J. Soltys's Weblog

February 18, 2009

Careful In Our Judgments of the Chris Brown and Rihanna Episode

men-and-women-symbolsAs I’ve watched the Chris Brown/Rihanna saga unfold, I’ve kept my sympathy and anger in check. Why? Because my experience in dealing with gender issues, sexual politics, and domestic violence topics has taught me that what we believe/assume, and what is real/truth are consistently at odds with one another.

Feminist have done a great job convincing society that domestic violence is a problem that victimizes loving, caring, vulnerable women. Their spouses are the evil, controlling, misogynist partners, whose macho ideals manifest into violence against women. But sadly this is not the case. Feminist and women right’s supporters have been incredibly effective over the past decades creating more mythology than truth about domestic violence and the behaviors of  women and men. Why? Because the truth shatters their benevolent aura they espouse about women and femininity.

Recent research has shown that not only can women be victims of domestic violence, but that they are also more likely to instigate the violence first – the perpetrators. Studies on domestic violence in recent years reported by The Center For Disease and Control Prevention, the American Public Health Associationthe American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the University of New Hampshire, and others are changing our preconceived notions concerning domestic violence. The studies mentioned have concluded that women are just as likely, if not more likely, to instigate a physical confrontation in a relationship as compared to men.  

However, this is really not news – it’s just the first time we are hearing about it.

Feminist and women’s rights supporters have known for a while that many studies have concluded that women are just as likely to instigate violence in a relationship (Martin S. Fiebert from the Department of Psychology at California State University has compiled a list confirming this) .
However, over the years, feminist have successfully dismissed these acts of violence as “self defense”. In other words, it was the victims fault: the very societal cruelty feminist have tried to eradicate, that is, “blaming the victim”. Feminist studies advocates blaming the victim is wrong, as long as the victim is female. But if the victim is male, and the perpetrator female, then this disturbing societal ill is readily acceptable.

Here is evidence of this irony. I found this on a women’s website about domestic violence. It explains one of the warning signs of an abuser – blaming the victim:

  • Denial and blame — Abusers are very good at making excuses for the inexcusable. They will blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, and even on the victims of their abuse. Your abuser may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. He/she will commonly shift the responsibility onto you: Somehow, his/her violence and abuse is your fault.
  • It appears feminist excuses for female domestic violence are at odds with their own beliefs, essentially establishing they may be potential abusers themselves.

    But what separates some of the recent studies from the older studies is that the more recent research includes methods for distinguishing  between reciprocal and nonreciprocal violence in the analysis. And when this is done, the results are surprising – women initiate violence more than we once believed. For example, the CDC study concluded:

    In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women.This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

     And it should be noted: when a man retaliates against a woman’s violence, she is more likely to receive the more serious injuries.

    Women receive significantly more serious injuries than do men (Dasgupta, 2001). Archer (2000) found that more than 60% of those who suffered an injury from an act of partner violence were women. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, Zlotnick, Kohn, Peterson, and Pearlstein (1998) found that 73% of those individuals reporting injuries from domestic violence were female. Even when the partner violence is mutual, women sustain higher levels of injury.

    In other words, the severity of injuries one receives can never be used as an instrument to determine who initiated the violence, as some feminist and women’s rights groups would like you to believe.

    So why do I bring this up? I’ve learned not to make quick, easy assumptions when hearing about domestic violence cases.

    Here is what is being reported at this point about the Chris Brown/Rihanna case:

    — It was first reported that Chris Brown became enraged in jealousy due to Rihanna’s potential interest in another man. Now it has been reported it was actually Rihanna who became enraged over a text message Brown received from another woman. Ironically,  just days before this violent episode, OK magazine reported a source close to Rihanna as stating she is a “clingy” girlfriend. The magazine reports:

    The Barbados-born beauty is a clingy girlfriend who can’t bear to let boyfriend Chris Brown out of her sight. 
    “She has to have Chris around her 24/7,” a source close to Rihanna, 20, tells OK!. “If Chris is with her on a photo shoot and steps away for a second, she starts saying, ‘Where did he go?’”
    “If Chris isn’t with her, she wants to call and check in every second. She’s crazy about him.”

    Many advocates for prevention of domestic violence offer tips to help individuals spot the warning signs of a potential abuser. Here are the some of the behaviors to watch for:

    • act excessively jealous and possessive?
    • control where you go or what you do?
    • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
    • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
    • constantly check up on you?

     Whether or not the OK magazine source is accurate about Rihanna’s behavior, it validates my point about our skewed assumptions concerning men, women, and relationship violence. If it was reported that Chris Brown displayed the same behaviors as Rihanna, he would immediately be judged a typical abuser. However, as we see from the OK magazine article, Rihanna is accused of just being “crazy” about him. In other words, when possessive, controlling behavior is attached to a man, that behavior is judged as a threat. But when that same behavior is found in  a woman, the behavior is judged as “beautiful, feminine love”.

    — It was reported Rihanna suffered “horrific” injuries. But factual reports state that Rihanna refused medical treatment at the scene, and agreed to a medical exam at a local hospital only at the urging of the authorities and friends. 

    — The latest unsubstantiated reports are claiming that the bite marks on Rihanna hands and arms may not have been caused by her defending herself from Chris Brown, but rather the other way around. Fox News is starting to speculate by way of information received from sources close to the investigation that Rihanna became enraged about the text message and began striking Brown in the face while he was driving. In return, Brown used his mouth to clamp down on her arm until he was able to wrestle the car to the side of the road in an effort to avoid a crash. At that point Rihanna took the keys out of the ignition, exited the vehicle, and further enraged Brown by throwing the keys off onto the side of the darkened road. When Brown couldn’t find the keys, he attacked Rihanna. 

    — To this date, Chris Brown has not been charged with any serious domestic violence charges. While he may eventually face these additional charges in the future, some speculate the reason why he hasn’t already, or may not at all, is because he was not the one who initiated the violence. 

    Now I know that this is all speculation, and it still would not excuse Chris Brown for his violence upon Rihanna, but I shudder to think that Rihanna may be playing the victim to avoid accountability for her violence if in fact she did strike first.

    The assumptions made above are not out of reach. To prove how valid this speculation may be, one need only go back and glance at the headlines from July of 2002. At that time, race car driver Al Unser Jr. was driving home from a strip club with his girlfriend Jena L.Soto. Soto claims Unser was intoxicated so she offered to drive them home. As she was driving, Unser began reaching over and shifting the gears on the car. Soto admitted to police she became enraged when he didn’t respond to her repeated request to stop his behavior. She then lashed out and began striking him while she was driving. Unser then hit her back. Soto pulled over to the side of the road and got out of the vehicle. Unser then entered the driver seat and drove away leaving Soto on the side of the road. Soto called the police and Unser was later arrested for domestic battery and other domestic violence charges. Even though both Soto’s and Unser’s stories corroborated that she hit him first, Soto was never charged with any domestic violence crime, only Unser was.

    Does this sound fair and equal to you, or do you think gender stereotypes and feminist misinformation played a role?

    Here is another example how differently we dismiss female-on-male violence. I found this video of an Indian game show host who becomes enraged at a male contestant after he mouth’s off to her. She then lashes out at him with vulgarities, and then concludes her tirade by physically assaulting him. He responds by hitting her back. At that point the male crew members on the set rush in to protect her by beating/subduing him. The crew ignores her initial violence, and is instead coddled and nurtured as the victim in the incident. 

    It is disturbing to me that her irresponsible behavior and violent instigation of the attack was completely ignored.  And it is still more disturbing that she still has her job as a game show host. Imagine if a male game show host physically assault a female contestant during the taping of a show. The incident would make international headlines, seen by millions on the internet and television. He would immediately lose his job, suffer emotional and financial consequences for his actions, and become the poster boy for male violence towards women.
    But when the instigater is a woman, and the victim male, she is still labeled the “victim”, and suffers no consequences for her violent behavior.
    And it should be of pertinent interest that I found this clip while searching a website for “funny” videos – another indication of how discriminatory we are towards female violence.

    It is in my opinion, progress to diminish violence between the genders will continue to stall, or fail, until female violence is found to be as harmful and as dangerous as men’s, and the consequences equal.

    So let’s withhold our judgments of Chris Brown and Rihanna until we know more facts about what happened. If current research is correct, it may turn out both of them need serious help in addressing their emotional insecurities and their violent reactions to them. That would be in the best interest for both men, women, and the prevention of relationship violence.

     

    Contact:

    soltys.joe@gmail.com

    https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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    November 25, 2008

    Another Female Singer’s Sexist Video – Critics Approve

    (Listen to An Hour With Joe Soltys, my new internet radio show at BlogTalkRadio. During my most recent show, I debated the new push by politicians to change tactics towards addressing prostituion – giving comfort to prostitutes, and jail time for the johns. I also discussed the different attitudes/actions towards advertising that offends men/fathers, and advertising that offends women/mothers. Click here to listen.)

    poison1 

    Just last week I wrote how more female artist are performing songs/videos that degrade, humiliate, or display violence towards men. I find this new female “empowerment” genre to be pathetic, especially when one considers the continuing outcry of songs/videos by male artist songs that degrade women. It shows how selfish and self-serving the women’s movement has become – something I’ve written about many times in the past.
    While many women are disturbed by male songs/videos that are offensive to women, and vociferously advocate for men and the music industry to end this despicable and sexist behavior, these same women continue to ignore and defend the sexist and degrading songs/videos towards men by female artist.

    A new video by female artist Gabriella Cilmi has caused a stir in Australia. The song is called Sweet About Me. In reality, the song sarcastically sings how sweet she isn’t (the actual line in the song is “nothing sweet about me”), while Climi walks proudly around a warehouse filled with men who are bound and tied by various methods. She saunters by each man singing and admiring her work, one of which is hanging upside down from the ceiling, bounded by rope, and walks by another that is duct-taped to the floor so that only his head is visible.
    At the end of the video Cilmi cuts the man from the ceiling and lets him fall to the floor.
    Here is the video:

    As I’ve stated before, I beginning to think it is time to turn a deaf ear to the advocates that demand the degrading music that portray harmful images of women be halted, when these same women (and men) ignore or justify songs like this from female singers towards men.
    An example of this is shown in an article that appeared in the Australian media written by Sacha Molitorisz (a man). The article is titled No history of violence, so girls, keep on bashing the blokes.
    Molitorisz covers the controversy the song has stirred among the genders. On one side, men’s rights advocates and masculine writers are claiming this song, and others like them, are discriminatory and harmful to young boys and men. On the other side, women and feminist claim these songs are not harmful to anyone, and that men do not have any right claiming to be victims.

    In his article, Molitorisz asks the most poignant question, “What if the genders were reversed?” He implies the impending backlash would be swift and severe.
    But he quotes Helen Garner, a feminist writer, who claims the argument is not relevant. She states, “Of course not, because there is no history of women’s violence towards men that it would be subverting.”

    Molitorisz then adds, “If Cilmi is subverting the history of men’s violence towards women, she isn’t alone. Rather, she’s evidence of a growing trend towards what might be termed reverse sexism or female chauvinism.”

    Molitorisz moves forward by discussing the protest by male writers and men’s activist towards this new anti-male genre. He then poses the men’s concerns to Kathy Lette, the author of 10 books about the modern gender war.
    “It’s a man’s world,” says Lette, “One hundred years since Emmeline Pankhurst tied herself to the railings and women still don’t have equal pay, and we’re still getting concussion hitting our heads on the glass ceiling – plus we’re expected to Windex it while we’re up there. Until women are treated as equals instead of sequels, we have every right to comically kneecap you in ads or song clips. And you’re pathetic whinge bags if you complain about it.” (emphasis mine).

    Molitorisz then poses two relevant questions about this new genre of man-hating music. He says:

    But is Cilmi’s video a step towards or away from gender equality? By tying up boys, is she countering stereotypes and redressing past injustices? Or is her reverse sexism dark and potentially damaging – a vengeful wrong in answer to an earlier wrong?

    It’s the former, a necessary step on the path to parity. For too long, men have held power at the expense of women; now, in a few corners of pop culture, this inequality has been overcorrected and replaced by an inverted inequality. In some music videos and ads, sex objects and sex subjects have traded places. As long as this inversion is both temporary and playful, I’m all for it.

    Let me take a moment to challenge the thoughts presented in this article and expose them as weak arguments and analyses of the issue.

    — Helen Garner claims reversing the genders is irrelevant because there is no history of female violence towards men. Her argument is also equally irrelevant.
    We have never seen a society where women have held power over men, so we cannot claim to know what evils would arise when women do have greater power, and how men would be affected by those women in power. However, we can see that when women do achieve power in our present society, attacking and bashing men is considered acceptable. Historically, as the feminist movement rose to power, attacking and bashing men became the norm – even though this is the exact behavior feminist condemned when men displayed it towards women. And this genre of man-hating music is another obvious example of how women are using their newly acquired power and influence.

    — Garner’s statement also implies proof is needed before we can claim any harm of women engaging in behavior that harms men. From this viewpoint, in order for an abuse to be validated, the abuse must be historically documented. This is a dangerous statement. It implies that no abuse occurs until the abuse is recognized, studied, debated, accepted as legitimate, and in most cases, laws are established prohibiting the behavior/action.
    So does this mean the abuse should be ignored and allowed to proliferate until it is legitimized? This could take years.
    But for feminist like Garner, they are asking men to do what they have never done themselves. Feminists have never sat patiently while women were being harassed, abused, raped, etc., and waited for some standard of “evidence” to be reached to validate their cause before they took action. The slow movement of society to react to what feminist saw as obvious issues of humanity, decency and respect towards women has always been vocalized by feminist. Now when the genders are reversed, a slow process of legitimization is accepted as the proper course of action.

    — Sacha Molitorisz concludes that in order for the inequities to end between men and women, female abuses against men are going to have to take as “a necessary step on the path to parity.”
    Bulls**t.
    When has the philosophy of “two wrongs make a right” ever worked? What evidence does he have to support his claim? If he is so confident this approach is morally acceptable, does he teach this philosophy to his children? Does he tell them, “If somebody has wronged you, wrong them back harder?”
    Molitorisz fails to realize that by legitimizing hate, discrimination, and bigotry, he is creating the false impression that hate, discrimination, and bigotry has a useful purpose. And more importantly, he creates the false impression that it can be controlled and cultivated. Historically, what society controlled and cultivated discrimination, and claimed it as a valuable societal asset?
    “Good discrimination” is an asinine solution to the enormous process of eliminating discrimination. It is an emotionally immature solution perpetuated by those that cannot think and analyze complex thoughts. It’s a cop-out; a lazy solution to an arduous process.

    — Kathy Lette claims “this is a man’s world”. Let me explain why this is false. She found success in writing ten books about the gender wars, and she unapologetically states in this article that, “we have every right to comically kneecap you [men] in ads or song clips. And you’re pathetic whinge bags if you complain about it!”
    In Lette’s “male privileged world”, if a man opinioned anything remotely similar about women as Lette opinioned about men, he would be shamed, humiliated, and it would begin the downfall of any promising career. As a matter of fact, no man in the western world would even consider vocalizing/writing such hateful remarks out of fear of the consequences he would have to endure for vocalizing/writing such sexist remarks. However, Mrs. Lette found no such fear in expressing her hateful remarks towards men, and since the very moment she did, she has not wrestled with the thought that her writing career and her reputation would be jeopardized by the appearance of her hateful opinions in a major media publication.
    Now with that said, ask me if I truly believe Mrs. Lette’s comment that it’s “a man’s” world, a world where women are at an obvious disadvantage when compared to men. Go ahead and ask.

    Let me repeat what I wrote in my last column because it is relevant here again:

    I’ve come to the point where I’ve just about turned a deaf ear to the cries of women who complain about the harm done by men’s sexist music. I can’t continue to find cause for concern for their issue while these same women completely ignore the amount of sexist songs performed by females, and continue to easily dismiss them as harmless.

    As I’ve written before, women passionately want men to stand beside them in an effort to stop the inequities and injustices women face in our society. But sadly, when the genders are reversed, the majority of these same women are quick to turn their back on the same type of inequities and injustices faced by men.

    Contact:

    soltys.joe@gmail.com

    https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

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    November 10, 2008

    I Am Venturing Into New Territory

    male-symbol

    I didn’t have a chance to write anything last week because I was preparing to traverse into two new avenues.

    First, I have a new home on BlogTalk Radio. This website offers amateurs like me the opportunity to host their own talk show about any topic of one’s interests. The beauty of this new technology is that it allows one to broadcast live over the internet, and I can chat with my audience by way of live on-air phone calls and instant messages during the show.

    I produced my first live show over the weekend, however, I didn’t promote this show because I wanted to focus on getting the “feel” for it, and working out the kinks. The show can be listened to at my home page on BlogTalk Radio (Click Here). This is also where one can check to see when I am scheduled for my next live broadcast.
    The only negative I find with this live show is the audio quality. The sound is not the best, but I’m working on delivering the best sound quality the software can provide.

    Also, in conjunction with my live show, I have created a new website called DigitalTestosterone.com. This website will be a collection of audio and videos related to men’s and father’s issues. The live audio shows that I produce will be recorded by me in a higher quality format than that used by BlogTalk Radio, and will be archived at DigitalTestosterone.com, in addition to BlogTalk Radio’s automatic archiving of all my work. If you missed my live show, or would like to hear the show in a higher quality format, it can be listened to or downloaded at DigitalTestosterone.com.

    If you know anyone (including yourself) who is currently involved in men, father, and gender issues, and you think he or she would make an interesting guest on my show, please contact me by email. Or if you know of some event related to men and father issues happening in your town and would like me to promote it, please pass the information on. And of course, if you just want to call in to express an opinion during a live show, feel free to do so.

    Also, should anyone come across any great videos or audios in relation to men’s and father’s issues that they feel would be appropriate for DigitalTestosterone.com, please send them to me. Or if you come across a news story that you feel would be a great topic on my live show, please forward it.

    Links for both websites can be found in the sidebar on this page.

     

    Contact:

    soltys.joe@gmail.com
    https://jsoltys.wordpress.com

    October 6, 2008

    Female Country Music Singers Advocating More Domestic Violence?

    (October is domestic violence awareness month. My blog will focus on domestic violence from the often ignored and silent perspective – the male victim – and how organizations, politicians, and society deny men and their children the same awareness, compassion, and resources offered to women.)

    Women’s groups have been advocating that many forms of media, particularly rap and hip-hop music, carry words and images that are degrading, sexist, aggressive, and violent towards women. They have defined this as a serious cultural problem that needs to be seriously addressed.
    As a father of a teenage daughter, I couldn’t agree more, and have found many other women and men feel the same, taking up the cause by boycotting those individuals, groups, or corporations that perpetuate this type of gender humiliation – whether on a personal or organizational level.
    This awareness, led by women’s rights and domestic violence prevention advocates, has resulted in aggressive pressure being placed upon those responsible for creating these harmful images to change their ways.

    While I have never questioned the purpose, I have always questioned the cause. In some of my previous writings I have questioned whether blaming men, masculinity, and the patriarchy is actually valid in the present social environment. I have reasoned, in an age when women are out pacing men academically, making incredible strides in the areas of independence, career, money, status, and power, why is it they have chosen to exploit themselves, or allow themselves to be exploited, in such growing numbers?
    Feminist ideology says that with the rise of all the components listed above, the ability for women to be exploited would decrease. Instead, it has been increasing.

    I believe that if more emphasis was placed on seeing women as being just as exploitive as men, then the cause of this societal stain would become clearer. I believe women are no different than men; they are human first. This means that if exploiting themselves or others for their own personal gain is within their reach, they will do so. And just like men in the past, when caught doing so, women try to avoid any accountability.
    Men, having held power for so long, have filled many history books with various methods of exploitation. This is why exploitation is viewed as a masculine issue, but as women gain power, it is becoming clearer that such issues as exploitation, discrimination, and violence are as much a part of the feminine personality as the masculine.

    With that being said, let’s take a look at female violence in the media.

    But My Violent Media is “Different”

    A female reader of mine recently sent me the lyrics for a country song by female artist Miranda Lambert. The song is called “Gunpowder and Lead”. She was disturbed by the content and images of the song, which unfortunately, her young son was listening to.
    Here is a sample:

    I’m goin’ home, gonna load my shotgun
    Wait by the door and light a cigarette
    If he wants a fight well now he’s got one
    And he ain’t seen me crazy yet
    He slap my face and he shook me like a rag doll
    Don’t that sound like a real man
    I’m going to show him what a little girls made of
    Gunpowder and lead

    His fist is big but my gun’s bigger
    He’ll find out when I pull the trigger


    In all the advocacy done to raise awareness towards violent images and words in modern music/media, I have never heard this song mentioned. Is it because the violence is directed at a male instead of a female?

    Would the same hold true for Carrie Underwood’s song, “Before He Cheats” which tells the violent reaction of a women scorned by a cheating partner?

    That I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive,
    carved my name into his leather seats…
    I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
    slashed a hole in all 4 tires…

    Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.

    Nobody in the DV awareness circles complained about this song. In fact, this form of toe-tapping domestic violence towards men garnered Underwood a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance! (And she demonstrates exactly how a woman should do this during her live performances. Underwood violently attacks a car on stage with a baseball bat during this song.)

    Domestic violence awareness advocates have stated repeatedly that any form of violent outbursts by a partner is a significant indication if that person is a potential abuser. But DV awareness advocates and women groups were silent on Underwood’s song, failing to criticize or reach out to young women (Underwood’s fan base) to educate and counter the dangerous image and message the song was sending these young women, that using violence in any manner is not the way to address and handle emotional situations in their relationships.
    So why were they silent? One will have to assume it’s because the victim is male and the perpetrator female.

    But finally there was controversy when the Dixie Chics came out with their song, “Goodbye Earl” which tells the story of an abused woman who along with a female companion kills her abusing partner (Earl) with passion and glee:

    Right away Mary Anne flew in from Atlanta
    On a red eye midnight flight
    She held Wanda’s hand as they
    worked out a plan
    And it didn’t take long to decided

    That Earl had to die
    Goodbye Earl
    Those black-eyed peas
    They tasted all right to me Earl
    You’re feeling weak
    Why don’t you lay down
    and sleep Earl
    Ain’t it dark
    Wrapped up in that tarp Earl

    Earl had to die
    Goodbye Earl
    We need a break
    Let’s go out to the lake Earl
    We’ll pack a lunch
    And stuff you in the trunk Earl


    The video even includes a scene of the women dancing all giddy like school girls after killing Earl.
    However, the Dixie Chics did show how sensitive they were to the issue of domestic violence by including this disclaimer:

    “The Dixie Chicks do not advocate premeditated murder but love getting even.”

    Gee, how sensitive and understanding.

    Furthermore, in an interview, Natalie Maines, a member of the Dixie Chicks, said, “I think initially when we heard it, we just thought it was so funny.”

    When men are victims of violence, it is “so funny”.

    As I stated, controversy did engulf domestic violence awareness advocates over the Dixie Chic song and video – but not how one would think.
    The dichotomy among DVA advocates was drawn between those who felt it helped raise awareness for domestic violence victims, and those who felt is was too comical and “tongue-in-cheek” to raise awareness to the cause. None, however, felt the actions and violence of the women were disturbing, or felt that using violence to solve violence is acceptable.

    In contrast, when male country singer Garth Brooks produced the video for his song “The Thunder Rolls” which tells the story of a cheating man who comes home and beats his wife, The Nashville Network (TNN) and the Country Music Television (CMT), refused to play the video.
    However, both stations played the “Goodbye Earl” video, and CMT never questioned playing all three videos which showcased females singing about death, violence, and revenge towards men. And it should be noted that not one DV prevention advocate that I’m aware of stated that Garth’s song/video displaying male-on-female violence “helped” raise awareness for domestic violence victims.

    So what’s the difference? It’s obvious.
    Garth’s video was male-on-female violence. That is wrong.
    But female-on-male violence is funny, empowering, and educational.

    The Research

    DV prevention advocates and women have a legitimate cause for concern when it comes to how the media, particularly music, affects or influences our nation’s young men and women. According to researchers, both male and female teenagers spend more time listening to music than any other form of media in a correlating ratio to their age. The older they become, the more music they listen to. By the time he or she enters the dating years of high school and college, music is the dominate form of media in his or her life. And it is noted that females show more of a reliance on music than males.
    But what’s more interesting is how this demographic responds to controversial lyrics in their music.
    According to this study:

    Two general patterns seem to emerge from the research on attention to lyrics: First, the more
    important music is to an adolescent, the more importance he or she places on lyrics relative to other elements of music gratification. Second, attention to lyrics is highest among fans of oppositional or controversial music (whether it be 1960s protest folk or rock or the heavy metal and rap of today). In other words, the more defiant, alienated, and threatening to the mainstream a music type is, the more closely its fans follow the words (Christenson & Roberts,1998).

    This would help explain the appeal and fascination with heavy metal and rap/hip hop music, and it also brings validity to the concerns of the misogynistic lyrics and images these genres proliferate.
    While research analyzing the affects of misogynistic lyrics and images are a dime a dozen, there is barely any research analyzing how anti-male or mysandric lyrics and images affect male and female listeners.

    I finally found one, and I can only say the results are surprising.

    Music and Aggression: The Impact of Sexual-Aggressive Song Lyrics on Aggression-Related Thoughts, Emotions, and Behavior Toward the Same and the Opposite Sex, by Peter Fischer and Tobias Greitemeyer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

    In a series of three studies, we investigated the impact of misogynous and men-hating song lyrics on aggression related thoughts, emotions, and behavior toward the same and the opposite sex. In Study 1, male and female participants listened to misogynous or neutral song lyrics and, subsequently, their actual aggressive behavior toward a male or a female confederate was measured. Study 2 attempted to shed light on the underlying psychological mechanisms by measuring aggression-related cognitions and emotions. Furthermore, Study 2 widened the scope of Study 1 with regard to the effect of menhating music on aggressive inclinations of women toward men: Participants were exposed to misogynous, menhating, and neutral song lyrics and then the listeners’ aggression-related cognitions and emotions were measured. Study 3 intended to replicate the findings of the previous two studies by employing additional measures of aggressive inclinations and behavior. In short, the aim of the present research was to investigate whether male and female participants are prone to be influenced by violent music. More specifically, we tested the impact of misogynous song lyrics on aggressive responses of men toward women as well as more aggressive responses of women toward men after being exposed to men-hating music.

    To sum up the results:
    Study 1 showed male participants had increased aggression towards the female participants after listening to misogynist music. Females showed no measurable difference towards the male participants after listening to misandric music.

    Study 2 was used to correct for the flaws in study 1. After listening to misogynist music, the male participants showed heightened aggression towards women again. However, this time, women began showing negative reactions to males, but still lacked the measurable form of vengeance found in the males.

    In study 3, the researchers corrected a problem found in study 2, which was the realization that the intensity of the misogynistic music was greater than the intensity of the man-hating music. When the negative intensity of the anti-male music equaled the negativity intensity of the misogynistic music, women showed an unmistakable negative reaction towards their male participants:

    Furthermore, we found evidence that men-hating song lyrics could have a similar effect on aggressive reactions of women toward men: Listening to men-hating song lyrics substantially increased women’s recognition of negative male attributes.

    The study also found that as the intensity of the man-hating music increased, the males that were exposed to it showed an increase in aggressive and negative behavior towards women.

    It’s sad there is only one study out of hundreds that had the integrity and courage to approach this subject from both sides. In recognition that only one study does not make absolute truth, there are still some important conclusions to be drawn from it:

    — It is apparent that anti-male music is not funny or empowering – it is just another form of discrimination. I believe that common sense and historical evidence will establish that the uncontested and unaddressed proliferation of degrading, shaming, and humiliation of any individual, gender, race, religion, etc., will always lead to open and accepted discrimination of those individuals or groups by society.
    I think this study only verifies that anti-male music, videos, and other media is as dangerous as the misogynistic music. However, I guarantee there will be no rush by women’s groups to address or question the female artists responsible for anti-male music. As usual, they will remain silent.

    — If further studies corroborate the research, this study reveals a very important correlation: women who engage in writing anti-male music are not empowering women or creating a feeling of “justice” for women. Nor are they raising awareness to DV issues. Instead they are creating more aggressive behavior and actions towards women in men. In other words, if women choose to create this music they are contributing to more aggressive behaviors and actions not only towards men, but towards women also.
    In no way is this anti-male music creating awareness towards DV prevention. It is actually raising the potential for domestic violence for both men and women.

    — Women’s groups and DV prevention advocates have done a great job of raising awareness to the forms of media that are harmful to women. Since these same women believe in equality between the sexes, why do they consistently ignore popular media which displays blatant violence towards men when the perpetrator is female? When are they going to address and speak out about these forms of media being just as harmful and disturbing?

    The two arguments I find that are used to dismiss this obvious gender hypocrisy by women and others is; “Men have done it for years (misogynistic music), so why can’t we”, and “Some of the songs are written by men so it’s OK”.

    First, it is true, men have done it for years, but if that is your argument, then you have just done tremendous damage to your own cause. One cannot have a valid complaint of feeling marginalized if one is also openly engaging in the same behavior. When that happens, my attention and sympathy for your cause is lost.
    Second, just because a man/men may have composed the songs does not mean that it is morally acceptable. If that were true, then the argument against rap and hip hop falls apart. Since so many women have contributed to the proliferation of rap/hip hop and its corresponding words/images involving women being denigrated and sexualized – from appearing in the videos, to buying the music, to attending live performances of the artists – it proves that rap/hip hop is not bad for women.

    As the father of a daughter, and the father of two sons, I find any type of media that degrades or portrays violence against either sex for humor or empowerment disturbing. Fortunately, for my daughter, there is plenty of awareness and advocacy being generated to voice concerns about various forms of media that may harm her. For my sons, very few people are advocating for them, and the people who are supposed to be advocating for them are not. Why?
    Because they are the wrong gender.

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