Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stop Domestic Violence

In my last post I remarked that, for  Larissa Faw and her Millennial singletons, living the feminist life plan is not working out very well.

Faw’s story was strictly premarital. What happens when you bring an evolved feminist attitude into your marriage and your home?

As far as we know, nothing good.

A Norwegian researcher discovered that when couples share household chores they are 50% more likely to get divorced.

It's not within the margin of error.

This fact notwithstanding, the media continues to beat the drums for men to do their fair share of housework.

But what if men avoid housework because they want to save their marriages?

No one seems to have considered the possibility.

A more recent study has discovered that when both spouses work outside the home the likelihood of domestic violence increases by 100%. To the best of my knowledge the study does not raise the issue of how housework is divided.

A woman who fulfills the feminist dream of having a career and contributing equally to the marital estate is twice as likely to suffer domestic violence.

It's not within the margin of error.

Janice Wood of PsychCentral explains:

While the researchers found that differences in education levels appeared to have little influence, when both partners were working, intimate partner violence increased.

“When both male and females were employed, the odds of victimization were more than two times higher than when the male was the only breadwinner in the partnership, lending support to the idea that female employment may challenge male authority and power in a relationship,” said the researchers.

The study was based on telephone interviews with 303 women who identified themselves as either currently or recently in a serious romantic relationship.

Based on the Fourth Annual Texas Crime Victimization Survey, about 67 percent of these women, who ranged in age from 18 to 81, reported some form of physical or psychological victimization by their partner during the last two years. These included having something thrown at them; being pushed, grabbed or shoved; slapped, hit, kicked or bitten; or threatened with a gun or knife.

The study found that more than 60 percent of women in two-income couples reported victimization, while only 30 percent of women reported victimization in cases when only the male partner was employed.

To the best of my knowledge the research does not show whether the wives in question were  using their income as a way to diminish and disrespect their husbands.

Feminism has long been claiming that the male role of provider or breadwinner is a social construct designed to oppress women. If, however, the role is instinctive, and if it is intrinsic to male pride, then the feminist derogation of it is a losing fight.

Of course, the researchers offer a feministically correct explanation: men are threatened by empowered wives.

One must underscore that the men who commit violence against women, or against any non-women, are fully responsible for their own behavior.

No one, not least the authors of the study, is trying to excuse bad and criminal behavior. Yet, they seem to be saying that creating certain conditions within the marital dynamic leads to more violence against women. It probably also leads to more divorce.

If there were an award for incoherent thinking, these paragraphs would definitely be in contention:

“When women are home-bound through their role as domestic workers, they lack connections to co-workers and the social capital that is produced through those connections, in addition to wages, job prestige, resources, and thus, power. In turn, they must rely solely on their male partner for financial sustenance and can benefit from the distinction that his employment brings the couple,” the researchers noted in the study.

“Those women who work outside the home have access to these tangible and intangible assets, which may devalue or, in some cases, even undermine the contributions and provisions supplied by male-only employment.”

Note how easily the authors have so dismissed housewives as “homebound… domestic workers.” As though they are imprisoned in the kitchen and have a status comparable to maids.

These are the women who are more likely to have harmonious home lives, less likely to be beaten, abused or divorced.

Naturally, their lives offend feminism.

The authors also portray stay-at-home housewives as completely dependent on men, lacking human connections to co-workers and not having their own social capital.

Again, they are disrespecting women who put family and marriage over feminist careerism.

Surely, there is a way for married women to have jobs and not assault male pride.

After all, most married women and mothers are happy to sacrifice career advancement in favor of spending more time at home. Perhaps they know something that feminists don't.


Sam L. said...

Is 303 a statistically valid sample?
Were the questions phrased to draw specific answers (I've seen that)?
How about men? Is there more domestic violence against men in this situation? Is it even possible to get a valid survey on that, given that men would be unlikely to discuss that?

Sam L. said...

"After all, most married women and mothers are happy to sacrifice career advancement in favor of spending more time at home. Perhaps they know something that feminists don't."

Not that they don't, but that they will not admit the possibility.

Kath said...

I believe that an abusive man will beat his wife whether she is a housewife or works outside the home.
Feminists don't like traditional women so they marginalize them. Call them domestic workers and blame them for their own abuse.
Does that mean feminists believe it is okay to beat up on the housekeeper or pool boy?

Matthew Chapman said...

"The study was based on telephone interviews with 303 women who identified themselves as either currently or recently in a serious romantic relationship."

303 women? No men? Why are men always ignored when it comes to domestic violence? I don't put any stock at all in this study, nor the "conclusions" from it.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Even if the study did not look at women's violence against men, that does not necessarily mean that its statistics about domestic violence against women are faulty or skewed.

Kristi Herman said...

The part about the lack of social capital regarding stay at home women, (oops, sorry, should have used the correct terminology: domestic worker, i.e. drudge)is laughable. If I didn't have social connections, my husband would go to work and come home. Almost all social interactions are under my control. And the people we socialize with are actually more friends since we are not arbitrarily connected by a common workplace but rather similar interests and similar circumstances. But I guess I forgot that I was a marginalized, abused social cast off because I make a home.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Good point, KH... in most families women organize and maintain the family social life.

David Foster said...

I'm a little suspicious of this study:

1)It's only anecdotal, but I know an awful lot of women who work outside the home, in some cases in pretty high-level jobs, and seem to have good marriages with guys who would be most unlikely to engage in violence toward them.

2)They define domestic violence, for purposes of the survey, as including "psychological victimization." What on earth does this mean? seems pretty elastic.

3)At least from the survey, there seems to be no attempt to truly understand the direction of causality. Is it possible, for example, that the wives working outside the home don't really experience more domestic violence, but rather have a lower threshold for defining and reporting it?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for the clarification, David. I assumed that since the study is being published in what appears to be an advocacy journal and since it seems to undermine the feminist view that two-earner couples were more harmonious it was credible.

I might be wrong.

The article defines violence as : "These included having something thrown at them; being pushed, grabbed or shoved; slapped, hit, kicked or bitten; or threatened with a gun or knife."

Even if we grant your caveats, the study does suggest that there is a massive difference in the level of relationship harmony in the two different kinds of households. Such a large disparity, even from a limited sample, does suggest that something is going on.

Since the Norwegian study of couples who share housework equally showed that such sharing increases the possibility of divorce by 50%, it looks to me as though the studies are consistent. I would imagine that a higher level of domestic disharmony would correlate with a greater likelihood of divorce.