|Current mood:|| contemplative|
|Current music:||Xtina: "Can't Hold Us Down"|
Violence Against Women: What do you think?
Ok, so I was just doing my homework for my Women Studies class and I thought I'd share it with ya'll. I'd like to know what ya'll think of this subject so hopefully I'll get more notes from people with thise entry. We shall see...
Anywho, my homework is to answer my prof's prompt question about the topic of the week. So here's her question and my answer. Lemme know what ya'll think about this stuff too. I'd love to know!
Prof's Question: I've been thinking about the role gender plays in violence after I read an article about the man suspected of being the "Green River Killer" that mentioned that almost all of the over-forty women killed were prostitutes. Would the article have mentioned the victims' profession if they had all been secretaries?
In that light, here's this week's first prompt. How do violence and the threat of violence exert social control over women? Over homosexuals? Over people of color? Do you ever fear gender-based violence in your own life? Does the threat of gender-based violence affect your daily life, and if so--in what ways? How do you think your gender affects your thoughts on this topic?
My Answer: In response to the article that mentioned the victims of the "Green River Killer" were all older prostitutes, I do think their profession would still be mentioned if they had been secretaries rather than prostitutes. I think the media uses certain words/terms to make their audience feel a certain way. I may be being pessimistic about this, but I think they mentioned the women being prostitutes to make the audience/society feel less sorry for the victims, like they somehow almost deserved what they got. If the women had all been secretaries I'm sure the media would have mentioned this as well but for a pity factor. I think if the women had been secretaries, society might feel more sorry for them being murdered because that is typically a more respectable profession.
In response to how violence and the threat of violence exerts social control over women, I'd say that it greatly effects our (females') behavior when we're out in unfamiliar neighborhoods, out at night, or even just out on our own. We have to be a lot more alert and aware of our surroundings in order to stay as safe as possible. And it doesn't stop there. The threat of violence is so bad now that we even have to be careful what we wear because we don't want someone assuming we're "asking for it". Personally I think that's one of the biggest loads of crap I've ever heard but I know it's something I, as a female, have to be cautious of.
I do fear gender-based violence. I don't let it consume me but I do take precautions, sometimes on a daily basis, to make sure I am as safe as possible. I lock my doors, keep my windows shut/locked, lock my car doors, I dress "appropriately", I don't walk by vehicles that I can't see the inside of (vans w/no windows especially), and I don't go out late at night on my own. If I go anywhere, I tell whomever I'm with or call someone and tell them if they don't hear from me in a given amount of time to check up on me. Even here at Western I take precautions. After this class it is pretty dark outside. I try to leave at the same time everyone else does so people are nearby because I was taught "There's safety in numbers." It may seem like a lot, but in reality it's just a few little things I do to insure my safety.
I know for a fact that my gender influences how I feel on this topic. I hate the fact that I have to take so many precautions to stay safe just because I'm a female. I am bitter of the fact that my brother, cousins, and male friends do not have to worry so much about being out late at night or even being attacked during the day. Yes, most males I know still do things like lock their doors and such to insure their safety but the threat of violence towards them is a lot less intense than it is for me. To me, those precautions feel like something I absolutely have to do. For them it doesn't feel to me like they're worried as much, it's just something they do absent-mindedly.