After many years of work in relation to gender violence, late last year I decided to present  what I have called ” The Reversed Statistic”, my perspective on violent aggression of men against women.

‘ The Reversed Statistic ‘ defines the erroneous and widespread perception that people have of  violence whenever exercised by violent men against women, as a result of an equally confuse identification of victims and perpetrators. The Reversed Statistic is generated by a set of false premises like the following ones:

That the violence exercised by violent men on women is identified with the number of abused women and not with the number of men doing the assaults.

That the focus of attention, and thus the focus of criticism, has been moved to the attitude of the victim and not on the aggressive and repeated violent personality of the aggressor.

That a profile for battered women is instituted, so that they can be recognizable, rather than to designate a profile for the violent man so he can be recognized by society in general. Moreover, these profiles are prone to confusion because the profile of a woman capable of being abused shows up when you are actually describing the profile drawn after she has suffered her battered woman syndrome.

That, always referring to the woman, most wonder: why doesn’t she go away? Why does she stay there? Why not go to therapy? Instead of directing the questioning to the aggressor, the one  who should answer them.

That statistical data on gender violence almost exclusively report the number of women victims and contribute little or nothing about the true statistic that would provide reliable data, that is, data describing the number of violent men exercising their violence against women.

That although done unconsciously -but systematically- the responsibility for the problem of gender violence is made to fall in the woman as she is the perfect fit of the profile that has been distributed of her, actually implying that if that profile did not exist there would have been no aggression at all.

Due to this misunderstood allusion to the woman in the statistics on violence, the idea has been created that it is she who must change, learn, solve, consult, go to therapy, etc. But it should be remembered that it is the woman, the victim, who must undergo all of this after suffering the battered woman syndrome, after suffering the violence from the violent man. Prior to the occurrence she would not have needed to go to different therapies, or at least no more than anyone else.

My concept of Reversed Statistic is not a condemnation of machismo as a single cause of violence against women. It intends to make clear the fact that by means of obsolete reasoning and poor arguments an ineffective loop is nurtured in which no solution is given to the violence against women but it serves to solve the moral question of the man who exercises the violence. I will not rely on existing machismo but on how this reality has helped the violent man to exercise his instinct with impunity.

We should not allow the discourse of machismo to be the same as it was when we started to rebel against it.Today, as we already walk towards a degree of fair coexistence of the sexes compared to what we had just a few decades ago, it is convenient to remember what we demand and offer, as a society. What we, as a society, wanted to fight, what we no longer accept as a fair universal standard. What we want to set up from now on, as a joint team of men and women, both fundamental members of a world and a life meant to be left as a legacy for future generations. In such a society, that we say we want to build, there can be no room for violence covered by a machismo discourse that tries to justify every attempt on life commited by the violent. And the rest of society falls unwittingly into his trap, and thus gets him his alibi.

It is not domestic violence; it is not simply man’s violence. It is violence by a man who is violent, and this is neither tenable nor justifiable and those who do it are harbouring a crime.

The term machismo/macho is already so large and has given so much of it that, to repeat, the aggressive man and confirmed aggressor has found without effort a new gap through which to escape, not just because his violent personality goes unpunished but because his public exposure fails and he remains anonymous. His aggression gets shielded in socials dissertations that, without people realizing it, have almost automatically moved away from the real problem: there is an aggressive man, an aggressor who has found an ally in the existing worldwide machismo which helps to hide his evil personality. It is essential that the general public lose their fear to identify the violent man. To do that, the media must help break this collective self-suggestion making visible the other side of the problem, the aggressor. Only then, the violent man will get the hint.

A great breakthrough has been achieved by the fact that the battered woman sees herself as the victim. Next we must also get the violent man to accept he is acting the role of the aggressor.

 

Translated by Arturo Guillén