For the past decade, Americans have been subjected to the relentless message, There's no excuse for domestic violence against a woman.
OK, but what about Piper Rountree who was convicted six weeks ago for the ambush-slaying of her former husband, University of Richmond professor Frederic Jablin? Are cases of female-on-male violence so rare as to be an amusing oddity in the newspaper obituary columns?
Here's the shocker: Women are just as likely as men to commit domestic violence against their intimate partners.
Chances are you've been heard the Urban Legend that follows the predictable line, male = abuser, female = victim. So I'm going to repeat my statement, this time with emphasis: Research shows that women are equally likely to commit partner aggression against their boyfriends, husbands, and ex-husbands.
We're not talking about a handful of studies. Over 100 research reports have shown this to be true -- you can see for yourself by visiting this website.
Here's how attorney Linda Kelly recently put it: "men and women commit violence at similar rates."
Psychologist John Archer reached an even stronger conclusion in his article in the Psychological Bulletin: "Women were slightly more likely than men to use one or more acts of physical aggression."
It's not a casual toss of a pillow or a playful jab at the chops. According to Dr. Archer, 38% of all persons who suffer domestic violence injuries are male.
So why don't we read about these cases of female-on-male violence more often in the newspapers? Because men are far less likely to report the incident to the police - nine times less likely, according to one landmark study.
To understand the DV urban legend, we need to go back to 1991, when senator Joe Biden of Delaware introduced VAWA for the first time. But many in Congress were opposed to Biden's bill because it ignored key provisions of the United States Constitution.
First, the proposed law flaunted the intent of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteen Amendment. Knowing that men are equally likely to be victims of domestic violence, how could anyone in good conscience propose a law that would confer greater protections and services, but only for women?
Second, Biden's proposed bill violated the principle of federalism enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, and thus infringed on state sovereignty.
Not surprisingly, Biden's bill was soon relegated to the legislative deep-freeze. That didn't please the rad-fems. So someone came up with the idea of a publicity stunt.
In January 1993, a daring group of women called a press conference in Pasadena, California. Sheila Kuhn of the California Women's Law Center made the statement that would provide the boost the feminists were desperately looking for: Super Bowl Sunday was the "biggest day of the year for violence against women."
That stunning claim quickly appeared on Good Morning America, in the Boston Globe, and elsewhere. The Oakland Tribune would report the Super Bowl causes men to "explode like mad linemen, leaving girlfriends, wives, and children beaten."
How's that for dispassionate news reporting?
Some remained unconvinced, however, including reporter Ken Ringle of the Washington Post. In his article "Debunking the 'Day of Dread' for Women," Ringle showed the feminist claim was a preposterous fraud. But Ringle's expose' came too late -- the genie was out of the bottle.
The Super Bowl Hoax, as it was later dubbed, no doubt will become a classic in the propaganda textbooks. And it clearly did succeed in triggering a surge of letters and phone calls to Congress. The following year the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law by President Clinton.
Less than five months from now on September 30, VAWA is set to expire. That means the Sisterhood's billion-dollar-a-year gravy-train will dry up. Renewal legislation has not yet been introduced, apparently because the Republican majority hasn't warmed up to the idea of dishing out mega-bucks to the GOP's avowed political foes.
As the clock ticks down to September 30, the rad-fems are beginning to panic. Armageddon-Day strategy memos are circulating on the Internet. Decisive action soon will be needed to galvanize public support.
Get ready for a reprise of the Super Bowl Hoax.