Many women today have lost touch with reality. On the one hand, we say that emotional/psychological abuse can be just as or even more damaging than physical abuse, which is true. On the other hand, when the receiver of emotional abuse is male, we minimize it and say that he should learn to “take it like a man”. If he strikes back verbally, he gets accused of emotional abuse, and if he strikes back physically, he gets thrown in jail.
This is often true even of masculine people who are not men. If whoever we are trying to talk to about our situation does not recognize our womanhood or femininity, we are told to suck it up. Black and Indigenous women face this a lot. Trans women moreso, even when they are very feminine. Just having had a penis at some point in one’s life seems to negate any need for sympathy or even help in some people’s eyes.
Others may have different experiences, but as a spiritual counselor, in all my years, I have never seen but three true cases of male-on-female real one-sided abuse. One of the women was intimidated, fearing for her life if she should leave. The man was tortured and torturing his family with weird religious beliefs. The kids were also being abused. Eventually, she escaped. The other two were cases of the women having been groomed, broken, and then trapped by a narcissist or someone of that pattern of toxicity. I have seen men get trapped like this by women, and same sex couples wherein one was trapped this way. So even in one sided abuse, sex or gender doesn’t usually come into play except in ways the narcissist will isolate their victim from others. Regardless of the narcissist’s gender, they use mainstream perceptions about their victim against them.
If you’re in a kink community, you can sense this is what’s happening when, for example, a cis male “Dom” comments on a sub’s weight. This is something nobody in the community really gives a care about, but they’re bringing that into the conversation and making people uncomfortable by bringing toxic vanillaness into what is supposed to be a safe place.
Back to the frequency issue, in every other case, both partners were abusive, or the woman was abusive, and the man defending himself, or the woman was psychologically torturing and provoking the man to create an artificial abuser/martyr situation. The woman was at least emotionally abusive, and sometimes physically so. She was abusive towards her partner and the children if they had any. The only way that the man could bear more of the fault is when he was physically stronger. Most of the time though, it was that the partners were fighting, not that the man was just outright physically abusive.
Real male-on-female physical abuse does happen, and when it does, it is very devastating and more commonly fatal, but female-on-male physical abuse happens as well. Statistically, men and women are equally violent when it is a case of one-sided domestic abuse. The statistics come from reported cases to police and emergency staff. Anecdotally, all you have to do to find abused men is stroll through a bar. Once the alcohol loosens guys up, many can tell you of past and present abuse by women in their lives, from moms to sisters to wives, and they’ll show you their scars.
So we need to stop treating domestic violence as something men do to women just because the results when men abuse are usually more physically damaging. It matters legally, and in terms of immediate physical harm, but trauma creates cycles that should not be ignored. As they say, hurt people hurt people. Women need to get real about our own violent tendencies, and where they come from. We also need to stop punishing men for being human, having feelings, and not enjoying abuse.
Click below for more: Where Is The Line?