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Dissertation Title:

Confrontations with Witches, Shrews, and Betraying Wives: Lessons in Female-on-Male Domestic Violence


Merille Campbell Glover

Date, Time & Place:

July 26, 2015 at 10:00 am
Studio, Lambert Road Campus


Despite thirty years’ of research findings demonstrating gender-symmetry in heterosexual Partner Abuse (also known as domestic violence), the criminal justice system, treatment profession, social safety net and the media rarely acknowledge that female-on-male Partner Abuse (PA) is as serious an issue as male-on-female Partner Abuse, or, more critically, an issue at all. This misandrist bias creates significant difficulty for males who are experiencing aggression from their girlfriends or wives. If police are called to the home, it is likely that he will be considered the aggressor. If arrests are made, it is likely that at least he will be arrested, and charged. Even if females are arrested, they do not get charged or adjudicated at the same rates as males. Juries are likely to assign greater harm to an injury of it is perpetrated by a male on a female. This bias should not stand in the way of men recognizing, confronting, and accessing resources that can protect the well-being of their families. That women can be witches, ogres, and shrews must return to the community’s common wisdom, where it can nurture the males and females alike, and where it can then trickle up through the safety net and the media. In this way, men will be more likely to recognize the dangerous creature to whom they are attaching before she seduces him into home life or dooms him to a life of powerlessness. Four folktales reveal four pieces of wisdom for men: the importance of self-preservations (Dogs Rescue Master from Tree Refuge), healing the wounded heart (Tale of the Two Brothers), the necessity of civility (Taming the Shrew), and the importance of staying vigilant (Sister Alenushka and Her Brother Ivanushka). These tales provide essential lessons and generative metaphors which quicken the recognition, action, and healing for the man who is faced with an aggressive girlfriend or wife. As such, the folktales become allies and brothers in the masculine endeavor of accessing resources to protect, strengthen, and restore a peaceful domestic life.


All oral defense attendees must shuttle to the Lambert Road Campus from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria. Parking on campus is not available.

  • Program/Track/Year: Mythological Studies, Track G, 2009
  • Chair: Dr. Ginette Paris
  • Reader: Dr. Aaron Kipnis
  • External Reader: Dr. John Hamel
  • Keywords: