Feminism is about respecting women. This is something that abusive men do not do, though they do not have a hard time respecting men around them.
I have never been a feminist but I admire their cause...the fair and equal treatment of women. This is something an abusive man detests. It is distasteful to him because he really feels superior to women. Or sometimes, as in my situation, the man does not realize that he is in fact keeping his woman down. Yet a careful study of his behavior reveals that he does not attack men in his life that he is close to in the manner that he attacks his partner. He is in fact a bigot, because he treats males one way and females another way. The fact is, anyone that expects and coerces someone to do things that are degrading or painful to them, has no respect for that person. Isn't that the feminist message? The idea that women deserve respect too. I am thankful that there were brave women who came before me who were unafraid to speak up and push for women to be treated fairly and with dignity. We, as women, do them a dis-service when we fail to defend out rights to humanity...to privacy, to decency, to honesty, to mutual understanding and respect from the man we are with. Remember that an abusive man treats his partner as though nothing that she wants/cares about matters...the whole world revolves around him and his needs. He feels entitled to this treatment and will fight for it, even if it means hurting other people. The most important thing to him is his "rights". He will fight for these to the death. He does not care if this hurts the woman or his children. His "rights" are more important to him than anyone else's happiness or well-being. He may injure or scare his partner or ex-partner and his children for life but this does not bother him as long as he gets "what he deserves". Sad but true , that the real victims in all this are people with feelings who actually love him and want to please him and win his approval so, they say nothing and do nothing for long periods of time, but eventually, those relationships that the abusive man so covets, he will lose entirely because of his selfishness. And then, in an effort to justify, somehow everything will be someone else's fault. The remedy for this man begins with full admission that he is an abuser, something that his family already knows and before long, will become evident also to the world. The choice seems obvious...change or destroy all the good in his family relationships. To change an abuser must: "1. Admit fully to his history of psychological, sexual, and physical abusiveness toward any current or past partners who he has abused. 2. Acknowledge that the abuse was wrong, unconditionally. 3. Acknowledge that his behavior was a choice, not a loss of control. 4. Recognize the effects his abuse has had on you and on your children, and show empathy for those. 5. Identify in detail his pattern of controlling behaviors and entitled attitudes. 6. Develop respectful behaviors and attitudes to replace the abusive ones he is stopping. 7. Reevaluate his distorted image of you, replacing it with a more positive and empathetic view. 8. Make amends for the damage he has done. 9. Accept the consequences of his actions. 10. Commit to not repeating his abusive behaviors and honor that commitment. 11. Accept the need to give up his privileges and do so. 12. Accept that overcoming abusiveness is likely to be a life-long process. 13. Be willing to be accountable for his actions both past and future. (Lundy Bancroft, "Why does He do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men")". One last thing, a pastor friend of mine likes to tell this story. The Native Americans say that every man has two wolves or two natures. One is wicked and self-serving, one is caring, compassionate and lovable. Every man must choose which wolf he feeds daily. The one that is fed the most will thrive and grow stronger while the other will eventually waste away to nothing and die. What I saw in my situation was that one wolf was definitely fed more often that the other. There are days when I wonder if the good wolf is dead. Ask? Which wolf are you feeding today?