Power, Control and the Cycle of Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence has been plaguing our society for years. There are many abusive relationships, and the only question to ask is: why? The main answer is control. The controlling characteristic that males attribute to their masculinity is the cause to these abusive relationships. When males don’t have control they feel their masculinity is threatened and they need to do something about it. This doesn’t occur in just their relationships, but rather every facet of life. Men are constantly in a struggle for power and control whether it is at work, home, during sports, or in a relationship, this remains true. So the only way for them to get this power is for them to be “men”; tough, strong, masculine, ones that demand and take power. Where is this thirst for control coming from? Is it the natural structure of a man or is it a social construct? The answer is that it’s the social construction of a patriarchy that results in this thirst for control due to fear. The fear is being emasculated, whether it is by gayness, or femininity. Men use the fear created from domestic violence to gain control, but yet women do have some control in a relationship it is this vague boundary of how much control that leads to domestic violence.

Control is dominating over something or someone. The reason people want control is because control is power. Masculinity is always associated with power and control, while femininity is associated with passivity and weakness. As Allan Johnson states this is related to the fact that “male dominance creates power differences between men and women” (248). So because of the fact that men hold positions of power they seem more superior to women creating these stereotypes about each gender. The reason this is importa...

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...n though domestic violence is frowned upon men use it to instill fear in a woman. It is a strange concept but largely in part while domestic violence is performed as I stated earlier.

Violence is the way men gain control and they use this in many different areas. They are wrapped up in a vicious cycle as Johnson stated. Men fear being controlled and they assert that control by using violence to create a fear. When men feel emasculated, which they often do in relationships, things take a turn for the worse. The most interesting part of the whole thing is relationships are supposed to be a place where one another connect. They are supposed to be vulnerable to each other but yet many men are still unable to do this. This shows that the idea of being the most masculine is embedded deep inside and is almost like a disease whose symptom can become domestic violence.
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