Women and Violence

It seems that society does not understand rape, does not hold the attackers accountable or responsible for their actions in committing a crime, even a serious violent crime. If society does not find it wrong for strangers or acquaintances to commit rape, how would society ever find it wrong for a husband or boyfriend to rape his wife or girlfriend? (Kelly, 1989) Even though 28% of victims were raped by, their husband or boyfriend and 14% of married women are raped by their husband, with 70% of those husbands under the influence of alcohol or some other drug. (Dos, 2006)If society does not find it alarming, how are the victims supposed to have the courage to stand up and demand justice? The statistics on rape in general are a loose estimate, as 61% of rapes are not reported to the police. In 2001 only 39% of rapes were reported, that is less than one out of every three. About 44% of victims are under 18 years of age, three out of twenty are under the age of 12, of those victims 93% know their attacker and 34.2% of those were a family member with 58.

7% being an acquaintance. It is staggering to learn that in the United States, someone is being sexually assaulted every two minutes. (Dollard, 2003)A whopping 90% of all victims who do know their attacker do not report it. About 40% of rapes occur at the victim’s home, 20% at a friend or relative’s home, 10% on the street and 7% in a parking lot or garage. (Dos, 2006) The average age of rapists is 31, 52% of them are white, in one out of three rapes the perpetrator was under the influence of drugs(4%) and/or alcohol (30%). About 6% of rapes involve a weapon, half use a gun, and half use a knife. (Dollard, 2003)About 61% of rapists never serve one day in prison, because the crime is not reported.

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For every rape reported there is a 50.8% chance that an arrest will be made. If that arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution. If the rapist is prosecuted, there is only a 58% chance of a felony conviction. If the rapist is convicted of a felony, there is a 69% chance that the convicts will some kind of time. So broken down that simply amounts to 39% of rapes being reported with only a 16.3% chance that the rapist will end up in prison, however if unreported rapes are factored in only 6% of rapists see the inside of a cell, or 15 out of 16 rapists walk free.

(Dos, 2006)Despite the changing times, and Senator Biden Jr.’s attempts rape convictions in the United States are declining. In 1992, rape convictions were 2.4% compared with 1.1% in 2000. However, in 1992, only 2.

3% of those convicted were sentenced to life in prison and in 2000, 2.5% were sentenced to life. (Dos, 2006)In 1992, those serving time for rape served half of their sentence, but in 2000, those convicted of rape served 65% of their time. In 1992, 68% of those convicted of rape received some type of prison sentence, 19% received a jail sentence and 13% received only probation. In 2000, 70% of those convicted of rape received some type of prison sentence, 20% received a jail sentence and 16% received only probation. (Dollard, 2003) This is hard to understand in a world where the population has grown considerably in the last fifteen years, and society has gotten more violent and more acceptable to violence, especially dealing with anything sexual in nature. Society has more of an “anything goes” philosophy today than ever before. Thus, it is important to be more socially aware and campaign against such sex crime.

(Crooks, 2005)References:Crooks, R & Baur, K; (2005); Our Sexuality; (9th Ed.); Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth GroupDos, M; (2006); The Future of Thought Process; Alliance Publications.Dollard, John; (2003); Frustration and Aggression; New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Kelly, L (1989) Surviving Sexual Violence. University of Minnesota Press.Popular Culture and the Representation of GenderIn the context of Popular Culture and the Representation of Gender Jean Kilbourne makes an excellent point in her portrayal of advertisement and its appearance of violence and sexually predatory nature. Blatantly sexist, implied violence and the essence of fear or dominance would be inherent in advertisement of all descriptions from lingerie, to jeans all the way to peanut butter. Jean Kilbourne’s essay shows us how much we ignore in the world of advertisement, which simply exemplifies that which we ignore in life as a whole.

Either her portrayal of the difference between perceptions of men and women in the various ads, including such concepts as intimacy, violence and innocence would be such as to cause alarm or to cause us to examine the route advertisement is taking in the role of human behaviours. Human behaviour is altered by stimuli outside the mind, but absorbed by that same mind. This absorption must be considered when understanding the human psyche. (Kilbourne, 2001)In general, advertisement and other popular cultures is quite an informative piece in the context of gender evaluation. It proves that what we see and what we get are obviously gender separate, and can be either intimidating, or thought provoking dependent upon that gender. Most, if not all, advertisement can be considered mildly offensive, no matter the implied innocence. For example, Calvin Klein’s underwear ads spark outrage to this day and yet, regardless that they are only there for a few moments or weeks even, it is enough for people to go out and buy his underwear line. This, without realizing our own actions, simply feeds the desire to continue the outrageous behaviours displayed within the advertisements.

A second example, both on the feminine and masculine side of intimidation, Diet Coke advertisements of Cindy Crawford in a very short skirt drinking a Diet Coke and being ogled by men and boys of all ages and on the other side of the coin, the sweat-coated construction worker ogled by the women in their office building as he drinks the soft drink. (Roberts, 2007)Thus, it can well be stated that representations of men and women in popular culture differ and feminism has failed to alter the representations of women we see today. There are no doubts that our efforts to put a halt to violence (and even the innuendo of violence in both feminist movements and equality-based ones) would in fact be direct. It is also important to the point of understanding of what are acceptable, and what should hardly be. The affect of these ads and other popular gender biased cultures on the younger minds alters the landscape in such a way that we would see it in the actions of younger and younger children.

For instance, the rape of a six year old girl by an eight year old on the same bus while on their way home from school as she was held down by four other boys. In another incident, take the mass murders of classmates in places like Columbine and other school tragedies since that mark their place in this world. (Podolski, 2006)Many images continue to testify to the belief that violence against women is acceptable. It is also acceptable that sex, in the case of the woman, cannot be proven as rape because she is a woman. There is an advertisement, in the March 9, 2006 Rolling Stone magazine on pages five and six of a man pulling a woman’s jeans off on a beach. A blatant testament of dominant sexuality, and then add to that the advertisement on page nine of four pairs of women’s legs, showing off the shoes, or showing off the smooth legs? This is no doubt a blatant approach toward masculine attention. Rolling Stone is an obvious method of exploitation, both masculine and feminine.

An advertisement further in this issue proves that with a woman whose clothing shows the curvature of her bust quite blatantly and then a large white feather pointing directly toward the cleavage. She stands there with her lashes lowered and a bottle of Skyy Vodka with a glass in her hands. (Wenner, 2006)In critical assessment of the world of advertising and its affect on both the masculine and feminine gender is well proven in different academic and social studies. These critical assessments should be considered a wake up call for all in that we ignore the warning signs and exploit the danger in place of fighting against it. If we do not fight as equals, then feminism has no true hold on culture in any way.

This, in actuality, is of a far greater impact on the lives of men and women, as well as boys and girls. Popular Culture and the Representation of Gender have a tendency to mould a generation, and the portrayal of men and women in suggestive or violent poses manages a platform for strong debate.References:Kilbourne, Jean; (2001); Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt: Advertising and Violence; Rereading America Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing 5th Edition; St. Martin’s PressPodolski, V; (2006); Public Perception of Perceptions: An Approach towards Social Intelligence; Dunedin: IBL & Alliance LtdRoberts, O M; (2007); Outline of Social Economy: Media Wars; Wellington: National Book TrustWenner, Jan S.; Editor and Publisher; (March 9, 2006); Rolling Stone Magazine: 1290 Avenue of the Americas; New York, NY 10104-0298 USACommodification of SexIt could be stated that the history of pornography can be traced back to the site of prostitution.

It should be remembered that during the excavation at the site of Pompeii a roman brothel was found which an all kind of sexual activities depicted on the wall. One of them included a man having sexual act with a goat and several had polygamous scenario. In another site in India near Tamluk several terracotta plates were excavated that has varieties of sexual orientations engraved on it including woman having sexual act with a dog or fox. That site was identified as a brothel. Though the sex manual of 400 AD India (Crooks, 2005) was not pornography but a philosophy concerning sexuality, it should be remembered that the site of this text was a brothel in Pataliputra. Thus, the connection between pornography and prostitution could be well established and prostitution is commodification of sex and violence against women.It is obvious that the establishment of prostitution was often implemented by the local rulers for various motives but it is true at the same time that these prostitutions only yielded detrimental effects on the society by harvesting different sexual disease like syphilis more often than not.

The spreading of these diseases is the direct implant of prostitutions and pornography is the indirect effect that instigated the general mass into visiting the brothels. The same is more or less true in modern times, as it has been found that almost 90% of the regular visitors of brothels are user of pornography. Thus, pornography itself, non-violent or not, is a serious injury to the decency of the society along with prostitution. (Dos, 2006)It is obvious sexuality is a normal course of action of a human body and it is prevalent all along, or most of the life of a human being. In due course of action, the emergence of sexual feelings starts with the aspects of puberty.

One gets interested this time into sexual motifs if not directly into sexual acts. Adolescence is that time of human body when one gets interested into sexual pleasure. Nevertheless, this also the time of development of the mind and intellect that would be so vital for the society in tie to come. Logically, this era should be well nurtured and cared and shaped into a perfect future but it has been found that pornography often instigates these juvenile members of the society into premature indulgence into sexual acts. (Dos, 2006)For one thing, men tend to be far more permissive in regards to sexual matters than women are. Men are far more likely to masturbate regularly, to engage in extensive premarital sex, to go to strip clubs, and to use pornography. One important reason why women tend to be more sexually conservative than males is the possibility of pregnancy.

Pregnancy and child rearing require enormous resources; therefore, females do not want to risk unwanted pregnancies. This translates into a general reluctance to engage in casual sexual relationships. However, it must be noted that, because of contraception, abortion, and changing mores, women in industrialized societies are beginning to mimic the sexual behaviours of men. The infamous “double standard,” which stigmatized “loose” women, appears to be eroding to a considerable extent. (Jeffreys, 1997)While it is true that the barriers that differentiated the sexual lives of males and females are eroding. However, it is also true overwhelmingly; men who suffer from sexual disorders are people who engage in unhealththy sexual deviations.

Mostly, males experience sexual dysfunction. It is also true that males engage in sexual deviations. The use of pornography in such cases is used as an alternative to women presence. Majority of persons find this practice to be unhealthful, bizarre, and even grossly immoral or destructive. On each occasion, it has been found that these people have an additive fascination towards pornography.

Speaking of deviations it could be mentioned that these include acts like Rape, Fetishism, Transvestism, Transexualism, Exhibitionism, Voyeurism, Sadism, incest and Masochism. Thus, it is truth and established fact that pornography is a form of violence against women and feminists should seek to censor pornography. (Dollard, 2003)References:Crooks, R & Baur, K; (2005); Our Sexuality; (9th Ed.); Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth GroupDos, M; (2006); The Future of Thought Process; Alliance Publications.Dollard, John; (2003); Frustration and Aggression; New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Jeffreys, S.

(1997) The Idea of Prostitution. Spinifex Press. 

Author: Tommy Hale


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