Translated by Marvin Najarro
We live in patriarchal, misogynist and sexist societies. As a result of this pattern, violence against women is systematic and structural. And also, however despicable it may be, it is a normalized violence because the woman is still seen as an object that belongs to the one who buys it.
It is for that reason that we see parents, brothers, grandparents, friends, lovers, and companions, who believe themselves owners of their daughters, sisters, granddaughters, friends, lovers, and companions. And the same with strangers, they believe themselves as being the owners of any woman, with the right to exclude, insult, beat, rape, disappear and murder them.
A systematic and structural violence that begins with the “it’s a girl” and ends in feminicide. If you are born a woman, you are born with everything against you. It is a violence that tells us that girls play with dolls, that boys can play sports but not the girls, because sports are for boys while girls must clean the house. Violence that tells us that the men must go to school but not the girls, because their role in life is to get married, have children and take care of home.
Violence that tells us that only a few women are able to access higher education, because this systematic violence continues to think that women are an object, and as an object, they do not think, feel, act, and have no rights. Violence that dictates that the woman’s role in life is to open her legs and raise children, period.
Violence that women also exerts against other women, when some of them believing themselves to be chaste, pure and virtuous say that other women for being whores, alcoholics, horny, beseechers, provocative, flighty, promiscuous and drug-addicts deserve to be raped, thus endorsing and feeding the patriarchy of which they are also a part. Ignoring that by exposing a woman, for her behavior and lifestyle, to the double standard of public derision, they also expose themselves, because they belong to the same gender.
A structural violence that feeds a system that manipulates, excludes, and abuses women at all levels of society. A violence that says that women cannot decide over their own bodies, and that that body does not belong to them, but to public derision, and religion’s finger pointing. That is why the right to abortion continues to be denied.
The violence against women has several faces, countless forms, which is why it is often imperceptible; it subtly disguises itself when many men believe they’re flattering when in fact what they’re doing is committing some form of street harassment.
Structural and systematic violence that continues to deny medical care, education and development opportunities to women. A patriarchal justice system, misogynist and sexist: with sexist judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and police, and with nonexistent sentences because the decisions are taken from the misogyny which is hatred against women. Obstetric violence that disrespects women when they are giving birth. Violence that points a finger at her for how she dresses, acts and lives.
Talking about violence against women is talking about the beginning of time.
Every 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is celebrated. Fight that began in 1981, to commemorate the date in which the Mirabal sisters: Patria, Minerva and María Teresa were murdered (in a feminicide) in the Dominican Republic by dictator Trujillo’s orders in 1960. Since 1999, the United Nations has called on the countries of the world to speak out against violence towards women.
However, given that the violence is structural and systematic, what we have to change is the system, the parenting styles, because as I said at the beginning, feminicide is the most atrocious expression of patriarchy over women, but it starts with the exclusion and degradation only because of her gender.
In order to eradicate feminicide we have to eradicate patriarchy, and to eradicate patriarchy we have to change the system. To have equitable and democratic societies, in rights and obligations, we have to uproot patriarchy.
An example of violence against women, which is subliminal, is that taking place in a relationship, when the female partner undergoes surgery to avoid having children, because her partner being a man would never have a vasectomy, because that means losing his manhood -patriarchy stereotypes.
Violence against women is a subject on which we must insist, it falls upon all of us, in all social strata, the urban and rural, because it is the obligation of all to eradicate patriarchy, misogyny and machismo; beginning by stop referring to them as “nice asses”.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado email@example.com
Translated by Marvin Najarro