START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
892,983 people care about Women's Rights

Washington Post Thinks Marriage Would “End Violence Against Women”

Washington Post Thinks Marriage Would “End Violence Against Women”

The Washington Post is having a very, very bad week when it comes to misogyny. First, it published a column by conservative George Will claiming that not only is there not an epidemic of sexual assault on campuses across the country, but that those who allege they were assaulted are likely trying to cash in on the “coveted status” that “victimhood” allots them.

As if that weren’t bad enough, now the news outlet has published a new column, this time explaining how to reduce violence against women. The master plan? Marry them off.

“One way to end violence against women? Stop taking lovers and get married,” reads the original headline, with a subhead, “The data show that #yesallwomen would be safer hitched to their baby daddies.” The backlash online against the article was instantaneous, causing the Washington Post to rewrite the headline, only, and leave the rest of the message intact.

Even with a revamped headline (“One way to end violence against women? Married dads. The data show #yesallwomen would be safer with fewer boyfriends around their kids.”) the message remained unaltered. Violence against women, according to the columnists, is a result of women remaining single, versus entering into a marriage contract.

“[O]bscured in the public conversation about the violence against women is the fact that some other men are more likely to protect women, directly and indirectly, from the threat of male violence: married biological fathers,” argues co-authors W. Bradford Wilcox and Robin Fretwell Wilson. “The bottom line is this: Married women are notably safer than their unmarried peers, and girls raised in a home with their married father are markedly less likely to be abused or assaulted than children living without their own father.”

“So, women: if you’re the product of a good marriage, and feel safer as a consequence, lift a glass to dear old dad this Sunday,” they conclude.

The multitude of studies cherry picked by the article’s authors are problematic on their own. After all, when it comes to violence against women, 30 percent of it globally is instigated by an intimate partner, and 38 percent of all women murdered are murdered by an intimate partner.

It’s not surprising that the authors would be inclined to play with statistics to try to promote their “pro-marriage” viewpoint. Wilcox has already been accused of skewing data to help support legal arguments for same-sex marriage cases. Publishing in one of the country’s most prestigious news outlets now gives their version of “facts” an air of authenticity they could not get by continuing to preach to the religious right family values crowd.

Also sadly unsurprising is the introduction of yet another article full of theories of how women and girls can protect themselves from violence, rather than creating some true solutions to stopping abusers from committing acts of violence and assault, both physical and sexual. Advising women and girls to marry as a means of protecting themselves against abuse doesn’t actually fix the problem, as domestic violence statistics show, and even if it did, promoting it as a solution moves our talking points back to a realm where it is up to male partners to offer protection from other men’s attacks.

Marriage is not an answer to the crisis of violence against women. Not drinking in public is not a solution to avoiding sexual assault from strangers or acquaintances. We do not need to arm ourselves with guns or protective underwear.

What we do need is a real campaign that says women are not property, violence against women and girls will not be tolerated, victims’ accounts will be taken seriously and not dismissed as “status seekers” and judges will not give light sentences or no sentences because of an assailant’s background, history, position or wealth.

What we also need is a media that will confront these issues, rather than pander to those who diminish them. We must keep the media just as accountable for its role in perpetuating this crisis as we do the assailants committing the crimes.

Read more: , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

158 comments

+ add your own
1:02PM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

Spot on Carol L.!!! Great comment.

12:44PM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

“James W
“Sometimes the violence starts with mom, I saw mine break her hand hitting my brother. The sooner we deal with child abuse, the closer we'll be to a more peaceful loving world.”

“Mom was the toxic one in my family, and she made me the target child.”

doesn't sound like you were her only target. Some women are not cut out to be mothers. Which is why I oppose forced motherhood.

James W
“It's a documented fact that females rate males sexually by their potential for violence.”

indeed, care to provide such documentation.

you sound a bit sexually repressed. I stand by my original comment, that perhaps your mother resented being a mother. which is an excellent reason to support reproductive rights. don't you agree?

James W
“You tell me, that's your battle. What I can tell you is approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. More than 80% children under five are killed by their mothers. That percentage shoots to more than 90% in the first year and near 100% within the first 24hrs.”

another reason to support reproductive rights.

11:10AM PDT on Jun 17, 2014

I give JAMES the info he demands & he buggers off!

5:06PM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Um, what?

10:18AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

Marc P. -- I think ye doth protest a bit too much. Very defensive.

I am sorry, but (1) there was little evidence that it was "adults" that I was responding to; (2) it can be easily argued that the term "neo-tard" is an accurate socio-political description of some people; and (3) I do think it is fair to label those who play the blame-the-victim game in our criminal justice system as "socially retarded". You certainly, in your recent responses to me and others, have not presented any DOCUMENTED proof to refute the notion that we should protect and support alleged victims and let the evidence and the criminal justice system sort out the issues. I do not think it is I who lacks the "perspicacity" to grasp the issues at hand......after all it is you and Will who are the ones making excuses for lame attempts to blame the victim until the perpetrator is found guilty.

Cletus

4:43PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Who wrote this article. Misinformed, dont think it will work or end domestic violence

12:25PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Typo- Intimate partner deaths were 14% of homicides. Left out the 14%.

12:23PM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

JAMES - Got the stats you wanted SO badly.

From the NY Office for Prevention of Domestic Abuse:

1/3 of female murder victims age 13 and older were killed by intimate partners.
IPV (Intimate partner homicides) were the LEADING cause of homicides and injury related deaths during pregnancy. Intimate partner deaths of both sexes are attributed to intimate partner homicide. The death rate is over twice as many women as men. Male deaths are frequently attributed to self defense during violence.

11:10AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

Cont - Some are now selective abortions by ultrasound.
Many here have empathized with your upbringing but you tenaciously refuse to give up your hatred. It will eat out your guts. I repeat, for that I send my sincere regrets.

11:04AM PDT on Jun 15, 2014

JAMES - gone 3 days being ill, couldn't answer sooner.
Re your question, I have on FUC!ING idea why women mistreat their children, pick out one as a favourite or why they kill their children. THERE, now do you feel better? Behar's comment, facetious or sincere, was stupid. A mother who kills or abuses a child is mentally ill or just plain evil. Happy with that? If you want to write & submit a blog on care2 on that topic, why haven't you done so to bring the problem to the fore.
I am not a fervent feminist but for equal rights, do not hate men, have no children & never married. If I had married & was abused, he a-hole would have to sleep sometime or preferably, if I felt it safe, would just walk out the door.
"Rape culture" & "patriarchy ARE broken records. Why? Because theses issues refuse to be resolved.
I definitely have more male friends - ALL without benefits - so there's no comparisons or shaming based on sex. I judge people on character, not sex.
Blacks got the vote due to conscription. Women weren't worthy unless they killed foreigners. Logic? Not so much.
Acid in the face = implying maternal evil is only 3rd world. I NEVER connected those dots, you did. I was showing the universal abuse of females & denial of education, etc. Here would be a good place to mention female infanticide as prevalent in many countries often performed BY MEN who find female children a burden. Talk about child murders!!!! Some are now selective abortions by ultrasoun

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

meet our writers

Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.