Real men shouldn’t abuse women – but sadly it seems some do 152

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Domestic violence is a real problem in Australia, with one in three women having been a victim at the hands of a male perpetrator. Why do men do it? Lack of respect, poor upbringing, copying the way their father treated their mother,  a culture where women are considered inferior … all play a part, along with many factors too numerous to list here. However, there is another reason that is perhaps one of the most disturbing of all.

What is it?

According to The Conversation, there is growing evidence indicating that violence against women may be the consequence of society’s traditional and stereotyped beliefs about what it means to be a “real man”.

The findings were contained in a paper presenting to the American Psychological Association on how threats to masculinity sequentially cause public discomfort, anger, and ideological dominance over women.

From an early age, boys are socialised as to what manhood is. Many cultures foster a belief that a “real man” is powerful, dominant, assertive and in control.

Men can prove their masculinity in many ways like sport, romance, adrenaline-fuelled activities. However, for some the need to prove their masculinity includes physical force and public displays of aggression.

When men feel that they do not measure up, the research shows they are more likely to display their physical prowess and act aggressively, including towards women.

The researchers say the findings send a compelling message that in addition to providing help for the victims of domestic violence and punishment for the perpetrators society needs to confront the source of the problem from its roots.

Sadly that means rethinking the way we as a society are bringing up our young men and what we are teaching them about being a “real man”.

Let’s talk: Are you surprised by the findings? How can we fix the issue? Are programs like the “respect” program being taught in schools adequate in themselves, or do we need more to educate parents, particularly those from traditional cultures?


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  1. I have seen women abuse their men too not on such a large scale though.

    11 REPLY
    • I agree ladies. I have previously written about abuse of men and the much ignored abuse of the elderly by their own family. All abuse must be addressed.

    • It’s a two way street, men or women should not abuse each other, walk away from it. I remember years ago my husband went to help a lady that was hit by her husband, she turned around & hit him, I could not understand that.

    • I watched an American cop show where this woman called police to report that her boyfriend was beating her. When they arrived she had a black eye and told police he was beating her nightly and she had to lock herself inside for safety. They found him hiding behind some bushes crying. He had scratches over his face an body, no shirt on. He said he was crying as he had to hit her to stop her scratching him. She said she was protecting herself. He was about to be arrested when some neighbours came forward and said the woman drinks than gets abusive and slaps and punches him everynight. Tonight he had, had enough and punched her and she didn’t like it.
      How often does this happen with the wrong person charged.

  2. There’s much more to it than that. Kids today are brought up to be competitive. They have their own room, tv, computer etc. They never learn to share, so relationships become competitions not cooperations.

    2 REPLY
    • This is a problem that has been going on for generations before this one, at least this generation are are bringing it out in the open & are trying to address it, something our generation should have done something about.

    • I’m not sure about that Bill. If you take your kids to playschool it teaches them to share and not squabble over who gets what.

  3. So let me get this straight . According to this article one of the reasons that men abuse women is because they feel inferior! Still trying to get my head around that. If this is true then lord help us.

    4 REPLY
    • I think we need to stop making excuses for them no matter if it is men or women doing the abuse, and get on with fixing the problem.

    • I think it’s disgusting that any man would beat a woman but it also needs to be recognised that there are also lots of men who love and cherish the women in their lives

    • Sweetie, it is not just that they feel,inferior…they damned well are and they no other way of asserting their manhood. Comes from family background among other things.

    • Debbie its true..I’ve seen this heaps of times …the bloke is stupid and the woman is smarter, she gets the better of him in an argument and all the dumb arse knows what to do is hit her.

  4. A lot of men just believe that they are superior to women….that they are the boss and she is there to obey them at all times…and a lot of Men say it’s what my mother did and it is what you will do….I was told you are there to serve your husband and do as he wants when, where, how and why….

    2 REPLY
  5. This is just awful that some men feel inferior – maybe they need to realise some of them,us Women are not punching bags, don’t want to be humiliated that we are just idiots and will take the crap from them. What a sad world – I feel for the children growing up in these violent homes-

    Education more in schools on behaviours maybe should be part of curriculum in the latter years of high school. It might just help some kids. Drugs are also a major problem causing these violent outrages in many cases. Again much more education in this area needed.

    2 REPLY
    • School curriculum and school cultures are usually underpinned by strong values of respect and responsibility . Personal Development Curriculum already addresses relationships and socially appropriate behaviours from perspective of their own and others rights and responsibilities . I believe,no, I know, schools are working hard on these focus areas ….. The modelling of values, social behaviours and expectations at home and in society have a very strong influence and often schools are up against the poor modelling coming from outside the school gates.

    • The school curriculum is so overcrowded. When we have an issue that has to be addressed it often gets flagged that the school system has to address and fix the problem. The school does address respect to others. However there has to be a family approach to the matter as well. Bullying still occurs in school, just as much as before all the support provided in the form as programs around this issue, was introduced. If the messages aren’t being followed through with at home, it is difficult to bring about change. It is a very complex issue and I don’t think anyone is close to the answer yet. But unless there is assistance in the home and from the community and authorities the school won’t be able to make a major change. I don’t believe it is up to the school to be so responsible for this issue either, other to identify students that may live in homes with domestic violence, and report that to the relevant professionals and provide a culture of support, acceptance and respect.

  6. Point 1 ) Women are much better at verbal abuse than men.
    In my experience when a woman is abusing a man, the gutter is where she starts.
    Point 2) There are certain words and phrases that among men are “fighting words”. i.e. If one man calls another a it’s a direct challenge for fisticuffs.
    My previous partner would use those words and phrases at me, insult my manhood, my sexual performance, call the women in my family sluts, the men poofters and so on, all in the most inflammatory terms.
    I could not return those insults in kind because in the main, I got along well with her family and was morally incapable of using them in the same way
    On top of that, there is the additional, and very painful hurt that someone you love (and supposedly loves you) could speak to you in such a way.
    Women are not stupid, they know when they have a “brothers” as big as the legal system and public opinion, they are virtually invulnerable and have free reign to say and do what they like.
    The idea that a woman waits trembling at home for the brutish male to come through the door and give her a flogging purely for entertainment is a total furphy. The statistics only list the number of DV cases, they don’t list the reasons but it would be very interesting to know what went on before the assault occurred.
    Socially and domestically, women have nowhere near the same accountability as men.

    19 REPLY
    • See my post… It is biological and neither men or women , in Western societies, have yet adapted to a new relationship between the sexes.

    • This can be true, shamefully, for women who can be so vicious to good, kind men. 3 out of 3 brothers tolerate this kind of uncalled for behaviour, verbally and physically, at the mercy of their ‘hormonal’ women. I think the softer and more loving the men are the worse the women treat them, yet they do not retaliate or tell anyone as I guess they feel embarrassed and sorry for these women, the mothers of their children. I have often wondered just how high this level of abuse is to men from women.

    • A question. How many men reading this have had a woman, literally “in their face” challenging the man to hit them, and then calling him a “gutless cur” (or worse) when he does the right thing and walks away ??

    • Eric you are right that this happens way too often as women do have the power to hurt intensely with their words, and your post is scewed more to your own experiences however……….

      Your comment: The idea that a woman waits trembling at home for the brutish male to come through the door and give her a flogging purely for entertainment is a total furphy.

      Your post suggests that women are not physically and mentally abused by men and suggests that they ALL call it on themselves, is to be honest offensive and as you know from the news way too often ends in tragedy. Maybe this thinking is why it is still so prevalent in our society which is so sad.

      I do however agree that women who do treat their men with such viciousness need to urgently change how they deal with anyone. When people have arguments both men & women can fall into the deplorable habit where they want to hurt their partner and don’t care what they say…..but to suggest that this is why women are physically abused still DOES NOT excuse that behaviour and URGENTLY needs to be stopped even thinking this way.

      NEVER EVER hit a woman no matter the provocation. Walk away and leave that destructive relationship as soon as you can. If you stay in a volatile relationship then that is YOUR choice. Tragically way too many women cannot leave the abusive relationship as they are followed as we have seen way too many times in the news when someone was murdered by their partner nearly every day recently as they were trying to leave.

    • When I read this article I thought of one of my husbands friends. Lovely man. His wife was a witch. After 18 years of this one night he slapped her. Thought it was time to go. Packed a bag and walked out the front door. Heard a noise behind him looked back and there were 3 shadows. Even the kids had packed up. They wouldn’t stay there without him. I must admit if it were me I would have killed her. She was the most despicable and foul mouthed woman I had the misfortune of meeting.

    • Kay Eller – It’s not always possible to “walk away”. Sometimes there are a number of small, but very good reasons to stay (kids in case you miss the subtlety). That is the other major piece of BS in this discussion, That Men don’t “care” about their children.
      I agree that a man should not hit a woman. I also agree not all DV cases result from the woman abusing the man., but unfortunately there are no figures that state the cause of the assault.
      I admit, I have been driven to the point where strangulation seemed a very attractive option, but I pulled my self up by realising that “the bitch wasn’t worth spending the rest of my life in gaol for”.
      Men learn very early in life where the lines are drawn, women don’t have “lines”. Blaming men only for DV is wrong. the real solution is to restore the mutual respect that once existed between the sexes.
      And of course my post is scewed from my own experiences. How else would I know that not all women are timid, cowering, victims ?

    • No one should abuse another person in any circumstances be it male or female, physical or verbal. Abusive people have their own problems and take them out on those who love them unconditionally…..some people can understand this, feel sorry for them and try to support them.

    • Eric you seem to think all women are like this, shame you have this view. It’s rather sexist. It would be the same as a woman saying all men are bashers. Maybe you should re-word it to “Some Women’. No I’m not being ‘touchy’, I’ve never thrown up horrid things in haste, I think that takes an extremely nasty, vicious person to do that, woman or man. I just think you have a sad view of women.

    • You have written extremely well Eric – and very true also. I totally agree with what you have said……

    • It’s an interesting one … and I do think it is based on upbringing … I grew up with 2 brothers and 2 sisters. My brothers were taught not to hit their sisters but equally Dad was VERY CLEAR we girls were not to wind our brothers up. It’s actually stood me in good stead… the habit of walking away from younger brothers who were annoying me rather than lashing out verbally and placing myself in danger enabled me to do the same with a manipulative male partner who I believe was trying to goad me to the point of reaction so he could justify hitting me. I’m not saying we didn’t have robust debates but I believe we learned the difference between debate and abuse.

    • Let’s face it. There are some men with no power or prestige at their work, who never excelled at sport, who were never the favoured child within their families and who feel powerless. The only one they can have any kind of power over, the only time they feel like a man, is to dominate that little woman at home. You see these same types being rude to shop assistants and waiters etc. – petty little “men” (and sometimes women) getting their jollies by finally having power over SOMEONE.

    • Barbara Messer – It took till the last line of your post, but at least you finally admitted that people like that can be of either sex…

    • Cheryl Hart – Not really a sad view, just a practical one. Romanticism was driven out of me years ago…. but I still hope.

    • Lee Horrocks – Like any weapon it depends how it’s used.
      ie. to talk them down or wind them up – Totally different outcomes.

    • Are you frigging kidding me?????? I lived that life for five miserable years so it is not a bloody “furphy” at all!!! If your woman said these things you should have walked out of her life and been the better person. I never called my ex names nor did I antagonise him. Even when I remained silent it was never good enough I still got hit so please don’t write such rubbish ever again. I am in tears now because I feel so incensed by your comment, I lived through beatings and hospital visits but I came out the other end thanks to family and friends support. You sir are not correct.

  7. Domestic violence has always been a part of the lives of some parts of the community, I remember as a child the next door neighbours fighting and yelling and hitting each other. It was a frighten thing for a child to hear I can imagine how hard it was for their children. Jealousy and alcohol play a big part in it and some have very violent natures. I doubt very much inferiority comes into it much at all.. these men feel superior and try to beat their victims into submission

    3 REPLY
    • I agree Leanna, I grew up in a house where my father suffered with war neurosis and he use to drink to try and feel better, however he would then come home and abuse my mother, yet when he was not drinking he was a totally different person.

    • It’s not about feeling superior, Some times all the man wants is for the woman to get off his back !

    • A real man to me is one who doesn’t retaliate when he is physically and verbally abused by a woman.Walks away.And yes it happens a lot folks.

  8. It all about control, the men are overly Alpha males and want to dominate their partners, they are also very narcissistic, all they care about are their wants and needs

    5 REPLY
    • Crap !! Alpha females make Alpha men look like pussies. As regards the rest of your post, I’ve seen more narcissistic, selfish, self centred females than I have similar males.

    • After wpending five years 2 weejs and 1 day at the receiving end of both physical and mental abuse from my husband which continued long after we were apart i can tell you Eric Brodrick its not crap and it was not just wanting me to get of his back. It was just a power hit and sadly the mental abuse is not as easy to recover from as the bashing are .
      Yes there are females who abuse too but most DV is done by men

    • Sharon Mary – We could go on all day comparing bad experiences but that would be pointless.
      Regarding your last point, I would say that most *Reported* DV is done by men. The system has such strong pro-female bias, most male victims see it as pointless to make a complaint.

    • Yes i agree it happens both ways but i have experience the male doing everlasting damage to me it went on for 14 long years and then some .

  9. Isn’t it just biology ? I have watched a lot of animals and birds. The male role is the dominant one in sexual relationships and the ferocious fights between males is general. We have to recognise that human beings are animals trying to impose what our minds tell us is a better way of living, of civilisation. The problem is that the male role has become blurred and often goes against the instinctual biological drives.

    1 REPLY
    • I tend to agree. Having seen a number “good” women with men who treat them like crap (whether or not assault is actually involved) I’ve often wondered if there is something in the female psyche that desires to be dominated, so they use abuse to try and provoke it. The stories you hear about women who marry the ideal “sensitive, caring” man and then within a few years run off with a truck driving Hell’s Angel are not just Urban Legends.

  10. Eric Broderick. I totally agree with you. What reasons should be listed what occurred before the assault.

    1 REPLY
    • Alcohol or drug use (either party), who hit who first (the man doesn’t always swing the first punch), whether the couple is living together or not (this accounts for “Jealous Ex” syndrome”), Using the kids as a weapon against the other party, just what was said by whom, to whom, and so on.
      The problem is that the definition of DV has been stretched beyond it’s original meaning.
      To me, DV is what happens “in the home”. “Jealous Ex’s” are something beyond DV, because the situation is no longer “domestic”.

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