Engendering Violence

In Masculinities, Violence, and Culture, Hatty (2000) notes that violence is not a deviant act, it is a conforming one, and that violence against women is part of a larger context of normative male violence. In the United States, cultural ideals promote violence in the service of the masculine self, preserving individuality and forestalling fusion with the dangerous nonself, the other, the feminine (Hatty, 2000, pp. 10-11). Sexual aggression and violence are means of social control, hierarchy, and inequality. Domestic violence, rape, sexual slavery, and sexual harassment, whether in the United States, Zimbabwe, or the Philippines, are located in relationships of power, dominance, and privilege (Davies, 1994). Such relationships are supported by hegemonic masculinity— unattainable by most men and by definition all women. Brownmiller (1975, p. 309) claimed that women are trained to be rape victims. Examining the popular and "scientific" cultural imagination of American society, we find that violence is masculine and acceptance and nurtu-rance feminine. Women are told that they do not bond naturally and that they are in competition for high-status men. Sadly, researchers have found that violence against women is more prevalent when alliances between women are weak, and alliances between men are valued and strong (Hatty, 2000, pp. 55-56; Smuts, 1992). If women are taught to be rape victims, the opposite is true for men. Surveys in the United States show that many males might commit rape if they thought they would not be caught or punished (Ellis, 1989, p. 6). Among high-school boys in Los Angeles, almost half believed it is acceptable to force a girl to have sex if she sexually teases her date. The culture of violence has many training grounds, the more effective being sports, the military, and the movies. In organized sports, boys learn a "masculine" ambivalence to intimacy and an affinity for instrumental relationships (Messner, 1990). In all three, men's bodies are presented as hard, dangerous, and dominant. In adventure films and Westerns, men are portrayed as fearless discoverers and builders of society—men at the edge (Hatty, 2000). Female characters like voluptuous hard-bodied gun-toting archeologist Lara Croft and Charlie's Angels mimic the invulnerability of the masculine mystique, but their rarity in film and life exaggerates women's alleged softness and passivity. When real women commit violence, it carries cultural shock value by going against the cultural imagination.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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