Editor’s note: This article is also available in Spanish.
A few years ago I was listening to a late night radio program and the subject of male victims of domestic violence (DV) arose. The male host of this particular show encouraged men who had experienced violence at the hands of a woman to ring in and share their story.
Men did call. I was impressed by the fact that this bloke was swimming against the tide in allowing men a voice. My admiration and respect for this man was extinguished only minutes later. Our radio host was happy for men to share their stories as long as none of them made any reference to retaliation-even in self defence. One caller spoke of the night his angry girlfriend deliberately and literally jammed her stiletto heel through the top of his foot. The man said he pushed the woman over with force.
Whoa! Hold it right there! The host became very agitated and seemed to be overcome with anxiety as he berated this caller for laying a hand on a woman. He raised his voice to emphasise how strongly he condemned this caller for daring to push a woman. He said he wanted to make it crystal clear that under absolutely no circumstances could he ever condone a man pushing, hitting or physically harming a woman. The caller reminded him that he had had a stiletto rammed through his foot, but the host only repeated his mantra and pleaded with listeners to understand that he would not tolerate any more calls that involved the touching of a woman. His fear of being branded someone who condones or advocates violence against women(even in self defense) was palpable.
I lay in bed that night fantasizing about that radio host. I imagined this moron being assaulted by three drunk, aggressive and armed women as he made his way to the underground car park with security cameras capturing every second of his flailing fists and defensive headlocks. How sweetly I would remind him of his earlier lecture as he sat safe and secure in radio land, feeding his female audience the drivel they so love to hear from a man.
There is a chasm, a gulf of enormous proportions which separates the reality of what women are physically capable of doing and the idealized, mythical narrative we have been fed throughout our lives.
I raised this very point during one of my occasional Facebook debates with a family member. I suggested that women were capable of inflicting great harm on a man and that subduing an enraged woman is far more difficult than many men would chose to believe. My relative scoffed and said with the rarest of exceptions any man would be capable of subduing (without exerting undue or harmful force) any woman no matter how angry or aggressive she was.
You Tube can be a great ally at times like this. I immediately found a clip involving a burly police officer trying to cuff a woman who was resisting. He could not do it alone. He wrestled and grappled, he huffed and he puffed and it was only when another officer intervened that the woman was brought under
control. I popped this onto his Facebook page and wondered if he would rethink his quaint notion that real men can handle any woman in a physical confrontation without having to harm them in any way. He never responded.
Another clip shows a woman attempting to cut a policeman’s throat. He struggles to control her and has to rely on the help of another cop to eventually gain the upper hand. Neither of the women in these clips is powerfully built or above average size and weight. There are many far more physically imposing women than these two, yet the struggles of the police to overpower them is clear to see.
If police officers, armed and trained in martial arts have such difficulty subduing an aggressive woman how much more difficult is it for your average man in the street who has no training in any form of physical combat and is passive by nature to defend himself from physical abuse at the hands of an aggressive, abusive female partner?
More recently a knife wielding woman was shot dead in Sydney when she approached police officers in a threatening manner. I wanted to ask my relative how he felt about that. Here we have armed police officers believing that one woman with a knife posed a serious enough threat for them to feel it was necessary to shoot her rather than grapple and disarm her. I do not blame them for one moment.
Yet if these police officers had been called out to a home where a domestic violence incident had allegedly occurred and the male had explained that the female came at him with a knife, bottle, rolling pin….would they have suggested he should have been able to deal with it? The evidence tends to suggest that he would be cuffed and removed from the home. There are many stories being told by men who do call the police which indicate that the police have very little tolerance for men who claim to be abused or threatened by a woman. They often find the very notion amusing and rather pathetic. “Deal with it-you’re a man!” seems to be the attitude.
Articles like this one by David Penberthy are typical of the sneering, arrogant attitude of so many of the men who ride aboard the feminist bandwagon.They ask: Are we seriously expected to believe there are men out there who live in fear of the missus?
They present the cartoon caricature of a twenty stone Neanderthal cowering at the feet of a tiny, petite brunette wielding nothing more than a “you go girl” attitude and a disgusted contemptuous sneer.
We witnessed this attitude at play in the recent episode of Q and A which supposedly tackled the issue of Family Violence. At the very end of the program a man dared to tell his story of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his female partner. People who were in the audience say there was an audible muttering of outraged women calling this man a liar. The panel dismissed his plea to give help to male victims almost as quickly as the audience members. It was a sickening reminder of how deeply entrenched are our myths about females.
Women are not frail. Women are capable of inflicting the most horrendous physical damage on men, other women and children. Let’s leave the reality of the emotional abuse some women inflict upon their families and partners and look at the more readily recognizable damage a woman can inflict. One doesn’t have to work too hard to find almost unlimited examples of female brutality from the dusty annals of history to online reports and stories from this year.
An Australian woman, Katherine Knight, leaps to mind. I would love to have her meet with David Penberthy and explain to him how she dealt with men who annoyed or upset her. Katherine should surely sit at the top of the mountain of murderous monsters in our countries rich and colourful history of violent crime.. At the age of sixteen Katherine found her dream job, cutting up offal at the local abattoir. She was quickly promoted and given her own set of butcher knives, which she hung over her bed “so they would always be handy if I needed them” This was a habit she maintained wherever she lived. Knight met and married a fellow worker named David Kellett. His mother in law told gave him some kindly advice: ‘You better watch this one or she’ll fucking kill you. Stir her up the wrong way or do the wrong thing and you’re fucked, don’t ever think of playing up on her, she’ll fuckin kill you! She’s got a screw loose somewhere.”
On their wedding night she tried to strangle him; Knight explained it was because he fell asleep after only having intercourse three times. During the next few months Knight fractured her husband’s skull with a frying pan when he arrived home late from a darts competition. Knight talked David into dropping all charges which he duly did. Knight placed her two month old daughter on a railway track a short time before a train was due. An old local wandering past the track rescued the baby only minutes before the train arrived. Knight was arrested and again taken to St Elmo’s Hospital, but, apparently recovered, signed herself out the following day.
Knight wreaked more violent havoc in the ensuing weeks on a number of people. Kellett subsequently left his abusive wife but she found new partners, including David Saunders-she cut the throat of his two month old puppy to show him what would happen if he was ever unfaithful. She knocked Saunders unconscious with an iron and stabbed him in the stomach with scissors. Saunders took long service leave and took off in fear for his life. When he returned several months later he discovered that his wife had issued an Apprehended Violence Order on him after telling police she was afraid of him.
Knight found yet another victim by the name of John Price.- a local miner. He suffered a number of vicious assaults, including a stabbing at the hands of his deranged girlfriend before he finally kicked her out of his house. On 29 February, he stopped at the Scone Magistrate’s Court on his way to work and took out a restraining order to keep her away from both him and his children. That afternoon, Price told his co-workers that if he did not come to work the next day, it would be because Knight had killed him. They pleaded with him not to go home but he told them that he believed she would kill his children if he did not. A documentary with the full account of the horrendous murder of John Price can be viewed here. Suffice to say she would be a fine companion for Hannibal Lector. After stabbing Price 37 times Knight skinned him and hung the skin on a meathook upon the architrave of a door leading to the lounge room.
The men Katherine Knight brutalized were miners or abattoir workers-not, lacking in strength and vigor. How was it possible that a woman could inflict such horrific damage upon these hard men? It flies in the face of everything we hear and read about women.
How can any intelligent person suggest or believe that women with a propensity for violence are not capable of inflicting terrible damage upon males, particularly men and boys who have placid, easy going natures? How can those in the Family Violence industry deliberately ignore the fact that even the smallest women with evil intent can bring an iron crashing down upon an unsuspecting man’s head or bury a kitchen knife deep in his unprotected back, or perhaps carry out the very popular penis lopping stunt whilst the male is asleep. These acts of violence are not some kind of unimaginable sick fantasy-they have been carried out around the world by women thousands of times.
Yet the myth persists.
More recently here in Australia, eight children were butchered by a woman-mother of seven of them and aunt to one. Eight children, systematically murdered with a knife. Some of these children were mature teenagers, all brutally killed by a woman.
This is the elephant in the room for feminists who never refer to the violence women perpetrate upon children. The endless use of the term “protecting women and children” by domestic violence workers, White Ribbon Ambassadors, Police Commissioners and politicians reinforces (very deliberately) the idea that all of the violence is coming from one group and all of the harm is experienced by “women and children.” Perhaps if photos of the homicide scenes which confronted the police who worked on the Katherine Knight case or the more recent mass murder in Cairns were published it might shock people out of their quaint, complacent acceptance of the idea that women are simply not capable of committing such atrocities.