The top chart above compares the number of American war casualties in Afghanistan (2,002) and Iraq (4,486), the number of Americans killed by terror attacks (3,073), and the greater number of American women killed by intimate partners between 2001 and 2012 (11,766). The chart apparently originated on Facebook and here on this blog in 2012, and has been re-posted now hundreds of times on various blogs, websites, Twitter and Facebook over the last few years. Here are some examples of the comments that the shocking graphic has generated:
1. Christine Burns: “Powerful graphic, putting violence against women in US society into stark context compared with wars and terror.” (Source.)
2. Mansur Gidfar: “Don’t believe in the War On Women? Would a body count change your mind? We send troops to Afghanistan but ignore this?” (Source.)
3. E.J. Graff: “This chart just astonished me. Take a second to compare (all) American deaths in combat with women’s deaths at the hands of men who putatively loved them. Now, which war, again, is being funded with billions of dollars and covered every day with high-profile news coverage and media punditry?” (Source.)
4. Ann Jones: “The greater number of women killed here at home is a measure of the scope and the furious intensity of the war against women, a war that threatens to continue long after the misconceived war on terror is history.” (Source.)
5. Ted McLaughlin: “The Republican Party didn’t have any problem funding both of the unnecessary wars (Iraq and Afghanistan). But when it comes to spending far less money to save the lives of thousands of American women, the congressional Republicans aren’t on board. They would rather play politics with the issue than save women’s lives.” (Source.)
6. Amanda Fox: “The violence statistics are this bad.” (Source.)
You get the idea… Things are so bad for women in America, that they are at greater risk of getting killed by a boyfriend or husband than if they were in combat in Afghanistan or Iraq…. or something like that. But as is often the case with the “conspiracy feminists,” the propaganda is more important than the truth, and this is a classic example of the statistical fraud that seems to be so common for women’s issues like the 23% gender pay gap for doing the same work, the campus sexual assault epidemic, etc.
The bottom chart above shows a slightly revised comparison over a slightly different time period for the number of deaths from war and terror attacks since 2001 to: a) the number of female homicides from intimate partners (boyfriends, husbands and ex-spouses) AND b) the number of male homicides from intimate partners (girlfriends, wives and ex-spouses), which did not appear in the top graphic. Without that additional variable (male homicides from intimate partners), the number of female homicides has no context and is rather meaningless, no?
The homicide data in the bottom chart are based on “cause of death” data from the Center for Disease Control for the years 1999 to 2010 (most recent year available) for men and women ages 16 and older. During that 12-year period, 40,839 women and 156,893 men were murdered (more than 1,000 every month!), which is a male-female ratio of almost 4-to-1 for all murders. According to the Department of Justice (Table 6 in this report), female murder victims (41.5%) were almost six times more likely than men (7.1%) to be killed by an intimate partner between 1980-2006. Applying those percentages to the total number of murders for each gender during the 1999-2010 period would mean that 16,948 American women and 11,139 American men were killed by intimate partners between 1999 and 2010. In both cases, the homicides by intimate partners for men and women were greater than the combined number of deaths from war and terror attacks since 2001 (9,881), and the “furious intensity of the war against women” in “stark contrast to wars and terror” argument starts to collapse.
Further, if we consider the number of homicides between 1999 and 2010 from the other three offender categories besides intimates – strangers, acquaintances, and other family members – there were more than six males (145,754) murdered for every female (23,891) during that 12-year period. When those figures appear on the chart below, the number of men murdered by strangers, acquaintances and other family members besides intimate partners is so large that it makes the deaths by war and terror attacks appear rather inconsequential in comparison. If the 16,948 female homicides from intimate partners in the bottom chart (or the 11,766 homicides in the top chart above) are evidence of a “War on Women,” doesn’t the six-fold higher number of male homicides (145,754) warrant some concern about a “War on Men” in the United States? For all male homicides, the number of American men murdered at home every six months (about 6,500) is roughly equivalent to the combined death count in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade of 6,800!
Bottom Line: The reality is that while women are at a 52% greater risk than men for being the victim of homicide by an intimate partner, men are at a four-time greater risk than women of being murdered overall, and are six-times more likely than women to be murdered by somebody besides an intimate partner. The “War on Women” graphic above undermines the seriousness of domestic violence and compromises the credibility of feminists by presenting incomplete and misleading data. Unfortunately, the “War on Women” rhetoric often becomes a “War on the Truth” by distorting and misrepresenting factual data, and this is a classic example.
I think we need to call on the “Factual Feminist” for some help exposing this misrepresentation of the factual data about the “War on Women.”