Gender Equality: The Impact of Gender-Based Violence on Society
Gender-based violence can be defined as “violence that is directed against a person because of their gender,” according to the European Institute for Gender Equality. The website states that “both women and men experience gender-based violence, but the majority of victims are women and girls.”
Forms and Impact of Gender-Based Violence
Although it is more common for men to treat women poorly, it is gender-based because it is still possible for a woman to abuse a man. Some forms of abuse that may occur would be ‘psychological, sexual, physical, or even economic harm. When most people think of gender-based violence, gender discrimination, or abusive relationships, they typically think of physical abuse. That’s usually what first pops into people’s minds. Any other form is hard to prove, which makes it harder for people to believe the victim, which is really upsetting to the victim, those who have been in their place, and anyone who can empathize with the victim.
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Overall, a personal belief of mine is that gender-based violence is a huge setback that keeps victims from moving forward and continuing their lives and that it also keeps society itself from moving forward. Because of gender-based violence, I feel like a large part of society has become almost apathetic to the feelings of the victim. If a person was sexually assaulted, there will be people asking, “What was she/he wearing? What was she/he doing? What did she/he say?” People like this will always try to blame the victim. It can emotionally torment a person and cause them to believe something is their fault when it really isn’t. It can cause a person to become anxious and even have PTSD.
Impact on Societal Progress
It can put a person on edge, and it makes them scared. They don’t know who to trust, all because blame is placed where blame shouldn’t have been. The abuser often isn’t treated how they should’ve been, as a person who caused pain and suffering to another human being without any sort of thought. Or maybe they did think about their actions, and they just didn’t care. Throughout the world, gender-based violence, more specifically women being abused, is why society has so much of an issue with progressing. Because women are treated so poorly so often, people become used to it.
Necessity of Holding Abusers Accountable
For example, think about the 2016 elections. In that election, “Around 60 percent of Donald Trump’s voters said they did not hope to see a female US president in their lifetime” (Independent.co.uk). And why is that? The article doesn’t state people’s reasonings, and it was difficult to find why, except in one video that The Daily Show posted as a half-joke titled ‘Putting Donald Trump Supporters Through an Ideology Test: The Daily Show” on YouTube. In the video, the interviewer asks if women should be president, and the person responds that “The Presidency is a man’s job… a female has more hormones, she could start a war in 10 seconds” (all wars have been started by men?).
In another part of the video, a person states that “these other nations don’t treat women with respect” while wearing a t-shirt that says “Hillary sucks, but not like Monica.” Isn’t that ironic? Someone believes that they live in a country where women are treated with respect while wearing a shirt that is demeaning two women. To cause some sort of change in our society, abusers need to be punished for their crimes of abusing others, no matter what their gender is.
Penalizing abusers can’t be taken lightly and can’t only happen sometimes. It needs to start with our president, as he is the biggest influence on this country. He sets the biggest example of who we are but behaves like a child and does not get punished for his actions, especially when it comes to how he treats women. Time and time again, he has been shown in interviews being rude to female reporters, but why would anyone care? He’s the president; he knows best, obviously. People need to be penalized in some way for their actions so that others won’t follow, or if they still decide to follow, they will be punished properly as well.
- Polianksaya, Alina. “Most Trump Voters Don’t Want a Woman President in Their Lifetime, Poll Finds.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 28 Apr. 2018, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/sixty-per-cent-trump-voters-dont-want-see-a-female-president-lifetime-poll-yougov-america-a8327061.html.
- “Putting Donald Trump Supporters Through an Ideology Test: The Daily Show.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Aug. 2016, youtu.be/Y4Zdx97A63s?t=99.“What Is Gender-Based Violence?” EIGE, 14 Nov. 2018, eige.europa.eu/gender-based-violence/what-is-gender-based-violence.