Karl Stefanovic has continued the longstanding tradition of so many men who grace our television screens on a regular basis—it is game called “throw men under the bus” in order to win the eternal affectionate gratitude of your largely female audience. Eddie McGuire, Charlie Pickering, Andrew O’Keefe, and many others do this on a regular basis.
Stefanovic’s offering “Hitting a Woman Is the Ultimate Coward’s Punch” contains all of the self-serving “I’m not one of those men” lines backed with the usual deceitfully manipulated statistics on domestic violence so meekly swallowed by those who have no interest in the truth.
He begins by writing about the New South Wales government’s “One Punch” law created to deal with the problem of alcohol-fuelled violence. He supports the law, but it got him thinking and he says:
Something dawned on me. A coward by definition is a person who lacks courage in facing danger or difficulty. What about the violence perpetrated by some men against women. What do we call that? What do we call the man who strikes a woman?
I can think of a range of names, all of them very derogatory.
I wonder about other perpetrators of violence too. What, for example, do we call a woman who dumps her newborn baby in a bin? Is there a commonly used name for women who beat and abuse their children?
Stefanovic goes on to describe a type of singlet referred to as the “wife beater” in reference to Marlon Brando’s character in A Streetcar Named Desire.
He was violent and wore a white singlet. ‘Wife beater’.
The name seemed to stick in Australia. Can you imagine how anyone could call an item of clothing a ‘wife beater’ and think it was funny? Like I said, they were different times, although there are still parts of Australia where the term ‘wife beater’ is accepted Aussie slang. More importantly, this is a country where violence against women seems accepted.
Perhaps he is also offended by the notion that women on prime time nationwide television shows can laugh hysterically about the brutal mutilation of a man’s genitals by his wife and call it “fabulous” and still remain working happily in the industry the following day and beyond.
I suppose the sanctification of Lorena Bobbitt all over the world simply because she hacked off her husband’s penis was not something that caught Stefanovic’s attention. Candlelit vigils and giant banners sung her praises, and to this day the very mention of her name brings a smug, satisfied smirk to the faces of many women. Why? She mutilated a man.
I wonder if he is aware of the T-shirts and badges still available online that call Lorena a role model for women or simply state “Lorena Rules.” He didn’t mention them in his column. These reactions are commonplace throughout the Western world, yet no one has ever suggested we seem to accept violence against men. Yet we do just that. Violence against men is funny, fitting, or invisible.
I would like to challenge Stefanovic to point to one example of a time when any male on any television show or other form of media praised a man for physically abusing a woman. I don’t believe he will find one. It is a regular occurrence when a man is harmed by a woman. What does this say about our society’s attitude toward violence?
He quickly jumps to the damning statistics.
Look around where you work. One in three. Look around the shop you are in. One in three. Look around the bus or train. One in three. Look around your university lecture. One in three. Look on your Facebook page. One in three. Look in your daughter’s classroom. One in three will experience it.
I think he really believes it. Every third female you come across has been bashed and battered by a man. The depth of his stupidity is breathtaking. How can anyone who has lived some forty-odd years on this planet truly believe that such a battering is taking place behind closed doors? Who are these people and how do our women manage to conceal not only the considerable physical damage they must be suffering from these beatings but the emotional trauma as well?
And what of the men who are doing all this battering? Unless there is a gang of thugs going door to door, one must logically assume from these damning statistics that one in three men are beating their girlfriends and wives. One-third of our community is up to its neck in violent abuse. Surely many of them are friends and associates of Stefanovic. As they keep telling us, no one is immune. There are dark secrets hidden behind our closed doors. How the hell do we keep functioning so smoothly? How can a society made up of so many disturbed, traumatized people continue to operate in the way it does?
I wonder if Stefanovic has run his eyes over the family violence survey used by the White Ribbon brigade to bring them the mouth-watering statistics he is so quick to use and believe? I doubt it.
He soon gets to the “I’m not one of them” part of his very predictable rant. He explains that he was:
sufficiently scared of the old man, in a father son kind of way to heed the warning that he should NEVER HIT A WOMAN.
I also believed that if my dad ever found out I had hit a woman, I in turn would cop a right royal flogging. We know now violence begets violence, but with young men the message from their dads or male role models is crucial. I can honestly say the thought of striking a woman has never even entered my mind.
Notice how casually Stefanovic accepts the notion that he would cop a severe beating from his father and see it as totally justified and perfectly reasonable? A father can beat the tripe out of his son and that’s an appropriate way to teach a boy right from wrong. Is this an example of domestic violence—don’t be ridiculous. It’s just a dad doing what he has to do.
Would Stefanovic feel just as comfortable if his dad had administered a “right royal flogging” to his daughters for behaving in an unacceptable manner? No, I think that would be another example of violence against women.
So the best way to teach our boys that violence toward girls is unacceptable is to threaten them with a violent beating. Well, it worked for Karl. What does that tell them about our society’s attitude toward violence against males, young or old?
Stefanovic thinks we can put an end to violence against women because its causes are simple. Bad, violent men beat up females because they have no moral compass when it comes to physical abuse.
The message is as simple as the causes of the violence. If you hit a woman you ARE a coward. In the truest sense of the word.
Yep. That should get the job done. Kevin Rudd’s approach was equally brilliant. His statement to young males was “It isn’t cool to hit women.”
You see, Stefanovic and Rudd understand that the underlying cause of all this violence against women is that men and boys think they are brave and cool when they beat up a female. Well, Rudd’s slogan will soon set them straight!
Once again the collective responsibility for all of this violence is placed upon our sons, brothers, fathers, and grandfathers. Stefanovic pleads with them to: Have the conversation. Turn to each other and say it. Because it is very clear to him that unless males are told that it is wrong to hit a female, they will be swinging wildly at every girl they encounter.
It is a sad fact that one woman dies at the hand of her partner each week. This is a tragedy for all involved. It is not an epidemic of murder and abuse as so many like to call it. My calculator revealed that 52 women in a population of, let’s say, eleven million females is 0.00000473% of the female population. Too many, but words like epidemic should never be applied to these figures.
Sadly, again, male victims are dismissed as statistically insignificant even though one-quarter of the murdered people are men. We also know of course that the fact that three-quarters of all suicides are committed by males is not deemed worthy of a mention when the issue of suicide is discussed in our mainstream media. Suddenly the figures are irrelevant and the loss of life, male or female, is the focus.
As for Stefanovic’s claims of one in three—this lie has been discredited and amended by the ABC on its website. It’s actually one in forty-eight, but really, who is counting? One woman is too many, right? Let’s not quibble over statistics!
Oh—and the response to this heartfelt rant was everything he could have hoped for. The gushing accolades flowed:
Oh Karl, if only there were more men like you!
seems to sum up the general thrust of female comments. Job done, Mr. Stefanovic.
You are the man!
http://youtu.be/muuFygvXPAM Sharon Osborne