Flat White

That other violence

22 March 2021

7:39 PM

22 March 2021

7:39 PM

There was an enormous outpouring of emotion last week when thousands of women and men marched the March 4 Justice in the State capitals protesting violence against women. The march was an organised response to the alleged rape of a young woman in the Ministerial Wing of Parliament House.

It must have been noticed that the March 4 Justice is in addition to the various Women’s marches against domestic violence that took place in 2016 and 2017 in opposition to DonaldTrump’s presidency. Those marches were accompanied by millions of dollars worth of commonwealth and state government advertisements which, it must be said, tend to characterise domestic violence as a consumer problem rather than the moral problem it really is.

If a man resorts to violence to settle a disagreement even one provoked he is showing a lack of self-control, a lack of the moral quality of moderation. But when he resorts to violence against a person who is physically weaker than himself, he is a coward as well. Violence can only be excused when it is done in self-defence and it has to be proportionate to the threat.

There are only a few ways to teach a violent man how to exercise self-control. None of them involve a stern talking to, an appealing ad, or a lecture. It is possible — and it is decidedly unpleasant — if the man is still mentally a youth even if he is physically developed; ie, a late teen. Men without that forbearance, however, need to be kept away from society for a while.

In truth, it is simpler to start with the children in primary school. Young children self-control by learning to stand still, to march together, to not speak in class unless spoken to, to sit down, to stand up; to be polite and gentle with others in their class, especially those weaker than them. It is a moderation that is easily taught equally for all. But, school officials have to take a realistic view of the world.

Primary school boys will never treat girls as their equals for the very same reason that women today are protesting against having to compete against men in sport. The girls are not physically their equal and to understand how they are equal is beyond the school boy’s and girl’s intellectual capability. Most people who are happy to repeat ‘we are all equal’ without even wondering why the evidence for that proposition is equivocal.  

What we tend to forget is that as horrific as we find domestic violence, how contrary to everything this nation stands for, reading the almost weekly reports of women injured, raped and murdered we forget that the number of lawful, yes, legal killings, of women, men, girls and boys, and that is only counting abortions and euthanasia that every state permits and to which the Commonwealth turns a blind eye, is far greater than the number of domestic violence deaths, or in fact, domestic violence incidents.

Maybe our Prime Minister could bear that in mind next time he is looking for an issue to support with a morally indignant advertising campaign.

Dr David Long is a retired solicitor and economist.

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