What are some of the justifications of the men in the clip belo?"Violence Against Women: Australia Says No" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCCt-Bo07oc

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I find it real interesting to make a running list of all the justifications or excuses offered by the men in the clip.  They all reflect some level of weakness.  In the end, the justifications offered in the clip are weak defenses of what seems to be strength, but is actually weakness.  Consider the first clip where he says, "I just got angry and lost it."  The lack of control is something that is also voiced in a later clip when a man says "I lost control, but it's only shoving."  In both of these testimonials, the justification is that anger or emotions get the best of the men, reflecting a sense of emotional misdirection.  Another justification is to blame the victim.  This is seen in the first clip, when he says "She knows she deserved it," and in the last clip when he says, "She knew what she was there for."  In these, the justification is not in the realm of the mens' behavior, but rather in the actions of the women.  Interestingly enough, this reflects weakness in deflecting the mens' actions onto that of the women. This is also present in the justification offered by the man who says that he knows someone who beats up a woman he is seeing, and while he knows it, he cannot do anything about it.  He says, "I can't say anything, can I?"  This justification is an existential one that says that the abuse ongoing is a private issue or one upon which he cannot comment.  Finally, the second man offers up a sexual justification in saying that "It was too late for me to stop.  What was I supposed to do?"  This brings out the idea that the need for sexual gratification or the act of sexual intercourse is a force too powerful to control, even at the cost of another human being's pain.  In this, the sexual justification reflects even greater weakness that the man faces.  The justifications offered seek to justify strength, but in actuality reflect the weakness that the abuser carries in his relationship with the abused.

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