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  1. #1
    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    Anybody else remember the hoopla when this rumor started?

    Super Bull Sunday

    Claim: More women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year.

    Status: False.

    Origins: The claim that Super Bowl Sunday is "the biggest day of the year for violence against women" demonstrates how easily an idea congruous with what people want to believe can be implanted in the public consciousness and anointed as "fact" even when it has been fabricated out of whole cloth.

    Domestic violence has been a problem all too often ignored, covered up, and swept under the rug. Many well-intentioned and successful efforts have been made in the last few decades to bring the issue to public attention — to get the word out to women that they need not suffer silent, helpless, and alone; to advertise that there are organizations victims can turn to for help and support; and to educate others in spotting the signs of abuse. Unfortunately, nearly every cause will encompass a sub-group of advocates who, either through deliberate disingenuousness or earnest gullibility, end up spreading "noble lies" in the furtherance of that cause. The myth of Super Bowl Sunday violence is one such noble lie.

    Christina Hoff Sommers charted a timeline of how the apocryphal statistic about domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday was foisted upon the public over the course of a few days leading up to the Super Bowl in January 1993:
    Thursday, January 28
    A news conference was called in Pasadena, California, the site of the forthcoming Super Bowl game, by a coalition of women's groups. At the news conference reporters were informed that significant anecdotal evidence suggested that Super Bowl Sunday is "the biggest day of the year for violence against women." Prior to the conference, there had been reports of increases as high as 40 percent in calls for help from victims that day. At the conference, Sheila Kuehl of the California Women's Law Center cited a study done at Virginia's Old Dominion University three years before, saying that it found police reports of beatings and hospital admissions in northern Virginia rose 40 percent after games won by the Redskins during the 1988-89 season. The presence of Linda Mitchell at the conference, a representative of a media "watchdog" group called Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), lent credibility to the cause.

    At about this time a very large media mailing was sent by Dobisky Associates, warning at-risk women, "Don't remain at home with him during the game." The idea that sports fans are prone to attack wives or girlfriends on that climactic day persuaded many men as well: Robert Lipsyte of the New York Times would soon be referring to the "Abuse Bowl."

    Friday, January 29
    Lenore Walker, a Denver psychologist and author of The Battered Woman, appeared on "Good Morning America" claiming to have compiled a ten-year record showing a sharp increase in violent incidents against women on Super Bowl Sundays. Here, again, a representative from FAIR, Laura Flanders, was present to lend credibility to the cause.

    Saturday, January 30
    A story in the Boston Globe written by Linda Gorov reported that women's shelters and hotlines are "flooded with more calls from victims [on Super Bowl Sunday] than on any other day of the year." Gorov cited "one study of women's shelters out West" that "showed a 40 percent climb in calls, a pattern advocates said is repeated nationwide, including in Massachusetts."
    Writers and pundits were quick to offers reasons why this "fact" was so obviously true. After all, everyone knows that men are mostly loutish brutes, and football is the epitome of mindless, aggressive, violent, testosterone-driven macho posturing. Certainly during the culmination of the football season, the final, spectacular, massively-hyped "super" game, more men than ever are going to express their excitement or disappointment by smacking their wives and girlfriends around. So much attention did the "Super Bowl abuse" stories garner that NBC aired a public service announcement before the game to remind men that domestic violence is a crime.

    Ken Ringle, a reporter for the Washington Post, was one of the few journalists to bother to check the sources behind the stories. When he contacted Janet Katz, a professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University and one of the authors of the study cited during the January 28 news conference, he found:
    Janet Katz, professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion and one of the authors of that study, said "that's not what we found at all. "

    One of the most notable findings, she said, was that an increase of emergency room admissions "was not associated with the occurrence of football games in general, nor with watching a team lose." When they looked at win days alone, however, they found that the number of women admitted for gunshot wounds, stabbings, assaults, falls, lacerations and wounds from being hit by objects was slightly higher than average. But certainly not 40 percent.

    "These are interesting but very tentative findings, suggesting what violence there is from males after football may spring not from a feeling of defensive insecurity, which you'd associate with a loss, but from the sense of empowerment following a win. We found that significant. But it certainly doesn't support what those women are saying in Pasadena," Katz said.
    Likewise, Ringle checked the claim made by Dobisky Associates (the organization that had mailed warnings to women advising them not to stay at home with their husbands on Super Bowl Sunday) that "Super Bowl Sunday is the one day in the year when hot lines, shelters, and other agencies that work with battered women get the most reports and complaints of domestic violence." Dobisky's source for this quote was Charles Patrick Ewing, a professor at the University at Buffalo, but Professor Ewing told Ringle he'd never said it:
    "I don't think anybody has any systematic data on any of this," said Charles Patrick Ewing, a forensic psychologist and author of "Battered Women Who Kill."

    Yet Ewing is quoted in the release from Dobisky Associates declaring "Super Bowl Sunday is one day in the year when hot lines, shelters and other agencies that work with battered women get the most reports and complaints of domestic violence."

    "I never said that," Ewing said. "I don't know that to be true."

    Told of Ewing's response, Frank Dobisky acknowledged that the quote should have read "one of the days of the year." That could mean one of many days in the year.
    In addition, Ringle learned that Linda Gorov, the Boston Globe reporter who'd written that women's shelters and hotlines are "flooded with more calls from victims [on Super Bowl Sunday] than on any other day of the year" hadn't even seen the study she'd cited in support of that statement but had merely been told about it by Linda Mitchell, the FAIR representative who was present at the January 28 news conference that had kicked off the whole issue.

    Did any evidence back up the assertion that Super Bowl Sunday was the leading day for domestic violence? When the Washington Post's Ringle attempted to follow the chain by contacting Linda Mitchell of FAIR, Mitchell said her source had been Lenore Walker, the Denver psychologist who'd appeared on "Good Morning America" the day after the news conference. Ms. Walker's office referred Ringle to Michael Lindsey, another Denver psychologist who was also an authority on battered women. Mr. Lindsey told Ringle that "I haven't been any more successful than you in tracking down any of this" and asked, "You think maybe we have one of these myth things here?"

    The upshot? It turned out that Super Bowl Sunday was not a significantly different day for those who monitor domestic abuse hotlines and staff battered women's shelters:
    Those who work with the victims of domestic violence in Connecticut reported no increase in cases Monday, after a barrage of publicity on the potential link between Super Bowl gatherings and family violence.


    An increase in domestic violence predicted for Super Bowl Sunday did not happen in Columbus, authorities said yesterday, and others nationwide said women's rights activists were spreading the wrong message.

    Despite some pregame hype about the 'day of dread' for some women, Columbus-area domestic violence counselors said that Sunday, although certainly violent for some women, was relatively routine.
    The ensuing weeks and months saw a fair amount of backpedalling by those who had propagated the Super Bowl Sunday violence myth, but — as usual — the retractions and corrections received far less attention than the sensational-but-false stories everyone wanted to believe, and the bogus Super Bowl statistic remains a widely-cited and believed piece of misinformation. As Sommers concluded, "How a belief in that misandrist canard can make the world a better place for women is not explained."
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  2. #2
    Lotza's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    too long to read.

























    Go vikes!!

  3. #3
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    Beware of the Super Bowl Sunday "pimp hand"!!!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  4. #4
    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    too long to read.

    yeah, sorry about that. Didn't realize how much I copied until after I posted... ops:
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  5. #5
    purpleFavreEaters's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    Urban legends of the Super Bowl
    In an LA Times article a few years back, renowned folklorist Alan Dundes ventured to explain why Super Bowl Sunday has become the focus of so many larger-than-life "urban beliefs" in the United States — beliefs such as:
    Every year on Super Bowl Sunday the water systems of major cities are in danger of collapsing because of so many simultaneous toilet flushings at half-time.
    More women are physically abused by spouses and boyfriends on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.
    Two-thirds of all the avocados sold yearly in the United States are purchased during the three weeks prior to the Super Bowl for making guacamole dip.
    Disneyland becomes a veritable ghost town on the day of the Super Bowl because so many Americans are planted in front of their TV sets.
    The stock market predictably fluctuates up or down the Monday after the Super Bowl, depending on which league wins.
    Wrote Dundes: "Every culture's legends express that culture's values.


    Super Bowl legends usually involve numbers and a sense of enormity. The idea of big numbers, of being bigger than other people, is very American."
    Or maybe we're just prone to exaggerate. Who isn't?

    Pumped up though they may be, Americans' cherished Super Bowl beliefs aren't entirely without foundation, claims Times reporter Tony Perry. Take that story about water systems collapsing. As it happens, a water main did break in Salt Lake City during the Super Bowl broadcast of 1984. News stories at the time attributed the mishap to an excess of toilet flushings, though no evidence has ever been found to confirm that. For more kernels of truth amongst the factoids, see Perry's article, "Super Bowl Lore Part of the Game" (reg. required).

    David Mikkelson of the Urban Legends Reference Pages reviews the same myths with a more caustic eye in "Super Bull Sunday," while his acknowledged better half, Barbara Mikkelson, finds merit in the Super Bowl/stock market connection.

    The allegation that violence against women increases on Super Sunday, first raised by the watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, remains controversial because the only evidence ever put forth to support it was anecdotal. Cecil "The Straight Dope" Adams tells the skeptical side of the story in a column dated April 2000 and About's own Buddy T. rebuts the skeptics in his 2001 coverage of what has come to be characterized as a "good ol' boys' backlash."

    Less controversially, Cecil Adams also tackles the toilet flushing legend and reveals what became of that guy who used to hold up the John 3:16 signs at televised ball games — not that you should necessarily care.

  6. #6
    BBQ Platypus's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    :roll: Sometimes I actually DO feel like belting a feminist's skull in the hopes of making them realize that their stupid, vitriolic words and actions, along with the sensational non-facts they spread (ex.: "every year 4 million women are beaten to death in the U.S," which is 4 times higher than the average number of American women who die of all causes combined in a year), reflect poorly on the women's rights movement as a whole, and make their struggle considerably harder.

    To summarize:


    The African-American rights movement: "I have a dream."

    The women's rights movement: "If men menstruated..."



    Who would you rather listen to? The tragic lack of competent leadership in women's rights organization shines through with examples like this Super Bowl Sunday myth.


    "This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff."

  7. #7
    collegeguyjeff's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    the women get abused because they like to complain and get in the way too much during the superbowl. nah i think it would have more to do with alcohol and testosterone.
    I don t buy Wisconsin cheese.

  8. #8
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    "BBQ Platypus" wrote:
    :roll: Sometimes I actually DO feel like belting a feminist's skull in the hopes of making them realize that their stupid, vitriolic words and actions, along with the sensational non-facts they spread (ex.: "every year 4 million women are beaten to death in the U.S," which is 4 times higher than the average number of American women who die of all causes combined in a year), reflect poorly on the women's rights movement as a whole, and make their struggle considerably harder.

    To summarize:


    The African-American rights movement: "I have a dream."

    The women's rights movement: "If men menstruated..."



    Who would you rather listen to? The tragic lack of competent leadership in women's rights organization shines through with examples like this Super Bowl Sunday myth.
    you are stereotyping feminists. all groups have an agenda... all major groups have some percentage of those who distort facts.

  9. #9
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    This article has more holes then a green bay packer cheese head. 1) if you are going to argue that it super bowl sunday is not the most abusive day for women, you have to find at least one other day that is higher to prove its not. 2) This article contradicts itself many times.

  10. #10
    gregair13's Avatar
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    Re: Myth: Violence against women on SB Sunday

    maybe women just need to understand the fact that a football game can acctually be more important than them for 4 hours. like just go away and let me watch the game. unless you are bringing me food or beer, be quiet.
    We're bringing purple back.

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