In today’s society the legal justice system is called upon and relied upon in many situations. One rarely takes time to think out, however, what consequences one will face for taking advantage of what is defined as individualistic rights. In the reading selection “Wife Battering and the Ambiguities of Rights” the author Sally Merry discusses the implications of the legal system for both men and women when it comes to the issue of spousal abuse.
I learned many new and interesting facts by reading Merry’s selection. One interesting fact that I learned was the extent to which men and women are treated differently and viewed differently by the court and legal system. The author described how from the time a woman begins to take legal action against a spouse who has abused her in some way, shape, or form the woman is automatically looked upon as the victim of the situation and the male is looked at as if he were a criminal. The majority of the time women are treated as if they are the sole victim, even during court proceedings judges have the tendency to speak to the woman in a compassionate tone as she sits with an advocate for support, while the man is isolated and alone and is usually talked down to by the judge. This difference in treatment is extreme, in my opinion, because even though the women usually are the victims in abusive situations I think that when it comes to the law and the legal justice system that everyone should be treated equally as human beings. Merry also went on to discuss the differences between the male and female group sessions within the program Alternatives to Violence (ATV).