Elephants in the Room: battered women are our sisters, mothers, friends, wives

Men as Advocates and Allies


The most difficult aspect of writing about BWS — battered wife syndrome or intimate partner violence — is that as a man, I have to embrace reality: gender violence is not just fostered by the socialization of men to be more powerful than women, but for so many judges, lawyers, DAs and the public, this relationship is considered a two-way street with both man and woman to be equally responsible for the victimization.

This patriarchal false balancing then continues to socialize many men to believe they have a right to create the need to abuse power and to control women. It’s that vicious cycle of seeing dad abuse mom, and then becoming an abuser himself.

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.