Categories & Lessons of Violence; Reporting on Domestic Violence


Some thoughts on this article’s structure, media literacy; how we categorize and think about violence….

The article is about soldier’s suicides, but embedded with soldier’s suicides is the stories of family murders and domestic abuse.

There are some underlying assumptions culturally that we have when we read this article and those assumptions need to be questioned.

My question is what is the difference in domestic violence between one man and any other man based on the jobs they do for a living?

Does the job and social male networks and acceptable behavior concerning violence matter and in fact, influence men in what techniques they use?

Isn’t this just domestic violence by a man with different job?

( For example and contrast, We know that women doctors have one of the highest rates of suicide but are there family murders associated with women doctors who commit suicide? Most likely, NO.)

The way the article is written implies that the family murders and suicides are caused by the stresses of the job – by being a soldier. What part of being a soldier causes violence? Could this article have been written as a domestic violence story; as a series of domestic violence incidents without writing of the occupation and details about the job…..

Imagine it for a minute what it would look like.

Most articles about suicides and domestic violence do not imply or consider the occupations and social locations of people as relevant.

For example, I just saw a video reporting Paxil as a suspected cause for children’s suicides, it was not mentioned that these children were students and how youth have a new trend of suicides by hanging or whether the family was a domestic violence situation. The focus was Paxil as the reason for violence.

In contrast, we do not know if these soldiers committing suicide had been on any medications.

Many stories of violence in the media are reported with the cause of violence as solely one thing or another. Mental illness, not by a diagnosis from an involved professional, but by anyone claiming or suspecting it is written into a media story on violence often. Mental illness, by default, tends to ignore and disregard any social factors as a cause for violence. We rarely learn where men are employed and what social situations they are in that might be part of the story of violence so this article is a rare opportunity to consider it. It’s also important to consider how women victims of violence are treated based on the jobs – especially the job of being a mother – or prostitute (as we already know).

What does a man’s job and his social networking have to do with his violence? Do soldiers actually have more suicides and family murders than men from other occupations? What reason are we actually having some media consideration about this group of men’s violence and not over other occupational groups that are involved in violence? For example, police officers, bodyguards?

Naturally, when I read about waterboarding his daughter, I figured he learned that by recent exposure or media exposure to waterboarding. Is waterboarding something domestic violence advocates have heard many stories of? Is it that, for some, their jobs teach them how to be violent? Are variations in how they commit violence perpetrated by what they LEARN? I say this because, for years, I’ve seen questions to why a man is violent….and my answer is always because THEY LEARN IT. I do not ever see a story that says that a man committed violence because he learned it. Instead I see stories that a man commits violence because of job stresses, economic stresses, medications or not being on medications, mental illness or simply because we totally understand his harm. I believe that there are many things that may be partial reasons of why violence occurs, but I believe that it occurs primarily because men have learned it. I believe this because I, myself, have not only NOT learned violence, my attempts at learning it have failed, and what I do know about non-violence is often not learned. I know this because I learned it.


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