As awareness about domestic abuse among women and men has risen in recent years, we have seen a similar rise in conversation about gender. Welcome to the world of Men, Women, and the Politics of Domestic Abuse.
What does it mean to shift from “male violence” to “male violence against women”? And what will this changed view of men mean for those who suffer from it or family members at risk of becoming victims?
The Obfuscation of Gender in Domestic Violence
Domestic violence affects both men and women, but it is perceived to be a women’s issue and trivialized in media.
In a study on domestic violence, the European Union wrote “Media portrayals of domestic violence may reinforce a socially constructed view of gender identity, where women are physically and psychologically victimized by men but this does not happen to men.”
This phenomenon is “Gender Symmetry”.
Men vs Women
If a woman is in an abusive relationship, then we call it domestic violence.
And if a man is in an abusive relationship, then it becomes a ‘private, personal issue.’
When you believe that domestic violence occurs only against women, you are ‘Reinforcing a socially constructed view of gender identity.
Researchers found, “an increased awareness of domestic violence and its relation between men and women”.
Power Symmetry in Domestic Violence
Violence against women is still a widespread problem all across the world. These statistics do not discriminate between women in terms of age, race, marital status, education, or economic status.
However, recent research suggests that this gap in those who are affected by domestic violence and how often such wrongdoing occurs is shrinking.
There aren’t many spaces where men and women can move into a more equal space.
Many factors are changing and people are experiencing privilege in different ways that conflict with each other. As a result, gender inequalities are challenged.
Why Is the Violence Always Asymmetrical?
Domestic violence is messy and complex, but to separate abuse from the motivation for it, is a myth that is widely perpetuated.
That understanding, in and of itself, can be valuable and important.
Violence is rarely the same from man to woman, but it becomes dangerous to explain why it is almost always the same.
The reasons why violence affects women are as broad as the variety of theories about why men commit violence.
Why don’t you read the article on Gender Equality here & let us know your thoughts too.
Myths about Domestic Violence
Violence against women, domestic violence, and sexual assault are often found mutually exclusive, despite this not reflecting reality.
Unfortunately, many men are not familiar with their partner’s thoughts or feelings and don’t realize they are a victim in certain cases.
The myth that women commit violence against men is that they use it to relieve stress. This myth relies on the idea that women are generally respectful, nice, and considerate. So, when they are treated poorly or made to suffer, they resort to violence to balance the scales.
“When [men] are unjustly rejected, the hurt of rejection is so overwhelming, and shameful, [that] response may be to be violent.” [Laura Daly, Ph.D.]
A myth ignores the fact that women may be treated as they deserve, just because they are, not because they’re women. These false beliefs also serve to tell men that they’re really at fault when they’re the victims of abuse.
And that’s a vicious circle. The desire to feel accepted and loved can be such a powerful driver that it makes men sometimes lose their moral compass. Others, as authority figures and parents, may encourage them to forget their humanism and act like animals.
The old saying goes that “real men” don’t cry, and big fat tears, like mine, are a sign of weakness, vanity, or uncertainty.
To not be a man, I suppressed my emotions until it was too late. The truth came fifteen years later when the big fat tears poured down. Tears could have freed me to roll with the punches instead of fighting them.
Men don’t cry. It’s a sign of weakness unless they cry in public or aggressively. The manly thing to do is to get angry or go numb. The only way a man can admit he is hurting is to physically or emotionally beat someone or engage in sports or aggressively fight.
You’re imposing your emotions on my life. I am perfectly happy not to share the details of my personal life with anyone but my spouse. When someone tries to force emotional intimacy, the love interest can become confused and frightened. I have witnessed this time after time and it happens to most women. The fear of a partner not interested in them is a leading cause of divorce.
Long-distance relationships don’t work. When you are involved in a long-distance relationship, the emphasis is usually on the who rather than the what. Most long-distance relationships die because the who is not involved enough in the what.
Then it doesn’t matter if you are 1,000 kilometers apart as long as you love each other. The truth is that long-distance relationships don’t work unless there is a lot of love and caring present on both sides.
Men are often the main perpetrators although there are still several misconceptions about domestic violence, The truth could be that women are more likely to be the aggressor in a domestic violence scenario.
There is a significant lack of research and data readily available on the subject. One must acknowledge how the obfuscation of gender in domestic violence has played into our misunderstanding of this topic. To address this imbalance, the way society is structured, will have to change.
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