Male Disposability

trashThe sex roles that drove a man’s and a woman’s behavior for thousands of years had great impact on each sex. One of the impacts of the sex role on men was the attitude of disposability that developed over the years. By that I mean the tendency of people to be less likely to get emotionally close to men and to see them as expendable. Why would that be?

Imagine we are living long ago and the women were caring for the hearth and the children and making forays to gather while the men were more likely to go out and hunt. The relative danger of those two behaviors is not subtle. Going out to hunt is decidedly more dangerous and the liklihood of the man returning home after a hunt was much smaller than the same liklhood for the woman performing her daily activities. When we dont’ expect someone to return what impact does that have on our interest in making an emotional attachment to them? It diminishes. We are less likely to invest our emotional ergs into someone or something that we fear may not be with us. This was obviously not just around the issue of hunting. Men were expected to guard the perimeter and to repel attacks by intruders. This was a dangerous activity and again, increased the liklihood that the man would be dissappearing. We tend to not invest in folks who we fear will not be returning. Yet another example is war time. Men were the ones who were expected to go to war and die protecting the village/community/country.

This diminished investment is not subtle but very few people are aware of their own tendency to do this. Let’s try an exercise to evaluate your way of thinking. Has it ever bothered you that only males are expected to sign up for the selecttive service? That it is only males expected to go and die in case of a national emergency? Does that bug you? Okay, now imagine that congress in all its wisdom has changed the law and decided that we need to draft only girls and women until an equal number of women and girls have died in combat to the numbers of men and boys who have died. Would that upset you? Why? Do you value women and girls more than boys and men? How about if we decided to draft only Black people? Maybe only Jews? Would either of those groups being sacrificed upset you? Would you protest for any of those to not be the only group drafted? Can you feel in your bones how upsetting that would be? If you answered yes to any of those questions, how was your response different from thinking it is okay to draft only men? If you had a different reaction then you are likely holding some of that tendency to consider men and boys to be more disposable.

You can see this tendency in many places. Boys and men comprise almost 80% of suicides and yet we have no outcry or services specifically for this. Men and boys are over 90% of the workplace deaths in the Unted States but no one seems to notice. Over 97% if the deaths of U.S. servicemen in Iraq are men and boys and yet we hear no protest in support of men and boys or calls for equality. Men are the victims of domestic violence in considerable numbers and yet we have no services directed towards their needs. All we need to do is open our eyes to see the extent that men and boys are seen as expendable. It is all around us. Ever heard of the wife telling the husband she will go investigate the loud noise that awoke them from a deep sleep?

The age old sex role for men has trickled down into a straight-jacket that harnesses men to be the expendable ones. Most people are simpy unconscious of this and treat men according to their own unconscious programming. How abut you?

Next –┬áStereotypes

 

Why is it dangerous to bring up that men are victims of DV?

This is anyone’s guess. My own sense is that the entire domestic violence industry is built on the Duluth Model which holds men as being violent and the perpetrators and women as the victims. The system has been built from the ground up with that thesis. One needs only look at the public service announcements that any domestic violence center produces and it is easy to see that the over-riding assumption is that women are the victims and men the perps. Have you ever seen a public service announcement that is directed towards men who are victims of domestic violence? I would bet not.

The domestic violence emergency shelters are only for women. They only allow female residents and staff. No men allowed. Most shelters will not allow young boys above the age of 12 in the shelters. They are considered dangerous. The staff of the shelters is largely volunteer driven and many of the volunteers are women who have been victims of domestic violence. These women obviously have a viewpoint that is skewed towards believing that men are the violent ones and that women are the victims.

There are a number of reports from ex-staff members of shelters who discuss the blaming of men that goes on. The staff are largely radical feminists who already have an ax to grind in blaming men and add to that the volunteer staff who have personal experiences that lead them in a similar direction. This leaves us with the paid staff and the volunteers likely being anti-male.