Friday, May 11, 2007


I have various female friends and acquaintances who routinely comment on the warring and violent nature of men. There is a cultural assumption that males are the cause of all violence and war. Such conflicts exist solely because men love war and violence. This stereotype goes all the way back to 5th century B.C. Greece as seen in Aristophane's play, Lysistrata. News programs often perpetuate this stereotype by airing the very popular programs about male abusers and male criminal activities.

Here is my response:



These days, there is an assumption by some that men are violent by nature. Some point to the 19 male hijackers that flew planes into the Twin Towers on 9/11 as proof that men are more violent than women by nature. It is ironic, however, that these same people rarely mention that all of the 343 firefighters who perished on September 11 by rushing into the burning, toxic inferno were males. Using the same logic, does that prove that men are more caring, loving, nurturing and compassionate than women? No. The common denominator uniting the male Muslim Terrorists and dead male rescue workers is not violence or war, but risk-taking. Males are risk-takers, and statistically save lives far more often than they destroy lives. Even the misguided hijackers saw themselves as liberators who gave their lives to free Islam from the Satanic Western ‘oppressors’. These so called male martyrs felt they were serving Allah, their mothers, wives and children.

War is not a male thing. Risk-taking is a male thing. The hormone, testosterone, equips the body and alerts the mind to take risks in the face of a threat to ones life or the lives and property they love. Males typically assert themselves not only when personally threatened, but also when women, children and property are in danger. Then there are the offensive wars when tribes or groups of people want more 'stuff' from another tribe or nation. Yet even in these situations, females and children are very supportive of the wars because they benefit from the ‘stuff’ acquired by the male warriors.

That is why this country has the Selective Service System. It is the means by which the United States administers military conscription. It entails registering all males between the ages of 18 and 26 with the system for the purpose of having information available about potential soldiers in the event of war. Notice that this is required of males, which one could argue is a form of gender discrimination in this era of so called 'equal rights.' The reason is that males are biologically equipped to be risk-takers - to protect, defend and preserve our freedoms. This subject is examined by Christina Hoff-Sommers in her exceptional study revealing discriminatory practices against our young boys in the public educational system: The WAR AGAINST BOYS: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.


Over 90% of all job related deaths occur among the male population because they typically take the more risky jobs that women often will not take. These are called the Death Professions. Chief among these are: Timber cutters, Fishers, Pilots and navigators, Structural metal workers, Drivers-sales workers, Roofers, Electrical power installers, Farm occupations, Construction laborers and Truck drivers.

In the past fifteen years, over 1,000 American males have been killed in coal mining accidents. These numbers have gone way down with the increase of required safety improvements. The numbers once were closer to what we find in modern China where over 5,000 men a year die in coal mines.

This is also one of the reasons men make more money than women. Women who do exactly the same jobs, make exactly the same wage, but fewer women than men will crawl into a mine shaft a mile under the earth or stand on the deck of an Alaskan fishing boat hauling nets in 30 foot waves and gale winds. The next time you use something made of plastic, aluminum, wood, steel or stone – realize that hundreds of male hands and bodies were put in harms way to mine, cut, melt, heat and shape the objects we take for granted each day. Of course women are involved, but generally, the riskier life threatening occupations which give us the majority of our modern conveniences come from male risk-taking.


While males almost always comprise the majority of fighters in times of war, both genders equally support and participate in the typical 'war effort'. Hitler's Germany contained thousands of very enthusiastic females who supported the Third Reich. The German Youth Movement was stocked with young enthusiastic Frauliens. One of the WWII Russian army's best squad of snipers was a female squad called Roza Shanina.

The American Revolution saw as many women as men supporting the war, with women doing the non-combat jobs. During the American Civil War, both Southern and Northern females provided a strong impetus for men to enlist and die by publically shaming males for unpatriotic cowardice if they did not. In World Wars I and II, American women filled the factories to make weapons, munitions and other needed supplies for the male troops. Both males and females have always been very supportive of wars that will make them more wealthy and powerful, or in the case of America, free. Historically, females in all cultures have favored the strongest fighters, protectors and providers for their children. An example is from Native American history: Many Indian mothers would not let their daughters marry a male suitor unless he could prove his acumen at war; it was common for a mother to ask the young man to show how many enemy scalps he had. Scalps were the modern equivalent of Letterman’s jackets or the gorgeous female giving the trophy to the winning risk-taking male – the most ‘valuable’ women were attracted to the most athletic males.

The major difference, when it comes to war, is that men are considered expendable because they are, well, male. Until recently, men were the only ones that went into combat. There is a movement toward gender equality today as more and more brave females are going into combat zones. However, they are given a choice as to whether or not they take a battlefield assignment. Males are not given that choice.

My son came home from Basic Training and said, “Hey dad, do you know what they call men in the infantry?” I asked him what. He replied tersely, “Bullet sponges.” Imagine for a moment that America was attacked and had to go to war, and that a series of posters or commercials surfaced advertising that only Blacks, Gays or Women were required to sign up and die in battle. There would be a justifiable outrage and storm of protest about the blatant discrimination. But when the male gender is singled out as being required to die, we don’t call it discrimination, we call it the Draft. Sadly, this stereotype of male as expendable war drone is perpetuated routinely in movies like Star Wars. Few even blink when cloned white faceless male troopers are cut down like summer hay, afterall, that's what men are for.


Furthermore, it shocks most people when they see that domestic abuse statistics are about even when gathered outside of police reports. Independent surveys and several university studies reveal that as many women as men abuse family members. Men infrequently report their abusers, and when they do, they are routinely doubted since 'women can't hurt men'. Dr. Martin Fiebert, from the Department of Psychology of California State University, has compiled an annotated bibliograhy of research relating to spousal abuse by women on men. This bibliography examines 155 scholarly investigations: 126 empirical studies and 29 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 116,000.

This culture tells boys that girls can't hurt them. Reports of female physical and emotional abuse against men and children often go unreported. But when surveys are done door to door, which have been done at least 40 times, the stats always reveal a 50/50 split. In fact, women abusing children is slightly higher than men. Furthermore, female violence is often done at the emotional and relational levels while boys focus on physical aggression.


Obviously my point is NOT to see women as MORE violent, or worse -- but rather to correct and stop the myth that men are the 'violent gender' and the cause of wars. As a man, I tire of being stereotyped based on misinformation and propaganda. Clearly,men are risk-takers. That does mean that you are likely to see more men involved in violent crimes, but it also means you are going to see more men involved in risking their lives to solve those crimes and bring the criminals to justice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

as a woman who has alayws believed men were violent and women peaceful, i found this very interesting for thought...