Revisiting Feminist Analyses of Men’s Violence

“Not all men need to use violence to reinforce their dominance. In fact, the more disadvantaged and marginalised men may use violence against women because it is the only form of dominance they can access. Upper-class and middle-class men often do not need to resort to violence against women as frequently because they have access to other forms of control over women (Hunnicutt, 2009). Furthermore, men do not need to consciously and deliberately use violence as an instrument of control over women. Many men are unaware of their power and privilege and the violence they enact may not be consciously linked to their desire for power (Hunnicutt, 2009).”

Pease, Bob. 2014. “Theorizing Men’s Violence Prevention Policies: Limitations and Possibilities of Interventions in a Patriarchal State.” Pp. 22-40 in Preventing Sexual Violence: Interdisciplinary Approaches, edited by N. Henry and A. Powell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [This excerpt from p. 28. Full reference by Bob Pease reproduced below. Links not in original.]

Hunnicutt, G. 2009. “Varieties of Patriarchy and Violence Against Women: Resurrecting “Patriarchy” as a Theoretical Tool.” Violence Against Women 15(5):553-573. [Hunnicutt’s article here is certainly worth reading. The abstract is as follows: “Feminist scholars have produced abundant writings on violence against women, yet theory development has stagnated. The effort to construct a theory of patriarchy to explain violence against women was derailed by criticism. In this article, the author addresses some of these criticisms, uncovers the explanatory strengths of this concept, and lays some foundations for a more fully developed theory of violence against women. The concept of patriarchy holds promise for theorizing violence against women because it keeps the theoretical focus on dominance, gender, and power. It also anchors the problem of violence against women in social conditions, rather than individual attributes.”]

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