November 25, Day against violence against women: denounce, speak, exist
November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Womenanniversary established byUnited Nations General Assemblythrough resolution number 54/134 of 1999, which states: “Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to cause physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering, including threats, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether they occur in public or private life “.
The date coincides with the femicide of Mirabal sisters, Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa, killed on November 25, 1960 on the orders of the dictator of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. The three Mirabal sisters were activists who fought against the dictatorship of General Trujillo and on November 25, 1960 they were stopped by the military, raped, tortured, strangled and thrown over a precipice to simulate an accident.
“Today is the International Day against Violence against Women and even the Hall of Palazzo Madama stopped to reflect on what is the most tragic slaughter of the contemporary world”. This was stated by the President of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, during the event “No to violence – The cry of women” held at Palazzo Madama.
If there is one thing that is true, real and concrete about gender-based violence, it is that in order to talk about it, one must know how to see it, distinguish it, one must know how to recognize it. Carlotta Vagnoli in his essay Maledetta Sfortuna he describes how the acts of violence are very different from each other, and are hidden in our daily life, in the newspapers we leaf through, in the words we hear at school or at work. Gender-based violence has a long way to go, a path that has its roots in the common cultural heritage and crosses the language, education and patriarchal gender roles that are the basis of discrimination, which then leads to violence.
November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against
According to the latest report published by the Interior Ministry for the Day against violence against women, in 2021 89 women were victims of violence every day in Italy. From 1 January to 21 November this year, 263 murders were committed in Italy, with 109 women victims of which 93 were killed in the family, of these, 63 found death at the hands of their partner or ex-partner. The right word to talk about this phenomenon is femicide, a word that until a few years ago was not taken into consideration, no one pronounced it outside the fields of activism against violence against women.
What was claimed was the futility of a term that could very well have been matched by the word murder, why add further complexity after all? Because murder is not enough, femicide tells us that women trapped in toxic relationship dynamics are killed every 72 hours, a systemic, sadly democratic phenomenon, at the base of which there is a male-dominated culture, an asphyxiated and patriarchal socio-cultural model. , which pushes men to consider women a subordination, their property, and to implement dynamics of possession that society itself normalizes, a process of denial and control that society has created and supported, a very widespread cultural climate that is it fights only with educational tools, such as projects in schools and laws to eliminate discrimination against women, in all areas.
Also in the essay Maledetta Sfortuna, we read: “We are all constantly exposed. Men are all constantly exposed to a culture that makes violence against others the greatest indicator of power. Potentially, due to the cultural and stereotypical system in which we grow up, any man could end up with us. Not all, of course, but the patriarchal matrix teaches everyone “. This means that stereotypes, gender violence, discrimination, we are all invested, we are all permeated. It is something that interests and involves everyone, always. In Italy, however, there is a very strong cultural resistance, also and above all political on the issue of gender roles.
One of these crosses the theme of language: the sexist lexicon is propagated through allusions, aesthetic comments to which women and their bodies are subjected, comments that indicate precisely how the female body is subjected to constant judgment, is a mobile target of male externalizations. . The birth of the sexist lexicon is the precise indicator of gender stereotypes that want “the performative male, aggressive and prone to hyper-sexuality, the passive woman, prey and ready to be conquered by virility. The female body is constantly subject to unsolicited comments and expectations of beauty precisely to discredit a person’s qualification and claim the pleasure that the male eye requires “.
To denounce, to speak, to exist
As we read in Michela Murgia’s essay, Shut up, “It is not strange that the result of this toxic pedagogy is that every girl thinks she is beautiful only if she finds someone who shouts it at her on every street corner or puts likes on her a social network, and within this dynamic it is perfectly logical that in every public sphere the judgment on the greater or lesser desirability of women is continuously expressed even in contexts where it has absolutely nothing to do “.
Gender-based violence has a long way to go, a path that has its roots in the common cultural heritage, and reverberates through those attitudes that tend to justify and normalize the violence suffered by women, a set of beliefs known as rape culture, beliefs that in the our society act undisturbed. As can be seen from the essay Transforming a Rape Culture by Buchwald, Fletcher and Roth:
“The culture of rape is a set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and support violence against women. This happens in a society where violence is seen as **** and sexuality as violent. In a culture of rape, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual commentary to physical harassment to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as “normal”. In the culture of rape both men and women assume that sexual violence is “a fact of life”, as inevitable as death or taxes “.
It is evident at this point that in order to be able to talk about gender violence one must know how to see it, distinguish it, one must know how to recognize it. Violence takes many forms, such as in a pyramid scheme, at the base of which is catcalling (male harassment which consists of unwanted comments, sexual allusions and groping in vehicles or on the street, addressed to a woman in an explicit, vulgar way and sometimes threatening), **** shaming (stigma of the *****), victim blaming (the blaming of the victim which consists in holding her partially or entirely responsible for what happened to her), stereotypes, body shaming, sexism, and then climbing, along the pyramid of hatred, harassment, stalking, non-consensual sharing of intimate material, physical and psychological violence, and finally, at the top, femicide.
Where we can and must intervene is in connivance, systemic, social, institutional, and take seriously the phenomenon of patriarchal violence, of which femicides are the tip of the iceberg. For example, by increasing, or even just unblocking, the funds that the governments of the world should provide to combat gender-based violence: on 15 October 2021, only 2% of the funds for 2020 went to anti-violence centers and shelters.