WorldNetDaily published a Jan. 14 column by Trudy W. Schuett that goes on a weird rant about "Abusegate," which she claims is equal to "Climategate." Lots of attacks on "zealots of the feminist faith" and "women's studies" and "Marxist ideals," but Schuett never really explains what exactly "Abusegate" is or why it deserves the -gate suffix.
She hints at what it is toward the end of the column:
This is probably the most astonishing fact of Abusegate: While Climategate has at least some basis in research and scientific theory, there is none whatsoever behind the myriad programs and laws established since the 1970s by the so-called "Battered Women's Movement." Even the term itself was created for its impact by feminists whose goals had very little to do with providing aid for women.
Since the early days of the Battered Women's Movement, nearly everything that has come after has been based on feminist principles devised out of thin air. Even today, in the U.S. there is no standard definition of what domestic violence is or is not. Yet thousands of men are incarcerated, families destroyed, and women and children thrown into a permanent condition of life in turmoil because of nothing but the aberrant personal beliefs of a few women a generation ago.
While the feminists of the 20th century are dying off or retiring, their ugly legacy of opportunism remains. Legions of divorce lawyers, shelter advocates and organizations providing feminist education all benefit from the multi-billion dollar industry that now forms the basis of society's approach to partner abuse.
The real tragedy of Abusegate is that victims of genuine partner abuse are still left without hope and support. They have been doubly victimized by a society that has been too willing to accept answers without first considering the problem.
But still, Schuett fails to explain exactly what the problem is. Is she saying that women aren't abused? That men are abused by women in equal numbers? And who are the "victims of genuine partner abuse" she's referring to? Her rant is so unfocused as to be completely ineffective, preaching only to the converted -- which, it seems, WND is. As we've detailed, WND has been supportive of so-called men'srights, particularly in the area of paternity and child custody.
A little searching uncovered this at Men's News Daily, from a group called RADAR -- Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting, where we find things such as arguments against restraining orders and against the Violence Against Women Act. From the Men's News Daily item:
Abusegate refers to the systematic distortion of the truth about partner aggression by representatives of the domestic violence industry. These falsehoods form the basis of a well-financed but harmful effort to curb partner violence.
What is the truth about intimate partner aggression? Nearly 200 scientific studies point to this simple conclusion: Women are at least as likely as men to engage in partner aggression.
Men are often injured by their wives or girlfriends. According to a 2000 meta-analysis by John Archer, PhD, men suffer 38% of all injuries arising from partner aggression. But men often don’t report the incident, so they endure their pain in silence. As a result, the media often presents a one-sided view of domestic violence.
Warren Moon was the first Black quarterback to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One evening Warren Moon got into a fight with his wife. The police were called and Mr. Moon was arrested. Against Mrs. Moon’s wishes, the case went to trial.
Placed on the witness stand, Mrs. Moon admitted that she was the one who had started the fight by throwing a candlestick, and that her husband had only acted in self-defense. Warren Moon was acquitted.
Domestic violence is not a gender-specific problem.
We don't know what the truth is, but there is something that doesn't pass the smell test about a right-wing-driven movement with the apparent goal to paint men as victims and women as aggressors, even though historically that is not the case.