(DV/IPV) Coercive Control Targets Gender Identity with an Emphasis on Male Domination, Sexual Inequality and Personal Liberty
Because coercive control is so closely linked to inequality, to confront it effectively, the advocacy movement should refocus on domination, prioritize “freedom” alongside “safety,” and openly support the feminist agenda.
The critical appraisals of Coercive Control focus largely on what my analysis implies for intervention, a matter to which the book devotes only limited space. In this reply, I reiterate core concepts in the book and acknowledge that much more work is needed to translate the realities of coercive control into practical legal and advocacy strategies.
I review how coercive control differs from partner assaults and so why it merits a distinct response; the extent to which coercive control targets gender identity; the wisdom of complementing the focus on violence with an emphasis onmale domination, sexual inequality and personal liberty; what this implies for shelters and the law; why sexual inequality differentiates coercive control from female partner abuse of men; how sexual equality can be both cause and antidote for coercive control; why I think an affirmative concept of freedom is essential to grasp the human rights violations inflicted by coercive control; and what it means to “story” coercive control by integrating women into the larger liberty narrative on which our national identity rests.