I remember Mama

Originally posted on October 3, 2014

Dr. Edward Rhymes wrote an article for A Voice for Men Mint Press News recounting his childhood experiences of abuse. From the article:

The newness and the ecstasy of having the child she had waited so long for lasted for a little while—just a little while. What followed was a childhood scarred by psychological, emotional, and physical abuse. When I was as young as seven, my mother had introduced me to phrases such as “I hate you,” “I can’t stand you,” and “You make me sick.” Beginning at a tender age, my body was frequently visited with blows from her fists, the backs of her hands, and even her feet. My mother, who was not a small woman, would sometimes knock me to the ground, press her knee into my chest, and pummel me with punch after punch. There were times when family members would have to pull her off me.

Rhymes also detailed the prevalence of female-perpetrated child abuse. He showed that women commit the majority of child abuse, yet most of the outreach and commentary about abuse revolves around preventing men from abusing others. He mentioned Adrian Peterson, the NFL player currently charged with child abuse, and made an observation:

Let’s also consider this: In the wake of the Adrian Peterson child abuse allegations, it was his mother who stepped forward and said Peterson was doing what she raised him to do. My point here isn’t whether one agrees or disagrees with his parenting methods but that the response would have been quite different had Peterson’s father been the one who had come forward and said, “That’s how I reared my son.” Can we honestly say that wouldn’t have been offered up as proof positive of how abusive men are?

No, we cannot. The media and talking heads would have jumped on that admission as evidence of the cycle of abuse. Yet when a woman admits to essentially abusing her child and raising him to do the same to his children, no one takes notice. Instead, it led to questions about whether it was appropriate to spank children.

Rhymes also mentioned another double standard:

There is a great deal of understanding we extend to women and girls who have been abused who then, in turn, engage in inappropriate and abusive behavior. It’s an understanding, however, that abused men and boys, who do likewise, don’t equally enjoy.

A truer statement could not be written.


6 thoughts on “I remember Mama

  1. Very good article.. Sadly I think there would be a segment of feminism that would say an abusive mother is simply abusive because her Dad was, or her grand-Dad, or as many generations back until they find some guy who is at fault.

  2. Hello, I found this site when I found excerpts from my piece posted here. I would make one small correction, however. This piece originally appeared on Mint Press News, the news organization I work for: http://www.mintpressnews.com/remember-mama-one-man-boys-odyssey-abuse/197055/.

    I honor this site for it’s honesty in addressing the issue of violence against men and boys and the sensitivity in which you share your narratives. Keep up the good work.

  3. We in society have the social assumption borne from evolutionary psychology that mothers cannot be abusive because of ‘maternal instinct’, that only men can be abusive – ditto rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence. When unpleasant facts like this come along and challenge our viewpoints, our assumptions are blown out of the water, and we lash out in various ways at the people who have had the guts to reveal these unpleasant facts.

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