It is important thatdistinct theories offemale violence areconstructed in order tohighlight the differentplaces women and menoccupy in society,whether violence canbe observed or not.
Violence The expression of physical or verbal force against self or other, compelling action against ones will on pain of being hurt. It is used as a tool of manipulation and also is an area of concern for law and culture which take attempts to suppress and stop it;Sexual violence The use of physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against his or her will, involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, to decline participation, or to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act either because of illness, disability, or the influence of drugs, or because of intimidation. Victims often normalise sexual violence, defining such behaviour as normal or inevitable.Sexuality A domain of exploration, pleasure, and agency as well as a domain of restriction, repression, and danger.
Patriarchy A familial-social, ideological, political system in which men – by force, direct pressure or through ritual, law and language, customs, etiquette, education, and the division of labour, determine what part women shall or shall not play, and in which the female is everywhere subsumed under the male (Rich 1977; 57).Pornography Derived from ancient Greek porne and graphos, mean ‘writing about whores’. It involves the portrayal of explicit sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual excitement and erotic satisfaction.Feminism A political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. It involves political, cultural and sociological theories, as well as philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference.
Within the field of feminism sexuality is generally seen as a socially constructed phenomenon, and not as biologically determined. This means that sexual structures including sexual preferences and tendencies are constructed and contextually determined, whereas biological determinism is the perspective that sexuality is something unchangeable.
1878 Matrimonial Causes Act: law in England against abusive partners Victorian feminists: fought for women’s rights to both divorce and legal separation on the grounds of a husband’s violence. Frances Power Cobbe: wife beating wife torture “violence against women is not the pathological behavior of a few sick men” 1850 – 1900: In America a lot of women supported the temperance demand for restrictions on alcohol. Excessive drinking wife beating. Male violence has always been one of the main issues of feminism Has become a key area of study for feminist theorists
One out of three women worldwide has experienced rape or sexual assault. In some countries, up to one-third of adolescent girls report forced sexual initiation One preliminary study in eight different countries found a 24.7 per cent rate of sexual violence in dating relationships. Studies show that 5-10 per cent of men report a history of childhood sexual abuse. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls throughout the world are forcibly trafficked and prostituted each year. A report of seven different countries found that more than 60 per cent of sexual assault victims know their attackers. A large number of sexual assault victims are less than age 15. In a randomly selected study of nearly 1,200 ninth grade students in Geneva, Switzerland, 20 per cent of girls revealed they had experienced at least one incident of sexual abuse. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, alone, estimates of the numbers of women raped range from 10,000 to 60,000. A survey in the United Kingdom found that 19.4 per cent of women had been victims of sexual violence.
200.000 people a year in are victims of serious domestic violence. 60 per cent are female victims and 40 per cent are male victims. The percentage of male victims is getting higher every year. 83 per cent of the perpetrators are men. 75 per cent of the domestic violence is physical and sexual. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 years. 93 percent of offenders are male. Family Violence costs Australia about $8 billion per year, a substantial proportion of which is borne by the victims themselves. 1 in 6 reports to Police of rape and less than 1 in 7 reports of incest of sexual penetration of a child result in prosecution. Only 19 per cent of adult Turkish women are literate . 42 per cent of women are exposed to domestic violence. 49.1 per cent of women are beaten by their partners. 46.6 per cent is experienced in rural areas while 40.3 per cent of acts are perpetrated in cities. Over half of the victims fail to report their experience to the authorities. Victims are four times as likely to attempt suicide after experiencing sexual violence. 38.6 per cent of women who did report the crime blamed themselves.
1980 higher profile because of women survivors sharing their experiences Past 30 years – 98% are committed by men (‘normal’ men) Fundamentally related to the power of disparity of the adult-child relationship. But not only ‘misuse of power’. How can we determine child sex abuse? Three key elements: betrayal of trust and responsibility, the abuse of power and the inability of children to consent (Macleod and Saraga 1988).
By Luce Irigaray. Objects of male desire: female sexuality itself is constructed phallocentrically. ‘Penis envy’: “penis being the only sexual organ of recognized value”. “…a hole-envelope that serves to sheathe and massage the penis in intercourse, a non-sex”
by Diane Richardson Male-defined sexuality has gained new urgency with the spread of HIV New meanings for sex and the erotic which are not focused on intercourse or having a orgasm Saver for women (aids, pregnancy, abortion, sexual diseases, cervical cancer) and maybe more satisfying Less penis envy no penetration
By Patricia Collins What’s the perspective/history about (sexual) violence from black women? Key pillar on pornography “more ancient roots of modern pornography are to be found in the almost always pornographic treatment of black women who, from the moment they entered slavery, were subjected to rape as the “logical” convergence of sex and violence.” Sarah Baartman (‘Guy with a beard): Hottentot Venus 18th century Europe Black whores made white virgins possible: stereotypes created
Domestic violence between lesbian couples makes analyzing male violence harder (just like race – black women, age – child sex abuse and so on) Sheila Jeffreys (Anticlimax): “Heterosexuality as an intuition is founded upon the ideology of ‘difference’.” Structured in the society True feminists, women with freedom, should be lesbian? “Demolition of heterosexual desire is a necessary step on the route in women’s liberation” Bell Hooks (Ending Female Sexual Oppression): “Just as the struggle to end sexual oppression aims to eliminate heterosexism, it should not endorse any one sexual choice.
Queer Theory originates, in large, from feministic and homosexual research. Its main aim is to question “truthful” and objectively natural categories by challenging the hetero-normative as a reproducer of societal structures.
Many feminist theorists believe that sexual orientated violence is used as a form of control. “Social control is the purpose and may also be the outcome, of gendered social relations” (L. Kelly). “Male control of female sexuality is the foundation of patriarchal societies and the result of this is sex colonization” (C. MacKinnon).
Pornography is perceived as a phenomenon which degenerates women’s sexuality by articulating it, as something “dirty”. Pornographic visuals are deeply integrated in, and widely distributed throughout society, which continuously leads to the objectification and deliberated stagnation of women’s sexuality. (A. Dworkin)
International condemnation of sexual violence became widespread in many western democracies with the rise of women’s rights in the 19th and 20th centuries. Local and international private groups have been founded throughout the world in response to growing sexual violence statistics. Responsible governments have also created entities to promote women’s rights and counter the increasing budgets needed to prosecute offenders. Events and groups such as White Ribbon Day, Freedom From Fear, Hurriyet Man Up, Australia Says No! work to prevent sexual violence. However, some groups are only solely dedicated to treating victims and helping them recover from traumatic events.
As the heart of feminist theory, gender equality remains the true goal of feminists everywhere. Domestic abuse and sexual violence present the single biggest challenge to women’s rights. Despite decades of advancements and international condemnation, sexual violence statistics continue to rise. Feminist theory attempts to describe and help us understand why and how sexual violence exists. Key theories highlight how sexual violence is not a single experience and varies worldwide. To continue to combat sexual violence in both the public and private spheres, greater awareness is required to signify how these acts are socially unacceptable.
Essed, P, Goldberg, D T & Kobayashi, A 2005, ‘Domestic Violence’, A Companion to Gender Studies, Blackwell Publishing, United Kingdom.Kemp, S & Squires, J 1997, ‘Sexualities’, Feminisms, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Robinson, V & Richardson, D (eds.) 1997, ‘Sexuality and Feminism’, Introducing Women’s Studies, Palgrave, New York. Robinson, V & Richardson, D (eds.) 1997, ‘Women, Violence and Male Power’, Introducing Women’s Studies, Palgrave, New York.Jackson, S (ed.) 1993 , ‘Sexuality’, Women’s Studies, Essential Readings, New York University Press, New York.