Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lucia Whatever you do, don't blame the woman!

From The Hand Mirror, the first part is quoting a NZ Herald article that the author takes issue with:
We know that if a child lives with their two biological parents they are substantially less likely to be abused than if they live in a house where their mum has a string of successive boyfriends.
Spot the mother blaming in that one! Child abuse is not the fault of violent men; it's the mother's fault. And it's certainly not the fault of men who abandon their children, leaving mothers and children to get along as best they may. No, it's all the mother's fault.

When will the Maxim Institute stop blaming women for men's violence?
Okaaaay.

How is it that a factual statement is interpreted as blame apportionment?

Yes, the blame for the violence can be attributed to the boyfriends. However allowing the violent boyfriend into the home in the first place surely is the responsibility of the woman involved. I mean, it's not like she has no say in the matter - he doesn't just move in and start abusing the kids without her inviting him to live with her in the first place.

A commenter on the thread has this telling point:

Am I missing the part where it's exlicitly stated that it's the boyfriends abusing the kids? It could equally be read to mean that women who are immoral enough to have a 'string of boyfriends' are also immoral enough to abuse their children.
I think the evidence shows that it is more likely that unrelated males are more likely to abuse the children of their girlfriends, especially if there is no long term commitment to the relationship (ie, marriage). However, immoral women tend to be terrible choosers of boyfriends. Especially if you think of the recent Nia Glassie case where the boyfriend/murderer of the little girl was 15 when he started living with her 30 year old mother. She was basically a child abuser herself, just not in a violent way.

It's a weird type of feminism that seeks most of all to divert all blame from women. For in doing so it infantalises them, allowing them to be treated like children rather than the adults they really need to be for their own children. It doesn't allow anyone to really understand just what it going on with these people who will allow their children to be abused. For until the behaviour of all the adults involved changes, children will continue to be abused. And who to blame really becomes irrelevant.

Related Link: I shouldn't let the Maxim Institute get to me ~ The Hand Mirror

2 comment(s):

Seán said...

Easy on Lucyna. I think you are reading too much into it. I think we can assume the statement is correct, but clearly there is no blame to one party only. There are all sorts of contributing factors involved, every combination different in every case. No one is saying that the person performing the abuse is free of any blame whatsoever.

ZenTiger said...

I think the person that said "When will the Maxim Institute stop blaming women for men's violence?" is the one reading too much into it. That is really the foundation of the argument, and seems to stem from a fear of women being judged for making a string of bad choices in inviting abusive men into a home.

And I think Lucyna's final point is the essence of the counter argument she makes. Instead of being upset over (supposedly) the Maxim institute blaming women, or (supposedly) violent men not getting enough blame, the point surely is the outcome to the children.

I don't know how many women have a string of successive boyfriends (we may be talking small numbers here), and end up with them all being abusive, but for those that do, they might want to consider making a man earn their trust and respect by courting her over a longer period - not by shacking up after a great party.

One recent example comes to mind - the then 30 year old mother of Nia Glassie who took on a 15 year old lover after throwing her partner out. Didn't work out well for Nia irrespective of who shoulders most of the blame.

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