Is the Way He is Treating Me Abusive?

The book Why Does He DO That? by Lundy Bancroft was recently recommended to me by Teh Bewilderness, and by the domestic violence shelter I’ve started volunteering at. It is exceptionally good. It’s written in 2002 by a man who runs programs for abusers, and it shows what tactics they use, as well as how their behavior can be crazy-making for women. Bancroft is very clear that MEN abuse women, and that women do not have the ability to terrorize and undermine men in the way men abuse women. He also discusses the ways in which friends, family, courts, and therapists can often take the abuser’s side without meaning to. He emphasizes that being “neutral” in cases where it is known that abuse is occurring is in fact choosing the side of the abuser.

Anyway, this is a great book, and I recommend every woman read it. We’ve all known (or been) women in abusive situations.

I thought the below checklist was very helpful in helping women discover whether they are in an abusive relationship. The list is taken from pages 124-130 of the book.

About his behavior, he is abusive if:

He retaliates against you for complaining about his behavior.

He tells you that your objections to his mistreatment of you are your own problem.

He gives apologies that are insincere or angry and he demands that you accept them.

He blames you for the impact of his behavior.

It is never the right time or the right way to bring things up.

He undermines your progress in life.

He denies what he did.

He justifies his hurtful or frightening behavior or say that you “made him do it”.

He touches you in anger or puts you in fear in other ways.

He coerces you into having sex or sexually assaults you.

His controlling, disrespectful, or degrading behavior is a problem.

About you, if you show signs of abuse such as:

Are you afraid of him?

Are you getting distant with your family and friends because he makes those relationships difficult?

Is your level of energy or motivation declining, or do you feel depressed?

Is your self opinion declining, so that you are always fighting to be good enough and to prove yourself?

Do you find yourself consistently preoccupied with the relationship and how to fix it?

Do you feel like you can’t do anything right?

Do you feel like the problems in your relationship are all your fault?

Do you repeatedly leave arguments feeling like you’ve been messed with but can’t figure out why?

If you think you may be in an abusive situation, please contact your local shelter or crisis line. You can just call to talk. They can help. They want you to call. Please call. Also, you can buy the book here.

EDIT: This post got a lot of negative feedback and accusations of misandry (lol) so I wanted to clear up what author Lundy Bancroft of Why Does He DO That? actually says about men and abuse.

This is from page 288-289 of his book, under the subheading “How Society Adopts the Abuser’s Perspective”:

“To the person who says “These abuse activists are anti-male”:

How is it anti-male to be against abuse? Are we supposed to pretend we don’t notice that the overwhelming majority of abusers are male? This accusation parallels the abuser’s words to his partner: The reason you think I’m abusive is because you have a problem with men!” One of the best counters to this piece of side-tracking is to point out how many men are active in combating the abuse of women. Remember also that abused women are the sisters, daughters, mothers, and friends of men. Men’s lives are affected by abuse, because it happens to women we know and care about.”

Additionally, from page 290:

“Everyone should be very, very cautious in accepting a man’s claim that he has been wrongly accused of abuse or violence. The great majority of allegations of abuse– though not all– are substantially accurate, and an abuser almost never ‘seems like the type’.”

Porn is Woman-Hating Propaganda

Trigger Warning

Who says most porn is violent? This study from 2010 says so.

Of the 304 [porn] scenes analyzed, 88.2 percent contained physical aggression, principally spanking, gagging, and slapping, while 48.7 percent of scenes contained verbal aggression, primarily name-calling. Perpetrators of aggression were usually male, whereas targets of aggression were overwhelmingly female. Targets most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression.

Pornography that shows women enjoying aggressive verbal and physical treatment teaches men that women generally enjoy this type of treatment. It is propaganda that:

promotes certain views about men and women. It promotes the view that women want to be f*cked – it is their nature. If they say no they mean yes, even if they say it hurts or it looks like it hurts they still say they like it. In pornography, women get hurt and they ask for more. They are called names, spat at, choked, airtighted, slapped and they enjoy it. They smile and say that they enjoyed it. Only in pornography does a human being ask someone to hurt her.” (from this great article.)

Exploitation-positive feminists claim that pornography is liberating, but in fact it teaches men that women enjoy being “put in their place”. The end result of this type of propaganda can be found in this MRA gem:

h88p://wxw.inmalafide.com/blog/2012/02/27/the-necessity-of-domestic-violence/

It’s the same when it comes to disciplining women. Slapping a girl across the face isn’t just about hurting her, it’s a kind of neg. It says, “I can crush you like an insect, but you aren’t worth the effort.” It’s a tacit acknowledgment that she’s weaker than you, beneath you, and if she crosses you again, you’ll put her in the hospital. You treat her like she’s a child throwing a temper tantrum, not an equal.

and

Damn, it’s almost like some girls like this “domestic violence” thing!

Sean Connery seems okay with it, after all.