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Feelings in first place ... by Paul Craig Roberts

http://washtimes.com/commentary/20011022-19226712.htm
The Washington Times
October 22, 2001
Feelings in first place
by Paul Craig Roberts
     Three years ago I concluded a 16-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 ad 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 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 suffering in silence.
     How many times have you read: "In the United States 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 3 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 percent to 15 percent of men are abusers comes from
a survey that reported that 10.8 percent of the men committed minor acts
of violence and 2.5 percent committed more severe acts. The same survey
found that 12.4 percent of women committed minor acts and 4.7 percent
committed major acts of violence. Moreover, 67 percent of the women said
they had initiated the violence. Only 26 percent 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
percent 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.
 2001 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Copyright  2001 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Washington Times Home:  http://washtimes.com/

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