Chapter 3: The Bully

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He knows that we are chattels and are owned by men. He knows that women like to be treated like this and need to be kept in order. He knows women are like pets and need controlling and protecting. He believes that women and dogs need to be trained. Our Bully knows women are inferior and men are superior in every way. If questioned about this belief, he will usually say that this is because men are physically stronger.

This is an interesting example of confused reasoning. If he was right, and men are superior to women because they are physically stronger, then he must believe all men are superior to all women because they are indeed stronger. However, if he believes this, then he must also believe that all physically strong creatures are superior to all physically less strong creatures. If that were true, then the most superior creature in the world would be an elephant or a whale. These creatures would rule the world. This is patently not the case. Our Bully is mixing up or conflating two different concepts. Physical strength is not the same thing as superiority.

The Bully knows that violence is acceptable if you have a good excuse. This means that violence is acceptable if someone does something you do not like. I have lost count of the times I have heard groups of abusive men say it would be OK to kill your wife if you found her in bed with someone else. I often remind them that, in the UK, it is legal to have an affair or leave your partner. It is not legal to murder your female partner.

Where does our Bully get his beliefs from and how are they reinforced by the society he happens to live in?

Where shall we start? How about his childhood? Our Bully may have learned by example. He may have seen his father bullying his mother, his brothers bullying his sisters. He may also have copied his father by having tantrums to get his own way. This tactic may have been successful. Women can learn early not to challenge and to opt for a ‘quiet life’. This would have reinforced the belief that bullying works. However, this is not necessarily the case. Many abusive men have non-abusive fathers. Many non-abusive men have had very violent fathers. Beliefs can come from many other sources outside the family.