Do you know what domestic violence is like? Domestic violence is generally defined as a pattern of cruel attitude. And domestic violence happens in close relationship, such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation. Domestic violence has a lot of forms. For example, there are physical violence (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects), or menaces such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse in domestic violence. Also controlling and dominating are defined as domestic violence. This is a serious social problem. But especially I think the point that women have become the victims of domestic violence rather than men is serious problem. According to the statistics, 95% of domestic violence is committed by men.
I think gender bias makes many men and boys violent. But how is such gender bias made in our society?
First, the thoughts that how a man should be like or how a woman should be like are made many men and boys violent. In our sociology class, many people said that “real man” is tough, strong, physical, independent, and so on. On the other hand, people said that “real woman” is family-minded, weak, dependent, and so on. These recognitions lead such thought that men dominate women. The research of Tokyo prefecture shows that the person who is positive about gender role tends to forgiveness for sexual violence or mental violence. Also, the research of WHO points out that the domestic violence is correlated with the perspective of gender role.
But why many people think “real man” should be strong or dominant. I think media has a great influence on such perspectives of gender.
American teenagers spend 31 hours a week watching TV, 17 hours a week listening to music, 3 hours a week watching movies, 4 hours a week reading magazines, 10 hours a week online. That is to say, they are exposed to media for 10 hours and 45 minutes a day. It is not too much to say that media creates our image of gender.
Women have 3% of top position in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising. Also, women are comprised of 16% of all writers, directors, producers, cinematographer, and editors. Media creates consciousness. But the media is created by perspectives of men now. So I think media has sent distorted information.
Also, women’s bodies sell as products in advertisements or magazines. These media makes distorted perspectives of gender; men are dominant, and women are dominated by men.
We have to recognize that perspective of gender role is false. Also, we have to recognize society makes such dangerous perspectives too.
And we need to think how we change our society.
by Mari Ryoha