Amory's Reviews > Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
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's review
Jun 19, 2015

it was amazing
Read in January, 2008

this book is SO GOOD. Bancroft describes the abuser mentality in a way that demystifies the cycle of abuse for survivors. As someone who works with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as a survivor myself, I recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand and end abusive relationship patterns.

This book also helped me understand and demystify colonial dynamics-- read Said's description of the construction of the Orientalist on the fictional body of the "Orient" and/ or "Oriental"; or Fanon's statement in Black Skin, White Masks: "The feeling of inferiority of the colonized is the correlative to the European’s feeling of superiority. Let us have the courage to say it outright: It is the racist who creates his inferior.” Something else I took away from it (after reading it with Said) is how it helps articulate/ reveal patriarchal processes of gendering.

This book is EXCELLENT and I have given copies to numerous friends striving to understand hierarchical power dynamics. Its title is offputtingly heterosexist, but Bancroft describes his use of male/ female pronouns throughout the book in his introduction, addressing the fact that just as patriarchy and sexual violence privilege male-assigned people, in his experience male-assigned people perpetrate much more of that kind of abuse, especially toward female-assigned people in heterosexual relationships.

This book's gender politics could be more radical and inclusive but at the same time does a great job of addressing the role of hierarchical violence in enforcing binary gender roles within a heteropatriarchal system.
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02/17 marked as: read

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Mynnia Thank you for the recommendation! Interesting, how a book about private abuse connects to colonial topics, but not too surprising, since the division into "private" and "public/political" is a very white and colonial idea.

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