Drum roll! The winner of the 2008 Award for Political Incorrectness is…
By Carey Roberts
It's that time of the year -- songs, shiny-wrapped presents, surprise visits by long-lost in-laws. And of course, our announcement of the annual Award for Political Incorrectness.
Previous winners of this highly-sought after prize include California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who took up the dicey issue of paternity fraud; columnist Phyllis Schlafly ("Shame on members of Congress who lack the courage to stand up to feminist outrages."); and Mark Inglis, the double-amputee who conquered Mt. Everest.
Last year's unanimous winners were Dave Evans, Reade Seligmann, and Collin Finnerty, the former Duke lacrosse players who bravely overcame a firestorm of rape hysteria unconscionably fanned by the media and university activists.
Let's open the envelope for 2008.
This year's award goes to an unassuming university professor who has devoted his career to the understanding and remedy of family violence. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health and was elected president of the National Council on Family Relations and the Eastern Sociological Society. Needless to say, his resumé is lengthy and impressive.
When he began his research in the 1970s, the public was well-acquainted with the stereotype of beer-swilling men who bullied their wives. That was the good professor's assumption, as well. But when he published his research findings in 1975, everyone was amazed -- women were just as likely as men to engage in partner violence.
When he did follow-up surveys over the following 20 years, the gender-equal results confirmed his original research. More surprising, when other researchers studied homosexual relationships, they found lesbians had the highest rates of partner aggression.
There was a problem, but not with the research itself.
The burgeoning feminist movement had staked out the domestic violence issue as its cri de coeur. The feminists had ginned up their own theory: Domestic violence is a hate crime perpetrated against women. Gloria Steinem said it best: "The patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself."
But what if all the research paints a completely different picture, showing heterosexual women are equally likely to aggress, and the highest rates of battering are found among lesbians? Obviously the hate crime theory goes out the window, and Steinem's breathless claim seems pretty far-fetched, as well.
So what's a good feminist to do about the good professor's research? Well, why not start a whispering campaign? Anything for the cause of female empowerment, right?
So feminists at his university organized telephone ring accusing him of being a misogynist. He was picketed repeatedly. At the University of Massachusetts, a group of shouting and stomping women prevented him from delivering a guest lecture. (Yes, these are the same women who claim to be working for a more peaceful and tolerant society.)
In Canada, Pat Marshall, chairwoman of the Commission on Violence Against Women, made this charge to a reporter about her meeting with the professor's wife: "I have never met a woman who looked so victimized." But when the writer called the woman, she said she had never been struck. Marshall was later forced to apologize.
When the professor was elected president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, a group of feminists stood up and walked out as he began his presidential address. And the threats continue to this day -- recently one of his PhD students was told she would never find a job if she did her doctoral research with him.
In the face of such opposition, many academics would go into another line of research, or begin to skew their data to be politically acceptable. But he would have none of that. Rather than being cowed by the threats, he opted to expose the motivations behind the attacks.
In one interview, he charged the criticisms of his work are "justifications of violence by women in the guise of feminism. This is a betrayal of the feminist ideal of a nonviolent world."
Then we went on to shed the light of truth their tactics.
Writing last year in the European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research, he cast the spotlight on how feminist academics conceal, deny, and distort the evidence. Then he detailed the ways in which feminists have corrupted the research on female-perpetrated abuse, even scheming to obstruct research funds that might identify female offenders. Finally he took aim at researchers who have "let their ideological commitments overrule their scientific commitments."
Interested persons can read this no-holds-barred paper here.
Congratulations, Dr. Murray Straus, director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. You are the winner of the 2008 Award for Political Incorrectness.
Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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