Who Are The Real Perpetrators Of Patriarchal Violence?
Men Vs. Women/ Women Vs. Men
When people hear “domestic violence” they initially associate females as victims. Feminist have brought forth that domestic violence is created by both women and men. Domestic violence has been replaced by patriarchal violence because it does not define the true extent of violence within a household. Patriarchal violence explains how a powerful individual holds control over others through different forms of violence. Through patriarchal violence, feminist seek to explain how women are not only victims of violence, but in many situations are the perpetrators.
Domestic Vs. Patriarchal Violence
Domestic violence describes the violent behavior that occurs by a dominant partner within the home. It can include physical, verbal, and sexual abuse. Most people believe that domestic violence is not a serious act however, More women are beaten and murdered in the home than on the outside. Domestic violence occurs much more often than people believe. It is very difficult to stop this violence because it occurs within a private setting. Unlike domestic violence, patriarchal violence describes that violence in the home is connected to sexism and sexist thinking, to male domination. Sexist ideologies have caused men to be labeled as abusers and women as victims. None the less, men and children can also be victims of women’s violence. Patriarchal violence not only focuses on male aggression towards females, but also aggression towards children and same sex couples.
Feminist on Patriarchal Violence
Feminist examine the differences between men and women and fight for equality. It can be said that feminist believe that patriarchal violence is due to male aggression towards women. Bell Hooks explained how emphasizing male violence against women in a matter which implies that it is more horrendous than all forms of patriarchal violence does not serve to further the interests of feminist movements. This thinking does not benefit feminist because it does not express the whole movement of violence. In some cases, women are not being victims, but consolidating violence. Women express patriarchal violence towards their partners and children. Research has proved that 30 percent of abused children lived in female-headed households. People don’t believe that women are capable of violence because of sexist stereotypes. Women are considered to be the non-violent sex and submissive. Feminist have to argue that both men and women perpetrate violence in order to get rid of sexist stereotypes and attitudes.
Women as Perpetrators
I believe it is important to examine women as perpetrators rather than just victims. Feminist should take more into consideration that women also create violence. Hooks explained that even though women might not use violence against children, they still implement patriarchal violence, A mother who teaches her children especially her sons, that violence is an acceptable means of exerting social control, is still in collusion with patriarchal violence. Women are encouraging sexist stereotypes by teaching there children about patriarchal violence. Even though they aren’t using violence themselves they are making it acceptable. Future men are going to believe that it is acceptable for them to express dominance over there partner and children.
More and more women have started to use violence in order to dominate. Feminist hardly mention how women perpetrate violence. Women are no longer being victims, a study demonstrated how the number of women arrested for domestic violence increased from 23% in 1993 to 35% in 1999 in New Hampshire . Feminist would argue that women are using domestic violence as a form of self-defense. They would argue that if women are arrested, men should also be arrested for domestic violence. While I believe that women are more likely than men to use violence as a form of self-defense, they are still creating a violent situation. They are not only perpetrating violence against their partner, but also their children if they happen to witness a violent act. Both males and females are creating a society that accepts violence as a solution.
Women as Victims
Sexist mentalities encourage violence against women. Women are still being assaulted by men and not much has been done to change this. Women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner. Men are most violent at home because it is where they feel empowered. When men are considered bread winners they feel entitled over women. Sexist attitudes have caused violence because society expects a man to be the bread winner and hard working. In order to feel like a true man, men believe they must use violence.
Creation of a Culture of Violence
Violence has become the acceptable means of control. Whether violence is being perpetrated by a male or a female, society is allowing violence to take control over relationships. It is not only men who are creating violence, but also women. Women are teaching and allowing their children to witness violence as a means of control. They are setting the foundations for future generations. I agree with Hooks that in order to end male violence against women the movement must be set to end all forms of violence. Society needs to stop labeling certain people as dominant because that allows them to believe they have power over a human being. Women need to stop being seen as just victims in order to end all kinds of violence.
Children: The Real Victims of Patriarchal Violence
Children have become the real victims of violence. They experience first-hand violence such as verbal or physical oppression by their parents. Women are believed to be much more violent with their children because they are considered the primary caretakers. Women use violence in order to maintain control in their household. Children are also greatly affected when they witness violence. A physical fight between parents can cause great psychological damage to children, they may blame themselves for the abuse thinking if they had done or said a particular thing, the abuse would not have occurred. No children should have to feel guilty for believing they caused violence or harm within their family. It is only the parents fault for not being able to express their anger in any other way. A cycle of violence is only being created as children might become bullies or engage in violent acts as they grow up.