The industry that has grown up around domestic violence (DV), or, as it is more precisely situated these days in research circles, intimate partner violence (IPV), began in good faith decades ago as a legitimate campaign to help women trapped in abusive relationships.
Over the years, as the triumphalist feminist revolution’s long march through the institutions of the West proceeded with eerily unchallenged vigor, DV emerged as a highly politicized touchstone justifying women’s entitlements — legal, economic, familial — at the expense of boys’ and men’s human rights.
A tipping point in the DV chronology, when the focus amongst militant feminists shifted from helping individual women to the more totalitarian ambition of reducing the male population to cultural dhimmitude, can be traced back in time to December 6, 1989, and in space to a school two miles north of my front door.
December 6, 2009, marked the 20th anniversary of a unique tragedy in Western history, the systematic massacre of 14 women engineering students, with injury to 13 others, at Montreal’s École Polytechnique by a lone young gunman, Marc Lepine, who killed himself at the end of his shooting spree.
As an act of violence against women, the Montreal Massacre had no prequel or sequel. Lepine — his real name was Gamil Gharbi, but Lepine chose to identify with his québécois mother rather than his brutal, misogynistic, Algerian-born father — was a sociopath, unaligned with any faith, political movement, or identity grievance group. He was no jihadi. Although one could argue that the massacre presented elements of an honor killing, Lepine’s crime was essentially sui generis.
Ironically enough, if he were a jihadi, feminists would have been stymied in their rush to collective judgment, for the standard reflex following jihadist incidents is to repudiate any linkage of the act with Islam and to warn against expressions of Islamophobia.
But in the case of the Montreal Massacre, a diametrically opposed instinct prevailed. Because Lepine’s only distinguishing feature was his maleness, the tragedy sanctioned unbridled hostility toward all heterosexual men. Indeed, for elite feminist apparatchiks, then in their most muscular and misandric phase, bliss it was in that bloody Montreal dawn to be alive.
Brazenly, without bothering to adduce any substantiating chain of evidence, there being none, feminist spokeswomen linked the horrific crime of a lone sociopath to the general phenomenon of domestic violence against women. Marc Lepine “became” all men who want to control women — eventually all heterosexual men — and December 6 achieved instant sacralised status as a day of national mourning that, for fevered rhetoric and solemnity, eclipsed even 9/11 memorials.
As I wrote in a December 2007 National Post column:
By contrast [to Americans’ lessening interest in 9/11 memorials], the Canadian public never seems to weary of the annual December 6 tribute to the 1989 Montreal Polytechnique shooting massacre of 14 women. Indeed, 12/6’s branding power burgeons with every anniversary: The theme of violence against women dominates the media; new physical memorials are constructed; additional programs decrying domestic violence against women are entrenched in school curricula; masses of white ribbons are distributed; more stringent gun control is more strenuously urged. Their cumulative effect is to link all Canadian men to a global conspiracy against women of jihadist proportions.
Feminists everywhere in the West appropriated its emotive themes to lend greater credence to an already widespread pernicious tripartite myth: namely, that all men — the “patriarchy” — are inherently prone to violence against women, that all women are potential victims of male aggression, and that female violence against men is never unprovoked, but always an act of self-defense against overt or covert male aggression.
The unspoken corollary to these falsehoods is that violence perpetrated against males, whether by other males or by females, is deemed unworthy of official recognition or more than minimal legal redress, and that while female suffering must be acknowledged as socially intolerable, male suffering may not make a parallel moral claim.
In fact, as any number of peer-reviewed research and government statistics make clear, although women are far more likely to report domestic abuse, equal numbers of men and women experience some form of DV during their lifetimes; men and women initiate abuse in equal measure; and far from any inherent “patriarchal” instinct to control women, DV — in Judeo-Christian culture at any rate — is almost always attributable to individual psychological dysfunction (see citation for Abusegate RADAR report below).