Application of Benjamin’s Theory

An application of Benjamin’s theory may help to explain why people stay in abusive relationships; they acknowledge their partner’s subjectivity by recognizing that they are a separate person and fulfilling their demands, but their partner refuses to reciprocate and sees the partner as an object.

By refusing to reciprocate, the abused subconsciously begins to perceive themself as an object and disregards their own emotional wants and needs. Which then creates further trauma for the abused, until eventually they cannot function emotionally or otherwise without their abuser supporting them.

This definitely changes my understanding of how certain patterns of abuse and social control work, as many other systems of power and oppression are formed and maintained in this same manner as the domestic abuser. An action that I might urge others to take is to validate other’s emotional subjectivity.

Domestic abuse and oppression occurs because of a refusal to recognize someone as a person, as a conscious individual just like you or me;if you want to overome the deleterious and detrimental systems ingrained in our society, start with recognizing others as individuals. 

Reid M.

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