Violence against women

Dear Editor,

The number of women that are likely to be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime is 20-30%. Some research suggests a higher number of up to 56% of women. One-third of women will be a victim of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Although it is possible for men to be victims as well, 80-85% of victims are women. It’s clear that there is an issue here. This is an uncomfortable subject to talk about, so we try to avoid it and act like it does not exist. However, it is actually too common in today’s society to be considered abnormal, by sociologists.

Why is this so common? Simply, the answer is man. In a patriarchy, or male-dominant power, this is a consequence. Men feel threatened by women’s growing equality. They fear losing their masculinity. What defines masculinity? It’s the qualities or attributes regarded as characteristics of men. However, masculinity has grown to become toxic. Men perform most crimes, yet gender still isn’t a factor acknowledged when analyzing such things. When men or boys act in ways that are deviant or violent, it’s played off as “boys being boys.” The simple idea of a boy picking on a girl because he likes her is not as simple as that anymore. This idea has continued to become more of an issue over the years. Men are degrading women as ways to prove that they are “manly.” Men feel as if they need to act and look mean or they won’t receive respect.

We’re currently experiencing what is called a “masculinity crisis.” Men are over-conforming to the toxic idea of masculinity and toughness because of fears of not being seen as man. Men like to use dominance in wrong ways to prove their power. If a woman is wearing revealing clothes and gets raped, then it is seen as her fault; she was “asking for it” or “she wanted it.” That is not fair; a woman should be able to do what she wants and wear what she wants without having to worry that a man is going to harass her and later have the situation turned on her.

There’s no excuse for a man using his power over a woman because he fears his masculinity is being challenged. Equality is important and men need to take that step forward and support women instead of degrading them.

Faite Smith,

Sheffield, and JCC student


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