Why is the issue of Domestic Violence so intricately woven with feminism?

Question by Girly McRadical: Why is the issue of Domestic Violence so intricately woven with feminism?
Not saying it should or shouldn’t be, and I get the history, but why are dom vio academic studies so closely related to gender studies, why not psychology, psychiatry, sociology, law, or criminal justice?

I’ve always been curious why gender academia seems to focus on this issue more than the other social sciences/academic disciplines.

Your thoughts?
Phil: I’m sorry to say but i’m losing respect for you by the minute. I had seen you as an answerer who could remain level headed and view the facts, but this is now the 3rd answer I have seen you push an agenda disregarding fact.

Many forms of domestic violence WERE legal, throughout history.

In ancient Greece, men had absolute power over their wives and children, meaning their family was their property and these men were given the power to kill their wives and children if they saw the need for it as punishment for adultery, etc.

English Commonlaw stated the “rule of thumb” men could beat their wives or children as long as the rod was no bigger than the circumfrence of his thumb.

Also in English Commonlaw, if a woman was raped, the restitution was paid to the father or husband, not the woman, bc women were the property of these men.

(BTW most forms of english commonlaw were inherited by america)
1824 Mississippi: Reasonable physical chastizement of wives and daughters is permissible by law

1883 Maryland: Maryland becomes the first state to enact law against wife beating

Now these are just a few blurbs I have written down from a college level domestic violence course (which btw my prof was very much opposed to feminist power and control theory, favoring social learning theory and shame theories)

Phil I appreciate your posts most of the time but lately, you are becoming extremist in that your ideas are so anti-feminism that you cannot even see the positives of it and how it has helped changed a very negative society. I know you disagree with how it has evolved, but nothing is ever ALL bad or ALL good. Please don’t fall party to anti-feminist propaganda, or feminist propaganda for that matter. If you do, you become no better than the radicals.

take care and good luck to you

Best answer:

Answer by rikkilyn
Maybe the others are male-dominated disciplines.

What do you think? Answer below!

11 Comments so far »

  1. dual_reality2 said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 7:10 am

    Because women are looked upon as weak. When in fact more men are physically assaulted by women.
    Domestic violence is a woven into someones life they are not born with it…and can be changed with psychiatry and counseling. I say this because not to be violent has to be taught as well.

  2. ©å®®ĩε said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I believe it is because violence against women was typically used within the overall system of dominance and oppression. I also believe it is because it is somewhat of a class issue in patriarchal societies; that is, a man of lower income is more likely to be violent (not just toward women) than a man who is of a higher income. I did add “patriarchal societies” in there for a reason, but I will not elaborate because people with little to no understanding might misinterpret me if I do, also, I don’t want to offend.

    But I think you can figure it out. :)

  3. KA1227 said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    I think part of it is because until the laws were changed as a result of the feminist movement, it was completely legal to physically or sexually assault a wife.
    Yep, beating or raping your wife used to be LEGAL.
    Who in the fields of psychology, sociology, law or criminal justice was advocating for a law to protect married women from abuse? My guess is that’s why it’s linked with feminism.

  4. askingsomething said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    Its a good question, why is it a womens issue? to me it should be directly listed under MENS STUDIES. And if theres no topic there should be a whole new degree on it. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEN THAT THEY PERFORM THE MOST SICK DISGUSTING MUTILATIONS AND MURDERS TO WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

    Why would this be a study under womens studies? No thank you. I dont need to study it, I hear it all over the news every day and think about it every time I walk outside. Its definitely a MALE ISSUE.

    The reason university is like this? Because Universitys are a male run, sexist, old school institution run by some old boys club most of the time.

    The mentality is that the victim owns the crime. If they can get us to own it. We’ll own it. We can’t even talk about it as a male thing. Men will argue that women cause it. I will tell you, if the news were filled every day with hundreds of men and boys being raped, beaten mutilated and murdered and never a women hardly ever. they would be creating entire institutions for women. Yea, called mental homes. But we have to listen to this crap everyday while planning to have families etc.

    You know like the guy who raped a 16 year old and cut her arms off so there wouldnt be any finger prints. You know lots of stuff like that. Men who trap their wives and use the kids against her. Its bad. In western canada and the US alone there have been 200 prostitute killings in the last 10 years. Thats a lot of dead women. Not to mention the abuse of men towards women esp. women with children from another marriage. the list goes on and on.

    Granted Somes you do sound like the mother ship temporarily picked you up for awhile and then dropped you back off.

    University are renowned for sexism. Politically who are they? Who cares?

  5. Somes J said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    Universities are old school institutions Askingsomething? Give me a break – liberals have a death grip on them! I have to take three classes for some BS “Ethnic and Social Issues” class at SF State just to graduate! Universities are so saturated with liberal white male guilt BS that the idea of them being bastions of patriarchy is absolutely laughable. Granted, I am in California…

    But never mind, you’re a slaughtered saint feminist. Us men are “them” to you, you probably think most of us tacitly approve of that stuff.

    Edit: heh, I love how you say their politics are irrelevant, like liberal academia isn’t one of the main sources of all the white male guilt BS. And yeah, universities are so sexist, which totally explains why a lot of my professors are female, and why they have classes in things like womens studies. Get over your persecution complex.

  6. Smahteepanties said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    Women are the victims to majority of the Domestic Violence cases that has been filed. Being as Feminism is gender specific to Females, the idea of it being intricately woven to Feminism would be logical.

    Hypothetically, gender academia focus on that type of issue because, violence within a the family unit only creates a violence acceptance to the children that are prone to domestic abuse. But then, who am I to say.

  7. Minerva said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    very good question. i think perhaps historically, none of those areas were particularly interested in domestic violence – either against women or men. the whole “what goes on in the home, stays in the home”. continuing on, i am going to talk as though women are the predominant victims of domestic violence, although i do know and acknowledge that men can just as easily be victims.

    part of the feminist movement was to make sure that women were no longer classed as the “property” of men. men were typically allowed to beat their wives, rape them etc without any repercusions from the law. i think this is also a reason why other areas typically did not deal too much with the issue of DV either – it was not seen as something that was too bad, or as anyone else’s business.

    i am not sure why this is still the case however. it does seem to be that DV is addressed by the other areas now, but not too such an extent. it is a powerful tool to use in arguing feminist issues, and this is perhaps why they continue to be the major force behind DV issues?

  8. bad_lad_4_u said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    Maybe because it is the most obvious indication of men dominating females. I don’t event think there was much talk of this until feminism became apparent. Before feminism it was a nasty little secret that nobody wanted to talk about let alone do anything about.

  9. Amiko-Gabriel said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    added: Kudos to Steve C

    I couldn’t say for sure. Perhaps it is tied to gendered stereotypes, into the power dynamics of gendered domination, possibly before it was revealed or believed that domestic violence affects people of more than just one gender. It could then have been perceived as an attack to dehumanize those of a certain gender, creating an irresistible area to learn about human oppression based on identity and how society has allocated expectations and even rights to violence.

    While I am not saying that these expectations and rights to violence aren’t allocated to a certain sex; however I feel that it is allocated not just to gender as the western culture that I spent a large part of my life immersed in, that of men and women, but of a deeper matter, that of masculinity and femininity (within western contexts, as I recognize different construction and even meanings to these words in some pagan, wiccan, and other cultural and/or religious groups)

    As masculinity may change over time (Chivalry, Gentlemen, Soldier, Businessperson, Religious leader—some religions, etc.—these can in some circumstances be considered different constructions of masculinity, where different things are expected of a masculine role within these roles), it is also not limited to one sex to adopt these changing roles. There is a kind of masculinity that is considered violent, or, aggressive masculinity, and as a role, it can be adopted by those who would adopt it, expect it of themselves, or who might respond to others expecting them to adopt it.

    I verily believe that women can abuse men, men can abuse women, eunics can abuse others, two spirits can abuse others, people can abuse people.

    However, like I said, at one time these observations may not have been common in rhetoric regarding theories of gender. Violent masculinity is one role that gender may take and thus domestic violence could be a very central part in understanding gender as a social institution of oppression.


  10. Steve C said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

    I think when women established the right to speak out, domestic violence was an important issue that had been ignored for many years, and needed to be talked about. Remember there was a long time no one interfered with what happened in the privacy of the home, except in extreme cases. When my father used to beat us boys, no one said a word to stop it, things like that were never interfered with. I personally think we have women to thank for giving fathers and husbands some control over their excessive violence.

  11. Phil #3 said,

    Wrote on February 3, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

    Arrrrrggghhhh. The stupidity (and sexism) of so many here is astounding.
    It was never legal to beat one’s wife or anyone else, however personal family issues were something that the police didn’t poke their nose into. One of the reasons was that it was a misdemeanor, which means the officer has to observe the crime in order to arrest for it. Feminism strove to change all this while at the same time flouting the numbers in such ways to indicate that it was solely men violating women and in such high numbers as to paint every (non-feminist) married man as a wife beater. Even today, this same incorrect idea is fomented throughout feminism, as can be noted in some of the answers.

    The answer to the question is simply because feminism was, and is as always, looking for new ways to demonize men and elevate women to yet an even higher pedestal.

    Nearly every facet of feminism has two distinct aims:

    1) Give women superior privileges without concurrent responsibility for those privileges;
    2) Push men down with legal sanctions based on junk science, lies, half-truths and innuendo.

    Truth is, both men and women abuse and in similar numbers.

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