The most disrespectful question: why doesn’t she just leave?

22 Apr

Why doesn't she just leave?

 

The question “Why doesn’t she just leave” continues to be asked of and about women who live or have lived with domestic violence.

Aside from practical considerations such as ever-decreasing government funding to frontline refuge and legal aid services that make it difficult for a woman to find somewhere to go and access the trained assistance she needs.  Apart from the acknowledged fact that attempting to leave is the most dangerous time for women and children, as her desperate assertion of independence can incite a perpetrator to even greater brutality as he attempts to maintain control of her.

Aside from those considerations, there are the well-documented complexities of human reactions frequently demonstrated in situations when violence is inflicted by those upon whom we are in some way dependent. Even a rudimentary understanding of these complexities will expose the question “Why doesn’t she just leave” as the statement of monumental ignorance and cruel disdain it actually is. A question that reveals far more about the questioner than it ever can about the questioned.

What it reveals about the questioner is that they are ill-informed, simplistic in their thinking, lazy,and lacking the ability to imaginatively transpose themselves into the shoes of another. They are also likely living comparatively safe lives, and haven’t been unduly challenged. They are disturbed by domestic violence and wish it would just go away, or that the victims would just leave and then it would all go away and most importantly, cease disturbing them. It’s a question always asked with an undertone of exasperation and an overtone of blame: why can’t you take responsibility for yourself? What’s wrong with you?

It is an accusatory question that blames the victim.

In short, the question is utterly disrespectful.

It’s likely difficult or impossible to prove this theory, but I’ve been thinking for some time now that lack of concern for violence against women by governments (amply demonstrated in reduced funding, lack of refugees, denied access to legal assistance and the rest, in spite of many grand words about “respect”) is underpinned by the question “Why doesn’t she just leave?” In other words, violence against women continues with little and indeed lessening government alarm, because women are judged as not having the sense or the willpower to leave situations that are patently bad for themselves and their children, so why, if they won’t help themselves, should governments and taxpayers bother?

Do governments also secretly ask “Why doesn’t she just leave?”

People who ask this question have the emotional intelligence of a turnip. I’d like to know, though I probably never will, just how deeply this attitude is entrenched in politicians who make decisions about combating intimate violence against women. Do they secretly believe all a woman needs is to have the guts to walk away, to somewhere, into the sunset perhaps? And does this explain the lack of interest in assisting her?

There is no sensible explanation for the general lack of political will to do far more about intimate violence than has yet been done. The options for women attempting to leave violent partners are decreasing. Police have fewer refuges to which they can take victims. Specialist domestic violence services have been subsumed under the umbrella of homelessness. And the numbers of dead and injured women and children keep rising.

When someone asks “Why doesn’t she just leave” maybe it would be interesting to respond “Why are you asking that question?”

Women enduring domestic violence and its aftermath ought not to be subjected to such questioning, overt or covert and I suspect the question, and the attitude that makes it possible for such a question to even be asked, is somewhere close to the heart of an explanation of why governments will not act in ways commensurate with a crisis that, like it or not, affects everyone, even the complacent, in some detrimental way.

 

 

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115 Responses to “The most disrespectful question: why doesn’t she just leave?”

  1. Hawkpeter April 22, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    Not sure if you saw this, but the trailer release for the upcoming HBO production ‘Confirmation’ on the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings really dramatizes this very well.

    I had not heard of the story until reading about it this week and Kerry Washington’s performance as Hill, the Law Professor, in this scene really hits the mark with what you are talking about here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. helvityni April 22, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    Many women leave, usually it’s the women who have jobs… What follows: the abusive men find new women to abuse, and so it goes.

    Where does this abuse originate, have these men been victims of sexual abuse as children, is our heavy alcohol use to blame, is it unemployment, the loneliness of many of our suburbs, people constantly on the move so there is not much of a community to support you….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 11:22 am #

      Helvi, The current theory is that violence against women is caused by gender inequality.

      Like

      • helvityni April 22, 2016 at 11:39 am #

        …and why is there such a huge gender inequality in Australia? I did never experience it in Finland ,Sweden or Holland. Those are the countries I have also lived in.

        Does it all date back to our convict days, how do we compare with countries like England and Canada?

        Like

      • paul walter April 22, 2016 at 11:47 am #

        Do you agree with that? “Gender inequality” could be a term taken in so many way.

        I suspect you would have a more nuanced and comprehensive take you could expand on.

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

          Do you mean me or Helvi?

          Like

          • helvityni April 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

            Basically I’m trying to understand why the domestic violence is so rampant in Australia, worse than any country I have lived in.
            Has our obsession with privacy have something to do with it.

            In my first few days in Oz, we were on George Street in
            Sydney; a man was lying there, maybe suffering from a heart attack, maybe drunk, maybe somehow disabled, people walked happily past, obviously not wanting to get involved. I found it very strange.

            In Italy ordinary people put flowers and toys on the coffins of drowned asylum seeker kids. Here even the killing of Reza Berati was shrugged off coolly, tha’st what happens when you want to come here…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

              I agree with you Helvi. There is a cruel sensibility here that is not as evident in some European countries.

              Like

              • doug quixote April 22, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

                I suggest a fact-check before drawing comparisons. The Swedish article I linked above is a case in point.

                I don’t want to be accused of minimising our problem, but we should try to be fair.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jennifer Wilson April 23, 2016 at 6:26 am #

                  I was responding to Helvi pointing out the difference in attitudes to asylum seekers between here and some European countries.

                  Like

                • helvityni April 23, 2016 at 8:43 am #

                  Maybe Sweden has also taken more than their fair share of asylum seekers, much more than Finland or Australia, they have been TOO generous.

                  Too many in a very short time

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • helvityni April 23, 2016 at 8:52 am #

                    The burden of taking asylum seekers should be shared, countries should not build fences around their borders, like Hungary and other countries have done.

                    When are we finally allowing those few Syrians in, so far it’s only been 26.

                    Liked by 1 person

          • paul walter April 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

            Anyone who can elaborate. Helvi can go first, but you might not be a bad default.

            I have read elsewhere that some women don’t want to be equal with men because it would be too much of a come down.

            It is true that I am here because I beleive there may be a chance to understand something I suspect I am not well clued up on.

            I do know I don’t feel confident as a man at the thought of being in a certain type of relationship because I don’t like the worst of me and wouldn’t have possible consequences imposed on someone else.

            But I agree with you that you don’t have to be helpful and will toddle off, it being Friday.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. paul walter April 22, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    It is an uncompromising thread and firstly I confess I have wondered the same thing. I am shown up here and asked to reconsider, which given the gruesomeness of the worst of it, is a fair request.

    The truth is, it seems as bleak as the cold morning here in Adelaide and I haven’t even the foggiest clue as to what can be done as to any solution for it in the short term and that is disheartening.

    The demoralising aspects are probably what drives people to turn away from it, a bit like with the response to the also solution-resistant problem of the horrors of on-going African famines.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. townsvilleblog April 22, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    Goodness me the situations are so many and varied one could give a thousand answers to this question: a couple may be 1. The woman does not work and relies on the man for basic accommodation and food to eat 2. the woman may still love the bloke concerned, and make no mistake in 95 out of a hundred times it is the bloke who dishes out the violence. What the cure is I wouldn’t pretend to know, but this situation has spiked after the federal govt intervention. Women need more ‘safe houses’ to which they can flee for their own safety and the safety of their children. One thing I can just about guarantee is that the 40 years of violent films and videos sent here by the yanks have not assisted in stemming the flow of this repulsive action.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      Agree, Townsville. Urgent need for frontline services so decimated by the LNP government

      Like

  5. paul walter April 22, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    That’s better.. I function better with some food in tum!

    The way Jennifer Wilson has unpacked this, there seems to be two issues.

    The first Is covered with reference to social infrastructure cuts and a mentality I find Rupert Murdoch a representation of, eg Ebenezer Scrooge. This is to do with the necessary band-aiding of today’s consequences arising from the phenomena.

    The second concerns origins; how conditioning of a “corporal” mentality instilled in boys taken into manhood or “learned helplessness” in some girls and women (Mrs Faulkner?).

    Both states are straight jackets and not “lifestyle choices” as someone like Tony Abbott would say, although he is course a perfect example of male conditioning with its unreflexive aspect.

    The problem seems to be that society and general and family life itself in particular,are themselves combined, the incubator for future problems. At this very moment kids, male and female are growing up in dysfunctional homes, soaking up the vibes, learning without even knowing it, very substandard ways of responding to situations later in their own lives.

    How do you get to every home in the nation and inject something (what, for heaven’s sake?) into the air that gets to folk from the inside out, that some how redirect the paths taken by ill dispersed and disrupted errant neurones.

    Like

  6. helvityni April 22, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    If men are more ‘equal’, if they are the top dogs in politics, in employment/career opportunities, in sport, at family stakes etc, then why are they not content: why the need to kick or bite the weaker dogs, the women.

    Have women in Australia allowed this to happen for too long, has our divided education system been unhelpful in all this…

    Like

    • paul walter April 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

      I tried to explain that in my last post, or at least my idea of why this comes about. You alluded to this yourself a little, in your first post.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sam Jandwich April 22, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

      Helvi – my take on this issue is that men don’t become violent *because* they’re the top dogs. And maybe I’m biased but from my personal perspective there’s nothing I’ve ever come across in the experience of being male that would suggest violence against, and a sense of entitlement over women is ever justifiable.

      …but I still think that gender inequality is a major root cause of DV, since the (persisting) patriarchal nature of our society allows men to have much easier lives than do women, and allows them to get away with not developing their emotional maturity as much as they probably should…

      … and as a result, men often become confused and insecure when confronted with things they don’t understand, and ill-equipped to communicate their concerns appropriately and reach a common ground – so they lash out instead. How does that sound?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

        Also, Sam, inherent in patriarchy is the assumption that men are always superior to women, probably because the assumed inferiority of women furthers patriarchy’s cause & provides it with armies of servants. You don’t cast as a servant someone you consider equal. I mean servant in a very broad sense of course.

        Like

        • paul walter April 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

          Also, I think Sam is partly right in that men with “wherewithal” are less likely to fall into negative habit of hitting out at the people around them..this seems more a symptom of a less well equipped type, or some one damaged, than an alpha type.

          Y’r ‘umble serpent, Paul.

          Like

      • helvityni April 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

        ‘…my take on this issue is that men don’t become violent *because* they’re the top dogs.’

        Sam J, I did not say that men BECAME violent because they think they are the top dogs in the family/ relationship situation. I was just wondering why can’t they ever be happy and even a little bit kind to the perceived lesser dogs, their partners/wives…

        Like

  7. samjandwich April 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Jennifer, while I agree with your post, I have to say that I don’t think it’s helpful to criticise people for not having had the life experience or imaginativeness not to ask “why doesn’t she just leave”. I know it’s tiresome, but I always think it’s worth trying to explain to people expressing such attitudes precisely why “she can’t just leave”, and that they should educate themselves further in the matter. Most people don’t want to be ignorant and shut off from others – though many have trouble opening themselves up as well.

    Of course if they persist in their views despite being told otherwise, then go forth with both barrels!

    I went to a really good seminar last night on this topic: https://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/events/says-who-panel-discussion-domestic-family-and-sexual-violence-whats-gender-got-to-do-with-it/ . The panellists were very high-calibre (hehe*-) and quite progressive in the sense that they were all highlighting the value of taking a more nuanced, comprehensive and context-specific approach to understanding and responding to DV. There should be a video available soon.

    The best comment of the night award went to Caroline Burn of the NSW police, who said that once DV becomes a police matter then it’s already too late to imagine that it can be managed positively – and that funding is currently far too skewed towards a police response at the expense of prevention and early intervention, and to refuges. The panellists were recognising that even though DV is primarily a gendered issue, that women are far and away the most common victims and men the most common perpetrators, that gender equality alone is not the only answer, that there are important exceptions to the common patterns, and that probably the best thing we can do is to start educating people right from the start (ie age three) about what respectful relationships look like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      Who said I always have to be helpful?

      Like

    • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

      Sorry, Sam, that was an unworthy response, but I am exasperated with people who still ask this question and suspect them of wilful ignorance.
      Perhaps respect is the word, I’m not certain. For me it has more to do with Levinas’s theory of vulnerability: that we must recognise the inevitable vulnerability in every other human being, and our responsibility to refrain from exploiting it. This is what we should be teaching children from birth.

      Like

      • doug quixote April 22, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

        Yes, it is a civilising process. Children are by nature nasty little shits, who need to be tamed, taught and led by example.

        (only half kidding)

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson April 23, 2016 at 6:30 am #

          Yes, true, the problem is who teaches them what. I think gruesome fairytales were invaluable but now Disney has falsified all human emotion so god knows how kids subjected to those tales will end up.

          Like

          • doug quixote April 23, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

            True. Disney “cleaned up” the fairy tales and did the kiddies no favours. The cautionary tales are made into mush.

            But every generation in history has despaired of the next generation:

            “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”

            ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

      • samjandwich May 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

        That’s true… and interestingly I’ve been to a couple of seminars recently by men’s behavioural change practitioners, who were able to make the first serious argument for domestic violence’s having associations with “traditional” masculinity that I’ve ever come across in my life – and have actually had success in preventing recidivism by teaching empathy!

        BTW the video of the gig I mentioned above is now available, theoretically-based though it is…: https://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/about-us/community-engagement/says-who-public-panel-discussion-series/

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson May 17, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

          Thanks, Sam, I’m interested to see this video. And hear the arguments, it’s a contested theory, though mostly contested by Mark Latham lolololol

          Like

  8. diannaart April 22, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    “I’d like to know, though I probably never will, just how deeply this attitude is entrenched in politicians who make decisions about combating intimate violence against women. …..”

    Another reason for equal representation – we already know that many women are as judgmental of women as their brothers – a 50/50 ratio would help balance out the “I am not a feminist” neo-con females.

    As stated, the actual leaving part is very difficult and often the most dangerous part of an abusive relationship.

    I planned my escape, I had friends to help me, I had a full time job and no children and it was still very traumatic – there was one time, after I had moved, where I was able to run next door to get help when my estranged husband did not want to leave one night…

    I count myself as lucky – it is more 30 years ago – I can still wake myself screaming – like I said, I’m one of the lucky ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 22, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

      Yes.
      These events cast long shadows.

      Like

    • Marilyn April 24, 2016 at 6:51 am #

      My grandmother was very violent, she used to bash up my lovely gentle grandpa, in the other family my nana was gentle and caring and my grand father had fits of real violence. Both my parents were very violent, everytime he hit her she bashed us or whinged to make sure he would bash us. I caught her laughing in the passage any number of times as our father was belting three bare bumbed little girls with a razor strop screaming out ”conform you bitches’. You suffered from the psychotic Munchaesens by proxy that nearly killed me and my younger sister before we were five years old. She broke most of my fingers in car and cupboard doors, broke all my toes and my nose, she pushed me out of my high chair and slashed open my face.

      I had an aunty who was a violent, oppressive gorgon who tortured my gentle hen pecked husband to death, all my violent brothers were incredibly gentle men in every sense of the word and three of them married women just like their mother or step mother in the case of 2 of them.

      Violence is not make or female, it’s both – the greatest murder of kids in Australia was by a tripped out mother, little John Austin was tortured to death by his mother and step father.

      There were zero services around when I left an abusive marriage, more mental that physical – but I knew what to do and how to help myself at the ripe old age of 24 because I had been hiding off and on for 19 years by then.

      Violence is not gendered, it is just violence.

      Liked by 1 person

      • diannaart April 24, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

        Like I said, I was lucky.

        I agree that violence is not exclusive to males, however, more men have problems with anger management than do women – this is supported by statistical evidence of violent crimes, where more men are involved. In fact men have more to fear from other men.

        This is not to negate your experience – I know how vindictive females can be – I was bullied throughout primary and secondary schools by other girls – for being just a little bit ‘different’ – at a such a superficial level.

        I cannot begin to imagine what growing up in a household of violent women and men would be like. My father was a drunk, verbally abusive, but I did not encounter outright violence until my ex-husband.

        No one is saying women are not violent – least of all me; we need to focus broadly that bullying and violence is not acceptable – to do this we require the assistance of many men, as they still hold the balance of power in our world.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn April 24, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

          Not sure it’s about anger management being the differential, I think it’s about physical strength – bigger men can inflict more damage on smaller women.

          Liked by 1 person

          • diannaart April 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

            How does managing one’s anger correlate to physical strength?

            Sure men can cause greater harm and they are more likely to use physical means to an end to an argument.

            More women than men turn their anger inwards.

            Just as little boys are told not to cry, little girls are expected to behave themselves – like ladies FFS. Both admonishments result in anger held in, not resolved.

            Please elucidate.

            Like

            • doug quixote April 24, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

              I agree with Marilyn.

              “More women turn their anger inwards” as you put it, because turning it outwards is not cost effective for women – “bigger men can inflict more damage on smaller women.”

              But there is a differential in temperament; I don’t think that is rocket science.

              Like

              • diannaart April 24, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

                Not it is not rocket science.

                Repress children and they grow-up with issues – Duh!

                Now why do you not agree that anger management is worthwhile? – that is what I am taking from Marilyn’s comment: “Not sure it’s about anger management being the differential”

                I never claimed ‘anger management’ as anything other than a useful procedure to… manage anger – not sure about what Marilyn means by “differential”

                Clearly, I am misunderstanding something here and would appreciate a little more explanation – maybe I am having a dumb day….

                Like

  9. paul walter April 23, 2016 at 5:26 am #

    I’m just thinking on the remark asking why politicians response to the sort of suffering diannart described is not “commensurate” with the issue.

    I’m thinking of this in the context of Turnbull hoarding a couple of hundred million dollars off shore while funds are cut for hospitals and refuges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson April 23, 2016 at 6:33 am #

      Why isn’t there the political will? The wrong people are in politics. And frequently for the wrong reasons.

      Like

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) April 23, 2016 at 7:38 am #

        What a succinct little summary of the situation! If only there was a wider recognition of the fact that it begs the question as to what changes need to occur in the selection/endorsement process.

        Here’s another bit of succinticity of potential applicability to this topic:

        #succinct

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson April 23, 2016 at 11:06 am #

          Thank you for that Link, Forrest. I’ve followed Melville.

          Like

          • paul walter April 23, 2016 at 11:55 am #

            I think Forrest Gump has opted for a beautiful aphoristic reply that would have done credit to Nietzsche himself.

            The analogy between offshore refugees and refugees from violence within the very heart of supposed light and goodness, Oz.

            Game changer!

            Everything looks different.

            The only thing I can add is that this point a person looks into his or her own heart, regains a facility related to identifying with and pities victims/others in real world situation and realises, “who am I to cast the first stone, everyone but everyone at some stage” in their lives is going to be in a state of disempowerment and uncertainty. Who knocks back help when it is THEM staring down the barrel of some situation that has suddenly got out of hand.

            …….

            Just watching Sco -Mo on teev whining about the parallel situation with unemployed-bashing.. “all young people will be welfare dependent by their twenties, etc, etc”, while ignoring factors like tax dodging and the disintegration of the jobs market, 457 visas labour- flooding of it and the thus incomprehensible response that punitive measures rather than facilitatory ones are required.

            Like the great moral crime (which we know also applies to DV victims and refugees) that the bleeding hearts, not those with power, have inflicted on less fortunate victims who must be, cruel to be kind, punished rather than helped, for their own moral upbraiding? (while the tax rorting goes on unchecked, of course)

            These people are the reality of the corny representations of evil from Gregorian, say and the Gothic reality of people like Sco-Mo is so much more fearful than any theatrical representation.

            Like

            • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) April 23, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

              Danke, Herr PW, for comparing that reply with the like of one by Nietsche. My time on Twitter following @NeinQuarterly may not be wasted, after alle. Until you posted I had rather thought I was channeling Prufreider if anything. Paragraph seven of the blog,”, shortage of refugees,”, as one can see.

              ‘Under the Double Comma’, now that I think of it, would be a good title for a marsch, nein? #afterthought

              Like

              • paul walter April 23, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

                No, take it seriously..It was a good development. You knew what you were saying, I just twigged and it was a good epiphany for me.

                Keep on swingin’, friend.

                Like

      • doug quixote April 23, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

        Politicians are not born; they are excreted”

        – Cicero, again.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Moz of Yarramulla April 24, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

    I also liken it to the (bipartisan) government response to refugees. Here are people who faced a generally violent, but unquestionably unacceptable situation, so they left. Response: torture.

    In that sense, “merely” reducing funding and introducing randomness and uncertainty into what’s left is relatively nice. It’s not as though we’re shipping rape victims back to the prison where they were…. oh, wait. Um, … it’s not as though we’re sending Australian DV victims to… well, it’s not official policy, at least. We hope.

    As Joe Hockey so admirably put it when he was treasurer “who gives a shit, they’re not like me” (I summarise).

    Like

    • Moz of Yarramulla April 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

      Somewhat more usefully, I think it’s less about “teaching empathy” and more about not beating empathy out of boys. Too often boys are taught that the only acceptable male emotion is anger, and that “be a man” means “don’t show emotion, or any other weakness” (and labelling emotion as weakness is only part of the problem).

      I’m not (just) laying this one on women, or even parents, it’s everyone. Hollywood is an easy target in that regard, with their “movies for men = violence” fixation. As with international relations, once you limit yourself to violence as the only action everything becomes much simpler, but you’ve also condemned yourself to living outside society. What a pity that so much male “socialisation” is about not showing emotion…

      Like

      • paul walter April 24, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

        Our conditioning cripples us. We have to walk around like incoherent dorks and it can be like being straight jacketed.

        Oddly, there is a parallel here as to female pride, the refusal to lower oneself to ask for help for fear of pity.

        I thought Marilyn’s post was a beauty, but god help the person who lacks the “wherewithal”.

        Like

        • Marilyn April 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

          I didn’t have the wherewithal, only the desire. I was a low paid enrolled nurse, had little family support and had to survive.

          Liked by 1 person

          • paul walter April 24, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

            And survive you did. That is wherewithal and desire, not oppositional and components of something greater than its parts. You may have been lucky, too, I guess.

            I have been lucky also, given the sort of idiot choices I’ve made in life at times, but wriggled out with a struggle.

            You are too modest as to your accomplishments. Remember, I know you well enough to know what you had to give away, my gritty, realist friend and what work that might have involved.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. diannaart April 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4906.0Chapter3002012

    These statistics are only from REPORTED felonies – much goes unreported; rapes of men by men, violence by women to men, violence by women to women.

    That does not mean women are out there are as extreme in violence as men. Even women’s suicide rates are by means less violent than men. Women’s’ attempts are as frequent but less successful.

    From personal experience, having tried overdose – found vomiting, car exhaust (this would’ve worked, my neighbor noticed that my car had been left running in my garage).

    Men tend to go for the more dramatic – cars, motorbikes, leaping off roofs – therefore higher success rates – if you want to think of completing an act of suicide as successful.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by+Subject/4125.0~Jan+2012~Main+Features~Suicides~3240

    Now can we just look at anger management for both sexes and a RESPECT campaign for many men in their attitudes to women? Because while rapes, violent porn is so freaking common – I do believe there continues to be a problem here.

    Like

    • paul walter April 24, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

      It’s going to be difficult.

      There are huge, festering chunks of suburbia and also rural poverty traps, where unemployment and social contempt breed a sense of hoplessness and sheer reactivity, fuelled by media escapism, alcohol and drugs.

      I think these locations are perfect incubators for the drag-down socialisation/”inscription” of kids. Education can help change people, but I think it will stay an underlying and not well understood problem until society cares enough to adress poverty, poverty traps and an atmosphere of alienation.

      Tax dodging severs the flow of monies needed for social and cultural change, but the people who control society, care not a jot,

      Like

      • diannaart April 24, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

        Completely agree.

        Keeping women as second rate citizens requires the keeping of men as second rate as well.

        Man’s worst enemy remains man.

        The powers-that-be have no reason to change anything.

        Liked by 1 person

        • paul walter April 24, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

          If only the control freaks knew what they were giving away.

          Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote April 24, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

      Porn is fantasy. Why single it out, when any night on television you can see multiple murders, mutilations and the like?

      Like

      • diannaart April 25, 2016 at 12:00 am #

        Some porn includes multiple murders, mutilations and the like.

        Have to admit I did use the porn word to see who would complain the their precious wank material is being attacked again. Gotcha!

        I am not against porn that is fun, exciting AND respectful (respectful is rather rare though).

        But most porn, as you are well aware, objectifies women in such a way as to be counter to real women enjoying real sex in the real world.

        Yes, fantasy – tell that to young boys first learning about sex.

        Like

        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) April 25, 2016 at 6:12 am #

          There’s a porn shop on a corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

          Like

        • doug quixote April 25, 2016 at 8:52 am #

          Yes, tell them. Tell them the truth.

          Like

        • paul walter April 25, 2016 at 9:30 am #

          Have sympathy for that position, I think there are not particularly bright “lads” out there who feel compelled to act out the substance of bogan/ bikie porn culture.

          My fear is, that given the way people operate and society operates that suppression would lead to it being undergrounded and the same garbage and worse extruded from different locations.

          As DQ pointed out, much porn is a symptom, manifests of how people regard others as commodities.

          Gonzo porn is crass and I’d avoid it as distasteful or yawn at it,

          But the rubbish from MSM DQ mentions causes antagonism for me; in the end much is not only lousy taste, but exploitative and that’s what I find a bit nauseating sometimes, even when it doesn’t involve sex.

          You must be a bit like me, I’d prefer my erotica a bit subtle as well…

          Like

          • diannaart April 25, 2016 at 9:51 am #

            I was already in my air-raid shelter in anticipation of the the irate onslaught…. maybe just maybe, we can discuss porn without getting all defensive? DQ?

            @Paul

            “You must be a bit like me, I’d prefer my erotica a bit subtle as well…”

            Them’s flirtin’ words…. I prefer subtly, nuance, layers and an actual plot! Yes, I know, a story is a total waste of time.

            Like

            • paul walter April 25, 2016 at 11:02 am #

              No onslaught. You have said nothing wrong.

              Don’t worry about DQ, he is approaching this from a different trajectory concerning a different aspect to do with how society functions and why some of the root causes are not always immediately obvious.

              Yes, diannart, perhaps it is flirting, but I want to be gentle with someone like you, salve some of the wounds. You offered something worthwhile in good faith and got hurt for it, no that is very bad and you and many ,many women are deserving of consolation. Were I hit by a car and and in pain, people like you, Jennifer or Marilyn would not think twice of trying to comfort me, I am sure.

              We are talking concerning something powerful (sacred?) and fulfilling and not least because it is sharing and shared. Sad to think some women and some men, for different reasons, will never get to enjoy “the real deal”.

              Liked by 1 person

              • diannaart April 25, 2016 at 11:23 am #

                I have been trolled over writing far less – on other blogs (of course).

                Like

            • doug quixote April 25, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

              Nothing wrong with flirting, Diana. Sometimes I like subtle erotica; but sometimes I like it . . . athletic, if you know what I mean.

              If you don’t like it, you can turn it off. But I have it on good authority that our would-be censors force themselves to watch each scene five times, just to be sure how perverted it is.

              LOL

              Like

              • diannaart April 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

                Too much information DQ

                I have control of my viewing, not so much children searching the net.

                If you had a young daughter would you want her learning sex from porn with an equally gormless boy?

                Like

                • doug quixote April 25, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

                  Probably not.

                  But not even King Cnut could turn back the tides.

                  Get in and teach her early.

                  Like

                  • diannaart April 25, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

                    Yeah riiiight, sure you would “teach her early” and the boy?

                    Of course, this is just a hypothetical isn’t it? We have no problem coz ALL adults are responsible in their behaviour towards children and carefully manage every they see and hear. That’s why we don’t have paedophiles, rapists or other types of sexual predators.

                    FYI

                    An important reason for the preference for younger women – we’re kinda naive, eager to please, easily flattered – get in and get her early, hey?

                    Like

                    • paul walter April 25, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

                      Zigactly..It is something far deeper in culture than a few bannings will solve.

                      diannaart, do you have DQ a bit wrong?

                      He is like the the person who warns some one looking up the road, the other way, that a car is coming and seeing the threat, offers the appropriate alert.

                      He is not being patronising, just trying to be helpful, as you would be if you saw us at risk.

                      He understands there is a problem, recognises the value of your daughter and understands the threat to this vulnerable person and since he can’t be there in the flesh, that he is with you in spirit.

                      He isn’t your problem, although other men may have been and perhaps may yet be, for your daughter.

                      Please don’t fire at us. We ARE trying to understand this problem and seek to confirm for you, your instinct for caution. we understand that your daughter could be in harm’s way and we are the last people who want to see harm done.. we have had our experiences and in our ways are also acquainted with grief.

                      We say you are right to parent your daughter. We wouldn’t have her on our consciences, so say so, to corroborate from where we stand, your own concluison that care is needed for your daughter at this stage in her progress, since you are the person on the spot.

                      We agree, don’t let creeps near her.

                      We understand that many men, through immaturity or socialisation, are dingoes and loose cannons who haven’t or maybe never will learn to control their desires.

                      If we could change things we would, but the reality is, we have no more power than you, to our own shame and frustration.

                      Liked by 1 person

  12. paul walter April 25, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    I think Jennifer has this blog set up as a sort of sanctuary, where adults can come to sit down and discuss things freely, sometimes even just talk.

    Like

    • doug quixote April 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

      A haven of calm where we adults can come –

      “To talk of many things:
      Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
      Of cabbages–and kings–
      And why the sea is boiling hot–
      And whether pigs have wings.”

      (Carroll)

      Like

      • paul walter April 25, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

        I can hear Bob Ellis in that ..good one, DQ.

        Like

  13. diannaart April 26, 2016 at 7:54 am #

    Paul & DQ

    I understand, Paul your POV – and, based upon my words thus far, you have a point.

    I particularly agree that we, women and men, are as manipulated by this system (which we created and is now out of control).

    I was also a bit angry.

    That DQ appears, to me, to have missed a vital point (or two)

    1. If porn (in general) is so harmless we would not be here having this exchange.

    2. There is extreme porn which is accessible in a way an adolescent from the 60’s could not even begin to dream of.

    3. We need to discuss this and there will be POV’s which will be upsetting.
    a) That a form of entertainment to which many people, mostly men, see as harmless (wank material).
    b) Complaining about such entertainment appears draconian and controlling.

    4. There is not a simple solution – get parents to do better? Great if parents are well informed, well intentioned, have the time, understand the issue, even care enough…

    5. That extreme and the more, er, mild? porn are not clearly separated from each other – kids will access the entire lot. No demarcation.

    6. Women remain the primary object in porn and as ‘entertainment’ for the men of men – in general. Perhaps in a world where power and status was 50/50, maybe, just maybe, this would not be an issue.

    I am an attractive woman – not super model, more your Myers Catalogue level; approachable instead of intimidating. I have had a lifetime of unwanted attention – however that is a personal POV and not applicable to all women everywhere. I cannot speak for all. However, I believe I know enough about life to state pornography is not the path towards equity.

    Or Respect.

    Like

    • diannaart April 26, 2016 at 7:56 am #

      typo alert: “‘entertainment’ for the men of men”

      should read ‘entertainment’ for men – not so much FOR women

      Like

      • diannaart April 26, 2016 at 8:10 am #

        Paul

        “We understand that many men, through immaturity or socialisation, are dingoes and loose cannons who haven’t or maybe never will learn to control their desires.”

        I acknowledge there are always the “loose cannons”, however, the problem of the “male gaze” is far more endemic than a few nutters.

        “If we could change things we would, but the reality is, we have no more power than you, to our own shame and frustration.”

        Does this not apply to unregulated capitalism, religion also?

        Are we not talking about change here?

        Like

    • doug quixote April 26, 2016 at 11:31 am #

      If by “discuss this” you mean agree with you entirely, forget it.

      It is out of control, as you point out.

      Any discussion is therefore rather pointless, but as a matter of controlled folly, here goes.

      Getting angry won’t get you anywhere, Diana.

      As for your specific points:
      1. No-one says it is harmless.
      2. What is the point here?
      3. Upsetting? Hardly.
      a) see no.1 above
      b) It does. It is used by the BACWA (Banning and Censoring
      Wowser Agenda) types to ban and censor things they don’t like.
      4. No acceptable solution of any sort has ever been proposed.
      5. Nanny programs may work to block the less intelligent seven
      year olds; but the vigilance of adults is about the only safeguard,
      poor as it is.
      6. They are – men are interested in women, especially attractive
      women.

      Myers catalogue attractiveness is both a blessing and a curse. The Islamics would no doubt have you entombed in a burqa.

      I await a tirade.

      Like

      • paul walter April 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

        I sympathise with Diannart.. in the end she hopes for change.

        Don’t forget, she’s had a rough time in the past and is uneasy that her daughter also ends up in strife.

        So she hopes for change, a change of the sort we hope might come from the ALP or the Greens, certainly not more infrastructure cuts for shelters or school chaplain nonsenses instead of education to do with social attitudes and social worker redundancies.

        Like

        • diannaart April 30, 2016 at 7:48 am #

          A woman does not have to have had a difficult time to be concerned about the impact of the baser types of porn and its accessibility.

          Nor does she have to have a daughter (or son); not seeing much concern for either young boys or girls here. The example I gave of a daughter was a hypothetical – I hoped D.Q. would have a think about it – clearly not.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson April 30, 2016 at 7:58 am #

            This is true. Personal experience isn’t necessary to form an opinion.

            Like

      • diannaart April 30, 2016 at 7:45 am #

        I meant discuss – clearly you don’t; having judged me and made up your own mind.

        You made the statement that you believe there porn is not “harmless” then continue to ask what is the point, followed by stating this is not upsetting – well it is to me, D.Q. and my POV is just as valid as yours.

        I have a right to privacy – not to be hit on anywhere, anytime – regardless of how attractive I am.

        Nor am I for banning porn – just some regulations on the production of the extreme stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson April 30, 2016 at 8:12 am #

          There are regulations but I don’t think they are often enforced.
          We also need to look at this systemically: what is it in our culture that creates the desire for extreme porn.

          Like

        • doug quixote April 30, 2016 at 8:35 am #

          Is there a right not to be hit on?

          I reacted to your criticisms, perhaps I overreacted. But the thin edge of the wedge attack of the BACWA is through the “protect the children” mantra, and I thought I saw just such a mantra.

          If I have erred in my analysis, and you aren’t a supporter of the mantra, please accept my apologies.

          Liked by 1 person

          • diannaart April 30, 2016 at 9:18 am #

            I have not ever heard of BACWA – but so what?

            If there are regulations on extreme porn, they are not being enforced – quelle surprise!

            Yes, there is a right not to be hit on.

            In the workplace there are enforced rules about unwanted sexual advances, unfortunately this does not extend to walking along a street, on public transport (yuk), employing a contractor for work on one’s home, having an actor’s resume where anyone can see your photo and have unwanted phone calls as a result, at the post office, in the supermarket, wrong numbers!

            A woman does not even have to be seen to be hit on!

            It really isn’t about appearance, it is about what is between a woman’s legs and the entitlement SOME men feel they have to any woman anywhere any time.

            Don’t you read the news?

            Of course, it is only high profile women/men who are publicised. Well what happens to celebs happens everywhere else as well.

            Take off your blinkers – it is not about YOU and what you do in private – it is all about the lives of men, women and children who are impacted by behaviour of sexual predators.

            PS

            It is possible to achieve sexual gratification without porn, just sayin’

            Like

            • doug quixote April 30, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

              Haven’t heard of the BACWA?

              See my earlier post to which you were replying. Hudson Godfrey (where’d he go?) got it entered into the Dictionary, he says. It was a major item when we inmates were debating this subject ad nauseam a year or two back.

              Take off my blinkers? It is you who are narrowly limited. This is all about freedom of speech – the greatest right we have.

              Like

              • diannaart May 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

                DQ – not having heard of an organisation is not a valid argument in this discussion.

                You are looking for an escape from addressing the issue, because you feel your personal preferences are under attack.

                Watch your porn, I do not care, I simply wanted you to consider the ramifications that objectionable of women and it is mostly women has on being treated as equal valid citizens of this world.

                If men love watching women sooooo much, why are women’s sports fighting so hard for even a fraction of a viewing audience that male sports get?

                Healthy women playing skilfully not enough? Better that women be filmed begging to give a man a blow-job.

                Think about it.

                Like

                • doug quixote May 1, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

                  Which issue was that?

                  Objectification is a problem, admitting that is not difficult. I like watching women’s sports, when available. They are quite skilful. But if sport is open, ie not gender based, there would be no woman in the top 100 golfers, no woman in finals (qualifying?) of almost any Olympic sport, no woman in the top 100 (500?) tennis players, and so on.

                  Liked by 1 person

  14. diannaart May 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm #

    Just for the exercise, I googled BACWA – expecting to find some organisation the likes of the abysmal Miranda Devine frequents….see I don’t just take the word of someone’s comment…

    Guess I did miss this:

    “Banning And Censoring Wowser Agenda

    Wowser is Australian slang, it is a derogatory word denoting a person who saps all the fun out of any given situation.Invented by the Good people at No Place for Sheep.

    Regional » Australian”

    http://www.abbreviations.com/term/1431707

    Bwaahaaaahaaahaaaaa!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) May 1, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

      Now you have graduated BACWAlauriat from the Google University of Omniscience.

      Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote May 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

      A bit of fun, perhaps. It was my creation, so please be gentle. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • diannaart May 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

        “It is you who are narrowly limited. ” doug quixote April 30, 2016 at 5:54 pm

        Like you are to me? 😛

        BTW If you cannot understand the link between women portrayed as objects and women as prey by sexual predators….

        I give up.

        Then don’t care about how women feel about anything – because we’re just a bunch of wowsers out to spoil male fun.

        Men just don’t get enough fun do they? – poor little deprived victims…

        Diddums.

        Like

        • doug quixote May 1, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

          That was also irony.

          If your comprehension is so poor, why do you bother?

          Toughen the fuck up, princess.

          Like

          • Jennifer Wilson May 1, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

            I want everyone to stop fighting you are hurting my ears.

            Like

          • diannaart May 2, 2016 at 11:46 am #

            I know you have read many of my posts – as I have yours.

            And this is what to expect from you if I disagree? I do not see personal insults as germane to any argument…. in fact I do not see any argument from you at all – just poor attempts to me down, rather than question the topic.

            (apologies Jennifer – I’m not the one behaving like a dick)

            Like

            • doug quixote May 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

              Your comments in reply to me on this subject have been snide. You have demonstrated a lack of comprehension of others’ posts and when the posts have been explained, there have been no retractions, only further snide comments.

              Don’t expect me to put up with it; find someone who will.

              Like

              • diannaart May 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

                “The Truth is that you’re either here to enlighten or to discourage”

                Prince RIP

                Liked by 1 person

              • paul walter May 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

                My feeling is that diannart’s story shows the possibility of post traumatic stress disorder.. the one she told a week or two ago was pretty rough.

                Nobody fails to shout out in pain if they are burnt cooking dinner at the stove and even many of the best ANZACS came back from the wars shell-shocked, taking many years to even begin to shake themselves clear of that fog of depression and anxiety that had enveloped them.

                Don’t be cheesed, stay sympathetic.. you actually will realise dq, that you may helped her get a bit more of what’s poisoned her out of her system and that’s what mates do.

                Like

                • diannaart May 2, 2016 at 7:41 pm #

                  Oh, FFS

                  I and many other people (male and female) believe extreme porn is harmful, for some people but particularly for teens and young adults.

                  No one has to have PTSD to have reservations about the value of some porn.

                  Just look at D.Q.’s judgement of me – this type of response not unusual on blog sites – porn is apparently some kind of no go zone, we can’t discuss and if it is, it’s just wowsers who have a problem.

                  This is B/S.

                  I have stated repeatedly I don’t care that D.Q. is into porn or fucking goats – so long as the goat is consenting. 😉

                  What I was trying, amid his abuse, was to hold a mature conversation.

                  Even on other blogs because I made a simple mistake regarding a comment that was meant as irony – I was bullied – even though I tried a humorous response with my google search!

                  I am a reasonable person and I find such bullying from D.Q. and now patronising from you, Paul, as unacceptable.

                  I demand an apology, not for myself, but for the other readers who have had to view this deliberate attempt to divert a thread, by constant bullying and unwarranted judgement.

                  Like

                  • paul walter May 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

                    It’s not what I intended. I’ve already also told you what I think I think of hardcore, against erotica.

                    Doug is a long term contributor at a site where porn and antiporn have been discussed long term; was alluding to social and cultural conditions in a comment you have radically misunderstood.

                    You are way, way wrong, in the way you respond to people.

                    Fwiw, I am’ going against my own advice to dq and also going give you and your nastiness a miss, from this point.

                    Like

                    • diannaart May 2, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

                      Jennifer this is my final comment. Again, apologies.

                      If I am not suffering from PTSD I must, therefore be “nasty” – thanks, Paul.

                      I do not know what D.Q. has written elsewhere, I can only base my response to his comments posted here, which have been extremely defensive, disrespectful and upsetting.

                      If I am way, way wrong for expressing an opinion…. what can I say to that? Not very much, which I guess was the intention.

                      Well done you.

                      Like

    • Jennifer Wilson May 1, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

      Wow! I am impressed that we’re credited with inventing something

      Liked by 1 person

      • diannaart May 2, 2016 at 11:47 am #

        I was about to point we can walk AND chew gum…. but too much for some to handle?

        Like

  15. Hypo June 8, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    A twist>on Depp Heard domestic violence

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/celebrities-gone-bad/amber-heard-arrested-for-domestic-violence-in-2009/news-story/dc37780adbb87cfe8b18a8a73da0de68

    In one photo Heards ‘ex’looks like a younger Depp.
    There is a conspiracy there for the making.

    Like

  16. Belle Papillon 24/7 October 12, 2016 at 5:25 am #

    Reblogged this on Belle Papillon 24/7 and commented:
    I totally agree… this is one of the most disrespectful question. Is it even a question? It feels like you’re being judged already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson October 12, 2016 at 6:18 am #

      I think it is a judgemental question. Nobody who really cared or understood would ask it.

      Liked by 1 person

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