History and statistics have shown that Men as a gender are raised to believe that they are the superior gender and that they must adhere to a certain masculine stereotype. The breadwinner, the protector of morals and the ‘hunter’ while women are traditionally meant to do housework, cook, produce children or knit sweaters.
‘But not all men’ is a war whine women hear all too often with women safety. Yes, we know not every single man is an abuser or a rapist. When we say men we don’t mean each individual man. We mean men as a collective entity. Yes, we as members of this society are all too aware about men being victims of harassment and abuse. And we condemn it. It is still the other side of the patriarchy coin because of the perpetuated stereotype of what constitutes a man. Anything else is deemed feminine and therefore, inferior.
An equally massive problem is that the onus is always on women to protect themselves.
The trauma of abuse and violence is often followed by another traumatic chapter of being blamed for the abuse. Don’t make eye contact, don’t wear skimpy clothes, don’t go out at night or come home late. But no one thinks to restrain men from trying to establish dominance with abuse. And if we do try to raise this issue we’re being anti-men.
They say women should learn self defence. But you know what? I don’t want to. I have a right to walk a street without being molested for it. Not everyone can or wants to be in battle mode constantly and that’s okay.
Most women hesitate to speak out because once we do, it becomes a trauma of another kind. It feels like a punishment for daring to raise our voices.
Almost every woman has faced abuse in some form and degree. You’d be hard pressed to find a woman who hasn’t. No matter what nationality you belong to, women’s safety is a widespread problem.
The abuse is not always in the form of obvious threats from strangers. More often than not it is someone known to the victim in an intimate capacity. The undeniably patriarchal system has ingrained the inferiority of women so deeply that often the perpetrator isn’t even aware that his actions are wrong.
Statistics show that most female abuse victims face abuse from intimate partners.
Physical or psychological aggression, stalky behaviour, verbal abuse, rape and sexual violence. Abusers typically try to isolate and harass their victims and generally make victims feel like there is no option open to them.
While gun laws exist, the laws are pretty lax and often riddled with loopholes. Guns are the top choice of weapon against domestic partners. In 2012, 1,706 women were murdered with the aid of weapons that should not be so casually handed to all and sundry. Current events indicate that the number of gun induced fatalities are remarkably on the rise with leadership that brushes aside violence against women.
Violence from intimate partners has a considerable effect on work life too.
Woman might arrive late to work or miss working days because of domestic violence. Unemployment insurance is a resource for women to get out of abusive situations. Unemployment insurance insures you only if you leave with ‘good cause’. Domestic violence is deemed a good cause and give women the opportunity to deal with damages, protect loved ones and make alternative arrangements if any.
Nearly 31.5 percent woman experience physical abuse from an intimate partner, 9.2 experience stalking, 8.8 experience rap and 15.8 experience other forms of sexual violence according to analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS).
Workplace abuse is another occurrence that can cause havoc in a woman’s life, affecting not only her mental sanity but also her money generating options. While there are laws against work place harassment, they don’t appear to be very effective. Often it is counted as her word against his. The woman in question is likely to lose her job if she raises her voice and may even find it difficult to get a new one.
LGBT women face abuse way more than average white cis female. They are verbally abused because of their sexual orientation or departure from conventionally gender approved attire.
Abuse is not a weapon of men alone. Often women, with internalised patriarchy harass others of their gender stating moral superiority that undermine the value of women as individuals with individual rights.
There have been various efforts to pass laws that benefit women and provide help for them to participate completely in all works of life without fear of negative consequences. It is far from being truly effective but the change has begun despite powerful efforts to undermine them. Knowledge is power and a good criminal defense lawyer can advise you about the relevant laws that can be used to bring justice to the perpetrators.
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