Philippe Brenot

Ordinary Violence From Men To Women Publication date : March 6, 2008

“I accuse men, my brothers, of ordinary violence against women: moral, physical and sexual violence. In particular, I denounce the presence in women's lives of that deaf, blind, banal, everyday violence that is a heritage of male dominance — which many believe has disappeared but nonetheless continues to flourish and to fuel conjugal conflict.

“For more than forty years, I have been listening to men, to women and to couples talk about the violence that tears them apart, puts distance between them, and finally separates them. For some, this is the result of neuroses and unresolved conflicts. And there are men who are violent because they are neurotic, psychotic or depressed — but not many. The men I denounce here are those who are violent through imitation, habit, repetition, ignorance, blindness. That is, all the other men. In other words, all of ‘us',” writes Philippe Brenot.

Changing relations between men and women within the modern couple means that we must invent new ways of being together. But it is impossible to do so if we do not admit that this ordinary violence exists, and if we do not try to put an end to it without rekindling the war between the sexes.

Based on the author's extensive experience treating couples in crisis, this is a powerful denunciation of forms of behaviour inherited from the era of male dominance.

There are men who beat women; there are rapists and perverts. But there are also more insidious — more socially acceptable — forms of violence against women that continue to create havoc between partners and in family relations. The author argues that violence is not ingrained in male nature, and he shows how to put an end to violent behaviour — for the greater good of women, as well as of men.

A psychiatrist, sexologist and couple therapist, Philippe Brenot is the author of, most notably, Inventer le Couple (2001). His other works include: Relaxation et sexualité (1998, with S. Képès), Le Sexe et l'Amour (2003) and Le Génie et la Folie (2007).