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The Real Reasons Behind Violence Against Women

The ugly underbelly of society, and why women are constantly being dominated by men.

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Whenever someone says that women have reached equality in today’s modern society, remind them that 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced violence perpetrated by a male in their lifetime. That oughta shut them up.

The Real Reasons Behind Violence Against Women

Being manipulated into trying to look like Barbie isn’t the only form of oppression women have to deal with

Maybe you’ve never experienced violence perpetrated by a male. Maybe you’re not aware of the connection between violence and equal pay for equal work, or the right to make decisions for your body. No worries. The connection is about as clear as a morning after taking tequila shots. But I got you, girl.

The truth is, violence a way to keep the gender status quo. To keep men in charge and women subordinate. Similar to slaves in the American south, men who commit violence against women do so in order to control us. They do it because of –and to sustain– the manufactured gap in human value. To sustain the rationale that you deserve to earn less money for the same work. To sustain the institutions that believe you’re nothing more than a baby vessel. To root ideas that women and men are not equal and therefore undeserving of equal opportunities, including the opportunity for safety.

The Real Reasons Behind Violence Against Women

This article focuses on the left side of this picture, but both sides display forms of oppression…

The problem is an enormous one, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Women in every country experience violence in different ways, from genital mutilation in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East (and even certain western countries… you know who you are) to domestic violence in, well, every corner of the world.

The most extreme form of violence against women, of course, is femicide. The World Health Organization defines femicide as the “intentional murder of women because they are women,” but they also mention that broader definitions include any killings of women or girls. The Guatemalan Human Rights Commission takes the definition further, calling it an “act of terrorism that functions to define gender lines, enact and bolster male dominance, and to render women chronically and profoundly unsafe.”

The Real Reasons Behind Violence Against Women

Nearly 1 in 2 women have experienced sexual violence. 1 in 5 women in the USA has been raped. Children under twelve years old account for 34% of sexual violence against females.

But it’s not just murder we have to worry about. Violence committed by men against women is a multi-tiered, multi-faceted, multi-nuanced issue because of the surrounding factors that make violence against women acceptable. In the United States, we call this rape culture. Rape culture is when female victims of violence and sexual assault are blamed, while the violence perpetrated by men is normalized. You see it in the way female rape victims are blamed because they were drinking, or the clothes they were wearing were “too revealing”. In the way that people joke about how the victim was “asking for it”. In the manner that world leaders *cough cough* are allowed to “grab women by the pussy” and brush it off as locker room chit chat.

The Real Reasons Behind Violence Against WomenLearning about rape culture is like waking up in the morning and seeing Donald Trump naked, looming over you. Once you see it, it can’t be unseen.

To combat inequality and violence, UN Women puts on 16 days of awareness every year, known as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. The campaign spans from November 25th (Elimination of Violence against Women Day) to December 10th (Human Rights Day) each year. Because, you know… women’s rights are human rights and all that.

Every country and city will be trumpeting these 16 days in their own way, so go to the UN Women website, find your city, and find out how you can participate in spreading awareness about violence against women.

The only way to end violence against women is to change the concepts that deem women as lesser than men. Violence against women by men is often a show of dominance, intended to keep women in their place. Thus, changing the normalized concepts of inequality between men and women is the most powerful way to eliminate the violence, and even get that promotion you’ve been salivating over.

Ariana is a writer and world traveler. Her writing covers her three main passions: women’s empowerment, travel, and culture. The beauty of the world is not just in scenic mountain views or turquoise waters; it’s in doing the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. For Ariana, that thing is stringing words together.

Reader Discussion: 44 Comments

  1. Stacey Adams

    I once had an ex that stalked me in the alley at the back of our house whenever I go home from school or from a friend’s house. He’s super creepy! I think he’s kinda obsessed with me, and I don’t like that obsessive attention directed to me. What if it escalates into something that is harmful like violence or even rape?! And I can’t even imagine how he turned into that creepy kinda guy. I mean he’s a nice guy, and I know his parents well, and they are nice, too. I feel that my privacy is invaded. I feel afraid…

  2. Irvette LeBlanc

    What I think is the worst is acid attacks directed to women! And it can have the basest reason: sexual and personal conflicts in intimate relationships, or mostly, simply because the victim is a girl or a woman! Imagine being thrown with a chemical that can ruin your face for life and even blind you (they use nitric, sulphuric, or hydrochloric acid). It will traumatize anyone for life! I read that Bangladesh has the most cases, and most attacks come from South Asia.

  3. Aiesha Dudley

    One of the extremely real and painful experiences women can have is emotional abuse. We only think of physical abuse when relating to relationship problems, but emotional abuse is also a form of domestic violence. It can damage the mental health of its victims and have devastating effects. It is also considered a crime. No person should undergo such an unjust treatment from a partner who hypocritically shows to the world that they have a perfect family when in fact they don’t.

  4. Virginia Farleigh

    How do you f*ckin’ feel when you see many ‘beautiful’ faces and bodies in media? Do you not feel shameful about how shitty you think you look? It is hard to see the importance of inner beauty when there is pressure from the outside. And when we start to lose self-esteem, we become vulnerable from abuses because we are not empowered enough to stand up for our own rights! So stop acting like a sorry ‘bitch,’ quit those beauty magazines and reality shows, and start building the confidence you need. And never, NEVER be dependent on men on everything! We do not owe anything from them!!!

  5. Jennifer Hartmann

    Small things escalate into larger ones when it comes to violence against women. It can start in cat-calls, going to harassment, getting down to rape and abuse, until it ends on death. And it’s all because of the fact that we view women differently. We are wasting precious lives because of the way we view women as lesser in some degree than men, that we deem them as possessions or objects rather than as persons with dignity.

  6. I’m starting to think that it’s so difficult for women to survive in this world now. I’m not trying to be a pessimist but if you look at the news, it’s mostly women that are the victim. I’m not saying that men can’t be victims too but it’s the majority of women being raped or battered. Parents sometimes have a role in this. When there’s more broken homes than happy families, or there’s more yelling than actual talking at home, we’re raising kids who are not mentally healthy– resulting to violence.

  7. The world needs a lot of work in terms of equality. We’ve come a long way but it’s still not enough.

  8. Opal Greene

    The real reason behind violence is because some men really are greedy about power. They just want to rule everything and want to dominate women even in relationships. Helping women or clicking all these links are just ways to cover up the damage, but the issue isn’t solved at all. How can we even stop men from doing this? It’s impossible! It’s like we have to gather all men and reset all of their belief just so they can be taught how to be good again.

  9. Nellie Mills

    I’m bothered by the images here and it broke my heart just by seeing it….

  10. Tracy Fletcher

    That joke about seeing Trump naked says it all. Nobody wants that, okay?🤪

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