Agenda Over Fact


PCR 10-17-01 CS abuse

Three years ago I concluded a sixteen-year
stint as a Business Week columnist with the
observation: “As the growing emphasis on feelings
crowds out reason, facts will play a smaller role in
public discourse.”

That was the safest prediction any economist ever
made. Respect for facts has a tenuous hold on the
allegiance of public policymakers, journalists,
academics, and many others with agendas unsupported by
the facts.

Recently, a history professor wrote a book citing
sources that don`t exist. What was important to the
professor was not truth, but making a case against gun
ownership.

To further their agendas, other professors have
fabricated life stories for themselves. A professor in
Maryland passed himself off as a Vietnam veteran and
told stories about events that never happened. Another
at Columbia created a history of himself as a
Palestinian refugee. One woman won a Nobel Prize in
Literature for a fabricated biography. Even some
scientists have made up global warming scenarios in
order to achieve their environmental objectives.

In a civilization in which so much depends on
adherence to fact, it is a scary thing to experience
fact playing second fiddle to emotions. If fact
becomes dispensable, what becomes of law, crime and
punishment, trials, contracts, insurance, finance,
technology, science, and identity?

Almost anywhere we look, we can find examples of
propaganda crowding out truth. Consider the issue of
domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. The
premise of domestic violence is that it is something
men do to women. A current issue of National Review,
for example, has a two-page add sponsored by the
tobacco company Philip Morris. One page has the face
of an attractive young woman. The other page is text
designed to arouse anger at men:

“He said he beat me because I deserved it. Now I know
I deserve better.” “`He tried to strangle me last
night.` Melissa cried as she wrote these words, eight
months pregnant and seeking an order of protection
from her husband. Their high school romance had seemed
like a fairy tale, but when the honeymoon ended the
beatings began.”

There are shelters for battered women, domestic
violence coordinating councils, and magazine and
newspaper articles and advertisements that encourage
women to report their husbands to the police just as
they would report any other criminal.

Seminars warn women that a raised male voice
constitutes abuse and is a prelude to a beating.

Feminists believe that the percentage of men who are
abusers is far higher than arrest records indicate.
From this belief they conclude that hoards of abused
women are sufering in silence.

How many times have you read: “In the U.S. a man beats
a woman every 12 seconds”? Have you ever wondered
where these statistics come from or how often women
batter men?

In his book, “The Revolt of the Primitive,” Howard S.
Schwartz shows that the one-sided portrait of men as
abusers of women is constructed out of fabrications
and selective reporting of real studies.

The most extensive data base on domestic violence is
the National Family Violence Survey, funded by the
National Institutes of Mental Health and supervised by
Murray A. Straus and Richard J. Gelles. Their
conclusion that women are as likely to be violent and
to initiate violence as men is one of the best
replicated findings in all of social science.

A 1999 Canadian study by Brad Evenson and Carol
Milstone, reported in the National Post, found that
“women are just as violent to their spouses as men,
and women are almost three times more likely to
initiate violence in a relationship.” The National
Post noted that the study “deals a blow to the image
of the male as the traditional domestic aggressor.”

Dishonest feminists created the image to fit their
agenda by selectively reporting and emphasizing only
instances of male violence. The feminist claim that
12%-!5% of men are abusers comes from a survey, which
reported that10.8 percent of the men committed minor
acts of violence and 2.5% committed more severe acts.
The same survey found that 12.4% of women committed
minor acts and 4.7% committed major acts of violence.
Moreover, 67% of the women said they had initiated the
violence. Only 26% of the women blamed the male.

Ironically, it is mainly uninformed males, such as Dan
Rather and Philips Morris executives, who spread the
feminist propaganda. When Dan Rather termed Super Bowl
Sunday “a day of dread for American women,” he was
giving credibility to the feminist claim that wife
beatings shot up 40% on the day of the big game. This
feminist hoax was finally exposed by Ken Ringle in the
Washington Post.

When confronted with their false reporting, feminists
say that they trust their feelings about men more than
“gender-biased statistics.” Like others, they are not
interested in information that gets in the way of an
agenda.

Paul
Craig Roberts is the author (with Lawrence M. Stratton)
of The
New Color
Line : How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy

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