Saturday, 14 March 2009

Feeling really good...

I am feeling a renewed enthusiasm about blogging. Lately, I have at times been wondering whether to discontinue, thinking that I may have nothing relevant or new to say. Or, perhaps, it has been more that I have been blogging for about six months now and the novelty and excitement had worn off.

But now passion has returned, courtesy of "Anonymous". His comment reminded me of just how warped and isolated the world view of some human beings can be and how vital it is to keep banging away and presenting alternative visions. Of which mine is just one among many. I neither expect nor want to convert anyone to my way of thinking. This is, in any case, impossible since that way of thinking has developed over many years and has its roots in experiences which are unique to me. Uniformity of thought is the aim of totalitarians of both right and left and I will oppose it to the best of my ability. At best, I hope that I stimulate critical thought. Such thought, however, to have any real validity, should be grounded in experience and observable reality - not in received dogma and prejudice.

I accept that many men have suffered at the hands - or even fists - of the women in their lives. Any such assaults should be taken seriously. No argument. But then some men assert that such assaults are at least as endemic as men's assaults on women. Just yesterday, a London taxi driver was convicted on 12 counts of drugging and attacking women passengers. All in a matter of about a year. So his average is about attack a month - and that is just those of which he has been convicted.

I do not know his motives. He testified that "he craved female attention in the wake of a series of failed relationships". And yet he drugged them into unconsciousness - a strange way to gain "attention". It sounds more like revenge. Perhaps he sees himself as a victim of uncaring and predatory women and this was his way of getting back at them. I don't know. What i do know is that I have, in both professional and personal life, heard many men express such deep anger. I have also heard and read women who have expressed similar anger against men. Their response, however, seems to consist of withdrawing from relationships with men - not seeking them out, drugging them and sexually assaulting them. That is solely the preserve of the out-of-control, angry and inadequate man.

Of course, this taxi-driver is an exception. Very few men behave like that. Just as there are few Peter Sutcliffes or Ted Bundys. A list of serial killers shows, however, that they overwhelmingly male and that their victims were predominantly female. And that there have been frighteningly many of them.

I was just looking at the US Dept of Justice statistics on intimate partner murders and came across something very interesting. In 1976 the sexes were fairly evenly balanced with male victims numbering 1,304 and female victims 1,587. Over the next 28 years, however, the gap widens until in 2005 the figures are 329 men to 1181 women. It is interesting to speculate about the reasons for this trend. Perhaps it is something to do with the rise of feminism and an easier access to divorce and women generally preferring to terminate a relationship and set up on their own in a less lethal way than men. And that, of course, leads to further speculation as to why men prefer a dead partner to a divorced one. One immediate thought is that it is bound up with notions of ownership and men preferring to destroy their property rather than lose it - especially to another.

I do not know the answers to such questions but I have opinions. Many of these will, undoubtedly, be wrong. I hope that when people disagree they comment, preferably without resorting to personal abuse. I will not delete any comment, however abusive, unless that abuse extends to any other person or it becomes purely repetitive. I will not, however, directly answer anybody who lacks the courage to sign such abuse and reserve the right to express my utter and complete contempt for any such coward.

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