In a segment on the ‘Sunrise’ morning TV show there appeared a video where actors simulated a display of partner harassment/violence in a public space. In the first scenario the man was the aggressor, and in the second scenario they reversed the roles. The differing reaction by members of the public was profound. The same clip has been circulating on the internet for some time now and has been the subject of much discussion in fora such as Reddit Mens Rights (see link below).
I was interested to see how the topic was dealt with on Sunrise for a couple of reasons. Firstly in promotional clips they seem to suggest that the story was about whether members of the public should intervene in instances of partner violence – rather than about the different reaction to having a male as aggressor versus female as aggressor.
Secondly, I was interested because one of those presenting the story was Andrew O’Keefe who is heavily involved in the ‘White Ribbon Campaign’ in Australia. The issue here is that the ‘White Ribbon Campaign’ is complicit in injecting into the public’s consciousness the notion that ‘domestic violence = men’s violence towards women’. In so doing the ‘Campaign’ and other domestic violence advocacy groups like it, divert attention from the other facets of domestic violence (i.e. M+M, F+F, and female on male violence).
It was indeed ironic then that Andrew tut-tutted the contrasting public reaction to female on male violence shown in the video, given that could be viewed as an outcome of the message broadcast by the White Ribbon Campaign and many pro-feminist organisations like it.
The unfortunate fact is that the average member of the public simply does not now recognise a woman’s aggression towards a male as being domestic violence, or that women’s aggression generally is of any particular social significance.
Youtube has apparently removed at least one video showing women abusing men (after it hit 6,000,000 views), but has left online videos showing men abusing women – details in this reddit discussion thread (30 October 2014)
Here is a good blog post about the video by Ally Fogg
In this hidden camera experiment a women is seen spiking her date’s drink – see how bystanders react. And yes, drink-spiking by women occurs quite often in real life – here is just the latest incident to appear in the media.
In this hidden camera experiment first a woman, and then a man, take money from a sleeping homeless guy. See the differing reaction by members of the public.
Another hidden camera experiment – Many people come to the aid of a women being abused, but yet again no-one comes to the aid of a male being subjected to abuse by a woman
This discussion thread and linked video isn’t about partner violence, but it does show how many members of the public will paint a man as the aggressor even when a woman initiates violence and continues despite efforts to reason with her.
This paper contains many links to further sources proving examples of male victims of domestic abuse not being taken seriously.
Also not about partner violence but still relevant – this video shows a female student assaulting a male student while a female teacher watches on but fails to control the situation.
Why didn’t I stop to help a woman in need? (5 August 2014)
Reaction to women abusing men in public (26 March 2008) Video
Why Women Are Overly Confident With Themselves On The Street, by Rollo Tomassi (26 July 2022) Video
Lone women drivers are top priority, says AA after tweet backlash (22 January 2022) This article has nothing to do with partner violence but is included here to illustrate the pervasive gender bias in the media. “We are more at risk physically than men in that situation. It’s just a fact, I’m afraid.” No, it’s not a fact at all.
COVID-19: The bystander role has never been more critical in calling out (9 April 2020) Makes perfect sense – assuming you only recognise female victims of domestic violence
Woman on an Indian TV show slaps a male and he slaps her back. White Knights in the studio then attack the man en masse. The only good news is that apparently the man later took successful legal action against the woman who hit him. (1 March 2020)
The latest clip doing the rounds on Twitter (24 February 2020) Again, a girl strikes first. Her target hits back and then the crowd turns against him
Another clip seen on Twitter. As usual when girl attacks boy, no-one intervenes until he defends himself … then both males and females aggressively seek to stop & punish the male (2 September 2019)
Feminists laugh at the idea of violence against men (2017) Video
Bystanders often don’t intervene in sexual harassment – but should they? (21 February 2017) Although artfully camouflaged, the gender bias runs deep in this article. It ignores violence against men, ignores violence by women, and suggests that women more likely to intervene to stop violence.
VIDEO: Do our beliefs about domestic violence match the facts? (12 January 2017)
Dash Cam captures the moment a ‘disgruntled’ wife rams her husband’s van (4 January 2017) Australia
If a boy, a girl, a cat and a dog were abandoned in a park who would be rescued first? (20 August 2016) The patriarchy works in mysterious ways
An Open Letter To Eddie McGuire & TripleM (13 March 2016) Australia
It’s not clear whether this incident at a US school was partner violence or not, but I have included it here as the media coverage and school commentary certainly display a gender-based double standard (18 February 2016)
No more slapping (15 February 2016) Video
Anti-bullying video carried empowering message (29 October 2015) But no mention of the corresponding reaction when a boy was bullied. Why not? Well perhaps because it was produced by the same guy who did the infamous street harassment of a woman in New York video.
Feminist Student repeatedly assaults boy until he responds (16 June 2015)
Physically Abused Boyfriend Hits Girlfriend Back In Public Experiment! (6 April 2015) Another hidden-camera video
Domestic abuse in public (3 October 2014) Video
Reality TV actress slaps male contestant. White knights in studio audience beat male contestant when he slaps her back (12 February 2013) Youtube video
An article about gynocentrism: This paper concerns the mindset that underpins the widespread failure to recognise men as being worthy of assistance or positive intervention in situations like domestic violence. This concept is further explored here.
Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in reading: