Ohio Northern University Law Review
In recent years there has been a lot of attention focused on the specific issue of the battered women, and the battered women who eventually fight violence with violence. This is with good reason, since it is a widespread and serious problem for modern society. The authors whose works are discussed here struggle with notions of male dominance, experiment with legal tests, and manipulate the instruments of law enforcement in an attempt to figure out exactly what to do with, and for, these people in abusive relationships. However, as the authors themselves indicate, the problem is much deeper in modern culture and these issues just scratch at the surface.
The problem concerning this type of violence is a combination of societal attitudes about women and attitudes about violence. However, feminists believe the issue is completely shaped by gender-related discrimination, and so distrust the political (male-dominated) solution.
Instead, the focus should be on the vulnerability of the victims of violence, and that this vulnerability is not exclusively linked to sexism in the system: legal or social. The views and treatment of women needs to be changed. Part of that change will in fact be accomplished through the revision of legal rules, consciousness-raising, and education. But the sea of change will have to come about through deeper, tougher, and more fundamental revision of our thoughts about violence. Sexism in the family, in the social system, and in the legal system must go, but so must violence.
Victoria Mather, A Scary Tale: Battered Women Who Kill Their Abusers, 18 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 601 (1992).