Gender Based Violence

I really dislike the terms “gender based violence” and “gender based oppression”. They are locating the oppression in the wrong place. It is our female bodies that mark us as acceptable targets for oppression, and the violence that is done to us very frequently targets our female parts: through rape, through genital mutilation, through enforced pregnany and childbirth, or enforced sterilisation.

This is oppression based on sex, not gender. To say “gender based violence” locates the oppression in our identity as women – an identity which is not even ours, but which is forced upon us as part of our oppression. Gender is in fact a large part of the violence that is done to females. To say our oppression is based on our “gender” implies that we are the ones responsible – if only we would change our “gender identity” to one that society found more acceptable, we would not be targeted. But there is no escape. No matter how we identify our female bodies will still be targed for violence. “Gender” will still be forced upon us whether we want it or not, and those who resist can expect to be punished in female-specific ways.

The other problem with “gender based violence” is that it conflates sex and gender – it invisibilises the fact that gender is a construction, and that the enforcement of “gender” is in fact a tool of oppression that is used against females.

2 thoughts on “Gender Based Violence

  1. Hecuba says:

    Reason why ‘gender based violence’ is now commonly used when referencing male violence against women is because on no account must sex of perpetrator be stated. Stating it is male violence against women supposedly discriminates against those males who never commit violence against women (or so those males claim).

    So instead we have the neutral term ‘gender based violence’ which infers ‘gender’ is committing violence against who or what I have no idea. But that is the point of this useless term ‘gender based violence’ because said term doesn’t name perpetrators or victims.

    Universal Patriarchal language means that language is created by men for the benefit of men because male supremacist society and system can only recognise men as the definitive human species. Therefore, in order that men can disappear and appear only when it suits them, they have to constantly create new euphemistic terms in order to refute Feminist succinct statements. This is why male violence against women is deemed to be discriminatory to men because naming men as the perpetrators is supposedly ‘demonising that tiny number of males who do not support/collude with their male supremacist system.

    Men appear and disappear at will because the only time they appear as a sex is when men claim ‘wah but we are victims of female on male violence.’ Or when men demand that specific services for women must automatically be accorded to men, irrespective of the fact men have never accorded women an equitable playing field.

    So this is why that useless term ‘gender based violence’ is now dominant because men must never ever be held accountable for perpetrating male violence against women. Women however are always defined by their sex which is why malestream media routinely ignores sex of men by claiming they are ‘people’ whereas women are always specifically stated as ‘women.’ Hence this term commonly used by malestream media: ‘many were killed including women and children!’ No need to state sex of males because they are not a ‘sex’ but supposedly default human species whereas women and children are ‘othered.’

    Using the term ‘gender based violence’ is colluding with Male Supremacist System and therefore real Feminists must always name sex of perpetrators because if we cannot challenge men and their Male Supremacist System then we should not call ourselves Feminists, but rather ‘female handmaidens of the Patriarchy!’

  2. karmarad says:

    Very well said. This constant confusion regarding gender and sex is holding us all back. Thank you for making the distinction clear.

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