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Gloria Steinem has asserted that “The patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself … The most dangerous situation for a woman is not an unknown man in the street, or even the enemy in wartime, but a husband or lover in the isolation of their own home.”

Feminist analysis thus states that a patriarchal society is a direct cause of domestic violence against women. …

Men who abuse their mates, the theory goes, act violently not because they as individuals can’t control their impulses, and not because they are thugs, or drunks, or particularly troubled people, but because such behavior is inherent in a patriarchy. Domestic abuse, in feminist eyes, is an essential element of the vast male conspiracy to suppress and subordinate women. To keep men from abusing women they must be taught to see the errors of the patriarchy and to renounce them.

Patricia Pearson points out:

That men have used a patriarchal vocabulary to account for themselves doesn’t mean that patriarchy causes their violence, any more than being patriarchs prevents them from being victimized. Studies of male batterers have failed to confirm that these men are more conservative or sexist about marriage than nonviolent men. To the contrary, some of the highest rates of violence are found in the least orthodox partnerships – dating or cohabiting lovers.

In short, correlation does not imply causation, a fundamental theorem of statistics. Yet on the basis of this fundamental error, a multi-billion dollar domestic violence industry has arisen to the detriment of families and civilization.

Dutton has examined the patriarch theory and rejects it for the following reasons:

  • Battering in lesbian couples is much more frequent than heterosexual battering, and lesbian relationships are significantly more violent than gay relationships.
  • There is no direct correlation between how power is shared in a relationship and violence within couples.
  • There is no direct relationship between structural patriarchy and wife assault.

Research to date indicates abuse and violence occurs in upwards of 50% of lesbian relationships compared to around 10-20% in other types of relationships. That would certainly not be true if domestic violence were in any way related to a patriarchal society. …

As she did with many issues, Erin Pizzey recognized very early that domestic violence had nothing to do with the patriarchy. In her book Prone to Violence she compares violent men from the patriarchal society of Nigeria and the matriarchal society of West India and finds no basic differences. She has also argued that the feminist movement’s intent is to destroy families as we know them. …

The studies referenced find no evidence that a patriarchal society has any direct influence on family violence.

Are we the only ones who regard the present unsubstantiated, radical social engineering based on destruction of the patriarchy as extremely dangerous?

Perhaps George Orwell’s 1984 was simply premature, and it is really a matriarchal Big Sister that is our danger? …

Feminists would have you believe that women are perpetually victimized by men. They would have you believe that they are fighting a righteous battle to end the abuse and oppression of women. In fact, their fight has nothing to do with truth or righteousness. Their fight is about lies, separating the sexes and destroying the family.

What better way to divide men and women than to convince women they are the victims of men? You cannot trust those who oppress you. You cannot be open, loving and giving with those who would seek to abuse you. When you’re “sleeping with the enemy” you must at all times be on guard and suspicious. Feminists have clearly defined to women that men are the enemy as we can see in Gloria Steinem’s quote,

The patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself … The most dangerous situation for a woman is not an unknown man in the street, or even the enemy in wartime, but a husband or lover in the isolation of their own home.

The facts are that women and men are both capable of violence. They are both capable of murder, and of hate, and of every other evil act and emotion within human capacity. Neither gender has a monopoly on evil or, for that matter, on goodness.

Human beings are the sum of their actions, not their sexual organs. The myth of the evil patriarchy, that men are prone to violence and, perhaps the greatest myth of all, that women are perpetually victimized by men is nothing more or less than a lie; a destructive, corrosive lie, promoted by feminists to erect a wall between men and women.

Charles E. Corry, Ph.D.
Equal Justice Foundation

We do not as an organization endorse or condone polygamy or plural unions generally. We don’t endorse or support any particular polygamist community. And for that matter, we don’t condone monogamy, celibacy or anything in between. Our message is very simple: Individuals should be free to make the life choices they wish to make, so long as those choices don’t harm other people and they engage with them with free, informed and full consent. …

I think it’s challenging for people to be confronted with choices that are very different from their own and that might initially or continually seem strange or even distasteful. And that’s where it’s key to remember the principle of tolerance, the glue of a pluralistic, democratic society. Part of living in a free and democratic society is being tolerant of the choices other people make, even when those choices might be very different or seem very odd. …

We certainly understand and believe that terrible crimes have been committed against some participants in polygamous relationships and that there is terrible abuse that has occurred in polygamous communities. That, I think, is beyond debate. And certainly those abuses need to be prevented and they warrant the fullest possible redress. But harm can occur in monogamist relationships just as it does in polygamous relationships. …

We’re concerned whenever the state, in our view, unjustifiably seeks to criminalize adult consensual activities that are made freely and with full consent. We think it’s important that there is a voice for people that might be too scared to speak up.

Grace Pastine
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
Interview by Sarah Boesveld
Postmedia News Files

The Libertarian Party in the United States supports complete decriminalization of polygamy as part of a general belief that the government should not regulate marriage. The argument that polygamy tends to benefit most women and disadvantage most men has been used to support the legalization of polygamy (David Friedman 1990).

New World Encyclopedia

We need government that protects rights for everybody. Otherwise, we’re all in serious trouble. … Americans suffer from a sort of “split personality” that places the United States outside the mainstream when compared with many other industrialized nations. We consider our country a democracy, where everyone’s rights are honored, but we’re failing in many areas. …

While the U.S. recognizes the legality of South Africa’s polygamous leader, Jacob Zuma, authorities in Lehi, UT, virtually ran Kody Brown and his four wives out of town because the otherwise law-abiding family dared to show in their TLC series, “Sister Wives,” that all polygamists aren’t child abusers. Lawmakers ignore the fact that bans against polygamy provide the secrecy that protects and encourages abusers like Warren Jeffs and his cohorts.

We … must speak for the rights of all people. We need government that protects rights for everybody. Otherwise, we’re all in serious trouble.

Debbie Jordan
Author of The World I Imagine
Columnist for the Arizona City Independent

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March 2011
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