Dec 6, 2011 - 9:56 AM ET
Today, December 6, is the anniversary of the horrific 1989 Montreal Massacre, in which 14 women were murdered at Montreal’s Polytéchnique.
It cannot be stressed enough that the tragedy was the act of a deranged loner, and a unique event in Canada’s history. The event displayed no characteristics of “domestic” violence: The women were strangers to the gunman. And yet since that day ideologues have created an industry whose message is bruited through the educational system and parroted by every politically correct man and woman in public office throughout our land and indeed in all nations of the West through the heavily-funded White Ribbon campaign: namely, that domestic violence runs rampant against women – all of whom are blameless victims – and that all men, driven by an inherent need to control women, are potential abusers.
Marketing campaigns funded by high-profile companies drill the message home with slick and costly media ads. That the message is misleading, biased and sexist is rarely noted and virtually always ignored when it is noted.
The latest, and perhaps the most outrageous example of this kind of extreme misandry is the Verizon Foundation’s new, widely distributed video entitled “Monsters,” which portrays the average American home as a secret chamber of horrors, in which a pleasant façade hides terrified mothers and children, stalked by the shadowy figure of the family “monster,” the husband and father. It is chilling to watch; any woman or child ignorant of the actual facts around domestic violence would walk away from it convinced that that they were in imminent peril, and that at any moment their beloved husband or father might transmogrify before their eyes into a veritable Mr Hyde.
I have left three media queries over the past week with the Verizon Foundation’s media communication contacts in order to query them about where they got their facts and statistics, but have received no response. This morning I received notice that a group called SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is charging the Verizon Foundation with misleading the public.
The “Monsters” video states that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That sounds ominous. But the video fails to state that one in four men will also be a victim in his lifetime.
That old canard that domestic violence is a one-way street refuses to die, even though authoritative sources such as Statistics Canada continually release data that clearly indicate that most violence is bilateral. And mostly low level – pushing, slapping, screaming, throwing small objects by both parties – certainly not pleasant or mature behaviour, but not life-threatening. If the video’s implications were true, our hospitals and morgues would overflow with women.
Reality check: domestic violence of all kinds is a chronic problem for about 7% of women and men in Canada. The overall homicide rate for women killed as a result of domestic violence is about 40 a year in Canada (about 20 men are killed by their intimate partners). That is a statistically trivial figure.
The Verizon website also makes the claim that “domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44 in the U.S.” (Canadian feminists often claim the same for Canada). That is a myth. The most common reason for admissions in this age group are falls and car accidents. In the records of one hospital in Ontario I checked with, domestic violence accounted for about 1% of admissions.
SAVE rightly castigates Verizon for ignoring abuse to half the population and perpetuating false stereotypes. The children in the video were portrayed as in fear of their father alone, but in fact mothers are more likely to physically abuse their children, and cause more deaths to children than fathers do.
What other identifiable group in society besides men is subjected to such calumny? The Verizon Foundation’s ad encourages hatred of men, and more important it will certainly sow alarmism in children who view it. Moreover, children exposed to this ad who have been subjected to abuse by their mothers will be confused and are likely to feel ashamed to report it, for the ad’s silence on abuse by mothers suggests it must be kept secret.
The ad is defamatory and inflammatory. Such overt bias is unworthy of a corporate giant like Verizon. The ad campaign should be withdrawn immediately.