An Essay On Battered Woman Syndrome

An Essay On Battered Woman Syndrome-83
English common law sanctioned wife beating under the infamous "rule of thumb," which decreed that a man might use a "rod not thicker than his thumb" with which to chastise his wife.

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A generation ago, national magazines featured stories on the corporate wife and her importance in supporting her husband's career.Then they found a system of justice that prosecuted them with a lightening quickness and efficiency never provided to protect them.Not surprisingly the attitudes that permeated a world in which wife beating was accepted had little tolerance for the woman who fought back.Marital rape was inconceivable, as wives could not legally refuse their husbands' conjugal rights.A sixteenth century Russian code wisely cautioned husbands not to strike their wives on the face or ear since they would be sorely disadvantaged should the wife become blind, deaf, or otherwise incapacitated.American states adopted this rule in the early nineteenth century in formal recognition of a husband's right to beat his wife.By 1910, only 35 out of 46 states had passed reform legislation classifying wife-beating as assault.Those twelve years have affirmed and sharpened, but not altered, my initial discovery about the root cause of domestic violence.Essential to the existence of domestic violence is the denial of the equality of women in cultures that perceived this denial as both acceptable and lawful.Few women could aspire to be doctors or lawyers or any occupation that might be overly time consuming and interfere with the duties of being mothers and wives.Also, These professions did not fit the image of a "good woman" who was passive and submissive.


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