Author Topic: MAN'S INHUMANITY TO WOMEN  (Read 2240 times)


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« on: February 12, 2017, 12:31:35 pm »
  by D. Warren Livingston

  "Women and children first!" There are not many people alive
today, over the age of twenty, who haven't heard that phrase,
read about that phrase, or even uttered the phrase themselves for
one reason or another. But what does it mean?  Is this enduring
phrase something borne of an ingrained love and respect that
mankind has for women and children?  This author doesn't think
so; quite frankly, after researching some of the historical
treatment men have had toward women, I believe the phrase has no
more meaning than a desire for preservation of the species, and
has nothing at all to do with love and respect for women or

  Societies, for as long as there have been societies, have shown
little or no respect for women, but the fact that this inhumanity
toward the female sex is so well documented may very well be the
thing that helps change the trends and traditions of the past
centuries. Like anything worth looking into, it is important to
know where we came from to get some idea where we are going. Here's
a few startling facts just to get the ball rolling:

  1. In 1985, 1.7 million American women were seriously
assaulted by their spouse or partner, and this is just the
reported cases. It is estimated that the actual number would be
closer to 15 million or more but a large number go unreported
either by the women or the "system".

  2. In 1984, one out of three female homicides was
perpetrated by either the spouse or the lover of the victim.

  3. There are more law enforcement officers killed while
breaking up domestic disturbances than any other area of police
work. Chasing down armed robbers ranks second.

  4. There are no age, social, economic, or religious
boundaries to separate the incidence of this violence against

  5. Forty percent of all women hospitalized in this country
are there due to battering. Nos.1-5;  U. S. Bureau of

  Some startling facts, no doubt, but before we take a look at
what has happened since the mid-eighties, lets take a quick look
at some more history for a minute;  specifically, let's examine
the history of the way women have been treated, not just by men,
but by societies in general over the decades and centuries.

  Year 1395-An English woman applied for a divorce and
presents evidence of frequent attacks from her husband with a
knife, and details violence which included a broken arm. Her
husband does not deny the violence, but refutes that it is
necessary to reduce his wife's repeated mistakes. The divorce is
denied. Wife Beating:Langley & Levy p.15

  Year 1762-English law states:  "Women must bear with cruel
husbands without complaint. Wife Beating:Langley & Levy p.15

  Year 1768-Lord Blackstone established "Rule of Thumb" which
referred to a husband's right to chastise his wife with a whip or
ratton no bigger in diameter than his thumb nor longer than his
arm in order to enforce domestic discipline. Wife Beating:
Langley & Levy p.35

  Year 1871- An Ecclesiastical court ruled that, although a
husband beating his wife was undoubetedly wrong, it still had to
be endured for better or worse by the wife. Wife Beating:
Langley & Levy p.37

  Year1871-An Alabama court ruled that men no longer had any
right to beat their wives. The decision said, "The privilege,
ancient though it may be, to beat her with a stick, to pull her
hair, choke her, spit in her face, or kick her about on the
floor, or inflict upon her other indignities, is not now
acknowledged by our law."  Wife Beating: Langly & Levy p.39

  Year 1882-Baltimore, MD enacted a law to punish wife beaters
by giving them 40 lashes with a whip or a year in jail. This was
repealed in 1953. Wife Beating:Langley & Levy p.39

  Year 1910-The United States Supreme Court ruled that a wife
had no cause for action on an assault and battery charge against
her husband because it would open the doors of the courts to
accusations of all sorts of one spouse against the other and
bring into public notice, complaints for assault, slander, and
libel. Wife Beating: Langley & Levy p.39

  Year 1970-The first direct services for battered women were
offered in St. Paul, Minnesota. The first shelter for battered
women opened 2 years later. Battered Wives: Martin p.196

  Year 1984-Over 700 shelters for battered women are active
across the USA. California, Hawaii, and Texas have made it a
felony for a husband to assault his wife, but no convictions are
made yet. U.S. Bureau of Statistics:  1986

  Year 1985-Twenty-seven states have enacted legislation to
protect women from abusive spouses and partners, in most of
these, 20% or more of the collected fees for marriage licenses go
to cost of maintaining shelters, and automatic restraining orders
have become the norm. U.S. Bureau of Statistics:  1986

  Well, you might say, "Now we're getting somewhere!" but we are not
quite through looking at the history angle of all this violence
against women just yet. Let's go back a bit farther shall we? Male
dominance over females goes back to the dawn of time, essentially.
Early man was a hunter and gatherer, and a woman was reduced to the
role of keeping the campfires burning and rearing the children. These
traditions evolved into customs and laws and even religious beliefs
that women were inferior beings. The great religious writings,
including the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Talmud, the Koran,
and the book of Morman, all place men in the position of authority
over women. As the foundations to the modern-day societies were being
formed, the information in these writings reflected the attitudes about
women through the ages and the interpretation of passages from these
works have served to  help perpetuate this posture.

     Timothy I, 9-14;
       In like manner I wish women to be decently dressed,
       adorning themselves with modesty and dignity, not with
       braided   hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothing
       but with good  works such as become women professing
            Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.
       For I do not allow a woman to teach, or to exercise
       authority over men;  but she is to keep quiet. For
       Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not
       deceived, but the woman was deceived and it was sin.
       The Holy Bible: p.202

  No doubt, it has been an uphill battle all the way for women
to gain even a little ground on this seriously difficult problem
when even The Bible, has deferred to placing women in a position
of submissiveness. It is no wonder that little has been done to
try to uncover the psychology of this worldwide problem. The
battle for women's dignity, equality, and self-actualization is
far from over, but in the last decades, some tremendous strides
have been taken. In order to fully realize the importance of
emerging from the horror of century's of man's inhumanity to
women, we need to take a look at the "anatomy" of a battered
woman from a modern standpoint. The following scenario of the
battered woman is offered only as an example:

  1. Typically she comes from a dysfunctional home herself.
Her emotional needs were unfulfilled, and love, trust, affection,
and a stable role model were not available in her childhood.

  2. Her need for nurturing is often achieved vicariously by
becoming an overly affectionate person especialy with men who
display a "need" for her affection.

  3. Once in a relationship, she becomes terrified of
abandonment and will do anything to hold things together. All
too often this includes tolerating even massive amounts of mental
and physical abuse.

  4. Her self-esteem is low, or non-existant,  she accepts
more than half of the guilt, responsibility, and blame for the
relationship. She is out of control but tries to mask this by
being "helpful".

  5. Very often, drugs and alcohol become a part of her daily
existence in order to numb hersef from the abuse. Her fear of
loneliness, fostered in part from the lack of early nurturing,
may keep her from deciding to get out of this situation for a
long time. Nos. 1-5;  Women Who Love Too Much: Norwood pp.16-23

  Right here would be a good place to ask the questions;"Are
women truly the weaker sex? What can be done to keep from
falling into this type of trap?" Very good questions but the
answers don't come easy. I believe, as do many of the learned
theorists in the field of psychology, that the core of human
existance is our personality. It is shaped in the very early
stages by our "significant adult" social contacts and the
relationships we have with peers and siblings.

  This fact accounts for a large portion of the  perpetuation of the
inferiority role for women. From the beginning of recorded human
existence until the present, women have been educated into the role
of inferiority including their personalities. For the most part, until
very recently, they have grudgingly accepted that posture. However,
women like Madame Currie, Amelia Earhart, Florence Nightingale, and
many others, have demonstrated to the world that women are NOT "the
weaker sex" in any context other than the purely medical or biological
definition of physical strength. When the "feminist" movement got
underway in the 1970's, it was almost like a knee-jerk reaction
amongst the male dominated scientific community to begin extensive
investigative studies to determine if there were actual measurable
differences in the brain functionalities of men and women.

  Behavioral Scientists, Anthropologists, and Psychologists have
toiled with the "nature-nurture" issues for years, but the evolution
of several sophisticated methods of gathering, testing, and analyzing
data involving such things as the effects of hormones on the development
and sexual orientation of human beings has had a profound effect on
studying the human brain. Although the "jury is still out" on the
results of many of these studies, most Psychology testing points to
the conclusion that men and women do indeed perceive the world
differently as a  result of functional differences in male and female
brains. How Schools Fail Girls: Gorman. Time pp. 42-51   

   I seriously doubt, even after all the scientific studies are
in, and the findings are disected, analyzed, hypothesized, and
categorized, that there will be any great solutions bubbling to
the surface to help alleviate the tremendous injustices that
still exist concerning the treatment of women. I feel certain
that the key to overcoming all the centuries of strife lies in
the education, not only of mature women of today, but of younger
girls; the women of tomorrow. Gradually, women around the world
are facing a very grim fact; their inequality is partially due to
their own behavior and attitudes.

   "The status quo of sexual inequality can only be considered
   appropriate and natural when women accept this view as well
   as men." What Keeps Women "In Their Place": Layng USA May,1989.   

  Times are changing very rapidly for women and with these changes
are some great opportunities around the world. Here in the United
States we have seen the opening of all military academies to
women, by former President Gerald Ford, in October of 1976. The
119 brave women who entered West Point on July 7, 1976 had to
endure sexual harrasment and verbal abuse, but laid the groundwork
to what has become commonplace to see women in Battle Dress Uniform
throughout our military structure. Women at West Point: Hasenaur
July,1991. The last obstacle for women in this area of American
culture seems to be the right for women to serve in situations
considered "dangerous" such as combat missions. In our government,
we are seeing an increase in the number of women laying claim to
Governorships, Senate seats, House of Representative seats, and many
key Presidential Cabinet roles. However it is still a male dominated
arena. The House Rules Committee has 1 woman out of 13, Ways and
Means-2 of 36, Budget-2 of 37, Appropriations-3 of 59, and Agriculture-1
of 45. Women on the Verge of a Power Breakthrough: Finkel May 1992.

   Women activists around the world have begun to press for laws to
have violence against women treated as a violation of basic human
rights. From a religious standpoint, of the known active clergy
in this country, 15% are now women.Women Finding a Place in the
Pulpit: Brinson May,1992.

  I think it bears repeating, education may be the very best
way for women to finally see the time when every female child
born has a fair and equal chance to achieve her full potential in
all aspects of life. In the past, there has been a serious
discrepancy in the proportion of women who have achieved very
high levels of education. The BA and MA levels are fairly close
with men edging out women by just a few percentage points.
However at the Ph.D level men capture over 70% of the degrees.
Over 90% of Computer Science Doctorates are awarded to men.

  In the workplace only 5% of the top level executives are women.
What's The Difference:Stump Ph.D,1985. None of this is by accident.
In every classroom, whether taught by male or female teachers, boys
call out and get the feedback 8 times more often than girls. Our
textbooks show a gross lack of information on women as well. In the
newest history textbooks only 2 percent of space is devoted to women.
How Schools Fail Girls:Sadker. Feb 1994. After 20 years of studying
this gender bias in our nations schools, Myra and David Sadker,
Professors of education at the American University in Washington D.C.,
discovered that most girls enter school equal to or ahead of their
male counterparts, but slip considerably by the time they are taking
SAT and ACT exams for college entry, with the greatest shortfall in
the areas of math and science.

  In the same report, it was revealed that when girls are educated
separately from boys there is a significant increase in their self
esteem and academic achievement. I agree with the Sadkers that
completely segregating girls in our education system for the sake of
improving percentages of qualified females at college entry level would
be "sticky business" under the current legal system which discourages
any kind of sex discrimination. However, if a few test cases here and
there show such marked results, then I also support the idea that our
educators should be required to assist in reducing the gender bias in
the classroom as well.

   The Gender Equity in Education Act, is before Congress even as this
is being written and if passed, will do much to provide gender equality
training for educators. In the meantime, I believe the time is right to
contribute to a new era for women where equality for women is more that
just an aspiration, it will be a reality. It took many hundreds of years
to arrive at this day and age and there are many hard fought battles ahead
I am sure, but with todays "instant access" to information I believe also
that the gruops of women who can see the merit of the strength in numbers
theory will create a powerful voice that the male dominated world will
just have to listen to.

  As for men, well, the emergence of a multitude of self-
actualized women may be a bitter pill to swallow for some time to
come yet, but most men realize that above all else the survival
of the species is dependent upon women and, of course, the
children they can bear. Perhaps keeping the men of today reminded
of the grim history of man's inhumanity to women will serve to
show the men of tomorrow that there is no Earthly reason for
women to stand on anything but equal ground with men in all
aspects of life on this planet. Women and Children First; it's
about time!!!

Copyright 1994 D. Warren Livingston
=========================     # # #     =================================
Warren is a Missouri resident and gentleman farmer, who has done a little
of everything, and is even a part-time inventor. His claim to fame and
highest accomplishment, however, is his son. Talk to him about horses
and you will find, he has been talking for a few hours.

1. Battered Wives:Del Martin. San Fransisco, CA.:Glide Publ.1976
2. How Schools Fail Girls:Myra & David Sadka. Springfield NEWS
LEADER Feb, 1994
3. Sizing up the Sexes:Christine Gorman. TIME Jan 20, 1992
4. The Holy Bible:p.202
5. U.S. Bureau of Statistics:1986
6. What Keeps Women in Their Place:Anthony Layng. USA May, 1989
7. What's The Difference:Jane Barr Stump, Ph.D. NY,NY.:Morrow 1985
8. Wife Beating:Roger Langley&Richard Levy.NY,NY.:E.P.Dutton 1972
9. Women at West Point:Heike Hasenaur. SOLDIERS July, 1991
10  Women Who Love Too Much:Robin Norwood. LosAngeles,CA.:J.P.
Tarcher 1985   
11. Women Finding a Place in The Pulpit:Claudia Smith Brinson.
Columbia, SC.:STATE May 31, 1992
12. Women on the Verge of a Power Breakthrough:David Finkel
WASHINGTON POST May 10,1992