Husbands Are Not the Enemy

In the wake of a cascade of articles from the New York Times celebrating January’s Women’s March as a stirring symbol of feminist empowerment—as demonstrated by pussy hats, profane placards, unhinged celebrity poetry, and the rejection of pro-life women—that same paper hit a new low in the blatant bashing of American manhood.

The Times’ Nicholas Kristof wrote an op-ed recently with the outrageous title “Husbands Are Deadlier Than Terrorists” in which he compared the relative risks to Americans of “two critical issues: refugees and guns.” He concluded, predictably, that terrorists slipping in among an influx of refugees are a negligible threat, while guns are the pestilential scourge of our time.

His intention was to delegitimize President Trump’s “morally repugnant” temporary travel ban on seven Middle Eastern states linked to terrorism by arguing that statistically, “ladders kill far more Americans than Muslim terrorists do. Same with bathtubs. Ditto for stairs. And lightning.”

This is hardly a convincing argument for shrugging off the threat of terrorism. Yes of course, lots of things kill more Americans annually than terrorists do (especially if you rule out the 9/11 attacks, which pundits like Kristof who wish to diminish the threat always do): car accidents, cancer, and crack cocaine, for example. But we have a healthy respect for all those dangers and take every possible precaution to diminish them; likewise, we should take any and every measure to stem terrorism. It’s illogical and irresponsible to say that terrorism is a manageable threat just because drunk drivers kill more of us. No one argues, for example, that we shouldn’t do everything in our power to prevent home fires just because diabetes takes more lives.

Gun violence is an indisputably critical issue, and if that had been the extent of Kristof’s argument—that guns are a more serious concern than Islamic terrorism—then that is a legitimate starting point for a debate. But in pressing his point he overshoots the mark and makes the same sort of broad-brush, offensive accusation that liberals like Kristof scold others for making about all Muslims: “Above all, fear spouses,” he warns. “Husbands are incomparably more deadly in America than jihadist terrorists.”

Not men, but husbands. Not gangbangers, drug addicts, the criminally insane, or violent unmarried young males, but husbands. Not strangers, boyfriends, baby daddies, or jealous exes, but husbands. What a perverse way to dismiss the very real—and growing—danger of terrorism and to exaggerate gun violence: by asserting that American husbands are the truly lethal threat.

They are so deadly, he claims, because in this country they have “ready access” to firearms—as if any man can pull into the neighborhood 7-11 and walk out with some snacks and a Glock. Kristof makes no allowance for the fact that the most serious threat from gun violence in this country is from the criminally insane, gang members, and—ironically—jihadists like those who massacred fourteen people in San Bernardino in December 2015 and nearly fifty more in a Florida nightclub six months later.

Kristof cites no statistics for “Death by Husband” and doesn’t even bother to distinguish between husbands who commit violent gun crimes and husbands who are law-abiding gun owners committed to protecting their wives and children. For that matter, he doesn’t even distinguish between husbands with guns and those without; it’s just, “Husbands are deadlier than jihadists.”

He even had the nerve to say that, “In other countries, brutish husbands put wives in hospitals; in America, they put them in graves.” What a disgraceful smear of American men. And apparently Kristof has never heard about honor killings.

Is husband-on-wife domestic violence a serious problem? Of course. But only a small minority of husbands physically abuse their wives, and a much smaller minority than that murder them with guns. It should go without saying that any number of such victims is too high, but the point is that the vast majority of husbands don’t commit uxoricide. They are decent men who love their wives and families, work hard to provide for them, and indeed would lay down their lives for them.

In our kneejerk cultural compulsion to show effusive support for women (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld might say), we unfortunately have become correspondingly casual about culturally demonizing men. In his ideological rush to minimize concerns about jihad and maximize our fear of gun owners, the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof has unfairly—indeed, shamefully—mischaracterized American husbands as the real enemy.

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  • Estoy Listo

    You must be new here. I’ve been hearing this stuff for over 50 years. After a while you get used to it, and on the plus side it gives you reasonable cause to be wary.

  • BunnyHooHoo

    Kristof is garbage and is undeserving of a point-by-point rebuttal. The New York Times is solely motivated by its goal of turning Americans against Americans. It is an evil organization that must be opposed at every turn.

    • Abu Nudnik

      Lies are always important to rebut. It’s tiring but necessary. Lies must never be allowed to be commonplace so I salute Acculturated for posting this.

  • Heartland Patriot

    The vast majority of shootings (outside of suicides) are committed by gang-bangers and other repeat felonious criminals. There are approximately 300 MILLION firearms in the hands of over 100 million citizens. IF guns, in and of themselves, were the problem, the number of those murdered via firearm would be MUCH higher than the approximate 10 thousand. Go to the FBIs crime stats webpages, and learn for yourself.

  • Abu Nudnik

    Natural and accidental causes unite us. We feel sorry for our neighbors. Even deadly marital struggle can do that though it’s repellent. But terrorism causes us to mistrust everyone, the other. Worse, it causes us to be cowed into adopting positions (calling Kristoff), like a dog who licks its owner after it’s been stepped on, begging not to be hit again. This is not how men live. The only manly thing about Kristoff is that wagging semi-erect schoolmarmly finger.

  • Steven_Malynn

    In the real world, women who shack up without marriage are the most abused women in the US.

    In the real world, children raised by unmarried women are the most harmed children in the US.

    In the real world the political movement – the left – creates the most dysfunctional governments that destroy functioning families, impoverishes rich nations, creates starvation in poor countries, and exports violence around the world.

    In the real world, “rape culture” is what Western Christianity defeated. Unfortunately the Left and Jihadists are bringing back barbarism, abetted by faux feminists, academia and the MSM.

    Kristoff is a lying scumbag, who is lying to the nation from its most prestigious media organ in an effort to promote a nihilistic, destructive world view – all to justify his own ego.