Domestic Violence & Female Privilege

A woman runs down her boyfriend after finding out he has HIV. Are you as inclined to convict her as you would be if it were a man running down his wife?

D. C. McAllister points out that domestic violence is not just male-on-female, but we definitely don't take it as seriously when it's female-on-male.
Now, as Hillary has reminded us time and again, women are equal to men and should be treated the same. She’s right, which is why she should be called out for allegedly abusing her husband. If Johnny Depp can be held to account for throwing a cell phone at Amber Heard’s face and bruising her below her eye, then shouldn’t the same media exam be given to Hillary, who is running for president?
An allied point, related to the post below. A domestic violence abuser is forbidden from possessing a firearm, and it is a felony to transfer one to them. Doesn't the logic behind that law make it even more obviously true that we shouldn't transfer command of the US military to a domestic violence abuser?

Of course, like the Orlando shooter, she has not been convicted in a court of law for domestic violence. Like his wife, her husband has reasons not to press charges. If this is a standard we care about, though, does it really make sense to put that much weight on the abused spouse? They may often be too afraid to bring charges. It's also true that abuse creates a twisted and damaged emotional relationship that can cause an abused spouse not to want to bring charges. Or, like Bill Clinton, they could be swayed by material or political interests. Whatever the case, the state often steps in to prosecute these sorts of cases where evidence exists of domestic violence -- for example, a published book giving an account of the evidence in the name of a sworn officer of the law, as in this case.

One might say that Bill Clinton had it coming if anyone did. One might say that about the boyfriend in the video. One might just make a general claim that men often have it coming. Doesn't that come, though, at the sacrifice of the principle of equality before the law? Should we sacrifice that principle because we don't really believe in it? Or should we uphold it even though it means punishing people more harshly than is suggested by what appears to be a common sense that female-on-male violence is not as bad?


MikeD said...

Are you as inclined to convict her as you would be if it were a man running down his wife?


Grim said...

I ask because I've passed that video around, and heard otherwise from male acquaintances. The seem to feel that, in general, he had it coming and was lucky he got off with a mere injury.

J Melcher said...

In these circumstances the traditional culture may be more accustomed to the female privilege of excessive, non-proportional, response, than the egalitarian progressive culture that claims to revere Abstract Justice. So, yeah, males around here may assess the circumstances and conclude "he got off lucky".

Consider these lines from over a century ago:

Unprovoked and awful charges
—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons
—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish
—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward,
when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council,
dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience,
he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice
—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover,
that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern
—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him,
and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species
is more deadly than the Male.

Anonymous said...

J Melcher, that is Kipling. Again I love Kipling.

Give them the whole poem.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Female of the Species

( I like the part about the Jesuits myself... They deserve what they got. )

Grim said...

I imagine that this particular audience immediately recognized it as Kipling. His style is evident even if you didn't know the particular poem -- as probably most of us do. :)

Grim said...

For example, here.

raven said...

She got a Honorary membership in the International Association of Weasel Exterminators. Weasel must have been badly concussed the way he ran off in a curved trajectory into a brick wall. Good thing for him he wasn't on an Afghan plain.....

E Hines said...

what appears to be a common sense that female-on-male violence is not as bad

Francine Hughes' female-on-male violence was pretty harsh. 'Course the facts of her case warranted the jury's decision.

On the other hand, a friend of mine, whom I've mentioned before, wouldn't let me deal with her abuser--she was inclined to divorce and forgive.

Eric Hines

Eric Blair said...

Yes, he had it coming, (if the reports be true), yes indict her, because one doesn't get to run people over like that.