You know how I love me some big, fat, obvious truths-that-need-saying.
Well, here's another one, and it's about incidences of violence. For all that the individual cases (school shootings! another one! cop shootings! another one! rapes! murders! assaults! lookee, another one!) are talked about and reported on — usually when there's something crazy about them that sets them apart from the pattern — the pattern itself, the biggest, most obvious pattern in all cases of violence is rarely discussed.
If coins landed heads over 80% of the time, do you think that we, as a scientific society, would have anything to say about that? Or would we go on insisting that there was no correlation, nothing to see here?
Yet, the vast, vast majority of all violence is committed by humans who share one characteristic — one which, if the odds were random, they'd only be about 46% likely to have.
(And don't you, if you share that characteristic too, dare get defensive: To say–no, admit–that the vast majority of perpetrators of violence are male is NOT the same as to say that the majority of males perpetrate violence, which they certainly don't. We are saying "all squares are rectangles", NOT "all rectangles are squares", okay?? And to react as though what's been insinuated is that all or most men are violent is sloppy thinking and I will slap you with a fish for it.)
The article quoted a bit below has some great and useful information on that account, specifically regarding male violence against women — which is not all violence, or all male violence, but is a good way to highlight the statistical pattern going on here and the severity of it, and the effect that ignoring it as a pattern is having on our culture, and on almost all cultures really.
But that's a point that's been made well enough that I figured I'd make a different one.
I'm about to make myself real popular here, so get ready. I have a modest proposal for you:
1. Violence against women is a pattern, and a cultural problem.
2. Gun violence is a pattern, and a cultural problem.
3. Removing access to guns for free citizens is problematic for a few reasons, one of which is that it removes the ability of the weaker ones to defend themselves and each other from the perpetrators of violence and oppression; another is that it's difficult and expensive to determine who to allow and disallow from ownership.
4. Perpetrators of violence, using any weapon, against anyone, anywhere in the world, are WAY more likely to be men than women (see every fact ever).
Make it illegal for men — only men — to possess guns.
- Worried about "the government" taking over? Well, worry no more; almost half the population can legally be armed! And women are, while far less likely to be unnecessarily violent, historically badass about protesting and resisting government oppression.
- Worried about helpless kids in schools and elderly people on the street? Worry no more! Armed and trained nuns and schoolteachers and little old ladies make perfect defensive weaponry, with none of the risk that they'll make the problem worse.
- Unsure about enforcement, about "keeping guns out of the hands of criminals"? This will be a zillion times easier if the rule is simple*. Heck, I give science a decade before guns can "tell" if you're a woman and only work in female hands.
- Worried about using open gender-discrimination this way? Don't be! This is only the flipside of the already-existing open gender discrimination that violence as a phenomena already exhibits. When one goes away, the other can too — easy as pie!
- Concerned about the gun industry in general? Imagine the economic bump when it's legal and acceptable for every adult woman to own at least a handgun, and when every young girl needs training and access to a range for regular practice!
- What about hunting, you say? Easy! Women can hunt with guns if they want, and men, who are always on about needing to keep their sKills sharp, can use bows and spears and shit that actually poses a challenge. It'll be good for them!
- Also, not a fan of the systemic cultural violence against women? Well….how long do you think harassing women in bars or attacking them on streets, in busses, and in their homes will stay the popular activity it is, after they start capping motherfuckers for it? (Male allies are nice, and I'm glad they're starting to become A Thing, but personally when it comes to deterring rape, I can't argue that Smith & Wesson's disapproval of your violence against me is a leeeeetle more compelling than knowing our friend Bob would hate you if he ever found out. ;)
*I'm not addressing the issue of transgenderism in its various forms here, not because it wouldn't be an issue that would need fair addressing, but because I think it's out of scope for a simple initial presentation of a radical and half-tongue-in-cheek idea.
Now, some facts from an awesome article re-written recently; emphasis throughout is mine.
So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over 1,000 homicides of that kind a year – meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11's casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular terror (another way to put it: the more than 11,766 corpses from domestic-violence homicides since 9/11 exceed the number of deaths of victims on that day and all American soldiers killed in the "war on terror").
A woman is beaten every nine seconds in this country. Just to be clear: not nine minutes, but nine seconds. [Also to be clear: In the US, not any of the many countries where it's *legal*. --me] It's the number-one cause of injury to American women; of the two million injured annually, more than half a million of those injuries require medical attention while about 145,000 require overnight hospitalisations, according to the Centre for Disease Control, and you don't want to know about the dentistry needed afterwards. Spouses are also the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the US.
"Women worldwide ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war and traffic accidents combined," writes Nicholas D Kristof…
Unlike the last (male) head of the International Monetary Fund, the current (female) head is not going to assault an employee at a luxury hotel; top-ranking female officers in the US military, unlike their male counterparts, are not accused of any sexual assaults; and young female athletes, unlike those male football players in Steubenville, aren't likely to urinate on unconscious boys, let alone violate them and boast about it in YouTube videos and Twitter feeds. … No female bus riders in India have ganged up to sexually assault a man so badly he dies of his injuries, nor are marauding packs of women terrorising men in Cairo's Tahrir Square, and there's just no maternal equivalent to the 11 percent of rapes that are by fathers or stepfathers. … No major female pop star has blown the head off a young man she took home with her, as did Phil Spector ... No female action-movie star has been charged with domestic violence, because Angelina Jolie just isn't doing what Mel Gibson and Steve McQueen did, and there aren't any celebrated female movie directors who gave a 13-year-old drugs before sexually assaulting that child, while she kept saying "no", as did Roman Polanski.