May 25th, 2007

thinky tim

For personal reference

Collapse )

Collapse )

End result: I'm setting a goal of finishing a Women and Violence entry before I go out this evening. Then I'll have a couple days of doing fun stuff, and then go back to work. I can manage to accomplish everything I need to without letting it overwhelm me, dammit.
thinky tim

Policing women through violence [Women and Violence, Part 7]

[This is part of my series on Women and Violence, which I am writing as a project for a Women Studies course I'm taking. For an explanation and information on my intentions with this series, please see the introduction.]

In an article titled "'Femininity' and women's silence in response to sexual harassment and coercion," Kathleen V. Cairns describes how harassment of women functions as a method of social control over women's behavior:

[O]vert practices include the public, ritual shaming of women in the form of catcalls, lewd remarks and so on which serves to demonstrate the fact that 'any man or group of men feels entitled not only to pass judgement on any woman walking along minding her own business, but also to announce it to her' [Kotzin 1993: 167]

[...]

In patriarchy, women are taught to accept that their femaleness, their simple presence, are responsible for men's behavior towards them [...] It becomes women's responsibility to police themselves, to keep their dress, comportment and presence within approved limits to avoid 'provoking' harassment. (96-7).


This dynamic - of men acting with impunity to judge women, and women shouldering the blame for men's actions towards them - can be applied to other forms of gender violence as well. What it comes down to is the way that negative reactions from men - or even the anticipation of those reactions - function to police women in everything from their appearance to their behavior.

Collapse )

x-posted to Shrub.com