The sexist perception that violence by anyone against only women is anti­woman while violence by a woman against only men is just generic violence creates a political demand for laws that are even more protective of women. For example, when we publicized studies of battered women but ignored a dozen studies pointing to equal numbers of battered men,40 we felt justified in legislating a battered woman syndrome, but didn’t even think of a battered man syndrome. Soon, the battered woman syndrome became but one of twelve defenses potentially available for a woman who killed, but not available for a man who killed Now, if the media even simulates violence against women, we might call it a civil rights violation while real-life violence against men in football and wrestling is called education.

Although men are more likely than women to be victims of all violent crime except rape, the U. S. Senate is sponsoring a Violence against Women Act – an act which makes violence against women a hate crime and a violation of women’s civil rights, but not violence against men a hate crime and an act against men’s civil rights. In brief, it legislates sexual /«equality. The only way such an act could be constitutional is if women were subject to much more violence than men. Because it is men who are subject to much more violence, not only is a Violence against Women Act unconstitutional, but a Violence against Men Act might well be constitutional.

The Violence against Women Act provides $300 million for the protection of women against violent crimes, but nothing to protea men, $75 million for women’s shelters, but none for men’s shelters. Its subtitles tell the story: Safe Streets for Women, Safe Homes for Wbmen (emphasis supplied). . .

By law, all governmental acts are molded and modified based on testimony before the relevant congressional committee. The testimony is supposed to reflea all sides of an issue. But in this case, only women testified – fifteen women and no men – before the Committee on the Judiciary.41 No man who requested permission to testify was permitted.

What can we do to stop violence against both sexes? We can start by decreasing the expectation on men to be our killers and proteaors – from our personal bodyguards to our nation’s bodyguards. And we can stop eleaing legislators who feel they must protea women and forget men. The process starts with remembering that legislators cannot hear what we do not say.