Issues - domestic violence - Cycle of female fear
It's odd. For two hundred thousand years women
took comfort in men's
greater physical strength. They knew it was for them, existed
used for their protection and nurturing.
Then suddenly, in one generation, women could
only fear men's greater
physical strength. It was a liability. The change was heralded
remarkable set of false assertions about domestic violence
and hysterics over rape and sexual harassment out of all proportion
to their rate of incidence.
This phenomenon of male threat to women instead
protection and comfort
is association with the women's movement. Since the women's
movement can be characterized in part as women anxious to
prove they are as good or better than men at anything men
do which has also never occurred in human history I considered
As a society's formal level increasingly applies
the same criteria to determine the worth or value of its female
members as has previously only been applied to its male members,
all distinctly male attributes become less comfort and complement
to women and more challenge and threat.
Anything uniquely male must be discredited,
even destroyed. They are a
threat to women being just like men.
Then I discovered what makes it a vicious cycle.
I sat with a young woman who was afraid she
was being stalked. It was a
classic case so I listened intently. She was not stupid nor
gender-political, so to understand this area I needed to see
was seeing. She was in her early twenties, two years out of
had moved to a city several hundred miles from home to find
work She was
living on her own, her first time outside a closed, close
now expected of all men and women.
In her last year at college she had gone on
one date with a man her age
who turned out to be a little strange, and didn't see him
Three years later, he appeared in her new city and looked
her up to
establish a relationship. She says he acted as though there
This young man had no history of violence but
sounded like he had
attachment problems. According to her, he was also a compulsive
there were unsavory things about him. Still, no evidence of
any real threat. Of what was she afraid? He persisted after
she told him
she did not want to see him, though I did not see if she really
"no" or expected him to read her mind, nor got a
count on the number of
That's not the point. Her growing fear, is.
She started to obsess on her fear. She felt
increasingly isolated as
nothing was done. Also, nothing happened to her as he did
you can guess where her vote would go at society's formal
anything about special protection for women.
(I certainly hope no one thinks any man -- such
as myself -- offered her
protection or male closeness. Women are independent. We would
of harassment or stalking ourselves. It's her problem, not
mine. See how
So the second part of my hypothesis is:
As issues, events and pressures at society's
formal level -- such as high-profile sexual harassment and
rape cases, women offended at doors being opened
for them, assertions of female independence, and vilification
of men and maleness – increasingly push men away from
women at the personal level,
women will feel still more vulnerable, exposed, and fearful.
This adds to the push-away at the formal level, and so on.
Interesting theory, don't you think? Perhaps,
K.C. Wilson is the author of "Co-parenting
for Everyone," "Male Nurturing," and other
books on family and men's issues, available as e-books at