DVIP: What makes it hard to be a man in today’s society?

What makes it hard to be a man in today’s society?

These are the expectations that society has for men that it does not have for women (this does not mean that women are to blame for men’s hardship because women are socialized into their sex roles just as men are socialized into theirs).

What are some of society’s expectations of men?

Yell at people
Have no emotions
Get good grades
Stand up for themselves
Don’t cry
Don’t make mistakes
Don’t back down
Push people around
Can “take it”

Men are:
In control
Dominant over women

Is male privilege really beneficial for men?

It is time to look more closely at the current roles for men, and make a conscious decision as to whether it is beneficial to continue upholding these ideas of male privilege.

Neither man, nor society, can afford to continue to ignore the harmful effects that their present roles have on them. Because of systematic or regular abuse done to men by society, they hurt others because they are hurt.
Men are the primary victims of violence in our society. In addition to being the primary victims of violence, men are also the primary perpetrators of violence, and not just toward women. Gang violence today tells us that this is only part of the story. So does the fact that rape among incarcerated men equals or exceeds that of women.
Men are using the very scripts that they have honored from generation to generation to unleash violence against each other.

What happens when a man moves away from any of society’s expectations?
He has ‘reduced” himself, according to society, to being like a woman. He has emasculated himself. How do we know this? Because of the names that other men, and even women, call men that do this. I’m sure you can think of some.
With so much at stake, is it easier to see how men could develop an attitude of contempt toward women? Even women they love?

Myths and Facts: Why do domestic violence perpetrators do what they do?

Commonly held misconceptions about why batterers batter
Alcohol and/or drugs cause the violence
• Stress causes the violence
• Uncontrollable anger
• The batterer witnessed his father abusing his mother
Why do batterers batter?
• Because they can
• Because it gets them what they want
• Opportunity and self-interest
Common characteristics of batterers:
• Exhibits discrepancy between public and private behavior
• Uses obfuscation to minimize or confuse survivor about behavior
• Externalizes by blaming others and using external factors to justify behavior
• Uses controlling behaviors to get survivor to do, or stop doing, something
• Feels a strong sense of ownership over the survivor
• May use controlled substances
• Is resistant to change
Factors that increase the likelihood of male violence against women
• Ideology of familial patriarchy
• Male peer support
• Alcohol consumption/use
• Exposure to pornographic media


We live in a society where:
° Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. (Population Reports, Series L, No. 11, December 1999).
o Seventy-eight percent of stalking victims are women. Women are significantly more likely than men (60% and 30%, respectively) to be stalked by intimate partners. (Center for Policy Research, Stalking in America, July 1997).
o Intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women. In 1999, women accounted for 85 percent of the victims. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99, October 2001).
o On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 1999, 1,642 murders were attributed to intimates; 74 percent of the murder victims were women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim, 1993-99, October 2001).
MCADSV New Service Provider Training Manual and Resource Guide (May 2006)
• Hold rigid sex role stereotypes

Warning Signs
• History of Violence
Substance abuse
• Breaks or strikes things in anger
• Jealousy
• Controlling Behavior
• Quick Involvement
• Unrealistic Expectations
• Isolation
• Use of Privilege
Cruelty to Animals or Children
• Rape or use of force in sex
• Blames others for Problems
• Blames others for Feelings

MCADSV New Service Provider Training Manual and Resource Guide (May 2006)

Domestic Violence Power and Control Wheel

The Power and Control Wheel was developed from the experience of battered women in Duluth who had been abused by their male partners. It has been translated into over 40 languages and has resonated with the experience of battered women world-wide. (http://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheelgallery.php)

The Power and Control Wheel

Using intimidation: making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures, smashing things, destroying her property, abusing pets, displaying weapons.

Using emotional abuse: putting her down, making her feel bad about herself, calling her names, making her think she’s crazy, playing mind games, humiliating her, making her feel guilty.

Using isolation: controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes, limiting her outside involvement, using jealousy to justify actions.

Minimizing, denying, and blaming: making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously, saying the abuse didn’t happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior, saying she caused it.

Using children: making her feel guilty about the children, using the children to relay messages, using visitation to harass her, threatening to take children away.

Using male privilege: treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, acting like the “master of the castle”, being the one to define men’s and women’s roles.

Using economic abuse: preventing her from getting or keeping a job, making her ask for money, giving her an allowance, taking her money, not letting her know about or have access to family income.

Using coercion and threats: making and/or carrying out threats to hurt her, threatening to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare, making her drop charges, making her do illegal things.

FAQs about the Wheels (from http://www.theduluthmodel.org/wheelgallery.php)
Why was the Power and Control Wheel created?
In 1984, staff at the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) began developing curricula for groups for men who batter and victims of domestic violence. We wanted a way to describe battering for victims, offenders, practitioners in the criminal justice system and the general public. Over several months, we convened focus groups of women who had been battered. We listened to heart-wrenching stories of violence, terror and survival. After listening to these stories and asking questions, we documented the most common abusive behaviors or tactics that were used against these women. The tactics chosen for the wheel were those that were most universally experienced by battered women.

Why did you call it the Power and Control Wheel?
Battering is one form of domestic or intimate partner violence. It is characterized by the pattern of actions that an individual uses to intentionally control or dominate his intimate partner. That is why the words “power and control” are in the center of the wheel. A batterer systematically uses threats, intimidation, and coercion to instill fear in his partner. These behaviors are the spokes of the wheel. Physical and sexual violence holds it all together—this violence is the rim of the wheel.

Why isn’t the Power and Control Wheel gender neutral?
The Power and Control Wheel represents the lived experience of women who live with a man who beats them. It does not attempt to give a broad understanding of all violence in the home or community but instead offers a more precise explanation of the tactics men use to batter women. We keep our focus on women’s experience because the battering of women by men continues to be a significant social problem–men commit 86 to 97 percent of all criminal assaults and women are killed 3.5 times more often than men in domestic homicides1.

When women use violence in an intimate relationship, the context of that violence tends to differ from men. First, men’s use of violence against women is learned and reinforced through many social, cultural and institutional avenues, while women’s use of violence does not have the same kind of societal support. Secondly, many women who do use violence against their male partners are being battered. Their violence is primarily used to respond to and resist the controlling violence being used against them. On the societal level, women’s violence against men has a trivial effect on men compared to the devastating effect of men’s violence against women.

Battering in same-sex intimate relationships has many of the same characteristics of battering in heterosexual relationships, but happens within the context of the larger societal oppression of same-sex couples. Resources that describe same-sex domestic violence have been developed by specialists in that field such as The Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse, www.nwnetwork.org

Making the Power and Control Wheel gender neutral would hide the power imbalances in relationships between men and women that reflect power imbalances in society. By naming the power differences, we can more clearly provide advocacy and support for victims, accountability and opportunities for change for offenders, and system and societal changes that end violence against women.

The wheel makes the pattern, intent and impact of violence visible.