The Entitlement Index
- 20% of people believe domestic violence is a normal reaction and that a woman can make a man so angry that he hits her without meaning to
- 40% of people believe women make false sexual assault reports
- 30% of people believe if she doesn’t leave her abusive partner then she is responsible for the violence continuing
- 12% of people believe that if a woman is raped whilst she is drunk she is partly responsible
Eva Cox says
“The problem is not just that they hit women, but that they feel entitled to hit women.”
HOW DID MEN BECOME SO ENTITLED?
Introducing The Entitlement Index.
Men have been the dominant gender throughout history since B.C. times.
Some anthropologists believe that women began to form singular relationships with men in the stone ages to be protected from rape.
An alternative theory is that men captured and raped women as a normal way of acquiring a mate, but even then he still had to protect his conquest.
Either way results in the establishment of the principle of ownership of a woman by a man and the beginning of the patriarchy.
ENTITLEMENT INDEX: Men =1 Women = 0
It is also easy to speculate how, from these origins, the concept of “rape in marriage” did not come into existence.
ENTITLEMENT INDEX: Men = 2 Women = 0
Move forward from that time to the Bible. Have a look at Genesis 3:17 where Adam and Eve’s punishments for misbehaving in the Garden of Eden are spelled out.
Adam was thrown out and he was punished with being given some hard labour.
Eve was punished with being given “pain in childbirth; desiring her husband and that her husband would rule over her.”
Note: Adam was not going to desire her in return, but just rule over her.
ENTITLEMENT INDEX: Men = 3 Women = 0
Also looking in the Bible there are references to what is today called “Headship” – the principle of female submission to male authority.
This is still taught in the inner sanctum circles of some church hierarchies to the wives of ministers and certainly it is there to be read or preached; e.g. 1 Cor11:3 “…..the head of the woman is man” and Eph 5:23 “…for the husband is head of the wife….”. amongst other references.
There are similar references or teachings in most other religions.
So historically the principle that a man has the right to rule over his female partner is embedded in the teachings of most of the world’s religions covering the learning of billions of people.
ENITITLEMENT INDEX: Men = 4 Women = 0
If it’s written in the Good Book and taught through the millennia how difficult will the concept be to shift? Anyway if it’s in the Good Book it will suit men to believe they are entitled to that opinion.
BONUS POINTS FOR HAVING IT ENSHRINED IN THE BIBLE = 20
ENTITILEMENT INDEX: Men = 24 Women = 0
What did “ruling over her” entitle a man to do and how embedded in male behaviour has that entitlement become?
Behaviours such as – treating her as a chattel; expecting compliance in all things; not permitting her thought or a point of view; intimidating and using violence to ensure compliance etc.
ENITITLEMENT INDEX: Men = 25 Women = 0
Fast forward to the 20th Century and consider the following laws in force in Australia till the 60’s to 90’s.
It took from 1976 (SA) to 1994 (NT) for all states and territories in Australia to legislate that non-consensual sex in marriage could be prosecuted as rape. So until 1976 – 1994 (depending on where you lived) a man could rape his wife :
E. Index = 1
The concept of Equal Pay did not exist in Australia till 1972. (The pay gap is still above 14%). So a man was entitled to be paid more for the same work.
E. Index = 1
It took till 1981 for a married woman to be able to seek prosecution of her husband for violence. So a man was entitled to hit or beat his wife when he felt like it. E. Index = 1
A married woman could not have a passport without her husband’s permission till 1983. So a man was entitled to refuse to allow a woman to travel overseas.
E. Index = 1
A married woman could not hold a job in the Commonwealth Public Service till 1966. So a man was entitled to take the job of a married woman.
E. Index= 1
A married woman could not have a bank account without her husband’s permission till 1974. So a man was entitled to stop a woman from using a bank and saving money.
E. Index = 1
A woman could not get a bank loan without a male guarantor till 1971. So a man was entitled to prevent a woman from having her own home.
E. Index = 1
BONUS POINTS FOR ENTITLEMENT BEING ENSHRINED IN LAW = 20
ENITITLEMENT INDEX: Men = 32 Women = 0
It is interesting to note that with the law on rape within marriage only changing between 1976 and 1994 (depending on the state or territory) it is quite possible that a person who is currently 40 years old and born in Australia may well be the product of a rape of their mother by their father.
That there was no law against rape within marriage in Australia till relatively recently, (and still there is no law against it many countries including China and India) also gives a clear picture of why the ENTITLEMENT SYNDROME is hard to shift.
WHAT THE UNITED NATIONS SAYS
The United Nations says that Domestic Violence is a consequence of both gender inequality and the normalisation of violence against women, and that violence against women will not be eradicated till there is gender equality which is approximately 170 years away. That is a very scary statistic because it means that not only will my granddaughter not experience equality, but nor will her granddaughter, nor her granddaughter’s granddaughter. My great, great, great, great, great, great, great granddaughter may stand a chance. However with the rate of change slowing and climate change accelerating I am afraid for her very existence.
THE NORMALISATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
The question of the “normalisation of violence against women” (as per the UN statement) is a large topic of its own. It is interesting to note that this rider about the “normalisation of violence against women” is dropped from the discussion here in Australia and we are left with just discussing inequality as the sole cause of Domestic Violence. Perhaps that is part of the reason the statistics on violence against women remain stubbornly high. The underlying cause of the “normalisation of violence against women” is not being tackled. At this point let me throw in three examples of how the normalisation of violence against women is accomplished:
Punch and Judy puppet shows
Designed to be watched by children and has been a popular entertainment for over 200 years. Punch beats up Judy and in some versions he even kills the baby. This is supposed to be amusing, even funny, for children to watch. This is part of the normalisation of the violence against women.
The Taming of the Shrew
A play by Shakespeare categorised as a comedy. The plot is that there are two sisters living with their father, one is beautiful and sweet, the other is a loud-mouthed “shrew”. Their father has decided that the younger daughter cannot be married before her older sister.
Of course no man is wanting to marry the loud mouthed woman, until a man arrives from out of town and hearing of the sizeable dowry decides to marry her. After the wedding he takes her away from her township, making her walk a lot of the way. Once they arrive at his place he sets about breaking her spirit, withholding food and water, not permitting sleep and gas lighting her. By the end of the play she is a wreck and encourages other women to be completely compliant towards their husbands, which her new husband orders her to do in order to win a bet with other husbands that he has the most obedient wife.
This play is called a COMEDY. The play has been performed for centuries as a comedy with audiences laughing at a woman being deprived of her normal human rights for food, water and sleep by a rude, bullying, coarse husband. This is part of the normalisation of violence against women. Juliette Stevenson, the highly acclaimed English actress who has won awards for her Shakespearean performances, declares that this play should never be performed. I think it should be performed as the tragedy that it is.
p.s. As Shakespeare did not establish the categories of his plays it is possible he always thought of The Taming of the Shrew as a tragedy, hence his drawing of the ignorant buffoon, Petruchio. Perhaps it is subsequent men who have made the decision that the play is funny in their own misogynistic way!
Hard Core Porn
A fabulous feminist friend recently encouraged me to look at some porn on line to understand how it is affecting young men’s attitudes to girls/women. I had heard about the fact that boys as young as 10 are watching porn regularly (weekly) but I had not looked at it. My notion of porn was something that by today’s standards would be called erotica.
If that’s your notion of it I challenge you to go on line and Google “Hard core porn”. When I did this, very worryingly, I was taken in two clicks, with no age check or censorship or warnings, to a site which offered me the following choices – Rough sex; Japanese; Squirt; Gangbang; Anal; Bondage; Teen 18+; Big tits; Lesbian and which had little vignettes playing for me to see some of the choices, most of which were of anal sex.
You could then click on an image and watch a promo. Easily accessible, rough, gross and mostly anal, but of course all the women were depicted as enjoying it and asking for more.
So that is what our young porn watchers are seeing – depictions of females being treated disgustingly, roughly and insultingly and supposedly enjoying being choked, slapped and gang raped and then asking for more, at such a young age that they probably have not yet had their first kiss.
It is said that “porn has become an educator, grooming tool and significant contributor to the scripting and programming of a child’s sexual and relational development on line.
Regular viewing is linked to sexually abusive behaviours and teaches young men to have an attitude of sexual entitlement, and young women not to recognise their own abuse. We can’t ignore the role it plays in normalising bullying, sexual abuse and harassment, and how we now have generations of children growing up with violence as the basis of their sexual scripting due to pornography being the main form of education, causing confusion over consent and normalising violence in relationships.” – eChildhood Submission May 23 2018 – BRINGING THE CONVERSATION OUT OF THE SHADOWS.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS
To test the theory that Domestic Violence is a consequence of gender inequality as per UN statement, I decided to look up the statistics on the rates of Domestic Violence in Scandinavia – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.
These five countries of Scandinavia are amongst the closest to closing the gender equality gap and so if the notion that Domestic Violence is a result of gender inequality is correct these countries should have less DV, right?
It was then that I found out about The Nordic Paradox. The Nordic Paradox is that these countries may have nearest to gender parity, but their Domestic Violence figures have risen, and it is not because their reportage rates have risen as they are comparatively low.
Their DV rates are higher than the EU average. Additionally if compared with the statistics from Italy and Greece, which have lower levels of gender equality, they also have lower levels of domestic violence or intimate partner violence than the Scandinavian countries.
This leads to a theory of a backlash over the higher status that women are achieving.
OK, I thought, let’s just look at Iceland’s statistics, as they are top of the leader board on gender equality and have been there for a number of years.
I Googled and instantly found an article headed “The Misogynistic Violence of Iceland’s Feminist Paradise,” which talks about the “brutality of life for many Icelandic women.”
This has been highlighted by a recent study for the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.
It found that sexual assault is widespread, 25% of all women being raped during their lifetime, compared with an overall European figure of 10%. The article goes on to say “one theory is that increased gender equality fuels male resentment creating frustrations that are channelled into physical violence – a mode of action where men still dominate.”
Evidently this is exacerbated by “a justice system that tolerates and excuses the behaviours, or indeed shares the perspectives of the perpetrators.”
So even in Iceland men are entitled to a different judicial standard.
Bonus points = 20
ENTITLEMENT INDEX: Men = 52 Women = 0
So now we have to contemplate that gender equality may not bring freedom from Domestic Violence. What does that mean for women?
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR WOMEN?
I turn to look at Jess Hill’s ground breaking work See What You Made Me Do, which digs deep into the male psyche for causes and comes up with SHAME – deep, unspeakable shame.
She argues very convincingly that every violent man is in deep, indescribable pain from some early experience resulting in their unexpressed shame, which is always present and culminates in humiliated fury. (If you have ever known an abuser you will intrinsically understand the expression humiliated fury.)
She quotes James Gilligan, a renowned Psychiatrist, who has been working with criminally violent men, and over the years has worked with 1000’s of them. After 35 years of this work he says “all violence begins with shame.”
Some of the other significant points Jess Hill makes that I choose to highlight:
Domestic Violence perpetrators;
- are very sensitive and commonly interpret harmless behaviour as a personal attack
- believe if you are not 100% with them you are against them and challenging them
- if you are challenging them you are undermining and attacking them
- believe their view is the only view
- often see themselves as victims of partner abuse
- controlling behaviour results in a loss of regard/love from their partner
- increase control to prevent abandonment
- only feel powerful when they are being violent
- fear abandonment as it exposes them as being defective and unworthy of love
- are driven by morbid paranoia, jealousy and desperate need
- have to give the impression that they are in control and so they may seem normal and the victim rarely sees the violence coming
- don’t know they feel entitlement. They feel their needs are normal and should take priority
- suffer an explosive cocktail of SHAME and ENTITLEMENT
Until men reckon with their overblown sense of entitlement there can be no solution to Domestic Violence.
AUSTRALIA’S NATIONAL PLAN TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN 2010 – 2022
This National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children was instigated by the Gillard Federal Government in conjunction with all the states in 2010.
It was/is a 12 year plan broken into 4 X 3 year plans. At the end of each 3 year period there was an evaluation of the effectiveness and a new budget allocation for the next stage.
We have one more year of the plan to go and they are currently discussing what is to follow, hence the Women’s Safety Summit in August 2021 which could be renamed as Morrisons Stunt Summit.
PLAN 1 Objectives 2010 – 2013
1. Communities are safe from violence
2. Relationships are respectful
3. Indigenous communities are strengthened
4. Services meet the demands of women and their children experiencing violence
5. Justice responses are effective
6. Perpetrators stop their violence and are held to account
PLAN 4 Objectives 2019-2022
1. Invest in primary prevention and early intervention to stop violence at its source
2. Make reducing violence everybody’s business
3. Listen to lived experience and respect cultural knowledge
4. Acknowledge and better respond to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children
5. Respond better to sexual violence as a form of Domestic and Family violence
6. Improve systems so women and children are safe
7. Change the behaviour of people who choose to use violence
8. Respect the needs of children and young people as individuals
9. Learn from what’s working and be flexible and tailor approaches
Where in the above does it talk about men’s violence?
Where in the above does it talk about men’s sense of entitlement?
Where in the above does it talk about men at all?
Are we never going to name them, shame them and hold them accountable?
The original idea and 1st plan were, of course, part of the Gillard Government and a great starting point. Looking at the subsequent and final plan which was from the Liberal-Coalition Government I am struggling to observe any progress, and there is such an avoidance of referring to the perpetrators as who they really are = (Mostly) MEN.
This is from a government whose own parliamentary offices are under scrutiny for being sanctuaries of deeply misogynistic behaviour. Why, then, would we be surprised that any investigation would be lacking any finger pointing at the gender overwhelmingly engaged in the violence towards women and their children?
……………DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RATES INCREASE IN 2020
The current ABS statistics show an increase of 13% in Domestic Violence in 2020, so there is no evidence of improvement as a consequence of the national plan. Millions of $ and no progress. Time to try something a bit more targeted, maybe focussing on the (mostly) men who are the perpetrators.
BTW – FYI – For the final quarter of the plan, 2019 – 2022 the NSW Premier, Our Glad, announced that her goal was to reduce domestic violence reoffending by 25% by 2022. That’s a great contribution, isn’t it? It’s rather like saying – “Look, young man, it’s OK that you just gave violence a trial run and beat her to a pulp, but if you do it again we’ll take it seriously.”
In 2015 the Victorian Government held a Royal Commission into domestic and family violence. (N.B. This is well into the National Plan 2010 – 2022 )
Delete the highlighted section if you think it’s unnecessary.
The Commission’s task as specified in its terms of reference, was to identify the most effective ways to:
- prevent family violence
- improve early intervention so as to identify and protect those at risk
- support victims, particularly women and children, and address the impacts of violence on them
- make perpetrators accountable
- develop and refine systemic responses to family violence—including in the legal system and by police, corrections, child protection, legal and family violence support services
- better coordinate community and government responses to family violence
- evaluate and measure the success of strategies, frameworks, policies, programs and services introduced to put a stop family violence.
The Commission was asked to make practical recommendations to achieve these outcomes. Their report was presented to the Victorian Government in 2016. One of the major findings was that “too little effort is devoted to prevention.”
Why aren’t we surprised!!!
In England, Gloucestershire, there is a Professor of Criminology specialising in the area of domestic homicide – Jane Monkton-Smith, a former police woman who has great insight into the issue.
She says – “Domestic abuse isn’t a row. Its’ when one person has become a threat to another… and that coercive control is not a crime of passion.”
She goes on to say, importantly, that England has accepted that a history of control is predictive of more abuse, and that there are 8 predictable stages that lead to domestic homicide:
1. Going into the relationship there is a history of controlling possessive, jealous behaviour. A huge red flag is talking about a previous relationship as “a crazy, psycho ex”.
2. 2nd big red flag is commitment whirlwind – so quickly in love and this gives them rights and entitlement
3. When a relationship is formed it is dominated by controlling, possessive, jealous patterns – who you see, where you go, what you wear
4. Trigger stage – something challenges his control and puts the relationship under threat
5. From here through to Stage 8 a variety of alternatives can occur depending on various circumstances such as whether they separate at this point, but it escalates as they/he tries to regain control, and it is in these final stages that he will plan her punishment which may include her death and/or the death of her children.
Monkton-Smith is very concerned that the planning phase is recognised in domestic homicides, because it matters in the punishment that is handed out that it is not thought of as a spontaneous crime of passion, but cold, calculated, planned murder and deserves the same level of punishment as any murder.
Additionally Monkton-Smith has found the characteristics described in points 1 – 4 are always present as a precursor to violence. When are we going to make young women aware of this information?
So who are they, these mad murderous (mostly) men?
For this I turn to the Dunedin Study – the longitudinal study that has been undertaken in Dunedin, N.Z. for 50 years. It is an extraordinary study and is now able to produce findings from the research that provide real evidence of causes of human behaviour, or causative factors contributing to certain behaviours. I look at:-
“Findings about partner violence from the longitudinal Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study of a representative birth cohort of 1037 NZ men and women born between April 1 1972 and March 31 1973.”
It found the strongest predictor of partner violence among the many risk factors is a history of aggressive delinquency before age 15. Additionally more than half of all males convicted of violent crime also physically abuse their partners. Other risk factors for male perpetrators included poverty and low academic achievement.
According to the Dunedin Study these findings demonstrate a need for three intervention approaches:
1. Early interventions with teenagers are needed to teach them not to use violence against partners.
2. Interventions with young parents are needed to reduce their stress and protect their small children from exposure to violence at home – young mothers were twice as likely as other young women to be physically abused by their partners.
3. Perpetrators of partner violence tend to be mentally ill and commit other violent crimes as well, suggesting a need for coordination among police, judicial and psychiatric interventions.
THE ROLE OF RESPECT???
I’ve always wanted to know how respect got into the conversation on changing the behaviours of abusers. It seems to be a really misguided interpretation of the causes of violence against women and their children.
Of course someone who respects women, or is respectful of another person’s rights, is not going to hit them. They never were and never will, and this applies to the vast majority of people, including men. They don’t even need to be reminded about it. It is indelibly imprinted into their psyche and is part of who they are. They are not part of this problem.
We need to separate good men from those men who engage in violence against women and children, who sully the reputations of all the other men who will NEVER engage in family violence or sexual assault.
This problem is that any respect abusive (mostly) men feel is obliterated at the point when their humiliated fury comes into play. They turn into frothing-at-the-mouth, mad men usurped by the underlying demons that control them. Not only is respect missing but so is sanity.
Until they have worked these demons out of their systems they are not able to control their behaviour and behave respectfully, especially towards the (mostly) women that they feel they need to control.
Also importantly, when I have just referred to the population of well-adjusted non-violent (mostly) men, let me state another very important statistic.
About one third of all women will be abused during their life time by an intimate partner or family member, however not one third of all men are abusive. Since the gender distribution is generally 50/50, one must conclude that many of these (mostly) male abusers are in fact serial abusers.
Therefore that should make it easier to spot them and, hopefully, deal with them through the justice system.
IT’S A SERIOUS CRIME AFFECTING 30% OF WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN
See the list below for suggested remedies, but before I address them I want to make a general statement about the current responses to abuse and abusers.
There is a reluctance to deal with these violent (mostly) men in a suitably proportional way.
There appears to be a prevailing downplaying of the seriousness of the crime of domestic or family violence.
It’s rarely called a crime, and in the justice system is not elevated to be punished at the level of distress or pain that has been inflicted.
Think about it – a victim/survivor of this violence rarely makes a report after the first incident, if she has the courage to make a report at all.
This violent person, due to his own deep seated personality disorder has beaten up, probably regularly, and whenever they feel like it, a woman who has committed herself to caring about them.
How vile is that?
Yet we do not respond to it at that level and lock them up, and consider throwing away the key as there is a high likelihood that they’ll just do it again, even escalate it to murder for her punishment, or hook up with someone else and start the pattern again.
No we make allowances for a crime of passion, and maybe send them to anger management classes.
This is why, says Jane Monkton-Smith, we must be very aware of the amount of plotting and planning that underpins their violence.
LET’S REMEMBER THEY ARE CRIMINALS
These men are violent and dangerous.
Many criminals are violent and dangerous. Do we take into account their damaged childhood, their lack of education, their impoverished circumstances.
This is not the way we evaluate criminal behaviour in our society.
An AVO is taken out against a man who has threatened or physically hurt his partner. In NSW there are over 30,000 AVO’s out, and approximately 20% of them will be breached. That means that in NSW alone 6,000 (mostly) women will be confronted or abused by the (mostly) men who have a court approved AVO against them doing just that.
Is this not abuse of the judicial system?
Shouldn’t the (mostly) women who have sought the protection of an AVO be able to count on that as protection.
THEN THERE ARE THE COMPLETELY MAD MEN
I live in a home unit block that in 1985 was bombed because a family court judge lived here.
This judge had not awarded sole custody of the bomber’s daughter to him in the newly operating Family Court.
This mad man put a bomb on the front door of the judge’s apartment.
His wife was blown through a wall and died instantly. This violent psychopath then killed another 3 people and attempted to kill many others.
The police weren’t able to pin the murders on him till a change in DNA technology allowed them to prove his involvement.
But his poor wife knew it was him and to stop the killing she handed the daughter over to him.
That poor girl and that poor woman.
The police finally convicted him 40 years later.
Then I think of poor Hannah Clarke who was set alight by her ex-partner after she had moved away from him.
He poured petrol on her and their 3 children who all died, and then killed himself.
This was a mad man, not just a misguided man needing anger management.
Then there was the man who shot his two children on Sydney’s north shore, and the man who jumped of the dam in SA with his little 9 month old baby daughter strapped to his chest. They both died.
Mad! Mad! Mad!
…and the list goes on and is very long and is a shocking and shameful indictment of these mad and violent men.
Domestic terrorists!, which is how Rosie Batty believes they should be renamed.
When are we going to respond accordingly to all these vile things (mostly) men do to others?
The paedophiles, the rapists and the violent abusers. I am beyond trying to understand them.
Something that hasn’t yet been tried is locking them up and throwing away the key.
Who knows that just might work! Can you imagine how many jails it would take to incarcerate them all, but wouldn’t the world be a safer and better place!
Below are some other ideas that might make a significant contribution to changing the statistics:
1. Give women with an AVO a back to base alarm to emergency services
2. Introduce female only staffed police stations for dealing with DV and rape
3. Make the perpetrator pick up all the costs associated with his violence including relocation, loss of work, counselling etc.
4. Allow the perpetrators to be sued by the survivor/victim for damages
5. Introduce Neighbourhood Watch type programmes to engage the entire community
6. Put them on a domestic violence register and limit their behaviours as paedophiles are, and leave them on the register for life.
7. Primary and high school education programmes
8. Self-defence training for females
9. If the family house is jointly owned give the entire place to the wounded partner
10. Remove all weapons from anyone who is known to be violent
11. More shelters and long term accommodation options
12. Put them in jail for a VERY long time.
Please send me any other ideas you have on controlling or punishing Domestic Terrorists.
When are we going to give all women and girls warnings about these men?
It’s extremely important that all women and girls are aware of the tell-tale signs that are red flags and precursors to violence.
We need a national ad campaign not mildly talking about respect, but listing all the signs and signals that are warnings of violent behaviour to come.
If it this sociopathic behaviour is an outcome of early childhood trauma in the men that go on to abuse, it will be far longer than 170 years to fix, as it is going to take an intervention at the parenting level, and that is a looooong way off.
In the mean time:
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!