Domestic Violence is Not Private

Domestic violence is a huge problem in society, it is because of the male dominated spectrum of society. It is a reoccurring process in the home, and a generation cycle. Children are taught that through a form of punishment, they have obligation to obey, fall under their power. In order for a relationship to function properly, dominance is necessary or at least that is what children are taught when patriarchal violence is present.

I have never witnessed abuse face to face, yet I know it occurred around me. As a young girl sometimes I would always hear my neighbors yelling, not only yelling but roaring at each other and then suddenly a loud dam would ring through the atmosphere and I knew the fight was over. I knew that fight had a victor, a survivor and I knew that the other participant was just a victim. One person took power from that situation and one lost power. I was a child but I still never questioned why adults around me didn’t call the authorities, I believed it didn’t really happen if it was within the confine of my neighbor’s home. Bell hooks in Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics says “for too long the term domestic violence has been used as a “soft” term which suggested it emerges in an intimate context that is private and somehow less threatening, less brutal, than the violence that takes place outside the home”, meaning domestic violence is seen as a private affair. Domestic abuse is not something that should be hidden behind closed doors, it should not be considered as a private matter of the home. Until society recognizes it as a violent act that occurs in the public and private spectrum, it will never end.

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Domestic abuse is not only within couples; it exists within parental relationships as well. I saw it while growing up, when visiting the homes of my classmates. It would be evident that they were afraid of their parental figures. The fear I saw in them was not normal, it was flinching, and they would make it clear that we could not misbehave or else they would be punished. Domestic violence is such a normal occurrence between the world that it does not phase society. “Patriarchal violence in the home is based on the belief that it is acceptable for a more powerful individual to control others through various forms of coercive force” this makes me think of the power parents try to force on their children.

The author Bell Hooks talks about how people achieve a sense of pleasure from inflicting pain onto one another. I completely agree with the author, people like the empowering feeling that inflicting pain brings. The feeling that they get is virtually indescribable, it’s not only seen in domestic abuse causes, it can be seen in everyday life. The couple holding hands can feel the same feeling when one wins an argument over the other by gaining power. I see it within my own relationship, when the argument turns against my favor I am quick to bring up a situation in which I was hurt by his actions, in return hurting him by bringing it up. The sight of him hurting over past situations give me a satisfaction in knowing that I have power over him, and over the relationship. Society should stop teaching others the reaction to the suffering of others, if not people will continue to feel pleasure from the domination of others.

Patriarchal violence is a huge problem within our society, society needs to stop teaching this violence through media and social norms. In order for domestic violence to end people must stop teaching this generation that continues to be a male dominated society. People have to be treated equally in order to stop patriarchal violence. Let’s say no to domestic violence, let’s teach people to not let others control their lives.