the Archpriest of Talavera on women and violence against men

Battle of Adwa, 1896, Ethiopia vs. Italy

In medieval Europe, courtly romances valorized violence against men and male disposability.  Even the mighty knight Don Quixote could not extirpate these pernicious ideas of chivalry from European consciousness, which went on to colonize the world.  The extraordinarily expensive raising of the Costa Concordia does nothing to challenge the intellectual leaders seeking to keep men on sinking ships.  Humankind’s best hope for lessening violence against men and lengthening men’s lives is to study the blunt, lusty, irreverently truthtelling Archpriest of Talavera.  He fearlessly teaches that women are key.

Some thought leaders have expressed concern that the Archpriest of Talavera was an anti-meninist.  Today’s well-educated readers will not read any work authoritatively labeled anti-meninist.  That’s reasonable.  A reader doesn’t want to come under public suspicion of anti-meninism.  A high intellectual official declaring a person to be anti-meninist is tantamount today to a public death sentence.

But was the Archpriest of Talavera an anti-meninist?  This question has been of central concern to medieval scholars.  While in such matters scholars generally prefer to error on the side of caution, the sparse evidence from the Archpriest of Talavera’s life in early-fifteen-century Spain suggests that he may not have been anti-meninist.[1]  The one work securely attributed to him devotes more attention to women than to men.  But throughout history, women have received more attention than men have.  Men in the Archpriest of Talavera’s work have less lively and distinctive voices than women do, and the men tend to be subordinate to women as actors.[2]  That’s an under-appreciated, general historical pattern.  It isn’t evidence that the Archpriest of Talavera was an anti-meninist.

The Archpriest of Talavera described men’s subordination to women, but he didn’t necessary support it.  For example, he described how a woman directs her choleric lover to violence.  The woman bursts into tears.  Then she declares to her lover:

Do you think it’s right for What’s-her-name or So-and-so to insult me in public, calling me a whore and concubine?  She called me a married whore and said such nasty things about me that I wish I had died before I became your mistress!  Alas, poor wretch that I am!  Now I am dishonored and undone!  And by whom?  By a vile whore, dirt under my feet!  Or by a low scoundrel, scum of the earth!  Do you think I’ll put up with that?  Rather, I’ll forswear myself, by God and my soul!  I’ll run off with a Moor from over the sea, or with the basest footman in Castile!  That’s all I’ve got to say!

{ ¿Parécevos esto bien, que Fulana o Fulano me ha deshonrado en plaza? ¿Y cómo? Bien a su voluntad llamándome puta amigada. Díjome puta casada, y díjome tales y tales injurias, que más querría ser muerta que ser en vuestro poder venida. ¡Ay de mí, cuitada! ¡Ahora soy difamada y deshonrada! Y ¿de quién? ¡De una puta bellaca, suela de mi zapata! o ¡De un bellaco vil, suela de mi chapín! Pues si esto vos parece que yo debo sufrir, en antes renegaría yo de mí en Dios y mi ánima; antes me fuese con un moro de allén la mar o con el más vil hombre de pie que en Castilla hubiese, y no digo más }[3]

Hearing such words, the man immediately picks up his sword and rushes out to do violence to the woman who insulted his lover.  The other woman’s lover will rise in her defense.  The two men will seek to kill each other or grievously wound each other.  Men’s violence and violence against men is rooted in men’s sexual-relational subordination to women.  That isn’t anti-meninist ideology.  It’s reality.

While violence against men attracts little public concern today, medieval women were concerned about violence against men.  The man who sought to avenge the insult to his lover was seriously injured in the fight with the other woman’s lover.  The Archpriest of Talavera observes of the woman and her lover:

When her lover is brought back to her house wounded or having wounded, the blessed promoter of it all scratches her arse (speaking with due reverence) and says: “Unhappy creature that I am, shamed and undone! O Lord, what will become of me now?  Who cut your face?  Who killed you?  Who struck you such a blow?  Holy Virgin! Dear Jesus, to Thee I commend him!  Don’t break my heart!  Woe is me!  Bring me eggs!  Bring me lint! Bring me wine to make a compress! … Are you hurt?  Unlucky wretch that I am, born in an evil hour!” Etc.

{ Y cuando entra herido por casa o ha herido, ráscase la bendita de la promovedora de ello las nalgas -con reverencia hablando- diciendo: “¡Cuitada, mezquina, turbada, corrida! ¡Yuy, y qué será de mí! Señor, ¿quién vos hirió por la cara? o ¿Quién me vos mató? o ¿Quién vos dio tal golpe? ¡Virgen María! ¡A ti lo acomiendo, Jesús mío! ¡Bueno, y no me lastimes! ¡Ay, triste de mí! ¡Daca huevos; daca estopa; daca vino para estopadas! … ¡Triste de mí, que en hora mala nací!”, etc. }[4]

The wounded man is lucky enough to be bleeding next to his woman as she enjoys wine.  If the man inflicted wounds, then the many other men who serve as the punishing end of the law will be after him:

He will lose his possessions and live in hiding and run away, abandoning his country and his house, and will wander about in foreign parts, making a living for magistrates, constables, and notaries, and all because of those accursed, damned, unlucky, poisonous, cruel, and monstrous tears!

{ después han de perder lo que tienen y andar escondidos y huidos; dejar sus tierras y casas y andar por las ajenas, y dar de comer a los alcaldes, alguaciles y notarios. Y esto se les viene de cada día por estas lágrimas negras, malditas, mal aventuradas, rabiosas y emponzoñadas, venenosas, crueles y desmesuradas. }

As a rare man who feels men’s pain, the Archpriest of Talaveda exclaims:

Lord, would that I could weigh the tears of a woman, had I but the knowledge!  Truly a single tear of hers outweighs a hundredweight of lead or copper!  A curse upon him, amen, who does not ponder this and who, when sees a woman in tears, does not consider that they are merely an instrument of vengeance.

{ ¡Ay Dios, quién pudiese pesar una lágrima de mujer! ¡Si el hombre tan discreto y sabio fuese! Por cierto, más pesa una lágrima de ellas que un quintal de plomo o de cobre: ¡maldito sea el que en esto no pensare, amén! Cuando lágrimas de ellas viere, que primero tome acuerdo que venganza }

Men lack the strength to stand up to women’s tears.  Violence against men will decrease when fewer woman cry for violence against men, and more weep for violence against men.

Weeping women are essential for any mass-media news report of serious public concern.  Women’s tears far outweigh men’s lives.  Men will never achieve equality with women until their interests are supported with women’s tears.

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[1] Whitbourn (1970), pp. 48-52, reviews the scholarly moral judgments on the personal merit of the long-dead Archpriest of Talavera.  Solomon (1997) completely misses the spirit of the Archpriest of Talavera and creates, in an uncanny contrast, a work of mind-numbing dullness.

[2] The Archpriest of Talavera’s work is of course the book Archpriest of Talavera by Alonso Martínez de Toledo.

[3] Alfonso Martínez de Toledo, Archpriest of Talavera, Part 3, Ch. 8, Spanish text from the online presentation by Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes of the edition of Gerli (1979), English translation from Simpson (1959) p. 182.  Subsequent quotes above are similarly from id. pp. 183-5.  Naylor & Rank (2013), which provides a scholarly translation of the full work, has similar but somewhat less lively text.

[4] Eggs yolk and wine were used in ancient treatments for wounds.  See, e.g. McCallum (2008) p. 272 (ancient Romans treating wounds with egg yolk) and Luke 10:34 (pouring oil and wine on a wound).  Jacopo Berengario da Carpi, On Fracture of the Skull Or Cranium (1518), states that wounds are frequently treated with rose oil and egg yolk.

[image] My photograph of a painting of the Battle of Adwa, by an anonymous Ethiopian artist, dated c. 1968, in the collection of the National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC.


Gerli, Michael, ed. 1979. Alfonso Martínez de Toledo. Arcipreste de Talavera o Corbacho. Madrid: Cátedra.

McCallum, Jack Edward. 2008. Military medicine from ancient times to the 21st century. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Naylor, Eric W., and Jerry Rank. 2013. The Archpriest of Talavera by Alonso Martínez de Toledo: dealing with the vices of wicked women and the complexions of men. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Simpson, Lesley Byrd Simpson. 1959. Alfonso Martínez de Toledo.  Little sermons on sin: the Archpriest of Talavera. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Solomon, Michael. 1997. The literature of misogyny in medieval Spain: the “Arcipreste de Talavera” and the “Spill”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Whitbourn, Christine J. 1970. The Arcipreste de Talavera and the Literature of Love. Hull: University of Hull Publications.

punched cards for library book circulation

library punched card

I recently found a punched-card book circulation card in a library book.  Old-fashioned forms of meta-data incorporated in the book indicate:

  1. The book was published in 1971 by Librarie Droz of Geneva.  Information printed on title page.
  2. The book was printed in Belgium.  Information printed on end page.
  3. The Georgetown University Libraries acquired the book about June 19, 1973, apparently unbound.  Stamped on end page.
  4. The Heckman Bindery (“bound to please”) bound the book in July, 1973, in N. Manchester, Indiana.  Heckman Bindery used an “approved library binding.” Sticker applied to inside back cover.

The punched-card circulation card probably was incorporated into the book in 1973.[*]  That’s only 40 years ago.  This library book is now checked out with a light-scanned barcode feeding into a computerized, online-queriable book circulation system.  The contents of the book, Kitab Bilawhar wa Budasf, were probably written in eighth-century central Asia.  Imagine this library book in circulation 1300 years in the future!

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[*] Punched card library book circulation systems were in use in the 1970s.  CalMeachem over at the Straight Dope Message Board wrote:

When they first switched over to computers, Rutgers University library had an IBM card punch machine at the checkouts. When you took out a book they manually punched in the call number on the card, along with your information, then duplicated the card. One went into a stack to be batch-processed in those pre-network days, the other into the card holder glued into the book from pre-computer days. Checking out a stack of books could take a long time. And I kinda miss than quaint Ka-CHUNK, chunka-chunka-chunka-CHUNK of the old IBM card punches. Nowadays they just laser-scan the bar code and it all automatically goes into the system.

Giles added:

I worked in two academic libraries in Australia that had similar systems back in the 1970s.

men’s enlightened self-realization in the early Arabic life of Buddha

Josaphat Buddha overcame temptation through a night journey

How do men best realize their distinctive human nature? Within the contemporary, real-life rubble of social constructions of gender and the pervasive buzz about “what women want,” that question flies like a brick thrown at a man’s head.  It hurts.  Kitab Bilawhar wa Budasf, an eighth-century Arabic life of Buddha, addressed men with empathy, compassion, and diverse, profound thought.[1]  It rewrote the creation of man in Genesis, explicitly acknowledged the goodness of men’s sexual desires, and re-imagined the night journey of the prophet of Islam in Islamic tradition. Kitab Bilawhar wa Budasf considered men’s enlightened self-realization in a way nearly inconceivable today.

The understanding of man’s nature comes from a specific account of nurture.  Budasf sought the ascetic life of Buddha.  Budasf’s father, King Janaysar, strove to turn Budasf toward worldly pleasures.[2]  An adviser instructed King Janaysar with the story of a boy and demons.  In that story, a king had a baby boy.  The king’s astrologer-physicians declared that if the boy saw the sun or the things of the world before reaching age ten, he would die.[3]  The king thus had the infant boy raised in a subterranean cave.  The boy grew to age ten without having seen the sun or the things of the world.

The king then arranged to give the boy knowledge of the world.  Things of the world were set out in various places for the boy to see on a tour of the world.  Whenever the boy passed by any new thing, he asked what it was.  He was told its name.  The boy thus learned the names of animals and plants and goods and merchandise.  When the boy went by finely dressed girls, he asked what they were.  The boy was told: “These are demons who seduce and agitate men.”[4]  The boy nonetheless was filled with love and admiration for the demons.  At the end of his tour of the world, the boy was presented to his father.  His father asked him what he had seen that was most beautiful and most admirable.  The boy declared:

I have never seen, O King, among all that I have encountered today, anything more captivating, more admirable, more beautiful to my eyes, than those demons!

Despite his asocial upbringing and disparaging teaching about girls, the boy loved girls.

Kitab Bilawhar wa Budasf’s story of the boy and the demons plays counterpoint to the second creation account in Genesis.  In Genesis, God formed man from moist earth.  In Kitab Bilawhar wa Budasf, the boy enters the world after being shaped from infancy in a subterranean cave.  Genesis gives man the power to name.  In the story of the boy, names precede the boy and instruct him.  In Genesis as well as in the story of the boy, creation generates natural, heterosexual love.[5]  The power to name is powerless against that love.  But that love is not the end of the story.

After being instructed with the story of the boy and the demons, King Janaysar surrounded his son with four thousand girls.  They were the most physically beautiful girls the King could find throughout his kingdom.  The King ordered the girls to wear the most splendid finery they could find, the most tempting and the most strongly exciting for men’s sexual desire.  The King ordered the four thousand beautiful girls to serve Budasf and recall him to the pleasures of the world.

The girls enacted a heterosexual male fantasy much more elaborate than those in our pornographic age.  The girls joyfully did everything that men like:

They came to him acting like men on holidays, or armed as for a day of battle, or with the clothes men wear for hunting, together with all the outfits that make women adorned and congenial.  They undressed, except for their underwear, singing and calling in chorus, then they got naked, teasing him, flirting with him, engaging repeatedly in coquetry, shy gestures, sweet words, and without ceasing to sing and play music, talking to him of love, and speaking again and again of their affection for him.  And all this was for him a severe trial.

A most severe trial it surely was.  The girls acted like guy buddies, doing guy things.  The girls also got naked and sang and importuned him for his love.  How could any man resist four thousand beautiful girls surrounding him and doing this?

These girls were no bimbos.  They reasoned with Budasf to convince him to enjoy the pleasures of the world:

Frequently, if they halted importuning him for love, they made a circle about him, and explained to him the correctness of the king’s doctrine {of enjoying the pleasures of the world} and the righteousness that was associated with it, and the weakness of his own doctrine {of Buddhist ascetic living} and the falsity of his conduct, and they did this more eloquently than men would have done.

One girl among them was a daughter of a king.  She was the most beautifully attractive and the most remarkable in intelligence, science, and judgment.  She charmed Budasf:

Budasf was seduced by her, dazzled by the beauty of her forms, the excellence of her intelligence, and sureness of her words.

She proposed to him:

let me enjoy you in bed for one year, and — I make this promise before God — I will adopt your religion, and I will live chastely with you up to the time of my death.

Budasf attempted to reason with her against this proposition.  She defeated him in reasoning.[6]  He then adopted a non-thinking defense: “He tried to guard against her by looking away from her beauty.”  But she pressed forward her proposition:

Do not forbid me, O son of the King, to enter your presence, to follow your rule, and to endure suffering next to you, in payment to me for enjoying pleasure with you for a year; or, if you don’t want that, for a month; or else, for only one night!  You cannot refuse this to a soul who you would save and make ready to adopt the religion of God.

What God-loving man, with charity for a fellow soul, could reject that proposition?

He made her swear that she would adopt the religion of God, and that she would steadfastly follow God’s commandments.  Then, having promised this to him,  she came to him for the night of her purification.  He spent the night with her, and she conceived a son.

This service to woman and God did not free Budasf from the four thousand beautiful girls besieging him.  Their presence overwhelmed him:

Budasf sought help in prayer, but the girls distracted him from it with their playing of music.  In his eyes, in his ears, in his heart, he was dazzled and delighted by what he saw of their bodies, by what he heard of their voices, and by the pleasure to him of being near to them and seeing them. [7]

Budasf was trapped in his body’s sense of women.

A night journey gave Budasf a much different vision.  One night he prostrated himself in prayer. His soul was enraptured and left his body.  Bilawhar and another ascetic master led his soul into paradise.  The basest things in paradise were assembled before him to compare with girls in their most beautiful aspect.  The basest things in paradise compared to beautiful girls looked to him like dogs and pigs would look to those girls.  Girls were presented to him in the crude physicality of human life from conception to natural death: feces, menstrual blood, white hair, old age, sickness, and infirmity.[8]  His guides announced to him good news, comforted him, and showed him his place in paradise.  Then they returned his soul to his body.

When Budasf awoke, he saw the world differently.  The girls were around him, mourning his apparent death.  They appeared ugly to him.  He was filled with repulsion for them.  His night journey made his commitment to Buddhist ascetic life invulnerable to the worldly attractiveness of girls.  The night journey in Islamic tradition (isra and miraj) provides a vision of paradise and hell.  It helps to guide Muslims in Islam.[9]  Budasf’s night journey functioned similarly for him, but in the ascetic way of Buddha.

The story of the boy and the demons described male human nature.  Budasf’s night journey remade his male human nature to direct him to the paradise of Buddha.  The truth of male human nature isn’t inconsistent with the possibility of male self-transcendence.  With guides, prayer, and willful practice, men can transcend themselves and the world.  According to the teaching of Kitab Bilawhar wa Budasf, enlightened self-realization is a matter of particular circumstances and will.

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[1] I judge the eighth century to be the most plausible time for writing Kitab Bilawhar wa-Budasf, and I presume that this or similar Arabic texts generated the Christian Barlaam and Josaphat corpus.  These are matters of some scholarly controversy.  Recently a knowledgeable scholar declared:

The archetypical recension of the Christian legend of Barlaam and Ioasaph, a remote ancestor of the Greek romance composed by Euthymius the Iberian, goes back to the Palestinian monasticism of the first half of the 7th century.

Lourié (2011) p. 178.  The early Georgian-Christian version is most probably a close adaption of an Arabic source.  Lang (1966).  The influential, late-tenth-century Greek version composed by Euthymius was surely made from a Georgian source.  See Volk (2009); Volk (2006) provides a new critical edition of the Greek text (both reviewed here).  Kitab Bilawhar wa-Budasf draws upon a wide range of material.  Lourié (2011) highlights the importance of sources and history in northern Africa.  Kitab Bilawhar wa-Budasf may also have drawn upon a prior Christian hagiography of Barlaam and Josaphat.

[2]  Lack of procreation was also a concern about the ascetic life.  The King’s adviser suggests that ascetics:

stop procreation, which is the grace by which the land is peopled, and with which the goodness of God finds its realization.

Kitab Bilawhar wa-Budasf, from Arabic trans. into French, Gimaret (1971) p. 139, my translation into English.  The story of the chivalric warrior, which immediately precedes the story of the boy and the demons, also emphasizes the social importance of sex.  In the Georgian-Christian version, the King’s adviser formulates a plan to convince Budasf/Iosaphat that:

it is good to build up his city and countries and enjoy the delights thereof, and that quitting the world, voluntarily embracing death, and dooming a man to childless extinction, is a complete fallacy.

Trans. Lang (1966) p. 123.  Budasf/Iosaphat declares to the King:

You allege that your land will be depopulated through the multiplying of monks.

Id. p. 126.  The King expresses concern that if too many men become monks, the land will be laid waste.  Id. pp. 123, 125.

[3] In the ninth-century Georgian-Christian adaptation, the boy cannot enter the world until age 12.  Twelve is an important number in Jewish and Christian scripture.  The most plausible analogical context is Jesus teaching in the temple at age 12.  Luke 2:41-47.

[4] Kitab Bilawhar wa-Budasf, from Arabic trans. into French, Gimaret (1971) p. 199, my translation into English.  All subsequent quotations, unless otherwise notes, are similarly from id., pp. 199-202.  My paraphrasing of the story follows the text very closely.

[5] Genesis 2:4-25. Genesis 1:26-30 gives humans dominion over all the animals and plants of the earth. Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa n. 22 (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity, Epistle 22, “The Case of Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn”), an Ismaili-Arabic text thought to be from about the tenth century, is organized as a reasoned debate of that dominion.  For an English translation, see Goodman & McGregor (2009).  Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa cites and quotes from Kitab Bilawhar wa-Budasf. Gimaret (1971) pp. 36-8.

[6] In the Georgian-Christian adaptation, the girl supports her proposition by quoting Christian scripture: “Marriage is honorable to all” (Hebrews 13:4).  The copyist at this point added a note: “Christ, deliver us from the snares of the devil.”  Trans. Lang (1966) p. 146.  Budasf/Iodasaph responds:

That is so, but I should not win the grace of self-denial with those who have endured and quenched the furnace of the flesh.

Cf. 1 Corithinians 7:8-9.

[7] Buddhist stories of the daughters of Mara tempting Buddha probably were a source for the story of Budasf’s temptation.  See Guruge (1988).

[8] The text adds:

and that wasn’t even showing him all the adulteries and debaucheries, in the past or to come, all the pregnancies and all the deliveries of children.

The Georgian-Christian adaptation is less earthy and more abstractly moralistic.  In that version, Budasf is shown punishments in hell:

Afterwards they took him into hell and he saw the terrible torments suffered by each sinner there, which nobody can enumerate except God who devised them. Again he heard a voice saying: ‘This is the retribution of godless mortals and sinners, who had abandoned Christ our God and fallen in love with this world. Here they shall be tormented for ever and for all eternity.

Trans. Lang (1966) p. 147.  In the Georgian-Christian adaptation and the subsequent Barlaam and Josaphat corpus, Budasf/Josaphat doesn’t have sex with the king’s daughter.

[9] Colby (2008) reviews the relevant texts in the Islamic tradition.  Written accounts of isra and miraj from the eighth century are relatively rare.

[image] Illustration of Muhammad’s night journey to heaven (miraj). From a version of the Khamsa of Nizami.  This version was produced from 1539-43 in Tabriz and ascribed to Sultan Muhammad.  Thanks to Wikipedia volunteers.


Colby, Frederick Stephen. 2008. Narrating Muḥammad’s night journey: tracing the development of the Ibn Abbās ascension discourse. Albany: SUNY Press.

Goodman, Lenn Evan and Richard J. A. McGregor, ed. and trans. 2009. Ikhwan al-Safa.  Epistles of the Brethren of Purity. an Arabic critical edition and English translation of Epistle 22. Oxford: Oxford University Press in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies.

Gimaret, Daniel, ed. and trans. 1971. Le Livre de Bilawhar et Būd̲āsf: selon la version arabe ismaélienne. Genève: Paris, Droz.

Guruge, Ananda W.P. 1988. “The Buddha’s Encounters with Mara the Tempter: Their Representation in Literature and Art.” Sri Lanka Journal of Buddhist Studies, vol. II. Made available by the Buddhist Publication Society, Access to Insight.

Lang, David Marshall, ed. and trans. 1966. The Balavariani (Barlaam and Josaphat). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Lourié, Basil. 2011. “India ‘Far Beyond Egypt’: Barlaam and Ioasaph and Nubia in the 6th Century.”  Pp. 135-180 in Gero, Stephen, Dmitrij Bumazhnov, Emmanouela Grypeou, Timothy B. Sailors, and Alexander Toepel. 2011. Bibel, Byzanz und Christlicher Orient: Festschrift für Stephen Gerö zum 65. Geburtstag. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters en Departement Oosterse Studies.

Volk, Robert. 2006. Die Schriften des Johannes von Damaskos VI/2: Historia animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph (spuria). Text und zehn Appendices. Patristische Texte und Studien Bd. 60. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Volk, Robert. 2009. Die Schriften des Johannes von Damaskos VI/1: Historia animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph (spuria). Patristische Texte und Studien Bd. 61. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

true sexual love for less than a quarter of Asian-Pacific men

true sexual love

A widely reported United Nations survey recently found that less than a quarter of men in Asia-Pacific have experienced true sexual love.  Around the world, men have shorter expected lifespans than women and experience more injuries from violence than do women.  Medieval European literature testifies to the extent of violence against men, including violence against men’s genitals.  In the U.S. today, men are imprisoned for no action of their own other than having consensual sex of reproductive type.  Given social suppression of public discussion of injustices against men, one might hope that at least men personally experience true sexual love.  Sadly, a large majority of men in Asia-Pacific apparently have never experienced that profoundly human love.

The widely reported United Nations survey appears to be just another study propagating hate rape, but close examination reveals that it actually has positive public value.  The basic strategy of the survey is to ask men and women different, leading questions outside of a criminal context and then interpret their answers in terms of men’s culpability for raping women under criminal law.  Lack of respect for a speaker’s understanding of her own words and the context of those words is a common form of symbolic violence.  The survey asked each man surveyed whether he:

Had sexual intercourse with his partner when he knew she didn’t want it but believed that she should agree because she was his wife/partner [1]

If the man answered yes to that question, the survey categorized the man as a rapist.  The study thus garnered sensational headlines in many news sources around the world.  The Guardian of Britain headlined: “Nearly quarter of men in Asia-Pacific admit to committing rape.”  None of the men surveyed actually admitted to committing rape.[2]  They may have just answered yes to the above question.

The world would be a more loving place if all heterosexual men with a wife/partner believed that she loved him in a way that encompassed sexual self-sacrifice.  The United Nations’ implicit model of sexuality is bartered mutual masturbation.  The couple has sex only when “it’ — meaning sex, that thing mutually exchanged — is in each of their individual interests.  It’s an arms-length deal.  Sex, in a radically different understanding, expresses freely given gift of person, including one’s physical body.  A man who experiences that gift may well have had sex with his partner when she didn’t want to have sex.  She and he would rightly believe that in such circumstances she should and would agree to have sex because she had freely given herself to him.  She would expect the same of him.  Less than a quarter of men in Asia-Pacific have experienced this true sexual love.

Hatred toward men deprives men and women of true sexual love and destroys states, communities, and families.  Love cannot be built upon ignoring violence against men and encouraging the violence of criminally punishing men.  Top United Nations’ officials introducing the survey declared:

Changing cultures toward zero tolerance for violence against women, therefore, must be a priority for States, communities and families.

Is zero tolerance for violence against men conceivable?  The answer clearly is no.  Make no mistake, enforcing regimes of zero tolerance requires tyrannical violence.[3]  War has long been organized as men-on-men violence.  The United Nations vigorously promotes zero tolerance for violence against women and silently promotes the entrenched historical regime of violence against men.  The United Nations replaces the basic human need for true sexual love with the highly cultured satisfaction of propagating hate rape against men.

Propagating hate rape against men has become big business in international society.  Men and women should fear themselves more than they fear others.  Who dares speak out against hate rape?  You should.[4]  More men and women in Asia-Pacific and around the world deserve to experience true sexual love.

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[1] Fulu et al. (2013) p. 20.  The corresponding question for women asked whether she:

Had sexual intercourse when she did not want to because she was afraid of what partner might do

A man who believed that his wife/partner truly loved him might be profoundly disillusioned if she continually refused to have sex with him because she didn’t want to.  He might respond by killing himself, slowly and indirectly through alcohol and drugs, or immediately and directly in violent suicide.  Alternatively, he might leave his wife/partner and find another who loved him as he understood that he deserved to be loved.  A woman, not wanting to have sex but fearing that her partner might do such things, might for that reason have sex with him.  The United Nations categorizes the man in this situation as a rapist.

[2] Id. p. 22:

The word ‘rape” was not used in the questionnaire, rather it was operationalized by responses to questions on specific acts.

Rape in civilized countries is a crime legally defined through democratic lawmaking and judged under due process of law.  The survey administrators defined rape apart from any democratic process and judged rape based on non-testimonial statements not made public.  Any person willing to participate in administering such a survey thereby lacks credibility as an civilized, unbiased judge of rape.  Widely reported “findings” such as “Nearly quarter of men in Asia-Pacific admit to committing rape” also misrepresent the survey scope:

The study sample in no way represents the whole Asia-Pacific region.

Id. p. 21.

[3] Among “items used to measure intimate partner violence,” the survey counted “emotional abuse.”  The following question indicated that a man emotional abused a woman:

Insulted his partner or deliberately made her feel bad about herself.

The corresponding question for women concerned her feelings about a man’s actions:

Was insulted or made to feel bad about herself.

Id. p. 20.  Zero tolerance for such “intimate partner violence” cannot be achieved without enormous state-sponsored violence and grotesque tyranny.

[4] The title of the United Nations report on the survey is “Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It?”  The originally proposed title probably referred to “men” rather than “some men.”  The “we” implicitly seems to mean “we women leaders of the matriarchy who direct men to commit violence against other men.”  None of the supportive men likely had courage to object.  But a courageous woman probably objected, “My husband is a very loving, gentle person.  He doesn’t use violence against women.  That title is unfair to him.”  Despite vicious looks, sneers, and insults, she persisted in asserting what she knew to be true.  The junta directing the report resolved to dispose of the women’s objection by changing “men” to “some men” in the report’s title.  A proposal to change “women” to “some women” was probably curtly dismissed as offensive to women.

[image] Loving Couple, Mithuna, 13th century, Orissa, India. Eastern Ganga dynasty, thanks to Wikipedia and shibainu.


Fulu, Emma, Xian Warner, Stephanie Miedema, Rachel Jewkes, Tim Roselli, and James Lang. 2013. Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It? Quantitative Findings from the United Nations Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok:  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and United Nations Volunteers (UNV).