Talk

Advanced search

New here, don't kill me

(45 Posts)

grin

I want to pick your collective brains. What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue that feminism needs to be tackling in the western world? And what do you think needs doing about it?

steamedtreaclesponge Wed 17-Aug-11 15:32:45

Hmm. Probably rape and violence against women, if I HAD to choose. But there are just so many problems! And they all feed into each other...

DontCallMeFrothyDragon Wed 17-Aug-11 15:34:41

The rape and abuse culture we live in. We need to stop victim blaming, change police attitudes, raise conviction rates and reduce the rates these crimes are carried out. Amongst a million other things.

Welcome, btw. We're not all fire (or froth) breathing dragons, here!

The first thing that came to my mind was the difficulty in achieving convictions for rape. But I haven't a clue what you do about it. So often, there aren't any witnesses. And there might be many reasons why a woman wouldn't have physical injuries as a result of rape <musing out loud>

VictorGollancz Wed 17-Aug-11 15:36:57

Yes, rape and DV. And abortion rights. Anything pertaining to the sovereignty of a woman's body. I don't know if they are the biggest per se (I'm sure the uneven distribution of wealth is a similarly gloal issue) but women as a group can't even control and own their own bodies. It's a disgrace.

Abortion rights! Yes! I should have thought of that one. DH is Irish, and there was a huge case about a decade ago where a teenage girl was trying to get to the UK for a termination and was prevented. I remember being horrified.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 17-Aug-11 15:41:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

So you think violence against women is rooted in economic inequality?

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 17-Aug-11 15:44:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AliceTwirled Wed 17-Aug-11 15:46:22

Yay Chickens. You took the plunge grin

Yep I'd prob say rape and sexual violence culture cos it serves to hold up everything else. It's a broad version of rape and sexual violence, eg in terms of patterns rather than individuals IYSWIM.

The rape myths section here is worth exploring if you're interested. The reasons for non-conviction are complex. I have read stats before (but don't recall where at all) that suggest that corroborating evidence with rape cases is not lower than some other crimes.

VictorGollancz Wed 17-Aug-11 15:48:58

Regarding your post about convictions, chickens, I think that the criminal justice system could take a great big step forward by simply believing the victim.

Yes, it often comes down to 'he said she said' but cases could simply be presented in that light, rather than what currently happens which is to start from the position that the victim is lying.

But all too often, these 'he said she said' cases aren't without staggering amounts of 'circumstantial' evidence, in which we see juries willing to believe that it is more likely that two twelve year old girls wanted to have sex with several older men in a public park, than it is that these men simply exploited and raped them. It makes my head hurt.

SGM, I've honestly never really considered that before, but it makes complete sense. So, if we put women on an equal footing in this capitalist society (ie. give them decent earning potential), they will be less vulnerable and abusive men will hopefully stop seeing them as dependent possessions to be exploited <grossly over simplified, but you get the jist>

ThePosieParker Wed 17-Aug-11 15:52:18

The objectification of women, I think if this is tackled rape and DV would eventually get a knock on.

Victor, but aren't all crimes tried in that way in our justice system? With the prosecution attempting to rubbish the defendents story?

VictorGollancz Wed 17-Aug-11 15:59:50

No, I really don't think that they are. I don't think that a victim of a burglary is asked if they've ever left their door open before, or if they've ever spoken about their belongings in a busy bar, or if they left a valuable in the window that might tempt a thief. I don't think that if our burglary victim had done all these things, they would seen as deserving to be burgled. Either there's enough evidence to prove the burglar did it, or there isn't.

(Excuse the likening of women to property but it's the clearest analogy I can think of).

Good point.

Agree that rape and violence against women is the most pressing issue.

Then moving the overton window more in favour of women which would cover things like objectification/attitudes in general/politics and policies.

The second point would be helpful in stopping and prosecuting rape though so it is all interlinked. Rape victims seem to generally have a higher burden of proof than other victims of crime. If a special set of circumstances is adhered to such as they were a virgin prior to the attack, it happened at night (not too late obviously), there were 24 witnesses and the rapist had a neon sign flashing above his head saying "I am a rapist" then conviction may be more of a certainty I may be exaggerating a couple of points for effect.

MrsChemist Wed 17-Aug-11 16:22:34

Victor, there is a thread here in classics that uses that analogy very effectively.

It's a very good thread.

<goes to google overton window>

Sorry Chicken - I mean shift the viewpoint generally of the world away from being looked at through the eyes of men to being more women-centric.

sunshineandbooks Wed 17-Aug-11 17:01:47

Welcome chickens. smile

I'm another one who believes DV is one of the most pressing issues affecting women today in the UK. It affects women who haven't been a victim of it too, because of the effect DV has on the wider society.

75% of households where a child is abused has DV going on as well. Tackle DV and a significant proportion of child abuse will be dealt with also. Linked into this is the issue of children being made to continue contact with abusive NRPs.

The acceptability of 'low level' DV (financial abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, a shove here, hassling about sex) permeates society and affects all women because it reinforces the notion of male superiority. It also feeds into the rape myth culture.

DV is about entitlement. People who feel entitled to beat up women often feel entitled to behave in a superior manner in other areas of their lives too - whether it's parking in a disabled spot, dropping litter, fiddling benefits/taxes, etc.

DV is bad for society as a whole. I think that's an important point to make if we;re going to get the wider society on board with the campaign.

But it's particularly bad for women, of course. Said abuser will get fined for parking in a disabled bay (if caught), possibly imprisoned for fiddling benefits/taxes, but he probably won't even get a caution for giving his wife a black eye. What sort of message does that send?

VictorGollancz Wed 17-Aug-11 17:10:21

Thanks MrsChemist! <wanders off to read thread and yes, google overton window>

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 17-Aug-11 17:16:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

So how do we stop one half of society feeling entitled over the other half? What can be practically done to change things? (Er, I'm not actually expecting you all to have a plan in place like some kind of SuperFeminist. Althought that would be awesome. And now I know what an overton window is <ticks 'learn something new' box on star chart for today>)

VictorGollancz Wed 17-Aug-11 17:32:48

That is an excellent thread, MrsChemist.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now