An examination of research into abusive behaviour patterns reveals those same behaviours playing out amongst ‘woke blokes’ everywhere.
The trans-sex-role-stereotype movement has put what would have been concealed and kept behind closed doors on centre stage. This is why normal, decent men look aghast at other men’s behaviour while many women sigh with an ‘oh, this again’. The woke bloke contempt for women is clear and abusive behaviours are on full display. Reading through Lundy Bancroft’s pivotal work Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, the full cast of characters is present on Twitter, in the news and in our political parties and institutions. Bancroft’s insights come from working with ‘angry and controlling men for fifteen years as a counsellor, evaluator, and investigator, and he has ‘accumulated a wealth of knowledge from the two thousand or more cases with which he has been involved’.1
Bancroft’s work is sometimes criticised for being too inclusive and easily applied to any man. It is corroborated, however, by what women know personally from relationships with abusive men: the patterns we recognise and which are analysed by charities such as Refuge and Nia. We are currently watching the microcosm of male abuse go macro.
Bancroft convincingly argues that it is values which cause abuse. Not personality, or mental disorders, or a childhood history of abuse, or alcohol or drugs. Those factors only exacerbate an existing problem – the value system of the man – and can make him more dangerous.2 ‘Their value system is unhealthy not their psychology. Abuse tactics work well for the abuser, they get what they want most of the time’.3 The crossover between ‘trans rights activists’, incels and men’s rights activists has been frequently pointed out by feminists, but it is time to take a look at the supporting troupe. The bullying blue ticks, the fresh-faced student misogynists, the older self-serving politicians. Two things unite them all, and it is not a desire for social justice or a committed belief that clothes are magical and change one’s sex. Forced teaming can only explain so much in the face of evidence, women’s concerns and the behaviour they exhibit.4 It is misogynistic values and pornography use driving this.
Men who bully and abuse women have dehumanised them and cannot see them as equals. Bancroft details how ‘most abusers verbally attack their partners in degrading, revolting ways. They reach for the words that they know are most disturbing to women, such as bitch, whore, and cunt, often preceded by the word fat. These words assault her humanity, reducing her to… a non-living object, or a degraded sexual body part’.5 Bancroft asserts that abusive men do this because ‘by depersonalizing his partner, the abuser protects himself from the natural human emotions of guilt and empathy, so that he can sleep at night with a clear conscience. He distances himself so far from her humanity that her feelings no longer count, or simply cease to exist’.6 This ‘less than human’ view of women is promoted and reinforced by patriarchal culture. ‘Objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) provides a framework for understanding the experience of being female in a sociocultural context that sexually objectifies the female body’.7 We live in such a culture and pornography is the propaganda – it dehumanises and objectifies women. Women are reduced to orifices to be penetrated, bits and parts (legs, breasts, bum, hair) to titillate. The trans-sex-role stereotype movement has reduced female further to a costume a man can wear when he chooses. Pornography sends the message that no matter who she is or what she has achieved her purpose in life is to be fucked and please men. Marcia Weskot argued that objectification ‘is the socially sanctioned right of all males to sexualise all females, regardless of age or status’.8 It is evidenced in the trans-sex-role-stereotype movement’s claim that the true innate female essence is a desire to be ‘surrendering holes’ and that ‘according to transgender ideology and the pornography used by trans identified males, to be sexually abused is to be ‘feminised’.9
We are seeing the results of frequent pornography use in males denying that women have an inner-world and arguing that what someone looks like, their clothes and hair, defines them. The misogynistic slur ‘Terf’ is used to brutalise women further. In 2019 the District Judge John Woollard acknowledged ‘Terf’ was a derogatory word aimed at, primarily, women while the All Party Parliamentary Group Report on Hate Crime, also published in 2019, recognised ‘Terf’ as hate speech which contributed to threats of violence against women.10 ‘Terf’ is a clear example of male fury that women have views and opinions about their lives and resist male control. Women having their own thoughts and attitudes clashes with the schema some men have developed that women exist to gratify men. This mindset is the product of frequent pornography use and apparent in the antagonism and disdain men have for women shown in the emerging abuse patterns.
There are general patterns women can spot from abusive men. These are the patterns that have women in a domestic violence setting ‘walking on egg-shells’, women wondering if abusers all get a handbook. That one expression, ‘the look’, that no one else seems to notice but can turn your blood to ice from across a crowded room. The abusive and controlling man will start faux-nice in an attempt to manipulate the woman and his audience. He feels entitled to do this because he believes that women are lesser than him and perceives himself as smarter. We see this view of women as lesser online in the men who ignore the thousands of responses from women and only respond to other men. We see it in the dismissal of the opinions and evidence given by qualified women and the elevation of male feelings as truth. The woke blokes’ online behaviour is also mirrored in the behaviour of domestic abusers in how ‘one of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is that he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs’.11 The trans movement, particularly in this respect, is individual male abuse of women turned into a group movement. If the woman does not ‘play nice’ quickly, does not agree with his assertions, the woman will receive insults and witness his escalating rage. The blame will be turned on the woman, she will be held responsible for his outburst and the reactions of others. He will assert that he knows what the woman is thinking or that he knows her intentions.
The abuser will focus on his feelings, rather than facts. Bancroft details how ‘he draws you into focusing on the turbulent world of his feelings to keep your eyes turned away from the true cause of his abusiveness, which lies in how he thinks’.12 There will be an explosion when he doesn’t get his way, limited to verbal threats online but behind closed doors this is often when the violence occurs. Then, like the domestic abuser, he invariably blames ‘each attack on her, no matter how brutal his abuse or how serious her injuries’.13 This is because ‘part of how the abuser escapes confronting himself is by convincing you that you are the cause of his behaviour, or that you at least share the blame’.14 A red flag is that ‘abusers externalize responsibility for their actions’, indeed, ‘everything is someone else’s fault, and “someone else” is usually her’.15 As predictable as the sun will rise women, and anyone who has knowledge of his behaviour will hear a sob story and how he is a victim/hard done by. ‘Abusive men are sometimes masters of the hard-luck story’.16 He will not only claim to be the victim of the woman he has abused but also victimised generally by society. This is all part of his re-writing of events and gaslighting. The next stage is when he casts himself as great or such a nice guy. A period of quiet will usually follow until the next time he explodes but he will be unable to let go of his target.
The woke bloke, like the abuser behind closed doors, is seeking to control women and feels that it is his right to control others. Thus, he expects to have the last word and believes he is justified in punishing those who would challenge him. As Bancroft outlines, ‘the abuser gives himself permission to take action on the basis of his beliefs’ and ‘a large part of his abusiveness comes in the form of punishments used to retaliate against you for resisting his control’.17 This control is often ‘exercised through wearing the woman down with constant low-level complaints, rather than through yelling or barking orders. The abuser may repeatedly make negative comments’.18 It is through chronic mistreatment, which in an online setting takes the form of a pile-on or the frequent messaging that ‘terfs’/transphobes are scum etc., that the victim begins to doubt herself and her confidence is impinged. The domestic abuser will physically isolate his victim through getting her to cut ties with friends and family, controlling who she speaks to, controlling when and why she leaves the home, and often moving her to a different location. Online, this is what is happening with, for example, the periodic attempts by men to shutdown Mumsnet. Controlling men hate that there is a space where women can talk to each other and offer support to each other. Nothing poses a more direct threat to their control and manipulation than women speaking to each other. The sisterly support can clear the fog of male abuse so that the woman recognise it for what it is.
Another tactic the controlling and abusive male will use in the online world is to brand the woman and make it clear that anyone who interacts with the woman will share in her branding. This is how accusations of transphobia, ‘anti-trans’ or ‘Terf’ are designed to work. This is how public declarations of ‘she is crazy’ or public punishments are designed to work. It is a message to other women that they will share in her social suffering if they stand to close. As well as punishing her for perceived transgressions it serves to isolate the woman until she begs forgiveness, promises to stop thinking for herself and can be controlled.
The Cast Members
We commonly meet two of Bancroft’s abuser types in the online debate over whether women are fully human or a costume for male fetish: ‘Mr Always Right’ and ‘Mr Sensitive’. Bancroft delineates how ‘when Mr. Right decides to take control of a conversation, he switches into his Voice of Truth, giving the definitive pronouncement on what is the correct answer or the proper outlook. Abuse counsellors call this tactic defining reality. Over time, his tone of authority can cause his partner to doubt her own judgment and come to see herself as not very bright’.19 Writing about domestic abusers in 2002 Bancroft managed to predict almost every conversation with a woke bloke. When a woman continues to assert herself ‘he is likely to escalate to insulting her, calling her names, or mocking her with imitation. If he’s still not satisfied that he has brought her down low enough, he may reach for bigger guns’, such as complaints to her employer, legal threats or threats of violence.20 If his behaviour is questioned, Mr. Always Right attempts to sanitize his bullying by saying: “I have strong opinions” or “I like debating ideas.” This is like a bank robber saying “I’m interested in financial issues.” Mr. Right isn’t interested in debating ideas; he wants to impose his own’.21
In the online setting Mr Always Right is often combined with another one of Bancroft’s abuser types: ‘Mr Sensitive’. Mr Sensitive ‘loves the language of feelings, openly sharing his insecurities, his fears, and his emotional injuries’.22 He is the crybully. Mr Sensitive is distinguished from genuine male allies and good men by his idea that ‘nothing in the world is more important than my feelings. Women should be grateful to me for not being like those other men’.23 He is further differentiated from the actual good men by the tell that he sets out for praise and attention rather than to help make a difference or to confront an injustice and thus dominates the conversation and speaks over women. He will often take the label ‘feminist’ or ‘male feminist’ because he feels he is entitled to things women have. The self-perception of himself as one of the good guys feeds his prerogative to abuse women who challenge or question him. He then uses this ‘ally’ cover to conceal his abuse because ‘he’s not like one of those unenlightened men’, he is different from the cultural caricature of the violent, ignorant brute and so couldn’t possibly be bad. Bancroft warned 19 years ago that this male abuser ‘presents himself to women as an ally in the struggle against sex-role limitations’.24 In this way, ‘Mr. Sensitive wraps himself in one of the most persuasive covers a man can have. If you start to feel chronically mistreated by him, you are likely to assume that something is wrong with you, and if you complain about him to other people’ they presume something is wrong with you not him.25 The false face of ‘Mr Sensitive’ is why some women are quick to disengage while others wish to ‘give him the benefit of the doubt’ and argue ‘he didn’t mean that’. This is present in those who self-promote that they are ‘champions of diversity and inclusion’ but are often the first to exclude women for wrong think.
It does not necessarily follow that woke blokes are abusing women behind closed doors – the point of this essay is that they share the value-system of domestic abusers. The worldview that enables the abusive male we encounter in a domestic violence setting has become more common as females are dehumanised and objectified by pornography. This is one reason why the misogynistic transgender movement has managed to spread so quickly.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p.24.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), chapter 1.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p.129.
- Dr Em, ‘Forced Teaming’, Uncommon Ground Media (25 May 2020), https://uncommongroundmedia.com/forced-teaming-feminism-lgb-and-trans-rights/
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 188.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 189.
- D. M. Szymanski, L. B. Moffitt, & E. R. Carr, ‘Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory and Research’, The Counseling Psychologist, Vol. 39, issue 1 (2011), pp. 6
- M. Weskot, The Feminist Legacy of Karen Horney (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986), p. 5.
- Dr Em, AGP Males and Domestic Abuse, Part IV: Sissyfication and Submissive ‘Women’, Uncommon Ground Media (16 December 2020), https://uncommongroundmedia.com/agp-males-domestic-abuse-part-iv-sissyfication-submissive-women/
- Regina vs. Yardley, Basildon Magistrate Court (01/03/2019). APPG on Hate Crime, ‘How Do We Build Community Cohesion When Hate Crime is on the Rise?’, (2019), pp. 25 – 27.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), pp. 36 – 37.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 87
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 79.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p.81.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 204, p. 207.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p.96.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 163, p. 167.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 164.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), pp. 233 – 234.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 235.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), pp. 235 – 236.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 247.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 256.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 248.
- L. Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (Penguin, London, 2002), p. 248.