I can’t imagine seeing it in another country, much less someone innocently thinking it’s a thing like daisy dukes (the shorts, made popular, afaik, by the same movie)

  20. Argenti Aertheri

    *spending, not speaking
    *some, not smoke

    Thank you autocorrect, I need coffee, I know.

  21. Ohmigawd, look how young Mr. Gross was.

    Right? I watched Due South in high school (long after it was done in Canada), and I barely recognized him when I watched Slings And Arrows a couple of years ago.

    not because smoke people are assholes [including him]

    Sorry, what are “smoke people”?

  22. Whoops, nvm. I can read good.

  23. I recall seeing a Stars and Bars (which isn’t the original flag of the confederacy, it’s based in on the battle flag of the Army of Virginia, and as used [with the rectangular aspect] it’s more like the naval jack of the Confederate Navy: which makes it worse, as it was drawn from a flag used to actually fight for slavery, as stated by a laudatory editorial about the adoption of the second national flag of the Confederacy: As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause, but I digress), in a window in Ottawa.

    All I could think was, “I’ll be avoiding the residents of this house”.

  24. Oh… and about the “confederate flag”. Part of the reason it’s so well known is the CSA Veterans’ Organisation chose it as their flag, and copyrighted it. Interestingly it was used by some units in WW2 as an unofficial flag. This wasn’t well received, and by the end of the war it was pretty much eliminated. An example was in the Pacific. A company of Marines had raised it over a hilltop and the commanding general (a descendent of a Confederate general) ordered it removed, because it wasn’t emblematic of the US.

  25. Wow. This woman has some serious problems with strange perceptions of reality. I don’t know about elevator etiquette in the US, but I imagine it’s largely the same throughout the world as it is here in Canada: people typically wedge themselves into the first available corner, and if that’s not open, they either back up against the wall or stand carefully so as to take up as little space as possible. In this person’s twisted nightmare world (Canada is ‘one of the worst countries in the world’?), I suppose that could be interpreted as cowering.

  26. Interestingly enough, Australian racists seem to be adopting the kinda-similar looking Eureka Flag, previously associated mostly with the left in general and unions in particular, just because it kind of looks similar. Reminds me of a facebook image macro thingo that went around a while back that recalled the glory days when Australian children would salute the flag (which did happen) and say the Australian pledge of allegiance. Guess if you’re just making up a nostalgic history, you can stick whatever you want in it.

    @Argenti

    As an issue of pedantry, Dukes of Hazzard was a television show rather than a film.

  27. As an issue of pedantry, Dukes of Hazzard was a television show rather than a film.

    Originally. But then it got made into a film, a few years ago. Complete with the shorts.

  28. Aah. Didn’t know about that.

  29. WHTM – come for the mocking, stay for the trivia ;-)

  30. I don’t think Paul Gross looks that different these days. :/ You know his family only has one car? The rest of the time they take public transit. It’s an environmental initiative.

    Men with Brooms is my favourite piece of cancon. It’s where I fell in love with Mr. Gross. I’m unable to share it with American friends though because the uniquely Canadian humour just doesn’t register with them. You gotta be familiar with Our Fair Country to get that.

  31. brookingstyler

    he was probably standing in the corner with his eyes completely averted. You used the most exaggerated of possibilities.

  32. I’m feeling good today. Ontario has finally just elected out first female Premiere, and she’s gay, too! Only one of her opponents was a man, and he was the Conservative representative. (Go figure.)

    I feel proud to live in a province where the people will vote for who they think is the best person for the job, with gender and sexuality virtually a non-issue in the campaign. It was wonderful to see our new Premiere bring her partner onstage during her acceptance speech, and to see them cheered like any straight couple in their position would be.

    And I couldn’t be happier that World Pride will descend on my fair city at the end of the month, in a cloud of rainbow glitter, to celebrate the beauty of love and diversity. I’ll be walking in the Trans March, as an ally with my awesome BFF.

    All this beautiful equality has something to do with the Canadian MRM, I think. There are no doubt plenty of tightie-whities tying themselves in manly knots today, knowing that the people actually voted for a (gasp) GAY WOMAN. This obviously means that hunting season on bigots starts tomorrow. I kid, but some of them probably actually believe it. I think they’re running scared. They better be, because the people have spoken.

  33. If we’re talking about amazing CanCon, I’ve been absolutely glued to Orphan Black.

  34. Argenti Aertheri

    Winter Walker — I applaud my northern neighbors :)

    Athywren and titianblue — I was thinking of the recent movie, but I’d forgotten about the show. My blood to coffee ratio has been off lately.

  35. It’s nice to hear about provincial politics from provinces other than Alberta :). Here, I feel tempted to join the Conservatives just so I can have a voice in the leadership race, which is pretty much the only way to influence our government.

    Congratulations to Ontario!

  36. Men with Brooms is brilliant. For a different sort of CanCon “Bon Cop, Bad Cop” is a dark, funny, warped, bilingual film (run it with the English Subtitles) about an OPP/SQ cop working together (somewhat reluctantly) to solve a crime of questionable jurisdiction.

  37. Kitteh: Washington, DC actually, but the complaints about the lifts being slow are valid here, too. The ones in the parking garages at some stations are often faster than the ones in the stations!

  38. I adore Orphan Black! My favorite clone is Allison ever since the singing Meredith Brooks scene.

  39. God, I love Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

  40. Man, Orphan Black. Watched the first season all out of order, and it didn’t matter, it was brilliant.

    Can’t wait till disk 2 hits DVD. Can’t wait. (no spoilers!!!)

  41. Howard, I think season 2 is on Hulu. They’ve been advertising it pretty aggressively.

  42. Bon Cop, Bad Cop was a good one! And I will forever love Forever Knight, my favourite pre-Buffy vampire show.

  43. Viscaria – I’m so sorry to hear that you have to deal with Alberta politics, it must be downright painful! At least that’s the impression I’ve gotten from visiting Alberta and from keeping up with National politics to a decent degree.
    Just remember that most of the rest of the country isn’t always so bad, and stand strong. We’ve got your back. :)

  44. Awesome news from Ontario! :)

  45. @ncc1707d

    Just remember that most of the rest of the country isn’t always so bad, and stand strong. We’ve got your back. :)

    I’m only ashamed that we here, with all of our oil money, so rarely have the rest of the country’s (and the world’s) back. But that’s a bit of a digression.

  46. Unimaginative

    Here’s a thing I recently learned about Alberta (yeah, I’ve only lived here pretty much my whole life): northern-ish Alberta was populated* mostly by immigrants directly to Canada from Europe. southern-ish Alberta was populated mostly by the scions of rich American families. It was apparently a cheap option for expanding the family empires, and an out-of-sight place to stick their useless, scandalous sons. Also, manifest destiny. This explains (to me) a LOT about the differences in Alberta-ness between the north and south.

    *by populated, I of course mean the dominant white population, which is obviously the only population that matters /sarcasm

    (In fact, Amber Valley was mostly populated by escaped slaves smuggled to Canada by the underground railway. So OF COURSE, the close-by townships, settled much later by european immigrants, are noticeably racist and think those black folks should go back to africa.)

    And I’m probably blowing a lot of details, because my brain is swiss cheese.

  47. @Winter Walker *fistbumps* Busband and I were over the moon when the results came in… and a majority at that! After all the crap with the mayor (I am in TO), my faith in humanity has been restored, at least temporarily.

    @Unimaginative, didn’t know that about AB. Interesting.

    Bon Cop Bad Cop is fantastic! Another hilarious CanCon is Tucker & Dale vs Evil – highly recommend if you like comedy horror. It’s on US Netflix, not sure about UK or other Netflixes (Netflixi?)

    Re: the OP – I read the transcript of the interview, and it’s one of the worst interviews ever on both sides. It read like Erin and Dean were in the same room, but having two totally different conversations; neither of them really addressed anything the other said. Like they were having a conversation while playing Sudoko and texting or something. And kudos to Dean for preparing for the interview by at least reading part of her book, well done.

  48. Also, Passchaendale: if we are looking for Paul Gross. The ending is a bit over the top, but other than that it’s pretty solid. Depressing, but good.

  49. I came across this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2074284/Domestic-violence-To-say-emotional-abuse-bad-insults-battered-wife.html

    I’d say she was the lowest form of life, but parasites have certain values. Bleh. I do find it interesting that she thinks throwing a glass of wine at someone is acceptable. Or screaming vicious comments at people. I suppose she could just be trying to rationalize the kind of abuse she throws at people as well.

  50. @Toolbox

    My hatred for Erin Pizzey has just skyrocketed. I have been emotionally abused for as long as I can remember, and she says this shit to an audience that includes victims of emotional abuse. I am so triggered by that article. I hate her so fucking much. She is fucking ruining lives with this nonsense. And she doesn’t even care. She is evil.

  51. Holy shit, read this comment from that article:

    “What rubbish, emotional abuse is far worse than physical abuse. It is only emotional abuse that results in suicides, mainly of husbands. Why do you think there are all these ‘murder-suicides’ of entire families – it is years of emotional abuse that eats away at a man’s soul until he cracks. Its not pretty, and far worse than a bruise. .”

  52. [CN: graphic description of domestic abuse]

    Oh, and she talks about throwing wine glasses at people. Yeah.

    GUESS WHAT, YOU ABUSIVE PIECE OF SHIT? ABUSERS HAVE THROWN OBJECTS LIKE SCORCHING HOT CERAMIC BOWLS AT WALLS CLOSE TO ME FOR THE SAKE OF INTIMIDATION, AND THEN MADE TO CLEAN UP THE FUCKING MESS WITH NOTHING BUT PAPER TOWELS. I NEARLY BURNED MY OWN HANDS TRYING TO CLEAN IT UP. IT’S NOT FUCKING OKAY. IT’S FUCKING TRAUMATIZING AND NO ONE DESERVES TO GO THROUGH IT. GO FUCK YOURSELF ERIN PIZZEY

  53. cassandrakitty

    “I mean sure, that guy killed his kids too, but obviously that’s his wife’s fault.”

  54. I can’t even mock Erin Pizzey anymore. She is too much of a threat for me to want to just call her out through ridicule. Anyone who engages in abuse apologia, of course, contributes to a culture of abuse, but her words and her advocacy work directly harm the lives of abused people. She is actively harmful.

  55. Sigh, asking someone to stay off the phone because you are expecting a call is not abuse, and honestly not that much of an issue thanks to cell phones and call waiting.

    Telling someone they can not have access to a phone so that you can cut them off from any potential help is abusive.

    Who the hell thinks that chucking an object at another person just because you’re mad at them is a healthy response? If you wouldn’t do said action to your boss because it would get you fired is a pretty damn good reason not to do to the person you love.

    There are no winners in the abuse Olympics. All abuse is terrible and just because one might break a bone does not make it better, worse or the same as abuse that breaks your spirit.

    Also, while I’m by no means an expert, doesn’t most emotional abuse eventually amp up to physical abuse?

  56. Argenti Aertheri

    ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS

    “To me, the definition of domestic violence is quite clear: if you are not in fear of your life, you are not suffering it.”

    The fuck is this fucking shit?! I don’t even…

    Ally’ straight. This isn’t just apologia, Pizzey is actively harmful. And terrifying.

  57. Argenti Aertheri

    Ally’s right*

    wtf autocorrect? Ally’s not straight >.< bad autocorrect!

  58. Also, while I’m by no means an expert, doesn’t most emotional abuse eventually amp up to physical abuse?

    In my experience, yes.

  59. @Argenti

    Uh oh. Maybe this is a sign that I’m not acting gay enough. Noooooo

    (jk)

  60. cassandrakitty

    Putting Pizzey in charge of any sort of domestic violence program is like electing a pyromaniac as head of the local fire depatment. She seems to actively enjoy seeing and hearing about people being abused.

  61. She seems to actively enjoy seeing and hearing about people being abused.

    So much so that she also believes that women enjoy being abused by men. Abuse is just a wonderful thing to her, so how can it be bad for anyone else?

    :: vomits ::

  62. I don’t get how you can separate emotional abuse and physical abuse. Are there physically abuse people that aren’t also emotionally abusive, who tell the person they physically abuse that they are wonderful, encourage them to be independent and live for themselves? Are there emotionally abuse people that isolate people, verbally uncut them and emotionally dominate them without threatening physical violence, abandonment or terrible consequences, such as the abuser’s suicide?
    Also, I think it would be hard to make emotional abuse, by itself, a jailable offense. I think Pizzey realizes that, since she adds throwing things, destroying property and denying a partner access to communal property and shared finances. Those things sound pretty physical and/or criminal.

  63. Argenti Aertheri

    “Are there emotionally abuse people that isolate people, verbally uncut them and emotionally dominate them without threatening physical violence, abandonment or terrible consequences, such as the abuser’s suicide?”

    Yeah, my gaslighting ex. My anxiety took care of the TERRIBLE THINGS part.

  64. Abuse can come in many shapes and forms. Some of it is physical, some abusers prefer the the threat of violence to loom over their partners. Some abusers will use shouting, hurling insults to degrade their partner. Others will rely on building over time with subtle criticisms and hidden put-downs.

    As it is, Pizzey usually pops up whenever there’s a new DV law to inform us how misandrist it is. Anything thing that benefits women is “going too far” and antagonising men for being men. Given that she had no problem allowing abusive men into her shelter, and even allowed them to confront their partners, I doubt people’s safety was ever her concern (she also thinks denying men entry to women’s shelters is unfair, that it is treating all men as evil….yeah). One woman, I recall, on Mumsnet I think, described how Pizzey would insult her when she came to her for help. She also spent more time on her abusive boyfriend, telling her to ‘keep her mouth shut’ when the man of the house was speaking.

    Many people stay in abusive relationships, not because they’re ‘addicted’ to being hit, but because the emotional abuse and manipulation has left their (probably already damaged) self-esteem in a shattered mess. They might even have been guilt-tripped, and return feeling as if they over-reacted – I mean, he does say she always takes things the wrong way, after all! – or they worry their partner might commit suicide and return to stop it. They feel their partner is a ‘good man at heart’ and they can bring the best out of him if they just love him more. Or they may fear the retribution and return hoping his beating “won’t be so bad” because they were only gone for a little while. They may feel this relationship is as good as it gets and feel they need to rescue it. Many abusers weave their abuse through moments of love, kindness and affection; many of them will do a seemingly loving thing and later turn it on its head; buying gifts and taking them away, signing her up for a school course and then claiming she selfishly spends no time with him. etc

    Many abusive relationships start with romantic bliss, pure love and affection. This changes over time and the patterns of abuse become more apparent. Many people will fight to return to this initial pleasure, accepting the abusers claims that they are the problem, and they have made him feel unloved, unneeded with their selfish ways.

    DV laws could help save people before the violence begins. It could help abusers before they’ve seriously assaulted anyone. Pizzey, it seems, thinks we should just wait until the person is in serious danger of being murdered.

  65. This is reminiscent of the way misogynists are dismissive about any sexual assault that isn’t rape. At the root of it is the desire for women to suffer, IMO.

  66. A friend of mine had a good saying about this. She’d left her abusive but non-violent (yet) husband when her child was just a babe in arms. She’d ended up in a therapy group with several women who’d suffered severe, repeated physical abuse. At one stage she ventured the opinion that she didn’t really belong there because she hadn’t been physically injured. What they said was No!

    Then one woman said, “Our husbands hurt our bodies. Your husband tried to destroy your soul.”

  67. ::catches breath::

    That is a good saying indeed.

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