Violence against women

 
The body of the 54th woman to be killed by a man (boyfriend, friend, relative) in Italy has been found after having been missing for two days. Someone (a woman) commented on a blog that this happens because we, women are not conscious of our strength, and we don’t see how we don’t need to be beside a man to be something, so we keep stepping into the path of the nice and caring wife and mother. As if there was something wrong with being nice and caring? Isn’t that the contrary of violence, that same we see as violence against women? Being nice and caring?
 
I don’t like the assumption that the problem will be resolved if women are strong. Strength can easily step into violence, and it doesn’t happen only in BDSM clubs (were you have a safe word). Strength gives you a sense of power and power can become an obsession. That’s why straight men rape other men while they would have consensual sex only with women. And women rape too, they are not only the victims. And when the assault is not physical, it doesn’t mean there isn’t emotional blackmail and verbal abuse. I am not suggesting strength is necessarily bad. What I want to point out is that strength is not the solution. The link between violence and fear is well known. And what we are seeing is the result of the end of the patriarchal society. As I said before, I agree that it must end (that what’s the men’s liberation is about). I don’t think that women imposing themselves by erasing all differences with men because “we are not any less” is the right way. And all those men who cannot cope with the loss of their dominion are the proof. You cannot stop a dominion with an attempt to install another one. La Terreur, French Revolution, 1790s did not teach anything to us?
 
Violence against women doesn’t require strong women to stop, but men who can be nice and caring without feeling this as a threat to their virility. What is wrong are the assumptions about virility, that are the base of the patriarchal society. I think it is rather unjust and disrespectful to comment on the death of a 20 years-old girl (but if she was older, or younger, it wouldn’t change much) that it’s because she was weak, and women as a whole in our society are kept weak with the expectation they will be good mothers and good wives. This girl specifically has died because her man thought she called him with the name of her ex. What is that if not possession? And what is possession if not a form of power?
 
If one has read Foucault will probably recollect his idea that, traditionally, power itself is seen as something you possess, and not something you exercise. I think that in this case, he got a point. Here is where the problem of violence against women, or of violence itself, for that matter, lays. We don’t have power over another human being even though we often exercise it. Would things be less tragic if a girl killed her man because he called her with the name of his ex? Of course not.
 
Do men live with the expectation to find a woman to be something? Again, no. Don’t say it doesn’t happen, because it does. Georgina Challenge, Shobhna Chavda…it’s arguably true that men are a vast majority of the guilty, but one woman should be enough to raise the problematic about the assumption the reason is women stick to the good wife-good mother stereotype. Being such doesn’t give anyone the right to perform violence. Period.