MRA Bunny? Nooooooo!

MRA Bunny? Nooooooo!

Friends, a week rarely goes by without me seeing someone repeating the line that “40% of domestic abuse is suffered by men” or “men experience domestic violence just like women do”.

This irritates me.

Not because domestic violence against men isn’t a problem that we need to address, it most definitely is.

But because the only way one can believe that statistic is if one is a pedantic robot, with no understanding of the research literature as a whole.

The problems begin with the claim that “40% of the victims of domestic abuse are men, and that’s like, almost 50%, so almost half of the victims of domestic violence are men yo!”

It bears noting that the study most commonly cited as evidence of the “40%” figure was a questionnaire, so there’s no way of know whether the reports are accurate or not. But even if we assume that they are there is a much bigger issue with that research: it has no concept of scale, duration, or severity. In other words someone who gets slapped on the hand by their spouse has the same ‘weight’ in the study as someone who is repeatedly beaten and raped by one.

Don’t believe me? That’s ok you can read about it from a real-life ‘Men’s Rights Activist’ page where they discuss multiple studies. Just ignore the parts about how ‘feminists are destroying the world’ and pay attention to what the main study counted as “violence”. The definition that was used was, and I quote, “any abuse, threat or force from a partner or ex-partner”.

In other words even a threat from a partner was counted as “violence”.

Ever gotten an angry text from an ex where they say they want you to die in a fire? Well then, you’re a survivor of intimate partner violence.


See? Definitions are important!

See? Definitions are important!

And it gets worse. When you scroll down you find that that when uses of “actual force” are calculated the figure is really 19% of women and 10% of men. That’s not a 60/40 split. That’s more like 65/35, or close to double for women than for men. But that might be hard to notice since the only bits on the page that are printed in BOLD are the bits that support the idea of a 60/40 split. It’s a canny tactic. Maybe I’ll use it for the rest of this article.

And once again there was no description of scale and no discussion of whether there are different types of abuse that are more severe than others, say getting slapped as opposed to getting stabbed. In fact they make no attempt to investigate how many cases of domestic violence ended in death for one or both partners. So if women suffer abuse that is on average more severe or more long term than that suffered by men this study will not detect it.

And since we know that men are far more likely to commit murder than women I think we’d know what they’d find if they did investigate cases of domestic homicide.

(It does bear noting that worldwide men are far more likely than women to be the victims of murder. But that covers all situations, not just domestic violence, and men are still overwhelmingly the perpetrators of murder compared to women.)

But even that isn’t the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that this website deliberately leaves out any discussion of sexual abuse and they only mention incidences of stalking, not whether the stalking escalated into violence.

Creepy, creepy sexual abuse :o

Stalking, about to become violent.

They cover the evidence this way because they know damn well that women suffer sexual abuse at the hands of men at much greater rates than the reverse and that a woman being stalked by a man is far more likely to be attacked by her stalker than a man being stalked by a woman.

They also don’t discuss the fact that a certain proportion of the men who suffer domestic violence, or stalking, do so at the hands of another man

The issue isn’t even mentioned, and they certainly don’t investigate whether it happens often enough to be relevant.

They don’t cover this because they’re not interested in it. The madon that they have for feminism makes it pretty clear that they’re not interested in the truth of their claims, only in supporting a false narrative that argues that men suffer abuse that is as bad as that suffered by women.

Which is bullshit.

When you look at the research that actually compares degrees of violence suffered by men and by women you find that women suffer much worse abuse than men, the abuse they suffer tends to last longer, and those abusive relationships are far more likely to end in death.

If you want a decent overview of the many ways in which women suffer, that men do not, you can check out the Wikipedia page about domestic violence.

Note how many countries there are where women are routinely tortured, disfigured, raped, or murdered by men while the men themselves get off scott free.

On the other hand, since we’re talking about evidence, people who push the 40% statistic often site research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) .

Which is really funny because if you actually read the research that they cite you find that it also says that women suffer domestic abuse, and abuse in general, that is far worse than what men do. Even if you focus just on domestic violence you find that women have it much worse than men.

I must say that according to the CDC 35% of women and 29% of men have experienced domestic violence.

But that’s just more research that doesn’t take severity into account.

Which of course means that it’s the figure that will most often be cited by the “40% mafia”.

...and so is the 40% figure.

…and so is the 40% figure.

But if you go into the details a different picture swims into focus:

  • 33% of abused women suffer multiple forms of abuse compared to 8% of men.
  • 17% of women experience non-rape sexual assault. 8% of men have had to suffer the same.
  • 9% of women have been raped by an intimate partner, typically a man.

And the statistics of men who were raped by women? Cases like that are so rare that reporting on them in an epidemiological study is pointless.

These findings would be amazing if not for one thing: They are completely, fucking, obvious!

Men have an average of 30% to 40% more muscle mass than women, so we are usually stronger. We are far more likely to get into fights throughout our lives so we are better at fighting and more comfortable with violence.

And we live in societies that give us social and economic power that women do not have.

In order to believe that men and women suffer similar levels of abuse at each other’s hands you would have to believe that all the forces of culture, socialisation, and genetics itself suddenly go out the window when people get into a relationship.

Just *poof*. Gone.

Like magic.

The scariest part is that it's even bigger on the inside.

The scariest part is that it’s even bigger on the inside.

And while holding on to counter-intuitive conclusions is fine, if there is evidence to support them, there is no evidence that women and men suffer similar levels of domestic violence.

So the people who say that men and women suffer similar levels of domestic abuse expect us to ignore the obvious conclusion, based on no evidence, just because it serves their ends.

But I also have to say, because it still doesn’t get said enough, that the fact that some men do suffer horrible domestic abuse is not in question and never has been.

Similarly, the fact that there isn’t nearly enough support available for abused men is not in question either, and it’s a fucking scandal.

But when people base a movement to help abused men on misleading research, distortion, and lies they completely undermine its foundations.

Domestic violence against men is a real problem. So why not call attention to it using real research?

They don’t have to mislead people.

But because they do mislead people someone like me, who would normally be on their side, has to devote a blog post to calling them on their bullshit, instead on offering my support.

The domestic abuse of men, at the hands of both men and women, is a real problem.

So it should be possible to promote aid to those who need it without resorting to misinformation.

But anyone who says that the abuse that men suffer is anything close to that suffered by women simply is not telling the truth.

It's funny because it's true. Unfortunately.

It’s funny because it’s true. Unfortunately.

[Standard Disclaimer: this post was entirely my own opinion and was not paid for in any way, directly or otherwise, by anyone or anything that stands to gain in any way from the ideas expressed herein.]

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