Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Hey, What's Wrong with a Little Domestic Violence? Amiright?

When Women Became No Longer Equal, Part 9: Nothing Wrong with a Little Domestic Violence, right?

It's all the fault of those pesky women, isn't it? Always wanting to be treated as if they are human beings. Those damn women are the reason things have gone to shit. At least according to the repugnant J.D. Vance, a misogynist who is hoping to be able to lord it over women as a U.S. Senator, representing the state of Ohio (or, maybe, the men of Ohio).

Sure, Vance wants all those demanding womenfolk "to have opportunities . . . to have choices," really, he does, but while that's all fine and good and he's perfectly okay with it, really, he is, still, you gotta agree with him when he says that "women and boys in the womb" (huh????) obviously should have greater rights to "opportunity" and "choices" than those full-grown female human beings. In other words, he's forced birth all the way. 

For women (or girls, like the 10-year-old Ohio child who had to go to Indiana for her necessary reproductive care), Vance is just full of sympathy--every pregnancy, without exception, is just a wonderful "opportunity," he declares. A woman whose pregnancy is the result of incest--or a little girl whose pregnancy is caused by rape--well, they should take advantage of these wonderful opportunities. They shouldn't be able to have an abortion, just because their pregnancies might be a bit "inconvenient" for them. (Again, his words.)

Abortion is "slavery," he proclaims. Women's loss of their fundamental rights is really an "amazing victory!" he cheers. Up is down! Black is white!

And another damn thing women have tried to ruin is marriage. Because, you know, if women have rights, if they are actual, real, human beings with thoughts, feelings, and the freedom to make decisions for themselves, well, they can just decide to end a bad marriage. (Or maybe not get married in the first place, but Vance doesn't even consider that horror.)

At Pacifica Christian High School (I'm not sure if he was speaking to high-school students, but I sure as hell hope not), as part of an event billed as part of "The Great Conversation Series" (here's the announcement), Vance weighed in, offering an astonishing and benighted view of marriage: 
Culturally, something has clearly shifted. I think it’s easy but also probably true to blame the sexual revolution of the 1960s. My grandparents had an incredibly chaotic marriage in a lot of ways, but they never got divorced, right? They were together to the end, ’til death do us part. That was a really important thing to my grandmother and my grandfather. That was clearly not true by the 70s or 80s. And I think that probably, I was personally and a lot of kids in my community, who grew up in my generation, personally suffered from the fact that a lot of moms and dads saw marriage as a basic contract, right? Like any other business deal, once it becomes no longer good for one of the parties or both of the parties, you just dissolve it and go onto a new business relationship. But that recognition that marriage was sacred I think was a really powerful thing that held a lot of families together. And when it disappeared, unfortunately I think a lot of kids suffered. . . .

His grandmother and grandfather's marriage? As Vance detailed in his fantasy "memoir," Hillbilly Elegy, his grandparents tried their best to kill one another. 'Til "death do us part" indeed. 

As for deciding to end a marriage? To consider that "one of the parties" (always have to be "moms and dads," right?) might decide a marriage "no longer good"? Stick it out no matter what! Vance insists. (Or, I suppose, until one partner kills the other.)

And while Vance gestures toward the notion that "dads" as well as "moms" who might find a marriage needs to end, look again--the real blame is to be found in "the sexual revolution of the 1960s." Guess who was liberated as a result of that revolution . . . 

So what's his advice? Here's the thing that has caused an uproar since Vance's comments, recorded in September 2021, were published by Vice this week: 

This is one of the great tricks that I think the sexual revolution pulled on the American populace, which is the idea that like, ‘well, OK, these marriages were fundamentally, you know, they were maybe even violent [emphasis added], but certainly they were unhappy. And so getting rid of them and making it easier for people to shift spouses like they change their underwear, that’s going to make people happier in the long term. . . .

Sure, J.D., what's wrong with a little domestic violence? Gotta stay on brand . . . 

Meanwhile, may I remind you: 
  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered "domestic violence."
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (e.g. beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.

 (These numbers are from the National Coalition against Domestic Violence; for full statistics, click here.)

I've written about this topic before (click here and here and here and here and even here, with another asshole whining about when marriage and women were "sacred"). It never goes away.

And let's not forget. The Violence against Women's Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The law was expanded and improved in reauthorizations of 2000, 2005, and 2013. Republican opposition to reauthorization of the VAWA delayed its authorization--yeah, those guys again. The act was finally reauthorized in March 2022, but it could never manage to get support from Republicans, much less a vote, in the U.S. Senate. It was finally passed as part of an omnibus appropriations package

The video of Vance's remarks is widely available online, but I refuse to embed it or link to it here. You can find it if you must.