The Problem is Male Violence:

We need to start naming this problem. Until we have the courage to talk about the cult of masculinity and their glorification of male violence, we will continue to grieve for innocent lives lost and families destroyed. We can attempt to obfuscate the issue by diagnosing perpetrators as “mentally ill” all we want but we all know it isn’t true. The men who commit these crimes aren’t “mentally ill”, unless you want to define our entire culture as ill. It is a convenient lie designed to ignore the real issue: male violence.

Because that is the only thing the perpetrators of these types of crimes have in common: they are male and, in the case of mass shootings, are exclusively white men. The vast majority of violent crimes are committed by men. 

Until we name the problem, we won’t be able to address it. Gun control is only part of the solution. But, guns only make it easier for violent men to kill. Violent men kill women and children in a myriad of ways on a daily basis without guns. So, whilst gun control legislation is essential, male violence will not stop until we start holding men accountable for their violence.

We need to hold individual men accountable for domestic violence.

We need to hold individual men accountable for sexualised violence.

We need to hold individual men accountable for violence.

Then, we need to hold all men accountable for helping to perpetuate the myths that men are inherently violent or that there is always a cause for male violence.

We need to stop blaming victims for being victims of male violence.

We need to stop making excuses for male violence.

If you haven’t already read it, Crates & Ribbons has written an important piece on the issue of gender in the mass murder of 27 women and children in Newtown, Connecticut. Mother Jones has written a survey on mass shootings in the US. Aviva Shen’s Timeline of Mass Shootings since Columbine is a list of male perpetrators. William Hamby’s Connecticut shooting, white males and Mass Murder is based on Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel’s  Suicide by Mass Murder: Masculinity, Aggrieved Entitlement and Rampage School Shootings. All should be required reading today. Kathleen Barry’s Unmaking War and Remaking Men and Susan Faludi’s Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man and The Terror Dream are all searing indictments of the cult of hyper-masculinity.

We owe it to those who have lost their lives or whose families have been destroyed by male violence to name it.

We owe it to those who have lost their lives or whose families have been destroyed by male violence to hold individual men accountable for their crimes.

These are the innocent victims of the Newtown mass shooting. Lest we forget:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Aviele Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Rachel Davino, 29
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27

4 thoughts on “The Problem is Male Violence:”

  1. I just got done commenting on a story written by an adoring mother about her abusive, “mentally ill” son. All of the other adoring parents, hundreds and hundreds of them, blamed “mental illness” for their violent sprogs. They plaintively opined that until there is a “cure”, we should just love and hug violent males more.

    What sad delusions. And society will go on becoming more and more violent until these people realize that they are part of the problem and need to stop justifying and rationalizing male violence.

    Anyway, this was a breath of fresh air.

    1. I read that article too. I felt awful for the mother since it is clear she can not cope with the child and the father is clearly a waste of fucking space. It’s a serious indictment of mental health services that we end up in these situations. However, I’m not sure why she thinks she’s like the mother of this spree killer. We have no idea if he is mentally ill or not. All we have is some people he went to school with opining that he must have had ASD because he’s “weird”. Why that’s being taken as evidence of a real diagnosis is beyond me.

      But, even if this one case turns out to have a killer with a mental illness, that doesn’t address the issue that the vast majority of spree killers have no mental illness. The vast majority of killers have no mental health issues. The only thing most killers have in common is that they are male. And, unless we are now claiming that having a penis comes with a diagnosis of mental illness, suggesting that all violent men must be mentally ill is completely offensive to people who actually are mentally ill since the vast majority of people with mental illnesses aren’t violent and those that are, are more likely to self-harm than hurt others.

      (I could rant on this all day.)

  2. I could not agree more. If you look at the list of killed adults the first thing that jumps out is that there are exclusively female.
    We need to become aware of the glorification of violence in films, movies, advertising, sport and recognize it for what it is. There is no point telling our sons that “you don’t hit people” if we watch films that use violence as entertainment. It starts with little things such as “boys will be boys” to excuse anti-social behaviour and ends with all of us tolerating violent and misogynist men because “put any favorite excuse here”.

    1. I’m not sure about the adults killed as most adults working in primary schools will be women because of sexist constructions of “caring”. I would be interested to know what the sex break down in each classroom was though since most of the child victims are female. I think we need to find that out first but, as ever, women are always the targets of male violence so it wouldn’t surprise me if he had deliberately targeted women and female children.

      I think the adage “boys will boys” is the biggest problem in our culture. We excuse poor behaviour in boys by claiming they can’t help it and then we wonder why they grow up to be violent. We excuse abusive men all the time. Just look at that awful advice column in the Guardian today by Mariella Frostrup.

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