The recent mass shootings in Atlanta, have focused attention on the misogynist motivations involved in many mass and individual acts of violence against women. Violence against women is a systemic worldwide crisis that is perpetuated through an underlying message: Male sexual violence is to be expected and women are responsible.
Below are two articles from the NY Times discussing the assumption that men cannot control themselves because women “tempt” men to bad behavior. This statement is entrenched in our society and observed in religion, school policing of girls’ attire, and media, while harassment and abuse are minimized, normalized and therefore often unreported.
How do we lessen misogyny in our society? Jackson Katz, educator and author states “the first step is changing the language used to describe violence against women and characterizing it instead as male violence. The term ‘violence against women’ is a passive construction — there’s no active agent, it’s a bad thing that happens to women, but it’s as if nobody’s doing it to them.”
Jessica Valenti, Author of: How Many Women Have to Diet to End ‘Temptation’ writes, “If we don’t want men to take their sexual frustrations out on women, we need to stop teaching them that it’s understandable if they do.”
Please read the below NY Times articles for more in-depth view of this systemic crisis and ways to counter it.
Article summary written by Advocates for Women News group:
Jinwon Kim, Karen Keenan, Mary Ann Kirkpatrick and Vicki Roberts-Gassler