Essay: Women and Violence Feminism

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Violence Women

Violence Against Women: Its Portrayal in Newspaper Media

The problem of Violence Against Women is both pervasive and historically omnipresent. Though its definition has often been subject to extreme variation, sociological exploitation of women, domestic abuse and sexual assault have nonetheless shown themselves be a real and self-perpetuating conditions in the Canadian family and community. Domestic violence is usually a term used to describe physical assault or sexual assault levied by a family member, romantic partner, caretaker or acquaintance against such a relation. This typically is a crime which is committed against women or children, most often by husbands or fathers respectively. That is less exclusive than conditional upon commonality however, as domestic violence may also describe such violence against men. In spite of this broad definition, violence against women has especially been a challenge to prevent or even detect, with its long-term consequences on its victims being significant and often emotionally crippling. This is the focus of the literature review which is here conducted on the subject, with the understanding that a long-term persistence of violence against women bears a connection to sociological, economic, political and legal realities. The research sources selected are intended to investigate these connections.

Literature Review:

Marriner (2003):

The article by Marriner (2003) takes on this issue of violence against women with consideration of its portrayal by the media and in the public discourse. To the perspective of the article's author, one of the core problems relating to the social pattern of violence against women is that in spite of its prevalence, it tends to be framed and discussed in non-confrontational ways. Marriner discusses the use of language in particular as leading to a poor or limited understanding of the subject. For instance, the author refers to phraseology decisions concerning the assignment of gender as being problematically neutral. The article makes the argument that "using gender-neutral terms or statistics in order to present an image of 'fairness' ends up not being fair to the facts of the issue at all. Gender can be reintroduced into the discourse by including quotes & statistics that reflect the disproportionate threat women face from men in their lives, or simply by using language that reflect it, such as 'male violence against women' instead of the non-gendered violence against women." (Marriner, 11)

Marriner decries the job performed by the media where this is concerned, arguing that though these are all factors which have a contextualizing impact on the pattern of violence perpetrated by men against women, most media reflections are only invoked in the face of culminating events such as murder. This is well-revealed in a number of sources which have been encountered through the course of this research process. Indeed, the set of newspaper articles gathered for the literature review are both anecdotal in nature and poorly contextualized in terms of the issues of violence against women. To the point, it is more appropriate to examine these articles within the context of Marriner's discussion about the media. Articles such as that by Dimanno (2008), Rieti (2009), Burgmann (2009), Walton (2009) and Aulakh (2009) warrant individual consideration as each of these alone constitutes an anecdotal discussion on the sociological patterns of violence against women.

Dimanno, R. (2009). Natural Born Killer. The Toronto Star:

While writing for the Toronto Star in 2009, Rose Dimanno reviewed the details of the case and conviction of David Bagshaw. The article proceeds from the perspective that significant warning signals existed to alert people of the danger that Bagshaw represented. The fact that nothing was done to prevent this drives the Dimanno perspective and brings into consideration the Marriner argument.

The article by Dimanno describes a conspiracy between a young man and woman where the latter seduced the former to commit an act of murder. 18-year-old David Bagshaw stabbed a 14-year-old girl in the chest six times at the behest of his girlfriend, and though the event appears as anecdotal in nature, it reveals a failure on the part of the public, the legal system and those around Bagshaw to recognize characteristics in him which had naturally made him prone to this ultimately irreparable act. Dimanno describes a young man who "was an anti-social misfit from a young age, an only-child boy who was charged with assaulting his poor-health mother . . . And sexually aggressive far beyond even the extreme end for testosterone infused male teens." (Dimanno, A1) the shocking aspect of this story is not the culmination of Bagshaw's tendencies but the fact that these tendencies went unchecked by those around him.

Even in the article by Dimanno, there is not necessarily an effort to contextualize the neglect which allowed Bagshaw's behavior in sociological terms. Referring us back to the article by Marriner, it is clear that this is an oversight made by the media in general. And the reciprocating reality of this is that members of the public are then able to overlook the clear warning signs that should have protected Bagshaw's victim from her chosen association with him. Such is to say that the family of the victim, upon reflection, could point to myriad justifications in the young man's behavior, demeanor and even in his explicitly aggressive tendencies, to notify authorities or at the very least avoid his company. This is particularly clear in such details as that relayed by Dimanno which indicates that Bagshaw "left an explicit message on the [victim's] family's answering machine in which he damned that [she] perform fellatio on him, during the brief period when they were 'dating.' Red flags should have been waving all over the place." (Dimanno, A2)

This article underscores the regret felt by many family's whose loved ones become the victims of violence perpetrated by intimate relations. However, this reveals the need to reinforce an understanding of the threat represented by intimates with the tendencies demonstrated by somebody such as Bagshaw. This is a need which contributes to what the article by Marriner characterizes as a fundamental failure to define and detect such violence in a preemptive fashion. The article contends that there is a cultural resistance to defining violence and sexual violence potential clearly to the extent that far too many cases perpetrated against women go fully undetected by the legal system until it is too late.

Indeed, points made here by Marriner hold consonance with the view that regardless of evidence that it is a broad sociological problem, far too little is done to take credible threats like Bagshaw seriously. The resolution of Dimanno's article therefore seems to be that the failure to prevent Bagshaw from realizing his potential is indicative of a larger and more threatening condition in both intimate circles and law enforcement culture. Such is to say that the violent capacities of those reflecting identifiable symptoms of aggression toward females must be contextualized accordingly if they are to be preemptively confronted.

Rieti, J. (2009). Killer Charged in Woman's Stabbing. The Toronto Star:

The article by Rieti (2009), published in the Toronto Star, demonstrates a significant connection between failures in law enforcement and the recurrent threat represented by violent offenders. This article identifies the particular legal shortcoming in terms of sentencing, rehabilitation and proper recognition of the recidivism represented in the psychological makeup of individuals.

Indeed, the case discussed in the article by Rieti reveals that the problem is greater than simple perception, and does so while simultaneously reinforcing the claims regarding media portrayal made in the article by Marriner. The Rieiti article relays a strange and troubling article prompted by the arrest of a man responsible for stabbing a woman 8 times who is now in critical condition. This article indicates that beyond simple perception, there is a failure to legally approximate the threat represented by individuals who demonstrate a proclivity toward violence. The man who was arrested, Ennio Stirpe, had only recently been released from prison for manslaughter charges relating to the shotgun killing of his ex-wife's boyfriend. Following a high speed chase with police in a stolen vehicle, Stirpe served 9 years of a 13-year sentence and was released into the public.

All who had interacted with Stirpe identified him as a dangerous and violence man, whose tendencies regarding women illustrated that he was a definitive threat to society. The article does not frame Stirpe's story according to legal and sociological patterns, which underscores Marriner's point on the shortcomings in the media's attendance to the duty of providing connective insights. The article explicitly relays an anecdote in which a legal failure to recognize and treat accordingly the danger of violence presented by those with core psychological dysfunctions concerning women. In many ways, broader research engagement reveals that this is likely pertinent to a shortcoming in data and consistency in the legal context relating to violence specifically perpetrated against women.

In the case of Stirpe, it may be argued that with the insight added by Marriner's perspective, a greater scrutiny might have been paid to his psychological disposition. Evidence tends to suggest the conditions of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Women and Violence Feminism.  (2009, October 25).  Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/women-violence-feminism/304057

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"Women and Violence Feminism."  Essaytown.com.  October 25, 2009.  Accessed June 17, 2019.
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