Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So Senator Reid what are you gonna do about it?

It would seem that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid commented that men "tend to become abusive" when out of work. Now while there may be such a link between the unemployment of men and committing domestic violence I'm a bit curious what his reason for bringing it up is.

You see there is a tendency when talking about domestic violence (especially male against female DV) it is usually brought simply to tug at heartstrings or garner some eleventh hour support (the tactic of aligning yourself with a serious issue to drum up some votes). Often times good things happen like opening up new or boosting support for existing channels for victims of DV. Sometimes however such rallying overshoots the target of helping victims and begins to serve to further attack abusers while not really offering one of the most crucial things needed to combat such violence, educating abusers so that they don't do it again.

And when I say that I'm not talking about some Duluth Model forced counseling bullshit that pretty much does nothing but force the abuser (even whey they are not the actual abuser but that is another story) to admit they were wrong and beat into they heads that they are wrong at every turn without trying to get to the root of the problem and actually treat them nor am I talking about some changes in police procedure that leads to cops being trained to go into a possible DV situation with the decision that someone MUST be arrested (guess who that is).

Now if Reid is going to support some measures that will give avenues of support for victims and ways to treat abusers so that they will not abuse again then I'm all for it. But if this is a half-assed attempt to rally some last minute support then I suspect that the good done will not be anywhere near as effective as what they claim. So which is it Reid?

And one other thing.
"Abusers who lose their jobs are home more often. If they used their income as a means of controlling their victim, they may turn to violence when that source of control is gone. Victims who lose their jobs may feel more financially dependent on their abuser and less able to leave.
While this is certainly one of many a situation in which DV can and does happen its just that, one of many. In relation to getting to root of why some men commit DV one thing that is not brought up very often is the expectation that is pushed on men that in order for them to validate their manhood they must work and be a provider. When they fail that expectation (in the form of losing their job) they lash out. Now there are two things that need to be addressed.

First it is totally unfair, damaging, and frankly sexist towards men to heap the expectation to work and be the provider on their shoulders as if they are the only ones that can do it. Second it is totally wrong for them to be socialized to think that upon not being able to fulfill their expectation of worker/provider they can lash out physically at other people. Well come to think it I wonder if that second thing may be some parts being socialized to lash out physically at other people and some parts the expectation of men to internalize their feelings and not bring them up that they reach a boiling and result in lashing out when they think there is no other way.

Just wondering.