Fed on myths, preying on men
Barbara Kay, National Post
Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008
November was Domestic Violence Awareness month. Truth in advertising suggests it should be Y-Chromosome Apartheid Month. Far from promoting "awareness" of a social problem or remedies for men and women with anger issues, the month is basically a radical feminist war dance around the Original Sin of maleness, cheered on by "progressive" media sympathizers.
The annual verbal pogrom will find its apotheosis in to-day's 19th observance of the Montreal Massacre anniversary, our domestic violence industry's shrine to feminism's Big Lie of male unilateralism in domestic violence.
It's awkward that the Dec. 6, 1989 massacre of 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal -- unlike ritual wartime massacres of men and boys, such as the 8,000-death horror of Srebrenica -- remains a freak one-off in the West, perpetrated by a lone sociopath, with neither prequel nor sequel to suggest a pattern. But emotion, not reason or facts, drives the Domestic Violence industry.
The truth is that the more precisely identified phenomenon of "intimate partner violence" (IPV) in Western culture is gender neutral, an acting out of psychological problems around intimacy that afflict men and women alike. IPV is initiated by both sexes in about equal proportions. Self-defence is rarely the motive for women's violence against men. Literally hundreds of peer-reviewed, community-based studies, including StatsCan's, confirm this. But they don't reach the public. (Under pressure from feminist organizations, for example, a Quebec health agency recently sequestered a commissioned psychosocial study showing men and women are equally culpable for IPV.)
But most damaging is the suppressed fact that even bilateral IPV in general is a relative rarity in our culture. A woman is more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by her spouse. IPV simply isn't the systemic epidemic that hysteria-mongering feminist organizations so shamelessly project.
Since 1980, the Quebec government has sanctioned the "fact" that 250,000-300,000 women over the age of 15 suffer IPV from their partners or husbands annually. Actually, about 14,000 Quebec women and 2,500 men annually report themselves victims of conjugal violence. Allegations deemed worthy of trial, however, are dramatically fewer in number.
Recently, the Quebec government abruptly withdrew its wildly conjectural 300,000 figure from Google-accessible circulation, after a pertinacious group of independent researchers demanded to know its source through the Access to Information Act. There was no source, of course. Yet financial allocations remain pegged to the mythical 300,000 and are exclusively awarded to women's projects.
This year, the Quebec Auditor-General's report focused an accusatory light on fiscal profligacy and lack of oversight in the women's abuse industry. Grants to abuse-related women's projects have soared from $30-million in 2002-2003 to $60-million in 2007-08. One six-bed shelter's grants in that period bounced from $58,832 to $406,817, even though the shelter only served nine women throughout 2006-07.
Almost half a million dollars to house nine women? Yet a bamboozled public believes thousands upon thousands of battered women are seeking refuge.
Reality just doesn't jibe with that picture. In 2004, the Yellow Brick House, an Aurora, Ont., shelter closed during a labour dispute. It emerged that of the eight women and three children residing there, only one woman was fleeing abuse. The others were homeless
Exceptions, believers will say. Everyone "knows" violence against women is epidemic.
Really? Edmonton Police Service reports from 1999-2000 indicate the police responded to 3,000 domestic incidents. They referred exactly 24 women--less than 1% -- to shelters.
That 1% figure recurs again and again. The co-ordinator of Cornwall Commmunity Hospital's Assault and Sexual Abuse Program in Cornwall, Ont., claims that "17-30% of all women treated in hospital emergency departments are victims of domestic violence." Reality check: Her own hospital's screening for abuse of 157,000 in-patients turned up only 150 IPV-related injuries (both sexes).
I'll conclude with the words of a former batterer, Linda Kinsella. When her unprovoked anger turned to rage, Kinsella used to scapegoat her disabled husband by tipping over his wheelchair and otherwise abusing him. Adding to his nightmare, the police (typically, stupidly) arrested him when called to the scene.
Therapy for Linda saved their marriage. A repentant Kinsella asks: "If women are able to do all the good things that men can do in [the] professions ... then why [do] we, as a society, deny that women can do the bad too? It is my fondest hope that someday there will be true equality in our society and that domestic violence will be seen not as a gender issue but as a societal one that will end when we work together to stop it."
Amen, brothers and sisters.
Women's Issues Minister responds
Re: Fed On Myths, Preying On Men, Barbara Kay, Dec. 6.
It's important to address Barbara Kay's assertions that were raised on such a significant and solemn occasion, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. In response to her statement that "emotion, not reason or facts, drives the domestic violence industry," there are facts to support that domestic violence is not gender-neutral.
According to Statistics Canada, women experience more severe forms of violence, more often, than men. Women are twice as likely as men to be injured as a result of spousal violence, six times more likely to seek medical attention and three times more likely to fear for their lives.
And according to the Chief Coroner's Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, females were the victims in 95% of domestic violence fatality cases. That means women were victims in 19 of every 20 domestic violence deaths. That's not gender-neutral.
Our response must, and does, recognize this reality. With our community partners, we support women and their children escaping violent situations. Each year, our government invests more than $208-million in services that support and protect women from violence, including our $87-million Domestic Violence Action Plan.
Stopping domestic violence is everyone's business. And its existence is not to be trivialized and distorted.
Deb Matthews, Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Toronto.
Barbara Kay responds In Canada, in 2006, out of 605 murders, 78 were spousal homicides, a trifling figure in a country of 35 million people. The total for the women, 56, is six fewer than in 2005 and represents the fifth consecutive annual decline in numbers of women killed. But spousal homicides were up altogether in 2006, because more men were killed by women. Killings of male partners by women increased from 12 in 2005 to 21 in 2006.
Barbara Kay, National Post
Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008
The following is a follow-up to a speech made by Michael Ignatieff, a man who would be Prime Minister, discussing non-factual statistics gleaned by a staffer from a book of myths given to then by a feminist with an agenda. Dr. Don Dutton sent an email to him indicated he was off base.
Nineteen years ago today, 14 young women were murdered at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, marking one of the darkest days in our nation's history. This unconscionable act of violence can never be forgotten. On this National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, I, along with all Canadians, join with the families and friends of the victims to mourn their loss. Violence against women continues to be a terrifying reality for women of all backgrounds across Canada. Women in poverty, aboriginal women, and women living with disabilities are at particular risk of threats, assault and abuse. * Even today, nearly one in three Canadian women are victims of spousal abuse. This cannot continue. As we look back on the tragedy at l'École Polytechnique, we remember not only these 14 women, but also, on their behalf, all of the women and girls—in Canada and around the world—who face violence and discrimination as an intolerable part of their daily lives. We must harness all of our collective efforts to prevent these injustices. All Canadians, regardless of gender or background, have the right to live in a country free from discrimination and abuse.
Today, I hope that all Canadians will join with me in the fight for gender equality and support all efforts to prevent and protect women from violence. The tragedy of December 6, 1989 must remain with us today and all days, if we are to overcome the shared national tragedy that this anniversary represents. Michael
All too often when a woman kills her husband or ex, the crime is trivialized or sensationalized, draining the crime of its horror and the victim of well-deserved sympathy. A couple examples include:
1) Clara Harris, who in 2002 murdered her husband David by running over him repeatedly in her car. As she did so, the dying man's daughter sat in the front seat with her and begged her not to murder the father she loved. Harris won joint custody of her children from prison, and will be out in a couple years.
Harris' daughter Lindsey, only 16 at the time of the murder, denounced the widespread media sympathy for Clara, saying, "This murderess deserves no sympathy.”
To learn more, see my co-authored column Suppose Roles Had Been Reversed in Clara Harris Case (Houston Chronicle, 1/27/07).
2) Mary Winkler, who shot her sleeping husband in the back and then refused to aid him or call 911 as he slowly bled to death for 20 minutes. According to Matthew Winkler's oldest daughter, Patricia, the dead father--who as he lay dying looked at his wife and asked "why?"--was a good man and did not abuse her mother.
Winkler employed dubious claims of abuse during her trial and walked away a free woman last year after serving a farcically brief "sentence" for her crimes. She also got custody of her children.
To learn more, see my co-authored column No child custody for husband-killer Mary Winkler (World Net Daily, 9/14/07).
The new film Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father is a refreshing change.
Producer Kurt Kuenne is full of "fury at the injustice done to his best friend Andrew Bagby, a doctor who was set up and gunned down," apparently at the hands of an ex-girlfriend who he had broken up with.
Kuenne has made a film to memorialize his murdered friend and tell the world about the injustice his ex perpetrated. The legal system coddled the apparent killer, allowing her to be free on bail and have custody of their son, who she subsequently murdered.
From Christopher Smith's review of Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father:
Kurt Kuenne’s heartbreaking new documentary, “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father,” features a story that, if fictionalized for, say, the purpose of a novel, likely would be labeled “outrageous” by an editor, stamped with a swift mark of rejection, and sent packing to the mailroom.
And it would be tough to blame the editor for doing so.
What occurs in this movie only could happen in real life — the frail walls of fiction couldn’t sustain it. The events that unfold are too bizarre. The way the story escalates is too steep. And when the floor does give way, the drop is too far to fathom.
This is the story of one man’s murder, and the fierce ripple of events that rang out in the wake of the five bullets that claimed his life. You sit watching the movie in a kind of haze, thinking that what happens here couldn’t possibly happen the way it happened, and yet it did happen. It’s staggering to believe it happened.
Unable to contain his rage, writer-director Kuenne doesn’t even try to conceal it. For a less-skilled director, this might have been a problem — the movie could have lost focus. The rage might have overwhelmed the facts.
But not so here. Kuenne’s fury at the injustice done to his best friend Andrew Bagby, a doctor who was set up and gunned down in Latrobe, Penn., by his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner, doesn’t detract or make for a lesser movie. In fact, it allows for one of the year’s most powerful movies, with Kuenne achieving a keen, almost rabid focus as he zeros in on each of the many wrongs done to Bagby and his steadfast parents, David and Kathleen.
If too much is revealed here, the movie’s impact will be ruined, so I’ll be cagey with the particulars, which some readers likely already know given that the movie’s events are chronicled in David Bagby’s best-selling book, “Dance With the Devil.” For others, it’s safe to say this: After murdering Andrew, the Canadian-born Turner fled to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where a battle for her extradition was fought in court over the course of several months.
Since it’s revealed in the film’s title, one complication can be noted — turns out that Turner was pregnant with Andrew’s child, whom she gave birth to and named Zachary. Upon learning of this pregnancy, David and Kathleen, who once considered suicide in the wake of Andrew’s death, left the U.S. and moved to Newfoundland.
There, they launched into one maddening fight for their son’s son. Since Turner was free on bail and had custody of Zachary, that meant they had to form a civil relationship with their son’s murderer in order to see Zachary and make sure he was safe from this obviously troubled woman. They did this day in and day out, while the Canadian court system routinely shamed itself in ways best left for the screen.
Surrounding all this isn’t just the ache of loss felt by Andrew’s parents, which is so palpable, it burns, but also of his many friends and family, who are interviewed in ways that not only show us who Andrew was as a man, but also in ways that move the story forward. And where that goes, I’m not going.
“Dear Zachary” is currently being promoted for Academy Award consideration, where it will be taken seriously. For those seeking a profound, unshakable movie, it’s worth a call to your local cinema to ask that they show it.
Video excerpts of the film can be seen above or here.
About the murdered baby boy, Wikipedia writes:
Zachary Andrew Turner (July 13, 2002 – August 17, 2003) was a Canadian citizen born in St. John's to Shirley Jane Turner, a Canadian-American general practitioner. He lived for 13 months before he was drowned by his mother in a joint murder-suicide in the ocean near the city, prior to ongoing legal action in the local family court.
The baby's father was Dr. Andrew Bagby, 28, a sometime boyfriend of Turner, then 41. A short while before discovering she was pregnant, she allegedly shot and killed him in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on November 5, 2001. She then avoided prosecution and trial by fleeing to Canada, where she fought extradition in the Canadian courts for nearly 2 years, and remained free on bail. The evidence was circumstantial as there were no witnesses to the killing.
The retired father and mother of Bagby, David and Kate, the grandparents of Zachary, actively involved themselves in efforts to force Turner's rendition to stand trial in the Pennsylvania court system. They also sought to obtain custody of the baby in the interim, which had been unsuccessful, although they had access.
Just 2 months prior to the deaths, Ottawa had approved the transfer to U.S. jurisdiction, a decision which was being appealed by Turner's lawyer, and caused further delay. It is believed that Turner, rather than stand trial and a possible life sentence, decided to end her and the baby's lives.
Grief-stricken and angry, David Bagby, the grandfather, wrote a book titled DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, A Memoir of Murder and Loss which in journal form details the story from the beginning, and also illustrates his ongoing efforts to force change within the family court system locally and nationwide.
The case is the subject of Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, a documentary by Kurt Kuenne released by Oscilloscope Pictures.
Thanks to the many readers who wrote me about this film.