‘Gender-bashing violence’ and violence against women
In most traditional societies, women, transsexual and transgendered people tend to be viewed as minorities (Kimmel, Kaler, and Aronson 432). Women are exposed to sexual violence which may be through intimidation and coercion. It is however not unusual for men to experience violence. The rate of assault by women is almost equal to that of assault by men, (Kimmel, Kaler, and Aronson 424).
In most societies, gender and sexuality are not tackled exhaustively. The issues of power within a society is also another dilemma that occurs as to who between the sexes should make the rules. According to Kimmel, “violence against women and more so wives, is often persistent and severe, occurs in the context of continuous intimidation and coercion, and is linked to attempts to dominate and control women”, (422). To be able to solve the problem of violence against women and other gender minorities, these two issues require to be dealt with first.
Violence against women is an issue that should be carefully addressed as it exists in most societies. Violation against women is a violation of their human rights. Many women are exposed to the risk of violence despite their age or academic class. Women are more vulnerable to sex. The national crime surveys indicate that “women are much more likely than men to suffer injury as a result of assaults that occur within households”, (426).
The perpetrators of the violence are most often familiar to the women; they may be friends, relatives, or colleagues. These are the people who are expected to be protecting these women but they turn against them. Violence may be physical or sexual. The acts of violence leave the women traumatized. Violence against women is seen as one of the major constraints to the advancement of women in most societies. Women living in war-torn areas experience increased levels of violence and require to be protected.
There is a dire need to strengthen the struggle against violence against women and create awareness about it to have a morally upright society. Laws discouraging violence should be put in place. Harsh measures should be used to punish any individual who engages in a violent act. This will ensure that a repeat of such an action will not occur. The leading causes should be addressed and the consequences of involving in violent acts should be made clear to discourage such acts from occurring. Traditional beliefs that encourage male perpetrated violence should be disregarded for a violence-free society (Kimmel, Kaler, and Aronson 425).
Gender bashing violence against gays, lesbians, and lesbians is also on the rise. The United States National and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Documented that, “incidents of violence against sexual minorities increased by 127% from 1988-1993”, (412). People with transsexual and transgendered characters are also exposed to violence. The society gives them under pressure to make decisions on what sex they want to be (Kimmel, Kaler and Aronson 432).
The rights of women, transsexual, and transgendered people need to be protected. People in society should change their attitude as to how they view women. Men should learn to appreciate their women counterparts and work hand in hand with them for the total development of society. Roles should be divided disregarding the gender of the person involved i.e. Roles should be shared equally among all people of either gender.
Change of attitude will also improve how people within a society use to resolve conflicts. It will prevent the violent based resolution of conflicts and opt for a more acceptable way of resolving the conflicts. Abusive acts towards women and male violence will come to an end with an attitude change. People will act in a more civilized manner thereby creating a morally upright society and one that is concerned with its citizens and their wellbeing.
Gender inequality causing a search for gender differences
It is quite difficult to set a stand as to what creates inequality between genders. Most societies tend to differentiate people based on gender. Most decisions are made based on whether an individual is male or female. In quite a large number of societies, men seem to dominate. They are viewed as the more superior gender. Despite there being differences between the genders, there is no justification for treating the two genders differently.
Both sexes should be given equal treatment in all aspects. The greatest problem is that there exists an unfair distribution of gendered labor in most societies. Jobs tend to be classified based on gender i.e. jobs specific to women and those specific to men (Kimmel and Holler 225). The different psychological perspectives that exist on gender fail to clearly distinguish the judiciousness and institutional aspect of gender. The kind of judgment given as to what clearly defines the difference between the two genders is quite controversial.
The social perspective of gender inequality and difference tries to understand the differences and similarities that exist between men and women. It brings forth the questions: are there any differences between men and women? And if these differences exist, what are they based on? What is not different between men and men? There is an understanding that gender difference is the product of gender inequality rather than the root cause of gender inequality.
In classroom gender, men are seen to be more favored with formal education being limited to men. According to Kimmel, “many opponents of women’s education believed that women would not withstand and would not wish to subject themselves to the rigors of higher education, while others developed the possibility that educated women would seek employment outside the home”, (190). This shows that gender differences occur as a result of gender inequality and that gender differences do not necessarily lead to gender inequality.
According to Kimmel gender involves the activities that one does rather than what an individual possesses. Gender tends to give an individual his or her identity i.e. whether an individual is male or female. Kimmel believes that gender differences are created while gender inequalities are collectively constructed. Gender inequality is seen to prevent men from loving as a result of adherence to the traditional belief of masculinity.
Men tend to be so attached to traditional beliefs and this makes them view life in a chauvinistic manner. In schools, women experience sexual harassment and discrimination (Kimmel and Holler 196). Children are however not tied up to these traditional beliefs and conceptions of the roles of men and women. Therefore, children do not have a distinction of what roles belong to men and those that belong to women.
The rate of potential change is quite slow in the society and people should try to create a primarily independent society in the institutions that they exist in. These include Workplaces, homes, and schools. People seem to be resistant to change and want to enjoy the comfort of the beliefs that are already in place. Traditions/ traditional beliefs tend to place barriers to personal development and thus prevent people within society from improving their lives. People living within the comfort of traditional beliefs fail to advance as the beliefs put limits on growth. For any advancement to occur, people need to change their attitudes and disregard the traditional beliefs that lead to gender discrimination (Kimmel and Holler 231).
The fact that men have been made to think that they are dictated by testosterone makes them violent. Such a belief should be disregarded because it tends to mislead men. Men are made to believe that their masculinity gives justification to their actions and encourage gender discrimination (Kimmel and Holler 231). This belief should not exist in any modern society.
Having sexual independence allows men and women to act as healthy sexual beings without being viewed in terms of their gender. Both men and women have the freedom to engage in all roles without being restricted by gender or sexuality. Although gender differences exist, they have reduced as compared to the past decades. This fact can be supported by the fact that women and men attend the same classes and also occupy various job positions.
There seems to be a form of equality in place. Women are privileged to receive the same treatment as men. No gender discrimination occurs in terms of receiving education or job opportunities. Kimmel affirms this when he states that “women’s entry into paid employment is a long-term trend that may soon culminate in a female-majority workforce” (238).
The fight towards gaining gender equality has been a long-fought battle in our gendered society. Women have over the decade faced workplace discrimination hindering their rise in the professional ladder (Kimmel and Holler 239).
Society tends to view the gender battle as an issue mainly for women. Gender equality is not all about wanting to be like the other gender. Each gender should work towards being themselves. In most cases, gender difference issues are often exaggerated. With the current change in attitude in most societies, we hope that the fight towards gaining gender equality is almost coming to an end. This will bring to an end gender-based violence and injustices. However, if we still embrace a gendered society, the battle of the sexes will range on.
Kimmel, Michael and Jacqueline Holler. The Gendered Society: Canadian Edition. Ontario: Don Mills OUP, 2011.
Kimmel, Michael, Amy Kaler and Amy Aronson. The Gendered Society Reader. Ontario: Don Mills OUP, 2008.