Male Privilege and the Excuse
for Battering in Intimate Relationships
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
People speak of male privilege as though it is the cause and curse of abusive relationships. It is the underlying social cultural justification for his entitlement...his “one-upmanship”...and the actions that support his getting his way, including his battering behavior.
I think it is just one of the ways abusers control the female intimate partners they abuse. It is a means to leverage power and control in an intimate relationship.
For example, when a batterer justifies his making unilateral decisions that affect both parties in the relationship because of his “male privilege,” he is merely using this control tactic as means to an end. It is one of his ways of establishing and maintaining an unequal distribution of power and control within the relationship.
Male Privilege and Domestic Violence
If you are in an abusive relationship, you are most likely aware of this common strategy employed to keep you “in your place.” However, are you aware that your embracing the cultural bias of male privilege is your part in your owning that submissive status?
It is also possible that you can recognize socialized “male privilege” and not let it tip the power and control scale in your intimate relationship. Here how...
Shattering the Expectation of Gender Biased Control
Let’s say that you, too, are of the social persuasion that men are elevated relative to women. Can you recognize this bias within yourself and not let it become your justification for your victimization.
As you cultivate the ability to do this, you set in motion a relationship expectation that gender does not support and sustain the distribution of power and control within your relationship.
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