"Committing data rape"
The Ottawa Citizen - Dec. 15, 1998
Radical feminist notions about male violence reflect a misuse of statistics based on
eugenic assumption. The word "eugenics" connotes evil. It evokes images of death
camps and more recent "ethnic cleansings." But the term did not originate with
Adolf Hitlers anti-semitism. It dates back more than a 100 years to the work of Sir
Francis Galton, who established the science of eugenics based on the notion that society
could be improved by selecting and encouraging its brightest its citizens to flourish.
Dear to Galton, and others of his social class, was the belief that intellectual greatness
was inherited. His studies, in which all of the subjects were eminent members of the
aristocracy, bolstered arguments for lowering the birthrate in the lower classes. One
result was the imposition of harsh sterilization laws in the early 1900's in both England
and North America.
Decades later, spurred by similar eugenic values, psychologist, Cyril Burt, began
publishing data to support the genetic inheritance theory. His work, for which he was
later knighted, had far-reaching impact. Throughout the Commonwealth, governments mandated
the measurement of "innate intelligence." Based on their test scores,
generations of children were streamed into unequal educational systems. Only after a
journalist noted contradictions in Burts writings and exposed his faked data, were
these laws challenged.
Nowadays, we condemn eugenics, oblivious, it seems, to the ways in which it is once again
having a pervasive influence on our society. The underlying belief that individuals,
grouped by some common factor, share genetic features which are either good or bad, has
not disappeared. Prominent researchers promote the bias. And laws are put in place which,
by discriminating against one group, promise to make society a better place.
A case in point, currently shaping Canadian law, is a body of quasi-research premised on
the belief in female superiority. The much touted 1993 Statistics Canada survey on
Violence Against Women claims that 51 per cent of Canadian women have been the victims of
rape or attempted rape and that 98 per cent have personally experienced sexual violation.
In reality, in their efforts to portray women as innocent victims of male violence, the
researchers looked at the numbers through a "feminist lens" and committed what
has been rightly called "data rape."
Likewise, in another study, supporting this image of men as violent, researchers reported
that 11 per cent of Alberta women were assaulted in one year, 1989, by their partners. But
the public was told only half the story; the rest of the data revealed that men were being
assaulted by their female partners about as often.
There are dozens of studies worldwide which report virtually identical rates. When
researchers look fairly at both sexes, it is the similarities between the genders, not the
differences, which are remarkable.
But this is not what we are told. A study of "woman abuse" on Canadian college
campuses shocked the public when it was reported that "81.4 per cent of women said
they had been victimized by at least one form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse
during the preceding year." What was not made clear was that the "abuse"
may have been nothing more than a swear word or insult.
Regrettably these widely reported studies are having a profound influence in the political
arena. Men are being successfully portrayed as the violent sex. Federal and provincial
ministries spread the propaganda. Canadian laws are being rewritten in response to the
cry: "Women must be protected."
What really needs to be acknowledged is the eugenic underpinnings of the anti-male data.
This is the type of data which Hitler used to justify the extermination of the Jews. It is
the type of data which the British Upper Classes used to justify sterilizing the retarded.
Now, it is being used to condemn men.
The radical feminists are using their version of eugenics research as a weapon. Feminist,
Marilyn French declares that "All men are rapists." Andrea Dworkin defines
romance as "rape embellished with meaningful looks." Sally Miller Gearheart
writes that the proportion of males must be reduced to 10 per cent of the population, with
this low number to be maintained only to allow for the propagation of the species.
While such extreme opinions may not be officially endorsed, the stereotyping of the male
as violent and beast-like is generally accepted. Consider the bias in favour of mothers in
custody disputes. The outrage if one dares to question a womans accusation. Or how a
woman can take a rifle, murder her husband and, then, manage to convince the courts that
she was the victim.
These eugenic manipulations have gone too far. Such acts of violence against men should be
identified for what they are: crimes against humanity.
by Dr. Tana Dineen, columnist, The Ottawa Citizen
VMC, Box 8082, Victoria B.C. V8W
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