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an excerpt from Kevin Powell's 10th and latest book, "Open Letters to America" (Soft Skull).
The regular thread in my conversations with women who are domestic violence survivors is their low self-esteem, a feeling that this man, this male partner, somehow validates their lives, their being, even as this partner seeks to control or end their lives. When we talk about “domestic violence” against women and girls, I would submit that it is more than the actual laying of hands. We’ve got to extend the conversation to the invisible “hits” they take every single day of their lives, especially if they are undereducated women, or poor women, or women of color. So many women have never heard of terms like “feminist” or “womanist,” will never read the writings of bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Eve Ensler, or Alice Walker. Quite the contrary, most women do exactly what the women in my own family do: make it happen from day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year, by whatever means they can create for themselves.