Essay on Women, Power, and Feminism
Violence against women is a global issue, and recently, various women shelters and women centers have been identified as a crucial aspect in opposing violence against women. While joint efforts are being made by different organizations such as government agencies, non-governmental organizations to offer support and services to women exposed to violence, this violence is contrary to the feminism’s stress on the diversity of gendered experiences. Some of the violence that indigenous women got exposed to include physical violence, sexual abuse, and femicide.
Physical violence against women is expressed as the percentage of women who experience this violence no less than once in their lifetime out of the total population of women. These physical violence are actions aimed at harming the victim and consist of but are not narrowed to grabbing, pushing, twisting their arm, kicking, slapping, biting, pulling the hair, or hitting with an object or fist, attempting to suffocate or strangle, burning or blistering deliberately and assaulting with some kind of weapon such as a knife or gun. Additionally, there is violence suffered by women from their partners, and this contains particularly severe and potentially long-term aftereffects, as it tends to be recurring and goes together with both sexual and psychological violence as well. Young women are more exposed to physical abuse that the elderly (The World’s Women 2015, 130).
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Sexual violence against women includes forceful and abusive behaviors of varying intensity and outcomes, from unasked for touching to enforced intercourse and rape. Just as in physical abuse, the sexual violence that women in relationships go through carries a substantial toll on the victims and relationships. In communities where the traditional gender roles and attitudes still exist, it ‘s hard to leave the partner even if they are violent and women keep on enduring the continuous abuse (The World’s Women 2015, 133).
Finally, there is femicide which is defined as the gender-based murder of women, meaning women are pursued and killed exclusively on the foundation of gender inequalities in the current societies. Amon the different types of femicide, intimate femicide which is the murder of a woman by her mail partner is the most dominant. Other forms of femicide comprise “honor killings,” targeting women during civil conflicts, and dowry deaths, that is, bride burning (The World’s Women 2015, 134).
In the Aboriginal community, women were valued for their mental strength while men were appreciated for their physical strength. Therefore, women were responsible for bearing kids and were granted the power and authority to carry that responsibility. There was a balance between the roles of men and women in the pre-contact Aboriginal societies despite the socio-cultural diversity (Hanson). However, as the European settlers arrived, they imposed their frameworks of belief onto the Aboriginal societal systems that had certain effects for Aboriginal women. For instance, they viewed Aboriginal women as inferior for doing the hard labor of working on lands since they were doing men’s work. With the colonial ideas having changed the way the Aboriginal societies operated, they perpetuated discrimination against Aboriginal women in various ways, some of which have been retained in the contemporary world. As such, the governments have taken measures to normalize gender discrimination, and the three most important areas of focus include regulation of family, reserve system and geographic marginalization, and political exclusion. Government policies have, therefore, affected the expected rights and roles of Aboriginal women in different ways.
Feminists have emphasized on the diversity of gendered experiences. Initially, there existed Western Feminism which dealt with the struggle and pleads for women’s rights without the subject of race, hence, the black women were not put into consideration. Initially, the feminists assumed that the experiences of the white women were a representation of the lives of all women without considering the lives of women of color. However, the feminist theorists have now taken into consideration the correlation between race and feminism in two distinct ways. The first approach considered is viewing race as vital to gender and investigate ways that gender identity is created about race and ways in which racial identity is also set up with regards to gender (“Feminism And Race In The United States”). The second approach is one in which expressions of women in color are included in the standard curriculum in a separate but equal way, and this approach is known as an additive approach since it adds initially excluded voices from the mainstream feminist canon without questioning the constitutionality of these voices.
The issues raced by women in color are almost similar to those by third world women, and it’s viewed as a shift from genetic to cultural racism. In this case however, the third world feminists are striving to declare their difference in disagreement to the monolithic and prevailing opinion of Western feminism which is progressively gaining rightfulness by scheming how the third world women are represented. The Western scholarships on developing countries’ women gives awareness of the impacts of the White women on the third world women in a world system dominated by the West . The third world women are monolithically symbolized by the Western feminists as victims of an outdated patriarchy (“Feminism And Race In The United States”).
Women, Power, and Feminism Essay
“Feminism And Race In The United States.” Iep.Utm.Edu, 2017, http://www.iep.utm.edu/fem-race/.
Hanson, Erin. “Marginalization Of Aboriginal Women.” Indigenousfoundations.Arts.Ubc.Ca, 2017, http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/marginalization_of_aboriginal_women/.
The World’s Women 2015. New York, United Nations, 2015.
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