Cross Cultural Violence between the Sexes There are still many forms of gender inequality and discrimination that has been constructed within culture and society that enables strain between genders that violence is able to exist in. Gender inequality is closely linked to the social problem of violence against women that is cross-culturally affecting millions of women throughout the world. Violence takes many forms and methods of manipulation that stem from physical, psychological, sexual, emotional, and economic abuse all of which are depicted in human trafficking, institutional violence, sexual assault, and cultural violence. Violence is dominant in patriarchal context of a family unit and has limited women’s power in multiple social institutions including her family, employment, politics, and religion.

Therefore in order to understand violence against women one needs to have an insight into the theories developed to try to explain the reasoning behind why men feel the need to use violence against women in order to control them. Violence against women is a global issue that is not just limited to a certain race, age, and socioeconomic group. The violence does not discriminate, violence does not pick a certain victim, it can happen to any women. Violence will remain prevalent throughout ones society and embedded within many cultures in less more people become educated and help combat the mistreatment of women.

The following article is describing a situation described as honor killings, which occurs very often throughout the world that is another form of violence against women.Honor killing are very common in the Middle East. The article published by BBC refers to an honor killing that gained much media attention within the past year (“Pakistan acid attack,” 2012). The article shares the story of two Pakistani parents that felt the need to protect their family’s integrity at all costs. These parents felt that their family’s integrity and honor was worth more than the life of their child.

In Pakistan there was a young fifteen year old girl named Anusha that frequented the community market place with her parents. One day Anusha glanced at a young boy on a motorcycle twice, after her mother warned her to not look at the boy because it was considered wrong. Anusha’s curiosity angered her parents, and they became concerned that she would bring dishonor to their family. The couple’s eldest daughter, Anusha’s sister brought dishonor to the family years prior for showing the same curiosity in boys. The family was branded by the community with dishonor from the eldest daughters actions in the past. Consequently, the Pakistani parents were very fearful that Anusha would disgrace and shame their family like her sister had, and they could not bear more dishonor and scrutiny from their society. Anusha’s parents felt it was their daughter’s destiny to die at the fate of their hands. Her parents beat her so violently and severally, then threw acid on her, which burned 60% of her body. Anusha’s parents did not bring her to the hospital until the morning, but it was too late Anusha died from the injuries she sustained from her parents.

Honor killings accounted for the deaths of 943 women last year in Pakistan. The numbers of women being killed are rising more per year. Acid attacks were not a crime that was punishable by a sentence in the past, however recently if someone is accused of an acid attack the punishment is life imprisonment.

Violence against women is socially acceptable due to the high inequality and gender subordination within that country. Violent crimes are concentrated in countries such as Pakistan because, where there are high levels of inequality and disparity there are high levels of crime within the society.

I think it horrific and so inhumane that someone could kill their own daughter for looking at a boy. A poor girls life was taken away from her without justification. Anusha was an innocent girl who was sorry for her actions, and said she would never do it again. However her parents felt that her apology was not sufficient enough, and she was destined to die rather than have the possibility of dishonoring their family once again. It is stories like these that make me wish these innocent women had laws protecting their civil rights and liberties, nevertheless in their country women are not treated as equals to men. Women are being killed every day like Anusha was for glancing at a boy the wrong way, asking for a divorce, marrying outside of their families’ wishes, and being raped. All women deserve rights, equality, and empowerment just as much as men do. However many societies and Government such as Pakistan turns their backs on their women and suppresses the issue of gender based violence entirely.



About mchap016

Im a Senior, currently enrolled full-time and preparing to graduate in Spring 2013.
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2 Responses to Cross Cultural Violence between the Sexes

  1. The subject of honor killings has come up each semester I’ve taught this course so that I’ve had to create a special “honor” category on the blog. I should take this as a sign that this is a topic that is important to my students!

    As mentioned in the comments on the other honor posts these horrible crimes have to be understood in a cultural context of “honor and shame,” a topic some anthropologists spend their whole career exploring. Being that we are Americans, for better or worse, we are a people with no shame and so it is a challenge for us to understand why another culture can be so bound up with honor.

    All this is to say that in addition to these murders being brutal (and gender specific) their motivations appear to us as especially bizarre. So part of the experience of being revolted by them is not merely their violence, because children are abused and murdered in the US, but the confusion of trying to understand their motive.

    • mchap016 says:

      That brings up a valid point that Americans do not have a sense of shame as other cultures do that are bounded together by honor and righteousness. There is an paper called Nacierma written by Horace Minor, which illustrates Americans culture from an outside perspective. Most readers do not discover they are talking about Americans unless they carefully read between the lines and have an outside perspective. Many think initially that the people that do those rituals as described in the paper are bizarre and strange because of the actions they do within their culture. The paper further depicts daily activities Americans do that might be viewed as weird and strange to other cultures, but their things Americans have adapted and added into their culture that are normative. In that aspect being an American one cannot be quick to judge or belittle another culture because he/she may not be able to have a grasp and deeper understanding of another cultures customs, traditions, and motives.

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