Name the Problem: Male Violence

Statistics bear out that males commit most violent crimes, with males committing 87% of all homicides. Males are almost 4 times more likely than females to be murder victims. Significantly, males commit 91.3% of all homicides involving a gun, suggesting that lethality increases because of the weapons Males choose. New data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey detailed the extent and effects of male violence against females.  That survey demonstrated that across all types of violence, Males commit most crimes most often.

Statistics demonstrate that males commit violent crimes at greater rates than females, and are more likely to use a weapon that will cause death. Legislation promoted by male-dominated organizations further buttresses the ability of males to commit violent acts and escape punishment.

Given these grim statistics, why have we as a society failed to address the problem of male violence? When a lesbian points out these statistics, she is usually greeted with accusations of “man hater.” When a female points out these statistics, she is sometimes greeted with accusations of “lesbian.” If statistics bear out that males are more violent as a class and more lethal as a class of perpetrators (and they do), why isn’t this the subject of substantial inquiry?

We are averse to acknowledging male violence because we do not want to make the males in our lives uncomfortable. In addition, just as it is uncomfortable for males to acknowledge that they benefit from sexism and male privilege, it is equally uncomfortable for males to take responsibility for the disproportionate violence they commit. Try having this conversation with the significant males and Nigels in your lives and see what happens. Try pointing this out to male (or “formerly” male) GLBT Community members and watch the defensiveness fly!

Of course, it doesn’t help the conversation around violence that males are viewed as the default Human. This phenomenon makes “violence” a human problem rather than a male problem, thus placing the burden on males and females equally to address such violence.

So what do females do? We shoulder the blame. We accept individual responsibility for violence that we don’t commit and haven’t committed. We participate in the obfuscation of male violence. We fail to confront what is so glaringly obvious that it has become invisible – males as a class are violent.

Your son, dad, brother or boyfriend may not be violent, but males as a class are more violent than females.

Humans – males and females – need to stop debating whether males are more violent. Males are by far the principal perpetrators of murder (and let’s not get started on rape, war, torture, incest, sexual abuse, and genocide). So what is it about males and “masculinity” that leads males as a class to such violent behavior? Is this something males learn? What can we do as a society to help males unlearn these “masculine” lessons? Or is male violence innate? What if certain “behaviors” (i.e., violence) that we understand as “masculine” can be  biologically traced to neurological structures? How do we solve that problem?

Whether male violence is due to masculine gender socialization or male biology, we cannot answer these questions if we continue to avoid this discussion. We cannot fix a problem that we refuse to name. Name it. Say it with me: Male violence.

23 thoughts on “Name the Problem: Male Violence

  1. Hecuba

    Male violence against women occurs because men know it is the most effective method of maintaining male domination and male oppression of all women and girls.

    If men don’t want to be named as the perpetrators then on rare occasions when women commit violence the sex of these female perpetrators must also not be named or mentioned. Instead let’s claim it is ‘an individual’ or ‘people’ or even ‘martians’ are the ones committing violence against other individuals/people/martians. There problem solved for Male Supremacist System and men because they do not want to be held accountable for condoning/excusing/justifying/committing male violence against women and girls.

    But of course men and their male supremacist system have to find scapegoats in order focus is never on men and why there are innumerable males each and every day continuing to commit male violence against women and girls, and that is why men constantly claim ‘you’re a man-hater whenever we feminists hold men accountable for committing/condoning/justifying/excusing male violence against women and girls. It’s a man’s world because we women don’t exist as autonomous human beings apparently.

  2. christania2012

    Not relevant, exactly, to the discussion or the topic of the post. But each and every single day, women and children, especially girl children, are in close proximity to danger and “never realize” it, they “never know” it. Close proximity to males is a close proximity to danger. This danger is embodied in the male stranger, the male friend or family friend, and the male family member. I am not going to let on how,exactly, I have come to know this. Or what it is like to live with this knowledge, while so many of my fellow women are oblivious to it. The women around me, how can we be living in the same city, the same family, the same world, and only I know what I know? Even women who are the mothers of daughters. Up there, on the right-hand side, upper corner, you all can probably see the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website link? Well, since I am so lucky to be burdened with a little bit of knowledge about the evil we are always in close proximity to, I might as well share that I know a person listed there. As a young child I had regular contact with that person, and was even babysat by him. My mother was married to his brother.
    Online, my persona is such that other women have felt safe in my presence and willing to share some of the things that have happened to them. I am honored that these women, strangers, have this level of trust in me. What they have told me about their lives, their experiences, usually causes a flood of emotion. The first feeling is sadness and grief for them, for what was done to them. Then comes the most narrow sense of relief, for myself, that “I was spared. It could have happened to me but it didn’t”. And then it’s flashback time. Specific incidents that have been blocked out. Scenes from childhood that aren’t quite right somehow, and the full memory of being a child, in that remembered scene, and knowing with my child-sense that something was not right. Realizing, as an adult, that I knew then, and cannot help but know now, that I was in danger every day of my life, and that there were several occasions that ‘something almost happened’. That something wanted to happen. That something would have eventually happened, if my mother had not moved heaven and earth to get the men out of our lives and away from me.

    1. Ciky

      Lol’re pretty sure that this is a fake reprot? if this issue was brought before a jury, I’m pretty sure that they would find The Onion not guilty due to reasonable doubt.Any idiot, including you, should be able to understand that it’s totally real. Are you so heartless that you have no compassion and empathy for the victims with their poor, light little bodies?

  3. Pingback: NEW BLOG: Male Violence « You think I just don't understand, but I don't believe you.

  4. munter18

    I love this post. Everything you say is so true. Whenever a woman dares mention the problem men cause regarding crime she is labelled a misandrist or lesbian. On facebook and yahoo numerous misogyny is apparent but dare say anything about men in a dim light and they remove them. Stand up and name the problem, the problem is male violence.

    1. Jordan Stovall

      Male violence is defiantly leading issue our society is facing today, the statics tell the story itself, “males committing 87% of all homicides. Males are almost 4 times more likely than females to be murder victims. Significantly, males commit 91.3% of all homicides involving a gun, suggesting that lethality increases because of the weapons” (quoted from above). In bell hooks’ book The Will to Change she says, “males are inherently domination, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate the rule of the week and to maintain the dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence,” in many ways I believe this is true. Many males throughout their lives have been told to “man up” or “don’t be a pussy” these sayings are no longer words to them, they become actions, roles, and patriarchy. So is violence something that is taught than learned? We do not know, but education of violence, gangs, rape, aggregation, and other sources of these kinds of behaviors can be better explained and find a better alternative.
      In the readings of Shira Tarrant, she states, “The Male Box”, “Boys and men don’t cry; they are tough, big aggressive; they enjoy competitive sports; they’re sexual and powerful.” These are social constructions society has placed on all men and if they don’t fit in these tiny box they cannot be a “real man.” We cannot just place the blame on society and men being men, woman are just as easily supporting in ways they cannot see. Bell hooks writes, “We need to highlight the role women play in perpetuating and sustaining patriarchal culture so that we will recognize patriarchy as a system women and men support equally.” Hooks is saying as women sometime we enable men to the form of being manly because we conform to the roles society has set for women to do. This leads to women taking violence and rape because it’s how a man acts and women are submissive. HELL NO! Women and ones alike must speak up not just for themselves, but for children, other males, and LGBTQIA communities that don’t have a voice against violence because society thinks they have no opinion.
      What can we do to prevent violence in our communities; is it education, living status, gender/sex or race/ethnicity? In order to prevent violent crimes we must find the root of the problem, which may be years from now, but it must stop. Last quote from hooks to leave with is, “Even though not all men are misogynists, feminist thinkers were accurate when stated that patriarchy in its most basic, unmediated form promotes fear and hatred of females.”

  5. Mike

    it is probably true that most violent crimes are committed by males but is the opposite true? Do most men commit violent crimes? Here is where male defensiveness arises, non-violent males don’t have a place to land in this conversation. Men are also victims of male violence, including rape. Men are also oppressed by other men. White male privilege is not equally available to all white males. Class, education and wealth are important factors.
    To say this is a male problem sweeps non-violent males and non-violent male victims into the group of violent criminals. My question is how do we distinguish between these subsets of males? what kinds of males should we look at when considering corrective actions?

      1. Mike

        Nothing in what I have written directly states nor implies women are to blame. Women are not to blame. A mere 1.5 % of men are to blame – according to the statistics used here.

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  8. Meg

    Here are two cases that should be showcased on this site:

    Man knocks out homeless woman and puts video of it online:

    Woman beaten by boyfriend, he siced his pit bull on her, then scalped her

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  11. Mark

    “Male Violence” is the lynchpin of a feminist ideology built on straws. First of all let’s start here: men are victims of violence in far greater numbers than women are. Yet it is the “Male Violence” issue that allows women to completely ignore this reality and pretend we have a ‘violence against women’ issue. It is why we still report, without a word from women who bristle whenever women’s contributions aren’t mentioned, that ‘8000 people were killed including 11 women”. Because WOMEN’S LIVES MATTER. It doesn’t matter in fact that the relationship of most of the men in women’s lives is that of PROTECTOR be it their father, brother, husband, date, boyfriend, co-worker, stranger, police officer, fireman or soldier. Why? Because that doesn’t “count” since, as the author “points out” all men are repsonsible for all other men’s violence. It is a beautifully myopic bit of self-serving logic.

    What is amazing about it is the same women who lay the responsibility and ownership of violence at men’s feet since they are the primary actors (forgetting of course the primary victims AND defenders) will SEETHE if you point out that men are just as proportionally responsible for EVERYTHING; every thing you see every day you live, the streets and the lights and the buildings and the eletricity and the computers and the internet and cell-phones and the cars and the planes, the medicines, heck the very LAND you live on. If I as a man own the violence other men commit even though I don’t commit it, if I as a man are beholden to you as a woman to protect you because other men might commit violence against you, than I as a man own the land you live on and the civilization and technology you exist because of, meaning you as a woman are beholden to ME as a man for ALL OF IT.

    Yet I as a man don’t believe any of the above; I believe we, human beings, created all of this together. It means the same way I believe my mother and sisters and girlfriends an female friends and every woman I see on the street owns the land and wealth and technology and the credit as a human for the same and the rights to it and to participate in it fully be it mother or CEO or President, I believe they as much as I , my brothers, fathers and men I see everywhere are responsible for every bit of violence that occurs, is occurring and will occur. I believe that until women insist that when you report X # of people killed that women shouldn’t be singled out anymore than they should when you decide who should be President that the real chauvism and cause of sexism is women.

    If you are a woman who reads about or sees violence in the world and says to yourself ‘F-ing men!’ then to be intellectually honest you need to, everytime you see a skyscraper or your life is saved by an MRI or you simply send a text to a friend say ‘Amazing men’. But you won’t; you’ll start blogs like this that perpetuate the agenda of blaming men for everything bad and demanding to own and share everything good. Not on my watch ladies, not on my watch.

  12. Mark

    Everyone is appalled by those stories Meg. Yet the issue isn’t ‘men’ it is society. Why not post all of the stories about the amazing things done o throughout history which are also predominantly men? Because THOSE are things you’ve elected to share credit for as a human being. You’ve simply chosen to absolve yourself of things men do when you don’t want to share credit for it and share credit for it when you do. When women commit violence against men however it is either excused or a joke is made of it. I signed a petition years back against an article written similar to the ones you posted, except the victim was a man and the author, a woman wrote the entire article as a farcical event. The woman in question let herself into her ex-boyfriends home, beat him with his keyboard (you know, breaking, entering, assault, battery) and then when he was helpless on the floor yanked his testicles so far they were detached. The author found all of this highly entertaining, with cute little comments like ‘man what must HE have done to piss her off that much!’ and then found no end of humor to the fact that the name of the hospital he was taken too had the words ‘balls’ in it (you know, yuck yuck yuck, his BALLS were ripped off and the hospital had the name BALLS in it). If a man had broken into a woman’s home, beat her and stabbed her in the vagina there is no man ALIVE what would have dared make a joke about it let alone write a cutesy article.

    The issue isn’t ‘men’s violence’ Meg it is that a) women absolve themselves of the responsibility for the violence committed by mankind which, yes, is mostly men but again, most of what we have/see/use is b) women write off violence against men simply because other men largely commit it and c) women find violence against men perpetrated by women either funny, excusable or earned and d)women ignore the fact that most men in their lives in fact PROTECT them since they feel that is their due (see my point in A) for why.

    I’m happy to point back with links about the amazing acts of heroism by men in the same timeframe as yours, and an endless list of links about all the things men have done throughout history that you owe your standard of living, quality of life and very life too, yet I’m sure for those you’ll find an endless stream of justificaitons to explains why those are in fact contributions women share in ownership of too. Try re-reading your posts and seeing the same exact logic applies.

  13. Hattori

    I think a way to solve this problem is just to segregate us from each other. Men and women do not need to live with each other. This whole topic and the comments show, that there is no point in discussing it. The traits of men which in the end have put us on the top (or outside) of the foodchain, and enabled civilization, are no longer required by women. Women could have their own society where they live independently and where violence should be a rather minor issue. Reproduction would be in some way compromised, but since there many other societies outside our western one, it is not fatal for humanity if we over the course of time disappear. Of course we men would still be stuck with our problems, but at least women would not have to deal with them. This might be a drastic solution, but lets face it, it is the only one that will work long-term. We just do not get along (as groups, not individuals).

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