More proof women usually lie when accusing men

Michelle Fournier is dead after maliciously asking for a restraining order against her wonderful, loving, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly ex-husband. Serves her right, too! Those women are always lying about this stuff, right? I mean, sure, he burst into a hair salon a couple of days ago and shot eight people to death and critically wounded a ninth, but I’m sure he was really a nice, nice guy and it was all Fournier’s fault somehow. She must’ve provoked him somehow, because he just couldn’t possibly be an entitled ass who thought “things not going my way” = “good reason to blow the heads off a bunch of people I don’t even know.” Nah. She probably slept around or something, so what’s a poor man to do?

That tone, dear readers, is facetiousness. I hear so much of that kind of reasoning whenever a woman claims a man has been violent or abusive to her or her/their children, as if the only reason a woman would ever do that is because she’s been scorned, and hell hath no fury. Reality checks inform us otherwise: sometimes human beings are violent and unstable. Some violent, unstable human beings are men. And because of the ways we’re taught to think about power, when someone claims that someone else is violent or unstable, we judge their credibility not by the merits of evidence or their established character, but by their position in society. We assume people from less important social groups (women, people of color, etc.) are probably lying when they claim people from more important social groups (like white men) have done wrong, because we like to maintain the idea that people who aren’t white men are just jealous and bitter about not being white men, and therefore sometimes lash out against them with lies.

Because despite how dense most of us pretend to be when asked why we can’t see how privileged certain people are in this society, we sure do operate on the assumption that less privileged people have reasons to be bitter whenever it’s convenient. That’s the kind of doublethink that makes me cynical about humanity’s future.

Commenters on news article about this tragedy keep asking what this man was thinking. Thinking? He wasn’t cogitating. He was acting out of pure emotion. His entitlement had been challenged, and he wasn’t just going to show his wife her place – he was going to show lots of people that he was special, that the rules don’t apply to him. Like the guy who sicced police on his stolen kiddie porn stash last week, this man wasn’t considering that he’d just made the child he cared so very deeply for (yeah, right) effectively an orphan, because the child’s mother is now dead, and his father is who killed her. That didn’t matter to this guy, because here’s a newsflash: he didn’t really love his kid.

Men like this don’t want their kids because they love them. They aren’t even capable of love. They want their kids because they can use them against their mothers, or so have someone handy to molest or beat, or whatever – kids are tools to these men, and they’d better perform well, or the kids catch hell. (Sometimes they catch hell anyway. Like a coffee table, they aren’t supposed to object.)

And women who accuse men of violence lie rarely, not regularly.

Comments

  1. Alara Rogers says

    I don’t understand this logic.

    90% of all murderers are men. Men disproportionately commit *all* the violence in the world. it’s true that not all men are violent, but it’s also true that not all dogs bite and yet when we hear “that dog bit a person” we don’t say “can you prove it? the person might be lying!” We *might* say “oh, the dog might have been provoked”, which is fair, because in fact dogs are not as powerful as humans and therefore it’s entirely possible that the dog was pushed into biting in self defense… but we don’t say the accuser is *lying*. Because “dog bites human” is a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to have happened.

    And yet, even though “man commits violence” is also a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to have happened, we act shocked, *shocked* that a man committed violence on a woman! Even though it happens so often that it ought to fall into the “dog bites man” category of news.

    Men are the violence class. Men are 90% of all murderers and 80% of all murder victims. Men both commit and are the victims of *most* of the fatal or disabling violence in the world, and are the perpetrators and the victims of the vast majority of violence committed against strangers, and are the perpetrators of the vast majority of violence committed against acquaintances and loved ones. Men committing violence is, sadly, normal. *Women* committing violence is unusual… yet people want us to believe that the likelihood that a given woman accusing a given man of violence is lying or possibly provoked it by committing violence herself? Um… no. Statistically, that is unlikely. It *happens*, but not nearly as often as people bring it up as a possible explanation.

  2. Casey says

    we sure do operate on the assumption that less privileged people have reasons to be bitter whenever it’s convenient

    This reminds me of when I went on an accidental rant/tangent in my first Sociology class talking about how the US isn’t a post-feminist/post-racist society and how we don’t have true equality yet. Some guy shouted me down saying “YOU’RE JUST SAYING THAT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORK!”
    The guy who said that was Native American, he’s WAY LESS PRIVILEGED than me, a white woman, you’d think we’d have some sort of anti-racist solidarity. I’m so confused. @_@

  3. Malin says

    Casey: That reminds me of something I read on “Derailing for Dummies” http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

    “The best part is, you don’t even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn’t have in order not to heed their experience!”

    Sadly, being marginalised in X way does not mean you will recognize Y marginalisation.

  4. says

    Alara Rogers,

    It’s disturbing, but all I can make of that “reasoning” is that people are rationalizing away that there’s anything wrong with privileging certain groups over others. If they deny that power has corrupted the top group, that supports the idea that privilege is ok. The problem is, privilege/power does corrupt people. Put any group in power over all other groups, and the group as a whole will become abusive. That’s why corps like AT&T, MSN and Google need to get slapped by the govt. It’s not necessarily that theyre run by horrible individuals – it’s that as they grow and focus on growing more, they lose perspective and don’t realize how powerful and privileged they’ve become. They’re still fighting as if they’re a little startup, not realizing that a mere swat of their hands can knock six competitors back into the Stone Age in two seconds.

    And that’s how it is with social groups, I think. Some white men think they’ve got it so hard because all humans tend to look at is what we want that others have.

    Malin,

    Yep, that definitely seems to apply there. I see two possibilities with this guy Casey describes:

    (1) He’s a misogynist. Lacking privilege doesn’t prevent this. Hell, even being a woman doesn’t prevent this.

    (2) He’s wanting to identify with his own oppressors, and thinks putting down groups like his own will help establish cred with them. It won’t, but he may never figure that out.

  5. Casey says

    Jennifer Kesler: (1) He’s a misogynist. Lacking privilege doesn’t prevent this. Hell, even being a woman doesn’t prevent this.

    (2) He’s wanting to identify with his own oppressors, and thinks putting down groups like his own will help establish cred with them. It won’t, but he may never figure that out.

    You’re probably right in both aspects, seeing as how after we watched Killing Us Softly 4 (which I think is okay but has some LOL SECOND WAVE FEMINISM problems due to a lack of intentionality), he complained about the film with an argument that basically boiled down to, “Y’KNOW, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THIS WOMAN HAS BEEN STUDYING THE MEDIA FOR YEARS AND HAS ALL THESE FACTS AND STATISTICS AND TANGIBLE PROOF I STILL DON’T BELIEVE IT! SOMETIMES AN AD IS JUST AN AD!”[/said after we saw that infamous "gang-rape" shoe advertisement and the Burger King pic of a woman about to deep-throat a sandwich]
    Throw in some “WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ” and “SHE’S JUST PUSHING A FEMINIST AGENDA” tacked on at the end and you’ve got a bingo!

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