They also claim that viewing pornography is abuse, but I’ll get to that later. Where to begin, where to begin. . .
Men Stopping Violence (MSV) is a domestic violence organization based in Decatur, Georgia that claims to be “a social change organization dedicated to ending men’s violence against women.” Of course, nowhere on the MSV website do they acknowledge that women are the perpetrators in approximately 50% of all abuse cases. Nor do they acknowledge that women are more likely to be the initiators of violence in relationships where there is bidirectional abuse, but, hey, sexist and discriminatory is as sexist and discriminatory does.
MSV is also competing for their fair share of the 4 billion plus dollars of federal and state monies spent annually on women’s domestic violence resources, so a little obfuscation of the facts is in order.
Whoopsy! According to the MSV Violent and Controlling Behaviors Checklist, I just abused them. You see, one of the items on this list cites the following as a form of abuse:
Claiming “the truth,” being the authority, defining her behavior, using “logic.”
This reminds me of one of my clients’ wives, who, when confronted with the facts about her abusive behaviors when she attempts to rewrite history, occasionally wails, “The truth is mean!” — about her own behavior no less.
To view a copy of the MSV checklist, please click this link for the PDF file: Violent and Controlling Behavior List.
I suppose asking (or begging) someone who muddles her way through life using intractable and convoluted emotional reasoning to focus on the facts may feel like torture to the emotional reasoner, but I disagree. It’s is far more abusive to gaslight and browbeat your partner into submitting to one’s distorted unreality and non-stop feeling states that often have very little to do with reality. Respectfully asking an emotional reasoner to develop and use critical thinking skills is a noble, if not futile, enterprise. It certainly isn’t abusive.
Although, I can see how a man, at the end of his rope after years of emotional abuse who snaps and shouts, “Use your brain, not your feelings, you stupid fool!” might be considered “abuse,” at least upon superficial observation. However, after years of being gaslighted and and having reality twisted and turned around on you, it’s actually a pretty understandable response to being abused.
“Not fair! He’s smarter than me! He makes meeeeeeee feeeeeeeeeeel stupid and irrational when he gets all logical! You think you’re so smart, don’t you?! Quit trying to impose the facts on me! Abuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse!”
Not true. This type of woman usually doesn’t require assistance from anyone to appear ignorant and irrational. While an argument between an emotional reasoner and someone capable of logic and reason may not be a fair fight, it’s certainly not abuse.
Now, about that pornography thingy. If a man viewing pornography is abuse, then a woman viewing reality television programs like The Real Housewives of ———– and The Bachelor should also be considered abuse. After all, isn’t reality TV really just porno for high-conflict people, particularly female high-conflict people?
It’s been my experience that the women who withhold sex and affection and who see relationships as transactional, are typically the ones who insist that men looking at porn is abusive. It’s usually the same women who become enraged and feeeel “hurt” if their husbands masturbate. God forbid the men in their lives have a moment’s release, even if it’s only for 10 minutes a couple of times a week in the shower. Broken men with no sexual outlets are easier to control, you see.
Viewing pornography is not abuse. If the man is not forcing his wife to participate, who cares? If he’s not doing it for hours at a time throughout the week, who cares? And, if he is using porn that frequently, cannot stop and needs to look at porn in order to become aroused, then it’s more likely he has an addiction problem rather than an abuse problem.
Seems to me that a woman who tries to control her partner’s masturbatory activities is the one with the control and abuse problem and not the other way round.
I’d like to say the assertion that the use of logic during an argument is abuse by MSV is an attempt at Swiftian satire, but MSV isn’t engaging in satire. They’re serious. And so is EMERGE, another domestic violence group based in Boston, Massachusetts, upon whom MSV claims to have based their checklist.
Using the “logic” set forth by MSV and EMERGE, I suppose judges, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are all abusers as are scientists and other logic-based professionals. What’s next?
Will MSV and other forward thinking domestic violence groups claim that a woman who bruises her knuckles while beating the crap out of her husband is being abused? Just how much further down the rabbit hole are we going to let these groups go?
Domestic violence groups and shelters who perpetuate this kind of nonsense and who only serve female domestic violence victims and discriminate against men and boys should lose their federal and state funding. I for one don’t want my tax dollars spent on willful ignorance, dishonesty and blatant sexism and discrimination.
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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Using logic is domestic violence.
Bravo for yet another insightful post, Dr. T. One minor nitpick… I believe the group’s initials are MSV, not MVS.
My husband’s ex wife accused my husband of being a “porn addict” who hated women. She belongs to a church that condemns porn and, having caught him looking at it, used it as a justification for their divorce. Then she used that claim to try to separate him from his family of origin, I’m about to celebrate nine years of marriage with him and I have yet to see that proclivity. But even if he did look at porn, who cares? I certainly don’t.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thanks for catching that, knotheadusc. Have been thinking of heading down to CVS all afternoon while writing this to get some OTC allergy tabs.
I have a lot of clients who are accused of being porn fiends as well. They’re not. They’re lonely and starved for affection. It’s interesting. Two of the guys I work with who were accused of being porn addicts divorced, began dating women who, so far, appear to be healthy and stable and haven’t looked at porn since they ended their marriages.
Regarding the topic of the use of pornography and whether or not that constitutes abuse… Are you speaking solely of the person who uses pornography? I can see that, technically speaking, a man who buys pornography or views it is not abusing his partner simply by virtue of viewing it. I can also see that pornography sometimes does involve the abuse of people in the creation of it, possibly by using underage people in other countries, for instance. So while I can see that viewing it does not result in abuse of one’s partner, it is not as if the production of pornography is never abusive of someone, possibly a woman, possibly a man, possibly a child, possibly even an animal. And while I won’t go quite so far as to say that every piece of available pornography was created in an abusive environment, I think it is possible that some of it was and is, therefore, abusive to someone.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’m speaking of the person who views porn, not the manufacturers of it.
I am, of course, against child pornography or adults who are forced into it. But many individuals who go into porn aren’t coerced. They may have issues (or not), but some people view it as a valid profession.
Hi Dr. T,
I didn’t think you would condone child pornography nor adults forced into it. One of the troubling things to me is that it is hard to know, just from looking at pornographic images, which ones are made with people who’ve been coerced (it may even be difficult to know with certainty that someone is not underage since makeup can make people appear older than they are) and which ones are made with people who have not been coerced. Some people who are making pornography likely do view it as a valid profession. Some of those may be people with issues, as you’ve indicated. And some of those with issues may be people who are histrionic or narcissistic or possibly even borderline. An irony, to me, the possibility that men who are trying to escape an abusive, non-sexual relationship with someone that is histrionic, etc. might be looking at images of women who are, in reality, just what they are trying to escape.
The porn industry could be shut down over night if all women engaged in, and viewed sex as natural. Not a commodity…to be used in control of men.
Logic is something women should be glad their men are using, because the alternative would be either resignation/defeat (leading to a depressing domestic scenario), or becoming numb via alcohol, sports etc. What women need to understand is that men need time to recover from their woman’s bouts of illogical and infantile meanderings.
re porn, this is more of a symptom, rather than a cause, in a relationship that has fallen off the rails. If the guy is being satisfied, he won’t turn to porn. Simple. In other words, if porn was suddenly eliminated and women still stuck to their entitlement mentality, he would still seek an outlet elsewhere.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’m glad when anyone engages in critical thinking and logic — male or female.
I agree with your comments re: pornography. Men I work with whose partners withhold affection turn to porn instead of an extramarital affair. Sometimes, the use of porn is just a symptom of a relationship that’s gone off the rails. And sometimes, it can be used as simple titilation.
I’m a woman who agrees wholeheartedly with EVERYTHING written in this post. My ex-husband would rage and give me the silent treatment if I masturbated since it was, in his mind, “sex he wasn’t getting.” Porn usage was one of the weapons in my boyfriend’s HCP ex’s arsenal, even though she was not religious whatsoever and had no moral grounds to object. I own far more porn than he ever did and we make it part of our couples life from time to time. I also support his viewing it and masturbation to pursue his own pleasure when I’m not available or in the mood.
I am tired of the double standards in domestic violence – am guest-blogging about this elsewhere soon – for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is that if you go through life telling girls that they are likely to be victims of men, then they will grow up to imagine themselves as victims of men, whether they are or not, and even if they’re the perpetrators of the violence. Both sexes have the power to hurt the other, physically and emotionally, and need to take responsibility for the ways the relationship crumbles.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Regarding women’s use of pornography, it is on the rise. Women are catching up to men in terms of porn consumption. Even O-O-Oprah did a show on it.
Wonder if DV groups are aware of this little factoid? I can hear the spin cycle starting from here and I predict that it’ll go a little something like this:
Men who consume pornography are lecherous abusers who objectify women.
Women who consume pornography are empowrrrd! You go, grrrl!
How many times do I have to say it, “It’s different when I do it!”
William A. Henry III has a chapter, “Why Can’t a Man be More Like a Woman,” blasting this lack of reason in his book, “In Defense of Elitism.”
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Yes, yes, I keep forgetting it’s different when women do it. My bad.
A mail forward joke I’d like to see one day becomes reality…
But i’m not sure if it is or it is not exactly PC 🙁
Should we ask our friends feminists about it? 😉
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thanks, for the chuckle, Handy. By the way, “Handy” and masturbation? Very clever.
I modestly propose “handy” becomes a PC expression for masturbator,
just like “gay” is PC expression for homosexual.
Example of possible practical use:
“Oh, so, you’re a feminist? I’m afraid this date is over, sweety. I think you are very powerful gorgeous and intelligent woman, but, i have to admit, i am handy. I was born that way, i can’t help myself, sorrrrry! Plus I believe masturbation is the best possible way of preventing rapes, STDs and overpopulation of Mother Gea. Now if you please excuse me, my East European cyber beauties are waiting for me and my porn budget money. Bye bye, kiss kiss!”
The reality of porn is…horny? Done. Relative to “relief” within the context of a bad marriage or relationship? Endless hoop jumping, maneuvering, humiliation, frustration,shame, and one hell of lot of physical effort. You do the math. Amazing that these harpies are baffled by it’s useage.
..from which it follows that to tell someone inaccurately that they are being or have been abused is itself abuse.. to allege abuse is standard in divorce proceedings, for instance in order to separate children from the Evil Other Party – which when successful results in a double abuse – firstly, separation from and hostility to one part of the child’s identity (via Parental Alienation Syndrome); and secondly, to create and reinforce a “victim” self-image.
..and a closely related event: the Quack Counsellor/Therapist whose therapy consists in telling her paying client that whatever she feels about the Evil Other Party is true (with no direct knowledge of the actual behaviour of the EOP other than through the feelings of the paying client) – which then again results in a reinforcement of the “victim” mentality, and more need of the services of the QC/T. Which looks to me like abuse by the QC/T of her paying client…?
Logic has no place in her world. And lest not confuse the issue with facts. After all everything is about how i make her feel. Which of course is just horrible all the time. After all she gave up everything for me. She sacrifices soooo much trying to make me happy. Im soooo hard to please. Its so exhausting spending all those hours on the internet and / or trash talking me to everyone she knows. Never mind how I feel. I’m not supposed to have any feelings. I asked her if she even would consider that she might be a small part of the problem. You would hav thought I accused her of commiting mass murder to even dare to suggest such a thing.
Oh and let’s get the real issue straight. We as males are not allowed to look at any other female – not even photographs in women’s magazines or art at an art exhibit. If we do we are lusting after them and cheating on our significant other. God forbid that a female should dare smile my direction. It’s many days of third degree questioning. A wrong number phone call of either gender means I’m planning to go see a “ho”. But hands off the goods hers and mine that’s just too nasty. It’s just for procreation and we are way past that. She has had her children thank you very much. “Dont touch me. If you want to act like that just go sleep on the couch”
Ugh… the first part of your post reminded me of something my husband said his ex used to say to him. She said that she felt like “The Giving Tree”. You know, that poignant book by Shel Silverstein about the tree that gives everything to a little boy? She claims that she was the tree and he was the selfish boy. Puke. I have not had that experience as my husband’s second wife. In fact, he is the kindest, most generous guy I’ve ever known. Isn’t it funny how cluster B types project everything so that the guilty party is always the “innocent ones”?
Well as you know, not funny when you’re dealing with it.
The part I found really funny though was when I finally realized most of what she was doing was projection and mentioned it to her.
Big mistake as after that she claimed that anything I said about her behavior, etc. was thrown back to me as being projection on my part.
You can’t win with these people.
And they just go their merry way devastating the lives of who ever is unfortunate enough to get involved with them … often without consequence and all the while portraying themselves as the “victim”.
And you’re left with the fact that they can come across as “sane” to people who aren’t intimately involved with them, e.g., lawyers, judges, etc. and you’re left shaking your head in wonder.
What a life.
My BF’s ex claimed to have the same attitude towards sex. Of course, that was only with HIM, because she would flirt with and even cheat on him with his friends, but of course I’m sure that was different in her mind. She even holds people who cheat to a different standard whether or not they impacted HER life negatively in the process. The self-absorption and the projection which follows is laughable … once it’s no longer your problem.
B Experienced says
I find that most of the Psychiatric Community uses the Velvet Glove Approach with the BPD’s and the Cluster B’s and that the Abuse Organizations and their advocates have copied their model. Unfortunately, my prediction 30 years ago was right. I saw that this approach was taking over and that it would backfire on a grand scale. It was all nicey nicey and water downed cr–. I was even told in a Therapeutic Interactions Class to be kind to the abusers. I thought the professor was nuts and still do. This Velvet Glove Approach only created more narcissism and enabled what narcissism the person already had. This was meant to not damage their self esteem. So, I thought, the solution (cure) was a delusional way out which is just what narcs do!
The days of learning to balance the cold hard truth and dealing with the pain of it well in most communities who deal with the Cluster B’s or abusers are gone. If that isn’t bad enough abuse is now a “Mental Illness” or a Disease! All part of their propaganda.
I suppose those of us who don’t give the B’s warm fuzzies and who live in the real world are meanies and therefore abusive. If so, then I am a real piece of work. Worse yet, I am proud of it!
This Velvet Glove Approach only created more narcissism and enabled what narcissism the person already had. This was meant to not damage their self esteem.
Not damage their self esteem? You couldn’t damage their self esteem with a nuclear weapon. It’s so deeply ingrained and closely guarded the entire US military arsenal couldn’t damage it. What utter nonsense.
The only self esteem getting damaged is that of their victims. The victim’s self esteem gets battered away to nothing.
B Experienced says
I disagree. What you think is their self esteem that can’t be destroyed is really their defense structure that you can’t penetrate. Two different things. The narcissists self esteem is either fragile or grandiose. Both displays are to mask their inferiority.
All of their abuse is meant to damage your self esteem and is a defense called deflecting.
Exactly. You can’t penetrate their defenses. You can’t damage what you can’t touch and brother you will never come close to getting through that brick wall defense
B Experienced says
Hi already lost:
You might be interested in reading Dr. Robert Hare’s book, “Without Conscience” if you haven’t already. I think we are on the same page regarding the rock solid defenses of the B’s which are really psychopathic ones and run on the continuum of the Cluster B’s. Another book which is really the basis of much of Dr. Robert Hare’s work in Psychopathy is the “Mask of Sanity” by Hervey Cleckley. He basically felt that he was peeing in the wind when trying to get others in the field to believe him. Much of the same nonsensical theories still abound in the field regarding the etiology of Psychopathy; which I find rather maddening.
I find Dr. Hare to be quite competent. He has spent the last 40 years of his life trying to penetrate those defenses and couldn’t. Yet, there are people in the field who claim to be able to get through them in less than a years time. Come on. I am very, very skeptical and just about 100 percent certain that the B is playing them in some way or the breakthrough is “only” temporary because the environment that this is done in is too highly tolerant and it lowers the bar by diminishing the damage the B has done to others. When the B doesn’t find this crazy acceptance to happen in the real world they simply regress or get clinically depressed and/or suicidal. Perhaps, even homicidal. Therefore, one can’t really say that their behavior was competently evaluated and dealt with. I had a Cluster B relative, and I found that you had to work around those defenses if you didn’t have a tranq dart on hand when you unnerved one of their many hypersensitivities that hit close to home or was a nail on the head. The old surly narcissistic rage came out in a flat seconds time. I find their claims very alarming, naive and quite dangerous. Unless genetics comes up with some type of engineering that can truly eliminate their narcissism and psychopathic genetic makeup, I am staying clear of them. I most certainly will not agree or encourage anybody else to stay in a relationship with one either.
I disagree as well. My ex has zero self-esteem. Our therapist worried to me that it was so low, she almost has no sense of self at all. In connection, my ex has precisely two layers, a public, friendly personality and the private, early-adolescent thirteen-year-old bitch mode. That’s it. There is no Machiavellian intelligence plotting away. In her case, you can’t destroy her because there is nothing there to destroy. I believe that some part of her knows this, which is why, as B said, she does deflecting (and projection) to a mind blowing degree.
To be clear, as I’ve stated elsewhere, I believe my ex has a partial conscience and isn’t acting out of malice; she is acting defensively in an instinctive way a young adolescent does. THIS DOES NOT EXCUSE HER BEHAVIOR OR MAKE HER LESS GUILTY OF THE HARM SHE HAS DONE, however it EXPLAINS her behavior and that of many cluster B’s. It also highlights the problem with treating or even reasoning them–there is nothing there to treat or reason with. It is this aspect that is so difficult to accept and grasp because it is so outside the reality of most people.
I do agree totally with B that the velvet glove approach merely enables the aberrant behavior. In people like my ex, who have something resembling a conscience, this enabling over the years has only reinforced their belief that they have no responsibility at all for their actions.
I was not implying that BPD/NPD have sky high self esteem only that you can’t get through the defense mechanisms in place to attack any part of what is there. The instant there is a perceived threat they deflect, rage, project, distract, or use any means necessary to keep the “threat” at bay. They can’t allow themselves to face the reality of what they do might be toxic to others. They can’t even conceive that they might be part of the problem.
B Experienced says
There is a concept that pertains to the Cluster B’s called the Dark Triad. It is a name given to the structure comprised of three components–Narcissism, Psychopathy and Machiavellian. A new triad is being studied and it is called the Vulnerable Dark Triad. The field is looking into the correlated Psychopathy with BPD now and finds that the VDT applies and is needed. The focus is on women this time. You can easily look this up on the Internet.
It is VERY important for you to know that most Psychopathic people have a partial conscience. It would be hard to find one who doesn’t. Don’t overvalue the conscience you do see. The lack of a full proper working conscience can be deadly because of the BPD’s splitting, raging and splitting (hate). The lower the healthy esteem is the less they have to lose as well. Her narcissism has to be high because of the liable sense of self (identity diffusion) you stated. All narcissists can shift their identity at a moments time simply for instant gratification. Viola! The BPD is more emotionally liable and may shift their identity more often. The NPD usually has more of a solid sense of consistent self. This would only make her more unstable as well. If the BPD is dissociative prone,this adds another layer on to the danger factor because they may act out and not know where the emotions came from or who the emotions are meant for. Dissociation problems such as the above are usually seen in the more fragile BPD. They usually see danger around every corner and are quite paranoid because of this. You may find them reading into things and questioning everyone and everything as well as assigning meanings of danger to benign events. It is apparent. Again, the narcissism is present because it is focused back on them when nobody else sees the danger or there isn’t really one. If the BPD, has other Paranoid PD traits such as being vindictive on top of being highly suspicious, this certainly isn’t good either. Paranoia is usually part of their hate and rage attacks.
I myself think the reason it took so long for people in the field to start really seeing BPD as a form of Psychopathy is that you can usually guide them to empathy and most of them have a partial conscience. Sometimes the empathy sticks, but they usually regress at sometime and defend their distortions. I firmly believe that because they see BPD as a women’s disorder they got off the psychopathy hook; yet many men have it as well. A lot of male serial killers had a BPD underlay such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. The Triad is where the Psychopathy lies and this is usually a rock solid structure that no one can penetrate. I have long believed that this should never be attempted in therapy sessions, and that they should be institutionalized to undergo such as process to protect others. However, I don’t think they would make much headway anyway. I have known BPD’s to be hospitalized for such rages that would be triggered in trying to dismantle their structure or because it was threatened. When they medicate them; which is usually heavy duty (anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers), the staff is more than happy to get rid of them. They come with a lot of legal liability and potential to wreck the psychotherapists reputation. I personally don’t blame them.
I took a look at the MSV site and have conflicting opinions.
I think some of the items, e.g. the “logic” reference, on their list of “VIOLENT AND CONTROLLING BEHAVIORS” are rather ambiguous and ill-defined. And, the “logic” item aside, most of the behaviors described are applicable to the “females” discussed here.
That being said, the site’s mission is “dedicated to ending men’s violence against women” and as such, it may be understandable that no mention is made about female abuse of their male or female partner and/or children.
As a non-abusive male, I would be interested in examples of how an abusive male would use “logic” to abuse their partner because I really have no idea as to how this would be done.
Coming from the other side of things, I often heard the “No point talking to you, you always think you’re right” argument ender when I attempted to answer the insane ravings, accusations, etc. spouted by my significant other.
Judging from my brief glance at some of the “articles” on the site, I guess if you’re into the whole “rape culture” way of thinking and have a politically correct tendency towards self-flagellation to pay for the perceived sins of your sex, race, religion, etc., MSV is for you.
Reading this post took me back to my younger years in the 70s when men were being encouraged to “get in touch with their feelings” and their “feminine side” so as to better understand and relate to females on an “equal” basis.
And to my mind, the “woman’s rights” movement that this was part and parcel of made sense and was justified because if I’d been born female, I’d have wanted the same thing.
But I think things went awry when certain segments of that movement came to more or less push the idea that everything wrong with the world was a result of “men running things”, along with the ideas that any “abuse” in a relationship was male driven.
And the unfortunate part is that I think some who’ve promoted this belief found that there were careers and money to be made from it, which kind of struck me re: MSV.
Anyway though, being a “non-abusive” male who tried to be fair minded, I didn’t see a problem with society finally coming to terms and dealing with “abusive” males.
One of the primary issues was that abused wives and children were often trapped by financial realities, i.e., the male was the one with the job and means to pay for the necessities of life, in a relationship with an abusive male from which they had no means, e.g., money, place to go, etc. to escape.
Society responded with various measures to afford some means of escape to these women and their children.
Flash forward some thirty years and I still don’t have a problem with this, except when it comes to the abusive females discussed on this blog … who game the system created to protect abused females and children and whose activities are for the most part ignored and/or excused.
When it comes to males trapped in relationships with these women, it seems to me that society has in many ways recreated the same “unfair” set of rules that previously applied to females trapped in abusive relationships with males and applied these to non-abusive males trapped in a relationship with an abusive female, i.e., there is no way of exiting the abusive relationship without the likelihood of losing your kids and losing much … or all … of the means to support yourself.
For my part, I’ve always had rather deep emotions but also a rather analytical and questioning mind, and it has always been a battle as to which side will “win”. In my younger years, I tended towards “logic” trumping “emotion” (Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes being two of my childhood “role models”).
However, in my my twenties I was introduced to the “in touch with your emotions”, “non-conditional love”, etc. concepts and around the same time met my future spouse.
Unfortunately, I put aside “logic” and went with “feeling” and have for the most part have regretted ever since.
I have come to realize that when it comes to human affairs, “logical thinking” is often tainted by the starting point of the “thinker”, e.g., “Republican” and “Democrat” logic” based solutions to the same issue may differ considerably based on the belief system and inherent assumptions from which one starts their their “logical” argument and because of this each individual may come up with what appears as equally “logical” conclusions.
However, favoring “emotional reasoning” over logic and evidence or implying in some way that the former is as equally valid as the latter is, to my mind, a recipe for certain disaster.
And having done so myself for many years, i.e., ignoring the “evidence” of what my spouse is in favor of the “happy ending” reality I wanted, definitely didn’t work out well for me.
B Experienced says
Female abusers largely use the same tactics male abusers do. I blame Feminism for society not regarding women as abusive by saying it is their hormones or a natural course of behaviors for women when nothing could be further from the truth. That is why society blows off female abuse. Most of the Feminist leaders were highly narcissistic to begin with.
I have seen both female and male abusers in action. As a collective whole regarding both sexes, the women are far more vicious and creatively evil.
I had a female BPD neighbor who told her step kids that “they” upset her. She put duck tape on her mouth, slashed her wrists and then ran outside screaming. She drew,” Help Me” on the garage door. The paddy wagon took her away. She got sent back home to her kids. She got pregnant during an affair. Her husband agreed to raise the child as his own if she didn’t see his “best friend” anymore. She saw him, and the husband left. The kids above were his so she only took the child she had with her. She was known for taking medication and telling her parents to pick up her kid because she was in the process of killing herself. When they got there, she laid behind their car and screamed, “Kill Me”. I know of no man to date that has come close to that derangement.
Samson, your explanation of how this situation has come about is the best I’ve ever read. I am a feminist who has worked for an organisation that did actually work to reduce violence against women. It must be one of the genuine ones because we never had any money! Now, I am in a relationship with a man who has children to an NPD female, and boy has it been an eye-opener. Contrary to what the femocratcs would say, I haven’t been brain-washed by the patriarchy. I have simply seen that as well as there being some abusive men, there are abusive women. What is happening now, in the name of feminism… Guys, its not feminism. Feminism was about equality. It was not about ‘making men pay’. It was not about ‘everything men do is wrong’. It did not claim that men are inherently violent. It wasn’t about ‘a win for the sisterhood’ (a sisterhood of which I, as a home-wrecking, gold digging, evil step mother, am apparently not a member). The sisterhood is not winning out of this. And neither are children, because men are still a necessary, and usually wonderful part of life.
Mr. J says
new commenter here……….
Ahhh, yes, the “terrible” logic thingy.
Anyone ever get “you analyze too much”…….?
I wouldn’t be being overbearing in any way, just talking and using a little logical forethought and I’d get “you analyze too much” as though actually THINKING at all was some sort of trespass.
Yes. That one gets dusted off in my household from time to time. A variation on you think too much.
I called one of the female centric DV hotlines and asked for an ATL based support group for men who were victims of DV. I was going through a time when my wife was at her peak of physical and emotional abuse. I got MSV. I went to their website and was WTF! I agree wholeheartedly with this post. Tabloid newspapers, and reality TV are worse than porn. They are addictive, create unrealistic lifestyle and sexual images that the easily influenced love. Thank you Dr T for standing up for men and logic.
Something resonates for me in “Claiming “the truth,” being the authority.” We’re not talking about REAL logic earnestly wielded to solve problems, but the appearance of logic used to dominate. My wife will often use “appeal to authority” constructions such as “All my friends say…[e.g. you are depressed]” or “You are not doing what the therapist told us to do.” or “There is no marriage book that will say it’s OK for you not to talk to me (“talk” translated: meekly stand by and absorb her abusive tirades).”
Somewhere else in this site it is pointed out that BP’s can talk a good talk but rarely follow through. Within our family, I have urged various kinds of written schedules to manage our time and her home schooling work with the kids. Now I find that she is often blaming me for not having such schedules. Moreover, every time I attempt to get such organization projects going she will sabotage things or simply fail to follow through. Yes, she can sound very logical and earnest at times, but ultimately she thrives on disorder. It always gives her a reason to criticize and complain. In my experience, a clever borderline person can exploit virtually anything, including “logic,” to their ends.
I spent a good hour looking at and actually reading the crap on MSV’s site. Googled up the board of directors and fundraising activities. I’d like to get credit checks, lexis-nexus, criminal records and the like. The detective part of me started to come out. Straight up way to get BIG Uncle Sam dollars and promote the “cause” all the while looking good doing it.
Man bashing. Man hate. Bad, bad, bad, man. No cookie. BAD!
Since MSV is in the heart of former Congresswoman McKinney’s district so you can take that theory to the bank.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
What Congresswoman McKinney’s deal? I’m unfamiliar with her.
Mrs McKinney was a very outspoken liberal congresswoman. She has run as the Green party Presidential candidate. The district houses Emory University, the CDC, and several other federal offices. Now lets tie it together. Congressman John Lewis was its first board of directors. 1994 it teamed up with the CDC which is also located in Decatur.
While MSV continued its work with batterers, the organization also pursued opportunities to create systems change. The 12 years of work did not change Kathleen, Gus and Dick’s commitment to social change. In fact, they became more convinced that social change was the key to preventing violence against women. A significant new work area was added in 1994 when MSV won one of four national cooperative agreement awards with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct research into effective community intervention to end battering.
So the government directly supported MSV. I suspect Congressman Johnson via CDC and Emory University is still appropriating Mine and your tax dollars to support this tripe!
Has anyone done a study about the demographics of borderline personality disorder? When I look at this site, and when I think back over the photos I’ve seen since I starting reading at this site a couple of years ago, I could end up thinking, possibly erroneously, that the various personality disorders (BPD, NPD, HPD, and other high conflict people) are primarily or possibly exclusively a white, middle-class female problem. It is certainly possible that I’m not remembering any photos that would represent anything else, but all I recall are white women who appear to be mostly middle-class. I mention this because lifeonborder-line has mentioned his objections to John Lewis, a person instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, and Cynthia McKinney, who has continued the work of the Civil Rights movement. Some people do find her offensive because she has been pretty outspoken on behalf of issues that pertain often to the African-American community. Both Mr. Lewis and Ms. McKinney serve/have served a largely African-American constituency. I note at the MSV website that part of what they state in their mission/philosophy is as follows:
“Social justice work in the areas of race, class, gender, age and sexual orientation are all critical to ending violence against women.”
That organization may have a particular focus on a particular community.
You are correct, that men do not have enough resources available to them to help protect them against from domestic violence. It may also be true that particularly African-American women have, historically, had relatively few voices to represent them.
Oh like most government programs I think the intentions of MSV were good. Latching onto the feminist agenda is a quick way to get funding! My wife is black but she is middle class. She definitely has PD traits and there is PD traits history in her family though it is not diagnosed. I think you don’t see PD’s as much in the black community is because a large number of father’s just left. They are people. I don’t see why PD’s would discriminate unless it is heavily genetic. It appears to be more enviornmental. Also having a mental illness is very taboo among African Americans. I suspect its under diagnosed and reported too.
Funky Monk says
My ex-wife is Guyanese and I am East Indian (both grew up in Canada) so I don’t think it is a racial issue but more of a socialization/genetic issue. I think PD traits are present across all demographics but are underreported in many due to community taboos and family pressure — her family was even suprised when I filed for divorce after being assaulted with a knife since “divorce doesn’t happen in our community” (even though her own parents are divorced — hypocrisy at its finest).
Members of my own extended family also have PD traits but the marriages are still intact on the surface, although the respective couples are effectively living as separated in their own homes — again the social taboo of getting a divorce is preventing them from doing so.
So I think that the resources are available to these communities, as with the general public, it’s just that internal community pressure often prohibits access to them
“Has anyone done a study about the demographics of borderline personality disorder?” It appears it’s been at least looked at.
“From recorded observations, we do know that sociopaths, by various names, have existed in all kinds of societies, worldwide and throughout history.”
– Martha Stout, PhD, “The Sociopath Next Door” p135. I recommend it along with Cleckley and Hare’s works B Experienced mentioned.
Stout has kind of an interesting take on things. If I read her correctly, she theorizes some societies/culture are “prosocial” and cultural/societal forces keep the anti-social traits in check. In some societies, truly egregious behavior by a woman with few economic options would land her on the street or worse. Contrast this with contempory US cultural norms that presume men to be abusive and tolerate, if not promote, abuse of men by women.
B Experienced says
I have wondered about demographics myself. If I am not mistaken, the scale is higher in some European countries to be diagnosed with a PD such as a Histrionic one. Some of the emotional displays and excitability in HSPD is seen as normal in those countries when North Americans would call it disordered.
I would think Japan would be the biggest contender of reinforcing prosocial morals to keep antisocial ones in check. They will boot you out of the family if you should steal, etc. I really don’t think you can tie a true psychopath down for very long in any culture though.
“Has anyone done a study about the demographics of borderline personality disorder?”
Yes, and the percentages are pretty consistent throughout all cultures and races, which is one reason some (several) researchers believe there is a genetic component to this–a predisposition to reacting this way in response to various stimuli during development. (I definitely see traces of cluster “B” in my ex-wife’s younger brother. Same NPD crazy mother, but while their father was almost completely absent for my ex-wife’s first five years [overseas in the Navy] he was very deliberately and very involved in the younger brother’s life from his birth.)
(There has been some fascinating research showing that BPDs respond differently to dopamine an that their empathy goes down during partnership exercises.)
RTMan, I am very familiar with that technique where the disordered person attributes thughts and feelings to others, third parties, to bolster her attack. It is, clearly, on of the most infantile and cowardly ways to try to win a debate or argument, as, clearly, the third party is not available to confirm or deny the attribution.
Recently, a pesron I deal with who I beleive is disordered launched an attack on me, claiming one of my siblings said something false about me. She also attriibuted certain concerns and criticisms to her boyfriend.
I wrote these people, disclosing what she had attributed to them. I did not hear back from her boyfriend, but my siter assuered me that she had never said what was claimed.
I have noticed that certain people who cannot defend their positions with facts or logic often resort to this tactic of assiigning support for their attacks to others who atr unavailable for confirmation. I have also noticed that if I try to address the criticism with facts and logic, the disordered are very adept at launching a personal attack vs keeping on topic. I have also found that they use derison, sarcasm, eye rolling etc when there is a disagreement.
Welcome to the wonderful world of the dysfunctional. I have first hand experience with all that and more. Believe me it gets worse.
Logic is actually a factor as to why most cases of intergender violence occur in the first place. Women typically tend to emotionally reason by proxy and “What I feel is what is so.” is all that’s needed for them to maltreat others and or behave unethically. It’s been proven that women initate violence more often than men. It stands to reason that they also tend to start the situations that lead up to violence and homicide. Men resort to violence after enduring a long term pattern of perpetual and escalating maltreatment or by trying reason with female button pushers. That approach is a green light in the mind of a fool to act out even worse. Women not only see that logic exposes them for what they are, they also see it as evidence that what they’re doing is getting a reaction. Women really need to develop emotional intelligence and emotional maturity as most are groomed into thinking that it’s OK to live life deceitfully, foolishly, and hypocritically. People aren’t chesspieces to be moved and that everyone has a threshold of tolerance.
Please don’t generalise with genders…it ain’t much fun being a woman who relies on logic – dealing with other women when you work from that position is one hell of a ride.
With the John Lewis involved from the beginning this group is really an unofficial arm of the government. This institution plus the violence against women act are part of the systematic devaluing of men. It goes past giving women parity but to giving them a superior position in the law. I have strong feelings about Cynthia McKinney. I went door to door for her opponent the election I lived in her district. She is very much a movement and not logic politician. Its foolishness like this and my disappointment with the party I identify with to stop government meddling that pushes me closer to the libertarian camp like our friend Paul!
There are two types of men in this world. Those that masturbate, and those that lie about it.
There are also two types of women in this world. Those that know and understand item#1 above, and those that don’t. The women that understand the above point will actually incorporate a man’s inclination to masturbate into their sexual relationship, and the entire relationship, physical and mental will benefit as a result.
On the other hand, when the woman reacts poorly to the above fact, well… that does not bode well for the relationship as a whole. If she has it set in her mind that a man seeking sexual release in any manner other then her body is some kind of insult, there are problems in that relationship a lot deeper then sex.
As to logic is now considered a form of abuse, how do those organizations stand on my laughing in their face? What comes next on the abuse list, a man going without a shave for a weekend?
Can it get any stupider?
I LOL at your comment – lots of women just don’t get male sexuality, and that is a shame.
As for the issue of men not shaving…as long as he doesn’t try to do anything intimate with 3 day old stubble, I don’t have a problem with it.
Ron On Drums says
Enjoyed this. VERY informative. Keep on ROCKING Dr T 🙂
As you know I had to deal with a wife that was quite ill for a few years. This caused our marriage to go sexless. I did understand & it couldn’t be helped. I also remained faithful. But in an effort to cope I joined an online support group. Dr T it is one you are familiar with. But over & over again you read of spouses (actually both male & female) who were denying their husband or wife sex but would get OUTRAGED if they viewed porn or did ANY form of self pleasure. It does seem as all these use the same playbook doesn’t it.
The people in this group call there spouses refusers. I tried to get into the annual refusers convention & steal a copy of this playbook. I barely got out with my life when they discovered I didn’t know the secret handshake & wasn’t a member…lol Just kidding. But it is amazing how they all do, say & act out in the exact same ways.
Keep on Rockin Dr T
I wanted to write in response to this article because while I do agree with you that using logic in any situation (relationships, work, family, life) is ridiculous to be even considered in the same category as abuse (any type. I also do agree with you that watching pornography should not be considered abuse but I do want to say that there have been many studies conducted in the psychology field (I am taking Social Psychology this semester and we just crossed over to the chapter on aggression) in regards to violent pornography and increases in aggression towards women. I want to say that I have been bringing up tons of valid points from your site in thie class about violent women and the abuse men suffer at their hands but sometimes when I read your posts I do not see much objectivity in regards to the subjects you discuss. I think thats what I am trying to say here is that while I do agree with you on so many things and I use this site often in classroom discussions that I still think of research done and objectively give both points of view even if I disagree with one of them. I also wanted to say that even though there has been tons of research done on the affects of violent pornography and increased aggression towards women that newer research coming out is questioning the findings done back in the 80’s and asking if there is another factor involved that would increase the aggression as some social psychologists say that violent pornography alone does not lead to increased aggression (I disagree with those psychologists as I feel any violent depiction towards any male or female would increase the likelihood that you will be more aggressive towards that person). I think this also goes to sterotypes that are perpetuated in regards to women and how we are the weaker sex, that we are not smart, and that in general are inferior to men.
I strongly advocate for all living beings when it comes to abuse. I think more research needs to be done in regards to why we think abuse is ok (towards any living being, animals included). I think sterotypes play a role in abuse but I also think we need to study cases of people who are predisposed to increased levels of aggressive behavior.
Thanks for reading my thoughts. Again I want to say I love your site and it really has been an indepth resource for me when I need to do research for topics to discuss and papers to write. I am thinking of using some aspect of issues discussed on here for my thesis when I enter graduate school for my Master in Arts in Forensic and Counseling Psychology.
tons of research done on the affects of violent pornography
There has been, but it’s all led the opposite direction as you indicate. Years ago, I wrote a rather large paper on this and found only ONE–yes ONE–study that found a correlation between viewing extremely (and I mean extremely) violent movies with high sexual content and increased sexual aggression. Still, this study found only a correlation, not causation.
ALL other scientific studies found that viewing pornography led to no result or a decrease in sexual violence. More recent studies have found that this includes violent pornography. (Additional studies have found that violent entertainment reduces violence in general.)
Now, less you think I’m excusing violent pornography defensively, I’m not–I can’t stand the stuff.
I think more research needs to be done in regards to why we think abuse is ok
I’m not sure anyone thinks this. I believe the issue is defining what abuse is. I believe you could get most people to agree to what incidents constitute emotional or not, but making that into a tidy little law is as problematic as defining pornography or vulgarity or even spirituality. (For example, why my oldest was young, giving her a time out when she was misbehaving wasn’t abuse. However, if I’d completely ignored her for days, it would have been.)
As you stated the research is questionable, and being questioned. I think a more important topic would be the violence that is seen nightly on mainstream TV, which a much younger and larger audience that constantly portrays violence against men as hilarious. Pornography is primarily viewed by adults who have gone through much of their development and have established standards for appropriate and socially acceptable behavior. However, watch most Disney channel shows for children and teens and you will see boys hit and degraded all the time and it is seen by the VASTLY larger and younger audience as funny and acceptable.
I am more concerned about this targeting of children. It is a larger problem in terms of numbers and age. Was there a chapter about this in your text? If not, I wonder why?
Morning Star says
My brother is married to a BPD. When she went on a one month overseas trip with her mother recently leaving her kids in my brother’s care, she instructed her 17 year old daughter to hide my brother’s passport. I should state that my brother used her time away to prepare his exit. So, when he went looking for his passport, he found that it was missing, together with those of her children. He asked the 17 year old if she had seen the passports as they were not in their usual place. The 17 year old said she hadn’t seen them, so he assumed they were stolen, saying “I think there has been a robbery. We should call the police”, whereupon the 17 year old admitted that she had removed them and was “acting on instructions” from her mother.
When the CB found out about this episode she screamed down the phone line that he had abused her daughter. Her mother joined the cacophonous chorus with “You are a monster for calling the police on [name]”!!!
The focus then became HIS abuse of the 17 year old and NOT the confiscation of his passport…. Crazy stuff…. He managed to escape for 2 months but is now back with her…. :(((
Morning Star says
I should clarify that, at no point, did my brother abuse the 17 year old daughter of his wife. He was responding responsibly to an apparent robbery. This, of course, was called abuse by the wife and her mother who were on the other side of the world enjoying their trip. The confiscated passport was never allowed to become an issue. I totally understand this article and that when men use logic they are called abusers. It is really crazy stuff…
I would just like to say that this domestic violence group is incredibly sexist. Logic is not and should not be the domain of men exclusively. Everyone can use it. Everyone is subject to it.
I would sometimes get into discussions with an old college friend of mine. She would make some assertion and I would ask her to back it up and/or make a counter-argument based on facts. She would accuse me of attacking her with logic and how could I use such a tool of the patriarch, being a woman myself? As if my interest in science, psychology and history somehow made me less feminine. To me, that’s just as sexist as any 1950’s male stereotype patting me on the butt and shooing me back to the kitchen.