Behind the doors of lovely middle class homes often lie little secrets of male dominance. The exterior tells a tale of a happy couple with children living among the normal life of a middle class family. You would not expect to find discord of a serious nature beyond gentle arguments over what to have for dinner or where to holiday next. The reason you would not expect to find trouble is because female violence is (falsely) linked with poverty, the lower classes, shoddy neighbourhoods or with the gender imbalance in third world countries where women do not even have legislative backing to help mitigate the excesses propagated against them.
The middle class patriarchal system in Western democracies operates in the private sphere and in secrecy, much along the lines of the Harlan Coben novel titled. ‘Tell No One’. If you tell someone they will not believe you anyway, especially if you are the woman of the middle class home. If people by chance do believe you they will excuse your partner’s behaviour. The excuses are made along the lines of, “he is tired from working all week”, “he must be worried about the bills”. The sub-text of all this pathetic excuse making is that people do not want to get involved because it may then reveal the cracks in their own lives. Earthquakes only happen in third world countries, not in the tree lined suburbs of the Western world.
The woman who is being shoved and pulled roughly starts to wonder whether what she is experiencing is ‘normal’. After all, violence must produce blood to termed as ‘violence’ in the first place? Does it? If no bruises show up is it still violence? Perhaps the definition of violence allows the middle class man to get away completely because there are no bruises and no blood is drawn. He has made his manly point. Is that not his right? After all he is king of the castle.
Such are the ugly secrets that lie behind those lovely curtains or blinds in any street. It is still male domination and is wrong.