New Blog Assignment

In the articles assigned to accompany Lourdes Portillo’s film Senorita Extraviada (2001), and in our discussions together, we looked at the ways that state officials (the Mexican government) have failed to intervene effectively to stop the femicides. The state has repeatedly denied the reality of gender violence as a systemic, calculated killing (negation); or, when that has failed, the state has turned to blaming the victims, by accusing the women of non-normative sexual practices (prostitution, lesbianism) as if such practices justify the killings; finally, the state also has treated the killings as separate, individual incidents (disaggregation) thereby refusing to acknowledge the interconnectivity of systemic gender violence. All these responses normalize, or naturalize, the gender violence.

In class we talked a little about other examples of the normalizing or naturalizing of gender violence. From your own reading, following of the news, or personal experience, offer an example of gender violence together with your interpretation of the ways such normalizing is enacted. Remember that gender violence can be insidious (almost unnoticeable) as well as explicitly criminal.

Post your response by Tuesday 1 p.m., and for this week’s blog assignment, only a single blog post is required (no second dialogue response with another student).

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29 Responses to New Blog Assignment

  1. kimcmull says:

    After reading the articles and watching Senorita Extraviada, I was so glad that I live where I live, but after our discussion I realized that although the incidents in the film are extremely horrific cases, the normalizing of gender violence goes on in any society in various degrees. One of the examples brought up in class I thought was an excellent point about how women are blamed for men’s comments when it comes to their clothing choices. When I thought about this some more, what shocked me the most is how often it is women blaming other women for other people’s behavior. This holds true to the matter of women being each other’s harshest critiques. I have even found myself commenting to friends about what a girl was wearing and automatically classifying her as “slutty,” even though we don’t know her. These little comments that I know a lot of people make contribute to this normalizing of gender violence, because it makes people seem that since they dress a certain way that mean comments or even violence just comes with the territory. One horrible act of gender violence I remember being in the news a lot was in Saudi Arabia when a women was gang raped and she was partially blamed, even punished, because when it happened she had been violating their sex segregation laws. This got a lot of press in the United States and in Saudi Arabia, but she still was punished. Even though her rapists were incarcerated as well, it is horrible that there are rules that make the victim a criminal.

  2. Maria Salazar says:

    Señorita Extraviada, the articles, and the in-class discussion this week opened my eyes to how easily gender violence could be normalized. The talk on necropolitics was especially interesting, it was helpful to finally have a proper title to what many had already realized was gong on in countries like Mexico. The fact that a person could be be gotten rid of with so much as a snap of someone’s fingers is sadly the truth behind Mexican politics, which is a great disadvantage to those politicians who actually want to correct the tainted system. These politicians, if elected, are powerless to the underground and corrupt; and are either shut up or fall into the abyss of necropolitics themselves. Thus, the never ending cycle of these violent crimes is continually justified.
    Although i have not experienced gendered violence, ever since coming to Davis, a specific form of gendered violence has been prevalent to me. Hazing. The hazing that the different fraternities and sororities subject their pledges to has always been a problem college towns are aware of but at the same time turn a blind eye to. Now not all frats and sororities take part in this, however, everyone on campus has at least heard of ONE type of gender violent type of hazing ritual from the greek associations. For example the lawsuit against the Jewish Fraternity and UC Davis for the sexual harassment a male student suffered while pledging. The student was unjustly dropped from UC Davis just about 6.5 credits short of graduating for bringing this issue to light and filing the lawsuit. UC Davis preferred to essentially get rid of the problem by “sweeping it under the rug” and systematically eliminating it. Sadly just as the case was gaining momentum, it got lost in the media chaos of November 18th and the Occupy movement.
    And if these are the hazings that are brought to light, how much worse are the ones that are kept behind closed doors and within the minds of those who were subject tot those hazings? As students we have to ask ourselves, how much longer we will allow this gendered violence to continue within our own campus community?

  3. Kayla Wigley says:

    I would like to start out by saying that I am extremely lucky to have been raised in this country. After watching Senorita Extraviada and reading the articles, I am shocked of how gender violence is accepted and widely ignored in other countries. I have always known that bad things happen to innocent people, but seeing it in such great numbers is more than upsetting.
    When I think of the topic “gender violence” I think of abusive relationships where the woman refuses to leave. It seams that most women I come in contact with have a story relating to the topic. These women are abused physically and mentally yet they refuse to leave their husbands. What society sees is someone who wants to be the victim and in return sticks around through the pain for an excuse to complain. Society unfortunately forgets to think about the children that need the support of both parents, the lack of stability she has on her own, and the fear of being forever alone. These reasons may not be sufficient for some, but to many they are real.
    Gender violence can go in both directions. A man being abused by his wife would be laughed at or called feminine for reporting the situation. They are in result pressured to dealing with it themselves. This is a viscous cycle that consumes our population. I am hoping that it never becomes normalized, but it is unclear of where society will take it.

  4. xxxjo says:

    First of all I would like to point out that violence should be defined in order to talk about it. Generally I would say that it is an acting in which minimum two persons are involved and which is carried out without the agreement or appreciation of one of the persons. I think it is very important to underline that violence is not just only physical, it also can be psychically. I think that one of the problems with violence is that it is often not realized as such, especially when it is about psychical violence.
    I think the risk to not be aware of violence is especially high in all space/institutions which are “closed” to the public/ to the outside like sects or domestic areas or even companies.
    I do not know about the statistics of gender and sects, but I could imagine that higher rates of women are effected by the dangerous manipulation mechanisms of sects. I just saw a movie about “scientology” and the message of the movie seemed to be that particularly women and with them their children are in danger to be mentally, physically and economically exploided by sects. The need to get empowered was shown as a reason why women are primary targets of sects. In this particular area I think the normalization process starts when people start to follow a particular ideology. Inside setcs all different kinds of violent acting can easily be executed and normalized without people “rebelling” or getting help from the others – including sexual exploitation.

    Another very sensitive area I believe is the private space of the family. Particularly psychically domestic violence can be very hard to see – when violent dynamics are kept inside the family, e.g. because there is shame to talk about problems. I think in domestic spaces violence can be easily normalized and in this way fear becomes a daily normality. The most vulnerable people in families – children are effected the most I think. If parents are in daily dispute with each other this becomes normal for children. The power dynamics in families can be very diverse. I guess statistically women are the primary targets of domestic violence. However I think that also men can become vulnerable, particularly if they need to fear to loose their children through a potential divorce.
    I think gender violence is very likely to be normalized especially in “private” areas, because it stays often inivisible for the “mainstream” society and “paralell” rules and laws are implemented by leaders of these “private” societies. The fear of loosing the familiy or the community keeps people from leaving violent circumstances. I think this especially effects women, because of a their “feminin socialisation” into the role of the “subordinate.”

  5. Lisa says:

    While this story is drawing from my personal experience and is somewhat sensitive to me, I do not mean to suggest that this form of violence is nearly as painful or horrific as what is happening to the women in Juarez. I feel it is important to throw that disclaimer out there, because it’s more something to think about as interesting rather than something that deserves major critical attention that the subjects of Senorita Extraviada do.

    I have a male friend who gets boisterously drunk quite a bit. Any time there is an occasion involving the consumption of alcohol, he drinks to the point of being foolish. And while he did not always do this, for the past few months he, without fail, will try to hit on me while he is drunk. It’s not always violent, sometimes he’ll keep his physical distance. But I have literally had a few experiences in which he backed me into a corner of a room or patio in order to tell me how much he is “into me” or whatnot. In those times when his face is inches away from mine and he is telling me all the reasons he wants to be with me, I feel extremely disrespected. Firstly, he only brings the subject up when he’s intoxicated. He’s never once tried to handle it soberly. Secondly, I have stubbornly refused to return the sentiment, and told him point blank to stop. Yet he has not gotten the hint, and just last night when I refused his advances he actually looked at me like I was grotesque and said something quite rude.

    I feel that this is a subtle form of normalized violence, because I think in our society there’s kind of a “boys will be boys” attitude towards how drunk men can get before it’s socially unacceptable. Like, at least in the crowds I hang around, it seems that a girl is not allowed to get quite drunk without people calling her the “drunk chick” or without other girls judging her cruelly and offering snide looks. However when a male gets to that level of drunk that for a girl merits mockery, I notice quite often that it is all in good fun and something to be chuckled at. I feel that this in turn normalizes the violence that can ensue when a man gets too drunk and decides it is okay to back a woman into a corner to get what he wants.

  6. Nikki Mahmoudi says:

    In Iran, there are many examples of where gender violence occurs. In Iran, as well as many countries in the Middle East, men are given this dominant role where as women are viewed as weaker and less valued than men. Therefore, we see a lot of cases of gender violence towards women especially in terms of domestic violence. A lot of domestic violence cases in Iran occur for various reasons such as rumors of her having relations with another man or not following her husband’s wishes. Unfortunately, these cases are never mentioned in public because women’s voices are pretty much unheard. If a man goes and complains about his wife in court, she will probably be given a sentence. However,if a woman goes and complains about her husband, her complaints will probably be ignored and she will just be told to go and be a nice wife to her husband. The problem in Iran is that it is a country governed by men who ultimately believe that they are better than women and thus should punish their women if they misbehave. Thus, the result of this is that cases of domestic violence are unheard of in Iran and so women who have dealt with domestic violence have unheard voices. The reason that battered women have unheard voices is because if she goes and complains to anyone, the government will just see it as her fault, as if she had done something wrong. This normalizing of violence is enacted through the way that no one ever hears about cases of domestic violence because those who try to speak up have unheard voices. The judicial system in Iran is a system where either one has to be rich or one has to be a man to win a case. Therefore, women never win these cases and thus no one ever hears of these cases.

  7. rsicilekira says:

    One major topic that has been covered in the news a lot recently is that of rape. There are people that believe that a victim was “asking for it” simply through what they were wearing, how they acted, how little or much they had to drink, how late they were out, etc. In the news the women victims have been the ones most frequently talked about, and words such as “sluts” have been thrown around in regard to how the women dressed or acted. It is already hard for victims of rape to feel comfortable enough to report what has happened to them, and this type of opinion in regards to the victims can add much more hardship to the victim. Often times the focus is on what a woman can do to prevent being raped, but the focus is never on the ones raping the women. There is rarely any attention on the men who are assaulting the women, but instead how the women can prevent herself from being a victim. This is very gendered and unfair. No one is “asking for it” through their clothes or actions, and men should know not to rape anyone.

  8. Elaine says:

    About a year ago, there was an article that came out about a 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl that was raped, but was charged with adultery and whipped to death. She was walking from her hut to an outhouse when she was gagged by her married cousin who was three times her age. She was beaten and raped. When her cousin’s wife heard the girl’s screams, the wife came out and saw her husband attacking the girl. The wife then dragged the girl inside the hut and continued to beat her. The next day, the village elders accused the girl and the married cousin of adultery and sentenced the girl to 101 lashes and the cousin to 201 lashes. The cousin was able to escape after the first few lashes, while the girl collapsed after the first 70 lashes and died of internal bleeding.

    This was beyond cruel. The wife heard the young girl’s screams when her husband attacked the young girl, but instead of stopping it, she beats the young girl. This just shows how unjust the Islamic law is towards women. Women are the ones that get blamed for the violence towards themselves. This was a 14-year old girl. The cruelty of her death just shocks me. It just makes me so grateful that I live in the United States, where they have laws that protect women.

    Link to article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/29/bangladesh.lashing.death/index.html?hpt=T2

  9. ananunez3 says:

    After watching the film and reading the article on women violence in places like Juarez I thought about how this normalizing of gender is something people do to justify a crime or even to judge a person. Young women were stalked and killed based on their appearance. Pictures were showed and most of them were young and were posing in modeling way. This ties in to what authorities would say about the killings of hundreds of young females. They said that the women themselves provoked men to want to rape them and thus led to their own killing. Also there were a lot of prostitutes and police would blame them for having such a job and that it was even a good thing that they were killed since they deserved it. another point they made was the fact that women were out in the streets at such times and in places that were “dangerous.” All these things were used to blame the victims for their deaths. In a book I read, From out of the Shadows, by Vikki Ruiz there were stories of young Mexican women who were chaperoned by their parents or older brothers to make sure that they were not alone with any guys or on the streets walking with any men but most of all that they weren’t out late at night. Any of these things were seen as bad for the girls reputation so they had to be chaperoned. This shows how women were harshly judged by their behaviors and even found guilty when they were killed.

  10. Anna says:

    There is no doubt that visible gendered violence is visible because of socio-economical and geo- political reasons, as is the case in both Mexico and Iran. I notice that a lot of my peers find themselves very fortunate to be born on this side of the border, but there is an equally more dangerous and insidious form of gendered violence in this country. In some states there is a push to legalize it, and in some places its already legal– prostitution. Many will argue that prostitution is a choice and in that it serves a normal function in society. Our American society has normalized prostitution as a lifestyle and it continues to be an ignored social ill. For example, Las Vegas, Nevada dubbed “Sin City” although prostitution is legalized, there are still many homicides that are associated with prostitution. In situations where I personally have witnessed emotional and psychological violence towards a woman in foul language, she was being accused of adultery, her husband viciously attacking her with direct verbage such as “you whore, you prostitute, fucking bitch, I will fucking shoot you if I find out that you are cheating on me.” This in my opinion directly links to the idea that prostitutes are deserving of getting shot in the head. Prostitution breeds sexual violence and it gives rise to sex trafficking, including women and children. How can we judge and try to explicate gendered violence in other countries, when in our own country the media and the dominant social culture glorifies prostitution and sexual tourism? For example films like The Hangover, that perpetuate the idea of “Boys Night Out”– the last opportunity for the groom-to-be to have a little fun. The sequel might as well have been an advertisement for sexual tourism in Bangkok. Also just for fun, if you want to find out more about how Prostituion is Sexual Violence- there is real good information from Melissa Farley, PhD who forms part of the Prostitution Research & Education, a sponsored project of San Francisco (California) Women’s Centers and Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, Oakland, Calfironia. http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/ProsViolPosttrauStress.html
    The Juarez murders are not new to me, I recall reading about the murders back in 2003. I just remember that I felt helpless and hopeless, all I could do was pray for them and their families and ask for divine intervention. My parents were raised Catholic, and although I am not fully practicing I believe in the essential tenets of Christianity. The reason I bring the church into this conversation is because in general Mexicans, believe that whatever bad is happening it must be “the will of god” “there is not much we can do to stop this from happening.” For example, the Juarez murders are a culmination of everything that is wrong in Mexico– corrupt government officials, corrupt police officers, drug dealers, drug cartels, U.S. corporations, poverty, and prostitution.

  11. katherynevu says:

    I want to echo many of you and say that I am also very glad and fortunate to be born and raised in a society that was safe and sheltered from similar crimes that occur in the city of Juarez. Watching the movie was really difficult and made me feel extremely uneasy. I feel heartbroken for the families that have lost their loved ones and felt great sympathy for the women that went through so much unspeakable torture and rape.

    Although Jaurez is one of the cities in this world where extreme gender violence occurs, gender violence also happens in our everyday lives in America. They occur all the time in small doses. A personal experience is with my sister. My family and I are guilty of this gender violence myself. My sister has a long history of being in “bad” relationships. There is no physical violence or abuse but there’s always fighting, constant arguments, and a lot of crying in the end. My family and I don’t comfort her in these rocky times, because we say that she allows herself to be in those kinds of relationships. We quickly normalize her problems and say that its her fault for irrationally dating men that are not “relationship-quality”. Even within my family, I am faced with small doses of gender violence and I didn’t know that we were doing it until I knew what “gender violence” was.

  12. hahn chiu says:

    It’s unconscionable how the law enforcement in the documentary Senorita Extraviada
    blamed the women themselves for getting raped. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how getting physically and mentally violated that way is among the most hellish experiences possible.
    Many males are also victims of rape, but due to differences in physical strength, and arguably behavior, the victims are overwhelmingly female. So I think in a way, the normalization
    of the word “rape” is a normalization of gender violence.

    Especially young people today sometimes use the word “rape” to describe instances in which one party is dominated by another. I’ve most frequently heard it used to describe sports matches- the team up by a wide margin of points is “raping” their opponent- it’s a positive position to have. It’s unfortunate that such a deplorable act is casually referenced regarding entertainment- that certainly diminishes the heinousness of the crime. I think the glorification of the word “pimp” also contributes to the normalization of rape. Originally a “pimp” (derived from “pimper”) was an esp. male agent for prostitutes. Today it’s most often used to praise promiscuous males and casually describe good things in general. It’s even included in the title of an MTV show about vehicle restoration. Pimps are known to physically abuse and even rape the (most often female) prostitutes they manage, so it’s curious why our society glorifies them at all.

  13. dluoo says:

    To the women of Juarez, I sympathize. It is unfortunate that gender violence is still evident in parts of the world where economic instability and poor class structures become factors of a global conspiracy. In the case of normalizing gender violence, I found a statement that a fellow peer made himself rather fitting for this discussion. In actuality, he was talking about a peer that tried to pick up women at the dining commons on campus. Apparently he would be as exuberant as possible whenever he spotted a “hot chick”, but if she rejected him or strayed from him, he would automatically get angry, calling her a “lesbian” or even a “ho that no body wants”. It’s a bit saddening and definitely frustrating how women are automatically labeled with these demeaning words. What is prejudice other than ignorance? I find it hard to believe that any of those victims in the Juarez disappearances were intentionally trying to “get some”. It’s not their job that dictates their life, but their families. Additionally, I scanned through some of the previous comments and I agree that it’s unfair how (male) pimps are often glorified and their image is accepted into society. Women pimps do exist (not nearly as glorified), but it’s almost as if society is telling us that women can only become pawns or even just an accessory, disposable at any time.

  14. bjvanhorn says:

    I’ve been aware of the false concept of “she was asking for it” for a while now, but until seeing this film, I’ve never really been aware as to how far this idea can be institutionalized. I always thought of suck remarks as being those of people on the extreme right, personalities that simply try to shock or disgust to continue getting numerous viewers. However, it’s obvious to me that, while the aforementioned people do indeed contribute to this widespread falsity, said falsity can also slip under the floorboards of our perception.

    I remember once hearing someone claim that a young girl was molested/raped/etc because of how she was dressed. I can’t remember the specific incident, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though that was a singular incident. Take the following article for example:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/us/09assault.html?_r=3

    The following quote is what’s pertinent:
    “They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s.”

    Now, whether or not this means that NYT believes this to be true can be argued, but the fact that people would even think this is relevant to the crime is disturbing. The girl in question is 11 years old. What’s she wearing that’s more appropriate for a woman in her 20s? A business suit? Jeans and a T-shirt? A maxi dress? Because that’s technically what’s “appropriate attire” for a woman in her 20s. What was she actually wearing? A tube top? Skimpy dresses? Are those even considered appropriate attire for anyone? Isn’t that the point of wearing them, to be inappropriate? I suppose she could have been wearing skirts and spaghetti strap tops, but I don’t see how anyone in modern United States could argue that said clothing is for females over the age of 20. Maybe a High School student. My point is just how illogical and vague such a point is. It shouldn’t be in the article. It’s just an accepted way to try to place some level of blame on the victim. Sadly, it’s so accepted that most people wouldn’t even realize it. Hell, a few years ago, I wouldn’t have realized it!

    Another example that I found while searching deals with the Slut Walks in Canada, a protest against a police officer’s remark that women shouldn’t dress like “sluts” to prevent attacks and sexual assault. The officer in question later apologized, but such attitudes towards women, such normalizing of violence, rings true throughout Canada, and much, if not all, of the world.

  15. jane go says:

    There’s a murder case that comes to my mind when I think about Senorita Extraviada. It happened in San Diego, where I went to high school. When I was a junior (2010), I remember everyone at my school talking about Chelsea King, a high school girl who disappeared while jogging in San Diego. I remember first hearing about Chelsea’s disappearance through the news, and keeping myself updated on the investigation. A few people in my class even knew her. The police had a suspect in custody, and one of the biggest stories that followed the man’s conviction was about a woman, Candice Moncayo, who was attacked by the same male suspect. She was jogging on the same path where Chelsea was abducted, and encountered the same man. Candice Moncayo found herself in the exact same situation as Chelsea; however, she escaped and was able to identify her assailant to the police, which helped to convict the suspect. I find this part interesting: Candice escaped because she was able to fight back. Here’s a piece from the article I found on the story:

    Candice Moncayo was running on the trail when she “was tackled and thrown to the side of the running trail, caught off guard and without warning,” her sister wrote.
    “I thought he was going to rape me,” Moncayo said of the overweight man who tackled her. “So I told him he would have to kill me first.”
    “He picked her up by the shoulders and began shaking her relentlessly,” she wrote.
    Moncayo fought her attacker, elbowing hard him in the nose. The shot made her assailant pause, allowing her to get out of his grasp and run away.
    “All that was left of the … attacker were the bruises he left on her and the DNA the police were able to swab from her elbow,” according to the article.

    The part that stands out to me is the fact that Candice fought back, which surprised her attacker. My parents used to tell me that most attackers–especially of young women–do not expect their victims to fight back, and when you do, they’re frazzled for a few seconds. This is the slot of time that you have to get away. I believe this is because most rapists, kidnappers, and muggers view women as being “easy targets.” They think that women are always fragile and too weak to fend for themselves.
    When John Gardner III–sexual offender–saw Chelsea King, he only saw her as a young, easy, girl he could scoop up, rape, torture, and kill. And when he saw Candice Moncayo, he probably thought the same thing; however, he was wrong when she hit him back. It seems that Gardner would collect his victims as a hunter spots game. He views the women as being the same, and he thinks he can read them all. To me, this is how he normalized his selection of women: going to the same location, waiting for a single young female to come along, then pounce on her and try to make her go quietly. Cases like this happen everyday, anywhere, and it’s scary to think that anyone can become a victim. We just have to all be aware of our surroundings.
    I recommend looking up some more details about Chelsea King, Candice Moncayo, and also Amber DuBois. Here’s a link to the ABC article I used as a reference.
    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/TheLaw/chelsea-king-murder-police-combing-grave-clues/story?id=9995419#.T1YYAnm4KSo

  16. pamnonga says:

    In my reading for my Nonverbal Communication class, I learned about something called patriarchal or intimiate terrorism, which is a form of relational violence. It distinguishes itself from common couple violence, which is the case when conflicts escalate out of control to a physical level. Patriarchal terrorism is “the nature of chronic violence against intimate parners” (Shannon L. Johnson) and is asymmetrically perpetrated most often by males, while common couple violence occurs equally among males and females. It’s a regular, systematic manifestation of domestic violence with roots stemming from a culture that accepts or encourage a man to have control over his wife by any means possible. The violence tends to be on the severe side and “occurs in the privatized context of a couple’s household”, which means it’s its underreported to the police and isn’t talked about much. I think this is a sad situation for women to be in, because often both sides have been socialized by their society to view this treatment as a way of life. This perception of the act normalizes it and embedds it into the culture, furthuring its perpetuation.

  17. michelley says:

    After our discussion in class and from the reading, I’ve learned to really appreciate where I live, here in Davis and also my home in West San Jose. I have lived in safe communities for my whole life and have never been exposed to the incidents in Juarez in my life. In my life, these horrific incidents are not normalized at all and it is saddening to think that the women and community members living in Juarez see this on a daily basis. Do the men and women who commit these hate crimes have a conscious? Do they have morals? It is appalling that someone could continually hurt these people who “deserve” it. Thinking back on my life, I have been exposed to normalized actions from other people, but it has never been to the extreme of rape or physical violence. It was when I was little, I would not have the confidence to keep talking when I was interrupted, so I would shut my mouth and let the other talk. In a way, that’s the way society is, if someone is talking, then you don’t interrupt them, especially if they’re an adult. Since I was a kid, if I was talking but someone interrupted me, I would be quiet. I would suppress my voice so that it was not rude of me to interrupt them, even though they interrupted me in the first place. It happened so often that it became normalized in my life. Even now, if someone interrupts me, I stop talking and listen to them. This isn’t exactly gender violence, but I have no personal experience of normalized gender violence. In our society, some normalized gender violence is marital physical violence. Usually the men are physically beating the women, but the women stay with the men because they find the violence normalized after a while. Normalizing is when people are exposed repeatedly to something that they shouldn’t be, but the continuous exposure makes them used to the violence and then it is seen as if it was nothing, as if it was normal. It’s saddening to think that people get accustomed to normalized violence and do nothing about it.

  18. kjg07 says:

    I had no idea about systematic gender violence until we watched Lourdes Portillo’s film Senorita Extraviada. In my personal life, fortunately, I have not experienced any kind of abuse. I come from a very sheltered family in a small town in central California. The one time I did witness abuse, it wasn’t physical but mental. My freshmen year of college I met a girl who was mentally tortured by her boyfriend. He would call her multiple times a day and when she wouldn’t answer he would call her again, and again until she picked up. When she did pick up the phone he would yell at her, accuse her of cheating on him, and emotionally blackmail her. My friend would cry for hours after the phone call and then instead of breaking up with him she would call him back and apologize. At first I didn’t understand why she would go back but I soon realized that was the kind of power he had over her. Moreover, she was in Davis, while he was doing all this sitting in San Diego. We went to a movie once and again he called and found out where she was. He insisted and in fact made her promise she would never go see a movie without him. Because of the way he threatened her she agreed, and about a week later when she called him he said he was at the movies with his friends. Basically he was manipulative, and made her believe everything wrong in their relationship was her fault. A few times, when she did discuss breaking up with him, he would threaten her by saying he would commit suicide. Eventually me and some more friends talked to her and told her to discuss this issue with her mom. Her mother gave her the advice and courage to leave him. While she was with him her grades and health suffered, and again this entire relationship was phone based and long distance. Once she broke up with him she started doing well in school and also appeared visibly happier. My friend normalized this violence her self. We saw it as a problem, but she would brush it off by saying, that she was wrong, that she hurt him, and that she should not go out because he is not with her. He had led her to think everything she did was wrong and what he did was right. Just because he did not physically abuse her, does not mean she wasn’t a victim of violence. The mental torture, made her stop eating, sleeping, and she would cry all the time blaming herself and not seeing his faults. I was sad seeing her situation and could not believe how accustomed she had gotten to his abuse. I am sure similar things happen to many people, but it is not considered as abuse. People go into massive depression when they are in these kinds of relationships. Clearly the film we watched showed us the gruesome reality of physical/mental torture on a extreme level, but things like my friends situation are around us frequently but many don’t acknowledge them as being violence.

  19. When I was about 12 years old, my mother got a phone late in the afternoon. It was my aunt, her brother’s wife, and I could barely hear her but she sounded panicked. Apparently my uncle was in jail and they would not let her see him. This was weird because my uncle was a hard working man and being in jail was not an option since he had 4 children to take care of. My aunt did not much Spanish and the cops in downtown Napa did not take her seriously. She did not know what to do and because of the lack of resources available to her, my uncle died because of it. But when she finally got see him, she knew something was wrong, he had bruises all over, a black eye and was not himself. Three days later, the jail nurse was able to get a medical release and he was immediately transfer to the hospital. There it was discovered that he had suffered from some brain trauma and because they did not give him immediate medical attention, he was put on life support. Personally I don’t like to give all the details to this tragic story but because he was Hispanic male, the jail guards took advantage of his situation.
    Sometimes gender and race intertwine in violence and hate crime. Even when some horrific things like beating a man to death because he would not talk. Little did they know it was because he was unable to due to the brain damage that he went through. Although my aunt tried to get justice after his death, she had little success. At the time there were little to no opportunities and resources available to her in Spanish. Since she had little money and needed that money to support her children, she could not follow through. Sometimes we think we live a country that is all about freedom and rights but in reality there we have normalized gender and racial violence to the point that it goes unnoticed. To the point that because he was another “Mexican male” in Napa, the cops where justified for their actions. Everyone forgot that a man was left to die and four young children were left fatherless because the cops, that keeps us all safe, where simply doing their job.

  20. I’m not sure if this personal experience is appropriate for gender violence. AS in does gender violence incline only towards females or can be gender violence against men? Analysis the meaning and what I have learned in class I think gender violence can occur to both women and men and therefore I am going to share my families experience.
    When I was about 12 years old, my mother got a phone late in the afternoon. It was my aunt, her brother’s wife, and I could barely hear her but she sounded panicked. Apparently my uncle was in jail and they would not let her see him. This was weird because my uncle was a hard working man and being in jail was not an option since he had 4 children to take care of. My aunt did not much Spanish and the cops in downtown Napa did not take her seriously. She did not know what to do and because of the lack of resources available to her, my uncle died because of it. But when she finally got see him, she knew something was wrong, he had bruises all over, a black eye and was not himself. Three days later, the jail nurse was able to get a medical release and he was immediately transfer to the hospital. There it was discovered that he had suffered from some brain trauma and because they did not give him immediate medical attention, he was put on life support. Personally I don’t like to give all the details to this tragic story but because he was Hispanic male, the jail guards took advantage of his situation.
    Sometimes gender and race intertwine in violence and hate crime. Even when some horrific things like beating a man to death because he would not talk. Little did they know it was because he was unable to due to the brain damage that he went through. Although my aunt tried to get justice after his death, she had little success. At the time there were little to no opportunities and resources available to her in Spanish. Since she had little money and needed that money to support her children, she could not follow through. Sometimes we think we live a country that is all about freedom and rights but in reality there we have normalized gender and racial violence to the point that it goes unnoticed. To the point that because he was another “Mexican male” in Napa, the cops where justified for their actions. Everyone forgot that a man was left to die and four young children were left fatherless because the cops, that keeps us all safe, where simply doing their job.

  21. Christina says:

    Watching the documentary made me realize I take living in the United States for granted for the safety I have been privileged with as a citizen;protecting me from extreme gendered crimes such as the ones taken out on those women in Jaurez. However I feel I have experienced mild verbal gender violence in the past. During my freshman year at Davis there was this guy that lived on my floor who was quite friendly and fun to be around who hung out in the same group of friends as I did. The first week of school I considered him to be one of my favorite people to hang around until he asked me out on a date to which I declined because I didn’t have romantic feelings for him. After that he completely changed in terms of how he treated me and would openly call me “slut,” “bitch,” “whore,” you name it – it front of all of our friends. The way he would say it came off jokingly and playful, however I found it to be extremely offensive and would never laugh and often times asked him to stop both in front of our friends as well as talking to him on the side and explaining how I was not t all okay with being called such derogatory names. However his behavior never stopped and actually got much worse to the point where he would publicly comment on my body type and looks and compare them to other girls saying how I was less attractive than other girls in the room, had smaller breasts etc. and all the while I would verbally lash out to the point where I was having a full blown argument with him in a public place like the Dining Commons just to get him to shut up. Our mutual friends would always be quiet during these awkward situations and say “______ is just being _____” (It’s not worth mentioning his name.) I feel this is definitely a form of normalized violence because our mutual friends never intervened, and he never once apologized or stopped the behavior. Our mutual friends were the only reason I put up with seeing him, however it got to the point where I cut ties with all of them and hung out with a different crowd because I couldn’t stand being treated like that any longer.

  22. Michelle says:

    I thought Senoritas Extraviadas was very powerful. I knew femicide was ongoing in Juarez (and in so many other places) but when confronted with stories and faces of these women, it makes everything that much more real and hurtful. I have never been victim to extreme gendered violence but I do come from a culture that is pretty sexist and arguably biased towards male dominance. And I have also found that there are many ways, big and small in which gendered violence is perpetuated.
    I also gree with the posts I’ve seen on here regarding the gendered violence in the way women are treated as seductresses who “ask for it”. Women are often placed at opposite ends of a spectrum; they’re either “sluts” or “prudes”. And often if they dress or act in certain ways, they are labeled a certain way and treated a certain way. The words “slut”, “whore”, “hoe”, “skank” are way more commonly associated and used to describe women than men. The truth is that no revealing clothing, no actions, or words justify violence and abuse. And it’s sad to see that gendered violence is still very present, conscpicuously and inconscpicuously and that it’s so “normal” that it does not get sufficient recognition.

  23. Audrey says:

    I don’t really have a personal example, but the first thing that comes to mind is the Rihanna/Chris Brown domestic abuse incident that happened three years ago. At the time of the incident, everyone pounced on Chris Brown: news reporters, journalists, men, women, etc. But look at three years later, and the media has seemingly forgotten what he did (and even invited him to perform at the Grammys, might I add).

    It reminds me of a far worse incident that happened a few years ago with a Taiwanese actress who was beaten by her husband and decided to hold an interview/press conference full of reporters where she showed off the bruises on her face and adamantly stated that she wanted a divorce from him. Even during the height of the news, friends of the celebrities (and even strangers that were interviewed) supported the husband. They kept on saying things like, “oh he would never do such a thing, she’s just crazy. She just wants the attention, the spotlight.”

    Without the support from anyone, the woman retreated back and decided to stay with her husband and stated that she made the whole story up, and the news died down. This story struck me because I once ask my mother what she thought about the outcome of this incident and she said, “if she gets abused again, she brought it upon herself. It’s her fault for not taking the out when she could’ve.”

  24. Damien says:

    I had no idea how much gender violence can be important in a society before watching Lourdes Portillo’s film. I even felt uncomfortable because I realized that, at a very less important degree, I was sometimes aware of such behaviors. For instance, the last summer I spent a couple of weeks in Madrid with some friends. It was exactly when the movement of “indignatos” was still strong on the Puerta Del Sol, a famous and touristic place in Madrid. From there, you have access to the main streets of the city. I didn’t know first, but unlike France, Spain authorizes (more or less) prostitution. And so, you can see at any time, almost everywhere in the more touristic streets, prostitutes. I first think: “maybe it’s a good idea, prostitution is not illegal anymore, women don’t have to do it in the illegality, to hide, and maybe, this way, they are more protected”. But then I realized that none of them were white. I don’t have any numbers to prove that, but I think, by generalizing prostitution, we are just accepting and generating poverty. More and and more women just think prostitution is the easiest way they can earn enough money to live, even if it’s not true. It seems to be a vicious circle to me. Also, I think people were acting as if prostitution was something normal. I though that every violence linked to prostitution was just normalized, accepted and banalized. Women were somehow dis-humanized, and treating without respect, dignity. But there was no reason to fell guilty or bad for them because Spain, the state, was accepting this situation…

    The city was such a contrast for me. Fighting for more rights one the one hand with all the indignatos but accepting prostitution on the other. I know prostitution is not an easy subject, and that every system or law have its own defects, but I really felt uncomfortable with the way women were treating in Madrid.

  25. daniellelong90 says:

    This week’s blog is very interesting to me because I’ve been working on normalizing of violence a little bit for my global media watch assignment. Violence can be defined as “an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws.” I feel many people over look the over-sexualization of women as violence. The ways in which women are portrayed in the media, in movies, music, literature, magazines, etc… over sexualize women and degrade the female figure. This type of violence is passive, but it is violence none the less. This portrayal of women diminishes young girls’ self-confidence as well as demoralizing women as a whole. This is normalized because we see over-sexualization of women on a daily basis. It is all over advertising campaigns, music videos, in the fashion industry and more. For example, PETA had a campaign “I’d rather go nude than wear fur.” While PETA is a group that notoriously strives for animal rights, it in its advertising campaign featured famous women nude with the ad’s tagline: “I’d rather go nude than wear fur.” By featuring these women as nude, it attracted attention to the campaign. However, this campaign as well as other company’s use of nude or overly sexualized women is looked at as normal because it is a sight that is seen so often.

  26. steph y says:

    I am a huge forensic files fan, so I can relate this to an episode I have seen on the show. The Castro Valley Jane Doe case, where the authorities found a badly decomposed body. Castro Valley’s Jane Doe turned out to be Hispanic after a forensic sculptor made a model based on the remains or skull. The cops ended up passing out Jane Doe’s sketches in Mexico after her facial structures were reconstructed by clay. Jane Doe had left Mexico for a better life, yet the victim failed to contact her mother for three years. This reminds me of why the mother would be afraid to report this or do something about it. The murderer is now wanted in Mexico, even though the murder was not committed in Mexico. The United State authority took a huge part in this case, since the crime did occur in the United States. I wonder if the murderer will be identified if the crime had occurred in Mexico.
    http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=33287
    China’s old policy to kill female babies also shows a lot on how much value female lives are worth to them.

  27. cschoeon101 says:

    After watching Senorita Extraviada and reading the articles, I feel privileged and blessed for having a positive upbringing in my life. Gender violence is a serious issue that is often addressed but never acted upon. I feel as though most of us know that gender violence is bad, but aren’t confident at knowing when to start being pro-active and making an effort at ending the mental and physical abuse. For women, when they experience psychological or physical torment from their loved ones, they often push it under the rug in order to pacify the situation or due to emotional attachment. For men, I believe there is a double standard in cases when they do endure gender violence from either men or women. The consequences that lead to reporting gender violence can hinder their reputation from others. If a girl mentally or physically abuses a guy, he can be perceived as “weak” following with other degrading terms that diminish their masculinity. The circumstance is completely different if the genders went the other way around. For women, there is a faster and more positive response from others in comparison to men, which is why I believe that men have a double standard within the issue of gender violence. At often times, men have to suppress their pain in order to maintain their masculinity, which I believe should end.

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