Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cara Hoffman on Men & Violence

Cara Hoffman’s utterances in her blog about violence fail to see distinctions among men.  She uses catch all, blanketing language which gives a picture of a unitary entity called a men, the male of the human species.

There is a simple and facile biological determinism to her thinking.  The Y chromosome makes men prone to violence.  No other factors, social, mental, historical, are as important to her as the fact that men are men, and their drives are not manageable by the current structures of society.  Regardless of the fact that only a small fraction of men commit violent crimes, somehow men, by the very nature of being born as men, deserve Hoffman’s stigma as potential murderers. 

We can make the old transference comparison:  If such simple, shallow statements about Jews or Blacks or Indians were made, it would be correct to label such statements as racist.  But men must digest Cara Hoffman’s artless and assertive words that all men, by nature of their biology, are potential abusers, murderers, rapists.  In her writings, men are locked into a ridged biological determinism unless they are saved by beneficial interventions.

But there is no monolithic block called “men."  Hoffman is the purveyor of a view that is one sided and artless.  The word “men” encompasses a wide range of people with different backgrounds, views, behaviors.  Violence does not have to accompany all men, any more than blue eyes.  Certainly, mostly men perform violent crime, but not all men.  Not even most men. And this is the critical point.  Generalizations break apart on the hard rock of this fact.  Most men never commit any crime, and most experts believe that mass murder is more closely correlated with mental illness than gender.

Unfortunately, Hoffman has a cumbersome inability to use her intellect to see beyond appearances.  She takes very little ideas and stretches them to seem portentous.  Her prosaic thinking is gussied up to look like deep thoughts.

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