Why are the men who commit violence against women invisible?

So I was thinking about women and violence against women.  And I was thinking about the media and how the media reports crimes against women, and it occurred to me that when you think about crimes and violence against women it is not women who are the perpetrators (usually) but men who are the people committing violence against women. So why are the men who commit violence against women invisible?

But what do the headlines say?  What do the websites say?  The headlines read:

Violence against women is on the rise.”; “Global and regional estimates of violence against women”; “Ending Violence against women”; “Hate crimes against women”

etc, etc, etc …..

So who is committing all of this violence and crime?

Men. Men commit the crimes against women.  Men commit the violence against women. 


Okay, so before you start whining about how women kill each other, and women hurt each other, and every other thing you can throw at me, Yes, you are right.  Women do assault each other.  We have all heard about “cat fights”.  We know women kill each other, and are generally awful to each other a lot of the time.  But when you look at statistics about violence against women and who is doing it, the answer 8 times out of 10 is: MEN!

Just because I like statistics:

18.3% of women in the United States have survived a completed or attempted rape. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

63.84% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010)

The Campus Sexual Assault Study estimated that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 college women experience completed or attempted rape during their college years (National Institute of Justice 2007). I would argue this number is higher now than in 2007

About one-third of female murder victims ages 12 or older are killed by an intimate partner. (Department of Justice 2007)

batered women

So now that you have seen some numbers and statistics, lets reshape the way the headlines SHOULD read.

“The amount of violence men are committing against women is on the rise”; “Global and regional estimates of men committing violence against women.”; “Ending male violence against women”; “Hate crimes men commit against women”.

The media says things like:  “the Columbine shooters:, “the Newtown shooter”; “Kids killing kids”; “the alleged shooter”.  They are called psychopath, or shooter, or murderer, or killer, or maniac….which are all genderless names.

Then the media has experts come on who talk about mental illness, or violence in video games, or gangs, or dysfunctional homes, or many other reasons why this violence is happening.  Hmmmmm, I am pretty sure that girls and women also deal with mental illness, and dysfunctional families, and play violent video games, and are exposed to violence in society, and are in gangs.  So why are the people committing the violence disproportionately men.  And why don’t we call them out for it?  Why are the perpetrators in visible, and the the headlines genderless, unless of course you are mentioning the gender of the victims.  Let’s mention the gender of the people doing the raping and the killing.

Because the lives of women are important.  The lives of women matter.  Women’s stories need to be told.  #womenslives


Do you “see color” when you look at people? I do…..

So, here in the United States there are some people who believe we live in a “post racist” society.  Apparently some of these people are even my friends on Facebook, based on some of the posts I see on their walls.  Interesting…  It always amazes me when I see comments such as “I am not racist, but…”  That “but” says a lot about how you really feel inside, whether you know it or not.  While explicit racism is not as common as it once was, implicit racism is rampant.

You may be wondering, “what is implicit racism?”  Well, good thing for you I wrote a paper and did extensive research for my Research Methods class last semester on implicit racism, explicit racism and and how those things make us value (or not) diversity.  So explicit racism is overt, obvious……using the N word, talking openly about people who are not white, or Christian, or middle class being “less than” or not as good as the person who is doing the speaking. It is easy to see and hear their racist beliefs and we can choose to avoid them, if we don’t want to be exposed to that nonsense..

Implicit racism is harder to see, and is usually a set of thoughts or stereotypes or biases we believe and act on, whether we are aware of it or not.  Such as crossing the street if we see a black man walking on our side of the street, clutching our purse a little tighter, thinking poor people are “lazy”, or just don’t try “hard enough” to get themselves out of poverty.


But I think we are dealing with another form of implicit racism these days.  People who want so much not to be looked at as racist or biased that they go to great lengths to publicly state their “non bias”.  They say things like, “I don’t see color when I look at people.”  Ok, at the risk of getting yelled at, I am going to publicly say I think that is a ridiculous statement.

*ducking to avoid tomatoes*

Okay, now before you get your undies in a bunch, I DO understand what they mean, but I think by saying they don’t “see color” they are actually devaluing diversity and cultural differences.  There are cultural differences (in my humble opinion) between races.  They may be small, but they are there.  I think these differences should be celebrated, not done away with.  Cultural diversity (in fact ALL diversity) makes the tapestry of humanity more colorful and vibrant, it doesn’t detract from that.  Why would we want everyone to be the same??? What an incredibly boring world that would be!!

So I am going to say I DO see color when I see people.  I see all the beautiful shades of skin tone, and hair color and hair texture.  I see eye color, and body size, and fully-abled or less-abled bodies.  I see gender, whether male, or female or ambiguous.  I see age, and sometimes I can see wealth or poverty.  I see all of those things when I look at people.  That doesn’t make me a racist.  It makes me observant.


In my opinion, the problem is not in seeing our differences, but in assigning stereotypes and biases to the people we see based on what we see.  To assume when we see a black person that the color of their skin somehow tells us something about their character is the problem.  To see an Asian person and assume they are good at math is the problem. To see a brown person and assume they are not hard working is the problem.   To place stereotypes and bias on a person merely by looking at them IS THE PROBLEM!! This does not just apply to the color or “hue” of someone’s skin, but also their gender, their physical bodies, their mental abilities.

Think about it, we can’t even assume that a person with darker pigmented skin is “african”.  They may be of Caribbean, or African, or Middle Eastern, or indigenous heritage.  They may be biracial, or multiracial.  We can assume very little about someone based on external appearances.  Assumptions and assigning stereotypes is the enemy, NOT seeing their “color”.

I think if we do want to truly become a post racist society we really need to think about this, and start valuing all humans for their differences, not try to make all humans the same. Do you “see color” when you look at people?

Go ahead and “see” a person’s color, and celebrate it!  Move past bias and stereotypes and get to know the person,  no matter what they look like on the outside. Find something of value in them, and remove the stereotype! THEN maybe we can become the post racist society I dream of us becoming!

I believe with all my heart that we can overcome bias and stereotypes that cause so many people difficulty.  Join me in this effort!

Read more about Women’s Lives here. Women’s stories are important!