I was listening to Kate O'Beirne, the author of Women Who Make the World Worse : and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports,
on C-Span last night. Okay, so I don't agree with some of her points on why women should stay married even if unhappy, for the sake of children, blah blah blah. But she had a number of interesting things to say, including a discussion of how some feminists continue to exaggerate the extent to which women are abused and involved in domestic violence, etc. Yes, some women are being abused as are some men, but some feminists see fit to call psychological abuse and "controlling behavior" domestic violence--hell, this would make all of us victims (and perpetrators) of abuse at one time or another. This overexaggeration of what constitutes abuse as well as a distortion of the number of women who are physically abused has resulted in over a billion federal dollars being funneled to domestic violence causes as well as to the passing of sexist laws such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
One of O'Beirne's most salient points to the smirking journalist/interviewer on C-Span was that girls and women are being sold a bill of goods that there is danger lurking around every corner. How will this message help our girls and young women build the real confidence and assets they need to go into the working world as fully functioning adults if they resort to victimhood as a way of life? These messages of the lurking dangers for women are blatant at times, but in other ways are subtle enough to be excused, even by intelligent people.
For example, at the Volokh Conspiracy
this week, Professor Eugene Volokh pointed out to an Oregon State University newspaper that it was not possible to have 2000 rapes a day, one every five minutes, as a press release and website from the Oregon State University Women's Center
stated. Well...duh. It is admirable that Professor Volokh points out the problem to the women's center but they do little about it, as you can see, they did not even remove this lie
-- I mean, "fact" -- from their Myths and Facts sheet. But in the comments section, Professor Volokh defends these distortions as a problem with numbers:
Here is commenter Smithy's
take on the "mistake":
Typical leftist exaggeration from the unhinged feminist left. You can chalk it up to enumeracy -- I chalk it up to plain craziness.
And Professor Volokh's reply:
Smithy: It's not exaggeration; it's mathematical error. It's not "enumeracy"; it's "innumeracy." I know of no "craziness" that manifests itself as the inability or unwillingness to do arithmetic. There's little reason to think that the authors of the underlying web page or of the newspaper article are "unhinged." There's nothing inherently leftist in high estimates of the level of rape; conservatives should be and are concerned about rape, too. As my original post suggested, there's a debate among serious scholars about the true incidence of rape; the 2000 per day figure is not outlandish, though it is on the high end of the estimates.
I tend to agree with Smithy--although I will go a step further and say it is not craziness
on the part of unhinged feminists--it is craftiness
. There is a logic and the subtle art of propaganda in these feminists' statistics that scream "give me more funding for women's issues ASAP." Heck, this exaggeration of stats even sells books out of fear--In Gavin De Becker's,The Gift of Fear,
he has a chapter on "Intimate Enemies" that reminds us that before our next breakfast, twelve women will be killed by domestic violence--man, that will really get you choking on your Cheerios. However, if we take a look at the tables by the Bureau of Justice,
I am a little puzzled that so many women's lives are being cut short before I have had my first meal of the day. I counted 1193 women killed by intimates in all of 2002--if 12 were killed before breakfast that would mean 4380 women would be killed during that time period.
I guess all we can deduce from this is that feminists with agendas can't do math.