According to the BBC report, kids apparently find it okay to hit someone because she was late with making diner. This sounds so much like the standard excuse from a batterer it is very scary. The study of 11- and 12-year olds also investigated attitudes toward gender roles. It’s as if feminism had never happened! The aspirations are as sexist as ever. Plus, girls seem clear that they have to censor their own career goals because it’s not right for a girl to be a doctor. Now, this study is small – 89 pupils were asked – so maybe this is a rather skewed sample. But it was followed by a report on an uptick in domestic violence. Interestingly, it is very difficult to verify if this uptick is real because the FBI is not tracking domestic violence homicides separately. Apparently domestic violence is not a hate crime… Or a crime worth tracking separately. But as the article reports, organizations that fight domestic violence and help its victims are seeing a marked increase in requests for help. If we put these two reports together, I am wondering if the increase in domestic violence is not only due to the economic strains but also due to tolerant attitudes. After all, if he’s unemployed, it’s understandable that he’d beat up his wife because he’s just under so much stress – or however the societal excuse might go. Plus, sexist attitudes also reinforce the idea that a man has lost his manhood if he looses his job – and a way to proof that he’s still a man is to beat up his wife/partner. Apparently, we need to start plastering all over the place again: There is NO excuse for domestic violence!
I’ve come across two disturbing newsarticles in the last week or so: A BBC report on a study of children’s responses to questions about partner-violence and a report that despite falling homocide rates, women are increasingly being killed by their partners.