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Fragile masculinity: Men’s Rights Activists outraged by research suggesting male Trump voters are worried about their dicks

He’s a White House truck drivin’ man: Donald Trump is TOTALLY secure in his masculinity

It’s PLEDGE DRIVE time again! WHTM is ad free and entirely dependent on folks like you for its continued existence. If you can afford it, please DONATE HERE NOW! Thanks!

By David Futrelle

The Washington Post caused a bit of a stir on the internet today with an article by two academic researchers offering some rather intriguing evidence suggesting that many men turn to Trump because his blustery assertions of manhood help to reassure them about their own masculinity.

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Easter on The Spearhead: “I hope that our own errant women can follow Mary Magdalene’s example.”

48ae1f0bf62fdb0f393901f077e6c8a6

 

Happy Easter, or what remains of it, for those who celebrate it! (And happy Deep Discounts on Peeps Day to all who celebrate that tomorrow.)

There’s an interesting, er, theological discussion about the meaning of Easter over on The Spearhead. In a short post, WF Price argues that the uppity ladies of today could learn a thing or two from Mary Magdalene:

One of my favorite subtexts of the Easter story is the devotion of Mary Magdalene, who kept a vigil at her Lord’s tomb, and thereby became the first witness to the Resurrection.

I don’t see it as a specifically Christian message, but rather a universal one: the woman, regardless of her background or past, can attain holiness through selfless love and devotion. I hope some day that our own errant women can follow Mary Magdalene’s example.

A nonbeliever with the clever handle fakeemail isn’t convinced:

Once a whore always a whore.

I have no interest for a whore who “saw the light” aka a 30 year old cock-carouseler who is out of options. I want the young woman who was smart enough to never be a whore in the first place.

Evidently MRAs never take a holiday from being dicks.

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Oh, wait, there’s a debate open thread

 

Talk amongst yourselves.

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debate further reading violence against men/women

>Further Reading: Domestic Violence

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Another addition to my “Further Reading” series. See here for an explanation.

This one is about Domestic Violence.

I’d recommend starting with my debate posts on DV, which offers an extensive list of links to academic and government studies and useful overviews.

For additional reading:

Michael Flood: Claims about husband battering

Men in fathers’ rights groups and men’s rights groups have been claiming very loudly for a while now that domestic violence is a gender-equal or gender-neutral phenomenon – that men and women assault each other at equal rates and with equal effects. They claim that an epidemic of husband-battering is being ignored if not silenced. …

There are four problems with the claims about ‘husband battering’ made by men’s rights advocates. Firstly, they only use these authors’ work selectively, as the authors themselves disagree that women and men are equally the victims of domestic violence. Secondly, they ignore the serious methodological flaws in the Conflict Tactics Scale. Thirdly, they ignore or dismiss a mountain of other evidence which conflicts with their claims. Finally, their strategies in fact are harmful to men themselves, including to male victims of violence.

Michael Flood: Domestic Violence: Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities:

Men’s physical violence against women is accompanied by a range of other coercive and controlling behaviors. Domestic violence is both an expression of men’s power over women and children and a means through which that power is maintained. Men too are subject to domestic violence at the hands of female and male sexual partners, ex-partners, and other family members. Yet there is no ‘gender symmetry’ in domestic violence, there are important differences between men’s and women’s typical patterns of victimization, and domestic violence represents only a small proportion of the violence to which men are subject.

Finally, A Feminism 101 blog: But doesn’t evidence show that women are just as likely to batter their partners as men?

A: No. This is an often repeated claim based on either faulty understanding or outright misrepresentation of a few studies made using the CONFLICT TACTICS SCALE (CTS) or similar self-report surveys. One of the authors of the original study, Richard Gelles, categorically rejects this interpretation of his research. … Women are self-reported to be just as likely to strike their partners as men are, but they are not just as likely to batter their partners as men are. That is a crucial distinction.

Alas, a blog: On “Husband-Battering”; Are Men Equal Victims?

[T]here isn’t sex equality in serious violence. Women are battered by their intimate partners much more often than the reverse. Given the many reasons to doubt the CTS’s accuracy for measuring severe violence in families, the most reasonable conclusion is that the Straus/Gelles studies – at least, as they’re used by men’s rights activists – are inaccurate.

So should the Straus and Gelles studies be rejected entirely? I say no. The evidence weighs strongly against the “equal victimization” hypothesis, but that doesn’t mean the results of CTS-based studies should be thrown out entirely. Although it’s clear the Straus/Gelles work doesn’t accurately measure the most severe instances of intimate violence, the validity of the CTS in measuring what Michael Johnson calls “common couple violence” – minor, sporadic, non-escalating and mutual violence between spouses – has not been disproved.

Department of Justice: Measuring Intimate Partner (Domestic) Violence

A important discussion of the “women commit equal violence” myth:

Are Men and Women Equally as Likely to Be Victims or Offenders?

The National Family Violence Survey (NFVS) found nearly equal rates of assault (11–12 percent) by an intimate partner among both men and women. … NIJ researchers have found, however, that collecting various types of counts from men and women does not yield an accurate understanding of battering and serious injury occurring from intimate partner violence. National surveys supported by NIJ, CDC, and BJS that examine more serious assaults … clearly find more partner abuse by men against women.

For example, NVAWS found that women are significantly more likely than men to report being victims of intimate partner violence whether it is rape, physical assault, or stalking and whether the timeframe is the person’s lifetime or the previous 12 months. [3] NCVS found that about 85 percent of victimizations by intimate partners in 1998 were against women. …

A review of the research found that violence is instrumental in maintaining control and that more than 90 percent of “systematic, persistent, and injurious” violence is perpetrated by men. [8] BJS reports that 30 percent of female homicide victims are murdered by their intimate partners compared with 5 percent of male homicide victims, and that 22 percent of victims of nonfatal intimate partner violence are female but only 3 percent are male. [9]

Domestic violence and gender – An XY collection

Links to an assortment of important and useful studies.The Kimmel paper is especially helpful.

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>Debate Drama: Dalrock is a Lying Liar

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Debating Men’s Rights Activists can be a lot like arguing with a kid who puts his hands over his ears and shouts “la la la I can’t hear you!”

During my abortive debate with Paul Elam on Domestic Violence, I had a hard time getting him to respond to my arguments; instead, he devoted much of his energy to arguing against experts I never cited and arguments I never made.(EDIT: See all my debate posts and some commentary here.)

Now the blogger “Dalrock” has decided to weigh in on the debate — despite the fact that by his own admission he didn’t actually read the whole thing. Not surprisingly, he completely misrepresents my argument:

His argument was that since he could point to more studies showing the orthodox feminist view, his perspective must be right.

Either he didn’t read more than a paragraph or two of what I wrote, or he’s incapable of understanding logic, or, well, he’s a lying liar.

At the moment I’m leaning towards the first explanation; I’m being generous here.

But it’s hard to see the next bit as anything but, well, that lying liar thing.

Mentioning my post responding to Elam’s disgraceful “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” post, which was not even part of the debate proper, Dalrock ignores Elam’s obnoxious provocation and brings up a similarly obnoxious, similarly disgraceful Jezebel post from several years back, in which several Jezebel staffers and a host of commenters there gleefully admitted to beating up boyfriends. (Elam and I both mentioned it in our posts; it was Elam’s excuse for writing his post in the first place.)

According to Dalrock, my response to the Jezebel post went roughly as follows:

The feminist looked like he might come to just in time to avoid the count.  He started mumbling incoherently that the link didn’t prove anything, and there weren’t that many women eagerly recounting tales of abusing their boyfriends.  Besides, the women were probably lying and had really just been defending themselves.  And none of the comments looked that bad to him anyway.  Most of those guys probably eventually recovered with proper medical treatment.

Even aside from the dopey boxing metaphor, this is simply fiction. Let’s break it down.

He started mumbling incoherently that the link didn’t prove anything, and there weren’t that many women eagerly recounting tales of abusing their boyfriends. 

I didn’t say that.

Besides, the women were probably lying and had really just been defending themselves.

I didn’t say that.

And none of the comments looked that bad to him anyway.  Most of those guys probably eventually recovered with proper medical treatment.

I didn’t say that. He’s simply making shit up. Or, as some might put it, lying.

If you want to know what I did say, you can see it here.

When I pointed all this out in Dalrock’s comments, he responded with:

You mean you weren’t really unconscious in a boxing ring knocked out by a commenter, and came to just before the final count?

Yeah, the fact that you made a dumb boxing joke means it’s totally ok to lie about what I said.

To my regular readers: Sorry about all the drama here. To paraphrase Bob Dole, I’m just trying to get these guys to “stop lying about my record.”

Also: Elam himself poked his head up in the comments to Dalrock’s post to offer a response of sorts to my final debate post; needless to say, it’s pretty feeble. You can read it here, and if you skip down a few posts you should be able to read my response to it; I will also be appending it to my original post.

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>Paul Elam’s big mistake on domestic violence: A case study in MRA self-deception

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I didn’t think I was going to reply to Paul Elam’s latest post in our abortive “debate” on domestic violence  — see here for the details on why it fell apart, and here for details on his childish and unethical behavior since and here for the rest of my debate posts — but he’s really outdone himself this time, with an utterly spectacular misreading of an important research report on violence against women. Indeed, I’ve read over the relevant portion of his post several times, because I can’t quite believe he’s saying what he seems to be saying. If he is, and I have no other explanation for his remarks, his post becomes something of a case study in the way in which antifeminist dogma can distort even the most basic analysis of empirical data.

In the context of my debate with Elam, it’s not an insignificant error. Indeed, Elam sees his erroneous conclusion on this research as a sort of trump card in our debate, the grand finale to his final post in the debate. The only problem is that he’s completely wrong.

You don’t have to take my word for it. To make sure there was absolutely no doubt that Elam was misinterpreting the report, I contacted one of the report’s authors. She indeed confirmed that Elam’s interpretation was flat out wrong. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Let’s get into the details, shall we?

The report in question is one I cited in my initial post, titled Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. (EDIT: You can find a pdf of it here.) The paper, co-written by Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes, summarizes the findings of a massive survey on violence jointly undertaken by the National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which, despite the title, also dealt with violence against men. The researchers surveyed 16,000 people, divided equally between men and women, about the violence they had experienced over their lifetimes — specifically, whether or not they had been raped, physically assaulted, or stalked.

Elam’s ideologically driven misreading of the report starts with a misreading of the opening paragraph of the report, a brief historical summary of how the rise of feminism led researchers to start to seriously pay attention to violence against women:

Violence against women first came to be viewed as a serious social problem in the early 1970s, in part because of the reemergence of the Women’s Movement. In unprecedented numbers, scholars trained in such diverse disciplines as philosophy, literature, law, and sociology began to examine violence against women in the context of a feminist ideology.

All of this is a pretty straightforward accounting of what actually happened. But, the researchers continue:

Despite the resulting outpouring of research on violence against women, particularly in the areas of rape and intimate partner violence, many gaps remain in our understanding of violence against women. Until now, empirical data on the relationship between certain types of violence against women, such as childhood victimization and subsequent adult victimization, have been limited. Reliable information on minority women’s experiences with violence and on the consequences of violence against women, including rates of injury and use of medical services, is also limited.

So far, the meaning of these remarks is crystal clear: Though feminism inspired a great outpouring of research on violence against women, there was still insufficient reliable empirical data to measure the true extent of the problem.

The researchers then go on to present the details of the National Violence Against Women Survey, a study designed to provide precisely what they said was lacking: reliable empirical data on the various forms of violence against women.  (In order to provide more context for this data, and to provide a basis for comparison, the study also asked the same questions to an equal number of men.)

Elam, though, reads this relatively straightforward introduction to the report as a sinister statement of purpose. Highlighting the phrases “Women’s Movement” and “in the context of a feminist ideology,” he declares:

Yes, in this the very first paragraph of the study, they identify not as academicians, but feminist ideologues. With a profound lack of erudition that can only be rooted in hubristic hegemony, they inform readers from the beginning that this is a political action. Straight from jump.

Not a promising start for Elam. But we haven’t gotten to Elam’s biggest error. 

Elam’s Great Misunderstanding starts off innocently enough: he cites data from the report on rape and physical assault that shows that, with the exception of the category of rape, men report suffering more violence than women. This is a fairly unsurprising result; numerous studies have found the same thing.

Note that this data measures violence overall, NOT intimate partner violence by itself. Most of the violence against men is in fact perpetrated by other men.

Elam then shows a chart from the study that looks at the incidence of intimate partner violence, broken down into various categories of violence; it shows women more than three times as likely to report being victimized by IPV than men.

It’s what Elam does next that truly boggles the mind. After noting that the data did indeed seem to suggest that women are the primary victims of IPV, he firmly declares this conclusion “wrong.” No, he says, what the dastardly feminist researchers did was to “factor weigh for under reporting [but] to their disgrace they did not figure it in to the graphs.”

As proof for this, Elam quotes a relatively straightforward passage in the text that discusses some of these results, and specifically refers back to the chart in question:

It is important to note that differences between women’s and men’s rates of physical assault by an intimate partner become greater as the seriousness of the assault increases. For example, women were two to three times more likely than men to report that an intimate partner threw something that could hurt or pushed, grabbed, or shoved them. However, they were 7 to 14 times more likely to report that an intimate partner beat them up, choked or tried to drown them, threatened them with a gun, or actually used a gun on them (see exhibit 8).

After quoting this text, Elam triumphantly declares victory:

And so there you have it.  A rough sketch of the math will lead you to a very familiar situation.

Domestic Violence- Women are half the problem.

Huh? The first time I read this I was simply baffled. Elam posts a chart showing that women report being the victim of IPV more often than men do, then a paragraph discussing the very same results, which says exactly the same thing, and which specifically refers back to that very same chart, and somehow concludes that … women are responsible for half the problem?

It took several rereadings for me to even grasp how he might have come to that utterly erroneous conclusion. Apparently, as best as I can figure it, he has interpreted the word “report” in the text to mean “overreport” instead of, you know, “report.” (Or that it indicated in some way that women overreported in comparison to men, who underreported, or something along these lines.) So that, as Elam figures it, the numbers in the text basically cancel out the numbers in the chart. In fact, the numbers in the text reflect the exact same data as the numbers in the chart.

Thus Elam transforms, in his mind at least, an empirical report of survey results that challenge his central claim — that women are half the problem in domestic violence — into one that proves his pet theory, and which reveals the perfidity of devious, cunning feminists.

Just so there would be absolutely no question that Elam is completely mistaken in his conclusion, I got in touch with Patricia Tjaden, one of the key researchers behind the survey, and the co-author of the summary Elam quoted from. She told me that, indeed, his interpretation of the figures in the paper is flat out wrong. As she put it in an email:

Yes, you are right in your interpretation of our results: Generally
speaking, in our study “reported” means respondents disclosed that they had
ever been a victim of a specific type of violent victimization. So, for
example, as presented in Exhibit 3 in our report on intimate partner
violence … 8.5 % of women compared to 0.6% of men
disclosed that they had been beaten up by an intimate partner at some time
in their lifetime.  It should be noted that some were beaten up more than
once, but these estimates reflect only if they “ever had.”  Thus, (surveyed)
women were 14 times more likely than (surveyed) men to report ever being
beaten up by an intimate partner [8.5/0.6 = 14.17.]

I have no idea what your [debate] opponent means when he said our
estimates reflect over-reporting.  Perhaps he meant that women are more
likely than men to report victimization to an interviewer?  There is little
research on what influences women and men to disclose victimization during
telephone surveys.  We conducted a small study during the course of the
NVAWS to see if interviewer gender impacted male respondents’ responses to
survey questions.  (We didn’t do it for women because all the women were
interviewed by female respondents.)  We found that male respondents were
more likely to disclose sensitive information, such as age, income, fear and
accommodation behavior, and recent victimization, to male interviewers.
This contradicts findings from previous research that shows respondents –
male and female alike – feel more comfortable disclosing sensitive
information to female interviews in face-to-face surveys.

The paper she is citing here is this one, available online here (pdf format):

Tjaden, P & Thoennes, N. (2000).  Extent, nature, and consequences of
intimate partner violence:  Findings from the National Violence Against
Women Survey.  Washington, DC: US Department of Justice NCJ 181867.

The only real question is whether Elam has distorted the results of the NVAWS deliberately. I don’t actually think so. He is enough of an ideologue to believe that a report based on a massive government study and which has been exposed to an enormous amount of scrutiny over the years in fact secretly proves his pet theory.

One final note: Elam also makes a big deal of the fact that the NVAW used the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) in its surveys, a research tool which I have criticized in my previous posts in the debate. As is often the case with Elam, this is a half-truth. The survey, as Tjadan noted in her email to me, “used questions similar to those in the CTS, but framed them differently,” and thus got very different results.

I will end with another comment from Tjaden, which helps to put this debate in a broader context:

I know this debate over whether men and women are equally likely to
perpetrate violence against their intimate partners is very confusing and I
have spent a good part of my career attempting to convince fellow
researchers and the federal government that we need to spend time and money
figuring out why different studies (i.e. different methodological approaches)
have yielded such disparate findings.  This would be far more fruitful than
pointing fingers at each other and calling each other names.

This is a topic I will take up further in future posts.

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debate douchebaggery drama MRA paul elam Uncategorized violence against men/women

>Paul Elam’s continuing childish and unethical behavior

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When I agreed to debate Paul Elam on domestic violence on his web site, I clearly underestimated how childish, and unethical, he really is.

After I bowed out of the debate — see the details here — he decided to run the whole thing under a childish, gloating headline, and with an introduction labeling me a “fucking moron.” (EDIT: See here for my posts without Elam’s editorializing.)

Because of this behavior, I requested he either remove the headline and the obnoxious introduction, or remove my contributions to the debate from his web site entirely. After getting no response from him to this, I sent another email telling him to simply take down my writings from his web site.

Legally, he does not own any rights to my writings, and because of his behavior he no longer has my permission to run them. I may pursue legal action.

Paul, unfortunately, has chosen to escalate the situation, by running an even more childish post titled “David Futrelle- Covered in Pin Feathers and Clucking,” in which he writes:

let it be known now that any blogger in the sphere, MRA or otherwise, has my permission to repost this debate in full on their blog or website.

Obviously he has no more right to do this than I have the right to take his car on a joy ride.

He’s also apparently pitched the idea of reposting the whole debate on The Spearhead. While he doesn’t have the right to do this, and I’ve told The Spearhead that they do not have the right to reprint my writings, I might agree to the proposition provided that I’d be guaranteed in writing by The Spearhead that it would run with a neutral headline, that my latest response to Paul’s “final” post would be included, and a few other conditions.

And I would have no problem continuing the debate with Paul on The Spearhead until we each post 5 posts, as per our original agreement, were I to work out the necessary details with The Spearhead and get an agreement in writing. Or we could finish the debate right here.

I stand by everything I wrote in the debate, and have no problem continuing it, provided it be on a venue not controlled by Paul Elam and with some basic rules to guarantee fairness set forth in writing. (Paul would have to agree in writing to run the debate under a neutral headline on his site as well.)

Oh, and one final note: Paul has also removed the links back to here from the original debate, thus breaking still another condition I insisted on in order to participate in the debate in the first place. And he’s banned me from commenting in the comments section under the debate posts.

This is all very stupid and very petty.

Let me offer a challenge to anyone in the MRM whose ethics are more developed than Paul’s: Stand up and object to his illegal and unethical behavior. Were a feminist to pull this sort of thing on an MRA, I would certainly stand up and object to it.