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Alternatives to "Stuperbowl"? aka Bash Women in America Day

SuperBowl XXXVIII is coming
Are there activities in town that address this issue? A "Code Pink" day for women?
I've watched Super Bowl games in the past, some of them a few miles from home (at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena). I'm through with the fascination that the sports media has generated, though millions are not.

In the article "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in the Jan. 20 edition of the Asian Reporter (out of Portland, Ore.), columnist (and ex-KBOO programmer) Taro O'Sullivan writes, "It is the most deadly and bloody days for women in the United States. It is the day that domestic violence against women is highest in the U.S." Nonprofits concerned with battered women and law enforcement agencies can reliably predict that Superbowl Sunday will be the number one day of the year for reported physical assault on women.
Taro O'Sullivan goes on to write that the "big game" is the trigger along with getting drunk that puts men over the top.
Domestic Violence 31.Jan.2004 08:01

Isa sez- Break yo chains girl

Just wanted to say to those womyn who will be hurt (probably yet again) on this stoopid Sunday: Get free,womon. You can do it. You're the only one who can do it. Even tho you feel utterly powerless, the TRUTH (that he doesn't want you to know) is that you have ALL the power. You may need help getting out. He may try to stop you. You may need to call for help from your local domestic violence network (number's in the phone book or call information or call the cops for the number). You yourself may be your biggest obstacle, however. You may find that giving up the rush of the fights and the endless distraction of "livin' on the edge" is tough. After all,if things are quiet, we have to deal with ourselves and OUR OWN issues. Don't fear,Momma. The rush of bein' on your own, of piloting your own trip, is beyond anything you can imagine. The rewards, the peace, the hot lovers, the joy in your future is real and a promise.
I say all this from experience, so you can take my word for it. Break free, womyn! Find your strength! Leave your pity for these broken men behind you and head into the light! I love you and your struggle and I KNOW you can do it.

Do it scared.

Come on out... 31.Jan.2004 08:47


Yeah Isa...

I'm here to say womyn can be free. And, there are lots of womyn on the outside waiting to befriend you and help you...

urba myth 31.Jan.2004 09:06


I support the ideas here and that help is out here for anyone wanting to get out of a violent domestic situation, but... Superbowl Sunday is NOT any kind of mass domestic violence day. Every day is a nightmare for someone who's abused.


You are repeating a myth 31.Jan.2004 13:07


Ok, I don't mean to take the wind out of the sails of any argument against domestic violence, everything that can be done to stop it should. I also don't mean to condone football or watching a media spectacle like the superbowl.

However, the argument sited here is just an urban legend that has been disproved many times by investigative reporters and sociologists. The following is the entry from Snopes.com, an urban legend info site. I think it pretty well captures the reasons for rejecting this myth.


Claim: The incidence of domestic violence against women is higher 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 was told:
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 of 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 found 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? 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."

The patriarchy breeds phallocrats 31.Jan.2004 16:06


BASTA! Enough is enough!
When o' when are we going to stop lamenting our sorry state and when are we going to realize the power that we have?
Existing women's groups with their middle class "leaders" that do not consider the idea that we have made no real advances because gov'ts coopt them as soon as they show some considerable success, are an impedement for the total liberation of women. Women's group that want to join the fascist corporate world just prolong the suffering and the murder of millions of their sisters. UNITE and take on the patriarchal corporate state - for the sake of our children and the sake of the planet! It is unrealistic to think that working with men - even progressive or leftist men- we will change the situation of women at the domestic or cultural level. We need to strike at the heart of corporate economic power at the same time that we challenge the cultural brainwashing. Marxism did not call for a womyn's revolution at the same time that it called for a workers' revolution because most revolutionaries were the product of their times - most were machos and phallocrats - and still are.
What prevents a truly womyn's liberation movement is the class nature of the movements. Middle class social democratic women who like the gaze of males in power and who are well rewarded with the perks of status must step aside and become humbled. At the helm, they quickly lose sight and abandon the poorest of the poorest. Only a womyn's party with the most sincerest of all womyn who will not gain any rewards other than spiritual gratification can create a storm that can turn the patriarchal order upside down. ALso these brave womyn will have to know that their lives will be on the line. ( Can you the patriarchal churches react with kisses and well wishes? ) A violence never seen since the burning of the witches will be unleashed again...but this time we have all the evidence that males and males alone created the pure hell that is looming in the near future. If intelligent and sensitive males want to help, they are welcome and needed to prevent the oceans from turning red with the violence that such a new solidarity of womyn will unleash.