The “Abuse Card” or…”Women Who Cry Wolf”

Abuse exists...and it happens way too often (once is way too often).  I am not writing about real abuse.

I am writing about those who cry "abuse" where there is no real abuse present or no abuse intended.

Sexual harrassment

  • A woman who has an employer that bases hiring and promotion on the cut of her blouse...bad
  • A woman who sues a co-worker for telling her that she looked nice on a particular day...get a grip.

Verbal abuse

  • You're stupid and not worth wasting time on...the person saying this should be disciplined by the "powers that be"
  • I think that you are showing a lack of understanding on this issue...this is a reasonable statement and could very well be true (or not)...but it is not abuse.

Physical abuse:

I believe that a false accusation is a form of abuse.  And "abuse" is an accusation from which there is little or no defense.  Like "racism" - denying abuse may only confirm the accusation.  In this political season, any disagreement with Barrack Obama may be seen as racism...likewise, a person who questions a woman in a debate-like conversation may be accused of "abuse".

Abuse is NOT a one-way street (meaning that male-on-female abuse is the only way the street runs).

On previous shows, "Primetime" has staged scenes of abuse in which the man is the aggressor, and the woman is the victim. And in these situations, passersby -- men and women -- often stepped up and intervened. So producers were curious. What would happen if the tables were turned, and the man was suddenly the victim? Would people be just as willing to come to his defense? (...)
"There are some data that suggest that women actually hit more than men do," says Keating. "Men create more damage, but women hit more than men do."

A report prepared for the Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year there are over 800,000 serious cases of men being physically abused by women. But the actual figures are believed to be much higher, since many men are often too embarrassed to admit being the victim of abuse by a woman.

One after another, passersby witnessed the abusive scene… and kept right on going.

Mathilda was one of those bystanders. She says she didn't think the man was in any physical danger, and could probably take care of himself. "I didn't immediately think to protect the man at all," she said. "It didn't look like any harm was being done."

The reaction of another woman, Lynda, was stunning. As our actress continued to heap abuse on her make-believe boyfriend, she walked by the scene and pumped her fist in a show of sisterly solidarity.

"Good for you. You Go, Girl!" is how Lynda recalls her reaction.

A pattern of false accusation, inattention and (one) actual support for a female abuser - all of this points to a problem of how we deal with abuse.

  • Abuse is always wrong.
  • False accusation is a form of abuse that has nothing to do with gender
  • False accusation is also always wrong.

The more I read about false accusations in the news, the more likely I am to view any accusation with skepticism.

The more people cry "wolf", the less likely we are to hear when there is a real one around.

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4 thoughts on “The “Abuse Card” or…”Women Who Cry Wolf”

  1. Kelly

    I personally knew a couple, who got into a big argument. The wife broke the tv, the husband's laptop, and then stabbed him several times with the scissors (not death stabbing, but leaving cuts). He called the police, and when they arrived, she said "abuse" and they arrested him. He insisted the police also photograph his wounds, but they were very reluctant to do so. In the end, he was sentenced to anger management classes because of lack of evidence of abuse on her, but he was very disillusioned with the justice process.

    I have no idea if this is a common occurrence or not, but I know that it really did happen in this case, as it was the WIFE who told me this story, not the husband. We lived in the same apartment complex at the time.

  2. tiro

    In the real world this happens a very low percentage of time.

    Its something like what the insurance companies do. They spread the rumors that workman's comp cases are widely falsified. This gives the ins. workers justified reason to look for something with which to claim the injured person is not really as injured as he/she is. They even hire doctors to give 'independent' exams for the purpose of the ins. co's to claim the injured is not really that injured. This is all well documented by those involved, which is why there is such a big push to revamp the entire WC system. The reality is that it is a figure quite a bit less than 1% of all workman's comp cases that falsification is actually attempted. And they are usually dumb attempts.

    All this to say that the few cases where women do this is very small in comparison to the facts that men do a lot of real abuse on women. Its the system of the world where the strong compel the weak if they can get away with it. It will always be with us in this world because of sin.

  3. Remember, tiro, that it doesn't need to end in litigation in order for the false accusations to undermine the credibility of the truly abused.

    We live in a society of victims. And the accusation of "abuse" is not always the first order of business.

    Abuse accusations are often a part of divorce proceedings.

    A blogger is accused of "abuse" and "being mean" because the unsuspecting person wrote a word that hurt another's feelings (totally unintentional and the accused just left).

    I was accused of "spiritual abuse" and I don't even remember the specific circumstance - but it was hardly a case of using strength to compel the weak.

    Abuse is real. To play on it to garner sympathy is ... not helpful to the truly abused.

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