The worst war of all, said G. K. Chesterton, is the war between the sexes.
That is because we are all born of a mother and begotten by a father. This mother-father-child triangle is a universal of human experience. Even those with dead or absent parents live forever with the presence of the absence, so to speak. When governments founder, economies collapse, or wars devastate, this indelible community of men, women and children is all we have.
So it is all the sadder every December to see the feverish grasping for exaggerated claims by a stupefied media and crass activists, eager to convert the sadness of the 1989 Lepine slaughter of 14 female students into a national male-hating enterprise. Women were urged to indulge in a "march of rage and mourning," as part of a program to combat "violence against women."
Let us be clear. Marc Lepine was a nut. Whatever he believed, for us to insist he slaughtered gender diminishes his crime. Those girls were full human beings, and his was the highest crime. It is their humanity, not their gender, we must remember, and in remembering, save them from any foul, narrow motive - and from politics.
Feminists argue it was "patriarchy" that made him do it. But it was male-hating feminists that upset Mr. Lepine so much. So in his mind he was retaliating. Feminism made him do it.
Either way, what is wrong with both arguments is that they rely on the falseness of gender hatred, when in fact most men and women very much enjoy the opposite sex.
And "violence against women" is a myth because human violence - of which there is not a great deal in Canadian society - is a matter of wicked people of either gender who are strong, taking advantage of the weak.
In society at large it is males who commit the most violence. Of some 13,000 prisoners in Canada's federal prison system, only a few hundred are females.
But there are two things most people do not know, and should. Overwhelmingly, the victims of violent crime in Canada - are also males. It is for them, if for any, we should be grieving. And (are you ready?) copious research, both in Canada and the U.S.A. shows that females, while physically unaggressive in public, are just as violent as males in the home, where their instincts and passions are easily aroused.
Canadian researchers such as Brinkerhoff and Lupri of the University of Calgary, found the same results as American researchers Straus and Gelles, who set the standards in this field: that "in marked contrast to the behavior of women outside the home, women are about as violent within the family as men."
It is widely believed that wife-to-husband violence is mostly self-defense by the weaker sex. But Straus, in follow-up studies of the 428 "battered" women from his voluminous U.S. National Survey reporting the first hitter, found that husbands struck the first blow 42.6% of the time, and wives, 52.7%. Men may do more damage, body to body, but many studies show women seek weapons first, and do more serious damage with them.
For the entire last decade, 65% all canadian murder victims were males. Women tended to be killed by husbands, or live-in boyfriends, but men tended to get killed by other men - often strangers - and also by women or wives. In the U.S.A., about the same number of legally married wives and husbands kill each other every year - not many.
The respected american sociologist S.K. Steinmetz reports that women are 62% more likely than men to abuse children, that boys are twice as likely to suffer at their mothers' hands than girls, and throughout history women have been the primary perpetrators of infanticide.
So Straus and Gelles conclude that "wife-beating" is "a political rather than a scientific term," and that violence by wives has not (yet) been defined as a problem in the public mind. This is a scientist's way of saying that on this as on so many other topics, radical feminists and left-liberals have captured the media, attempting to turn a very small problem into a huge one for political purposes.
The truth is that men and women are in this together, and we'd best stop the gender-hatred stuff and get on with a concerted effort to normalize our assumptions. Every study of violent behaviour ever done shows that the very best protection against crime is the intact, traditional family, especially where there is strong religious faith, and no drug or alcohol use. Single, and broken families tend to score big on sociopathology.
A classic study comparing divorce, crime, and drug-infested Nevada with the neighbouring state of Utah, shows that Utah is the reverse image of Nevada on every imaginable social and health (and cost) scale. What protects Utah residents is their moral strength, and determination to uphold the traditional family.
So it is not very surprising to read of a 1994, British Medical Journal study analyzing 9,000 crimes committed in eleven different countries, showing that TWO-THIRDS OF ALL VIOLENT OFFENDERS AND FIFTY PER CENT OF THEIR VICTIMS - WERE DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME.
Now that's sobering.