Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Dr Halimah DeShong Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit (IGDS: NBU) University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus MEN’S PERSPECTIVES.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Dr Halimah DeShong Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit (IGDS: NBU) University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus MEN’S PERSPECTIVES."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Halimah DeShong Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit (IGDS: NBU) University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus MEN’S PERSPECTIVES ON VIOLENCE Naming, Blaming and Silencing JEI/UN Women Colloquium on Gender and the Law

2 Overview  I analyse the accounts of men who perpetrate violence against women in heterosexual relationships  My work is based on in-depth interviews with Vincentian women and men, and Barbadian men  Narratives of gender and violence are intertwined in men’s account. How is gender used in this work?  Research and activism against violence in intimate relationships  Three strategies engaged by men in their talk on violence: 1.Naming: How do men name these acts of violence? 2.Blaming: Claiming and deflecting responsibility for violence 3.Silencing: Strategic silences / conspicuous omissions 2Men's Perspectives on Violence

3 Gender as an Analytical Tool in Feminist Research  “A fundamental goal of feminist theory is (and ought to be) to analyze gender relations: how gender relations are constituted and experienced and how we think or, equally important, do not think about them... Gender relations enter into and are constituent elements in every aspect of human experience. In turn, the experience of gender relations for any person and the structure of gender as a social category are shaped by the interactions of gender relations and other social relations such as class and race. Gender relations thus have no fixed essence; they vary both within and over time” (Jane Flax 1990, 40) 3Men's Perspectives on Violence

4 Gender as an Analytical Tool in Feminist Research  Eudine Barriteau’s (2001) describes gender as a set of socially constructed, complex personal and social relations that feature in the process of becoming a woman or man. She also refers to the institutionalisation of gender in particular societal practices  Gendered relations of power are present everywhere – the social relations of gender 4Men's Perspectives on Violence

5 Gender as an Analytical Tool in Feminist Research  The fundamental questions to consider when using gender as an analytical category in feminist research are as follows: 1.How are gender relations manifested in our specific social practices and social systems? 2.To what extent do individuals accept, (re)produce, complicate, or even subvert conventions of gender as they make claims about selfhood? 3.What kinds of gendered ideas and practices are privileged within our institutions and what are the effects? 4.How does gender as a social category interact/intersect with other social relations of power such as race, class and age? 5.What are the nature and effects of the power relations created as a result of the social configuration of gender? 5Men's Perspectives on Violence

6 Caribbean Research and Activism  The problem of violence against women has generated considerable research and policy responses globally since 1970s  It is one of the major areas for feminist activism in the Caribbean  There is scope for more sociological research on the general problem of violence against women that can inform social policy and legislative reform in the Caribbean 6Men's Perspectives on Violence

7 Caribbean Research and Activism  However, previous studies include:  The treatment of domestic violence survivors within the judicial system and the legal responses (Lazarus-Black, 2001, 2003 and 2007), (Trinidad and Tobago)  The distribution and patterns of interpersonal violence (including partner violence) perpetration (Le Franc et al, 2008), (Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica)  The formal and informal support systems available to women who survive IPV (Hadeed El-Bassel, 2006), (Trinidad and Tobago)  Explanations women and men offer about why IPV occurs (Danns and Parsad, 1989; Gopaul and Cain, 1996; Lazarus-Black, 2007), (Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago)  Guyana (Danns and Parsad, 1989; Red Thread, 2000)  Jamaica (Arscott-Mills, 2000; Gibbison, 2007; Le Franc, et al. 2008)  Barbados (CADRES, 2010; Le Franc, 2008; Le Franc and Rock, 2001; Robinson 1999). 7Men's Perspectives on Violence

8 Interpretive Research on IPV  Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women takes place in the context of a range of controlling acts (Wolf-Smith and LaRossa 1992) in situations where unequal relations of power are exploited  Dutton and Goodman (2005) explain that within this framework of IPV, violence (physical and sexual) is viewed as a tool within patterns of coercive control with other tools including financial deprivation, threats, intimidation, abuse of children and other relatives, and isolation  Yodanis (2004: 658) proposes that a “culture of fear” of men’s violence against women secures men’s status in intimate heterosexual unions 8Men's Perspectives on Violence

9 Interpretive Research on IPV  The politics of naming and our responsibilities as researchers in re- presenting violence is the subject of work done by Muehlenhard and Kimes (1999)  Others have focused on the reasons why violence occurs and the meanings of violence (Anderson and Umberson 2001; Dobash and Dobash 1979, 1997, 1998 and 2004; Eisikovits and Buchbinder 1999; Towns and Adams 2000)  Mullaney (2007) examines the purpose of ‘telling it like a man’  Men’s use of justifications overwhelm accounts of remorse  Men engage in morality tales in which women do something that necessitates violence  Anderson and Umberson (2001) argue that men invariably perform masculinity in accounts of IPV 9Men's Perspectives on Violence

10 Men's Perspective on Violence10 Inimate Parnter Violence (IPV)  Unequal relations of gender provides the context in which intimate partner violence (IPV) against women occurs  Dobash and Dobash (1997, 268)  “men’s possessiveness and jealousy”  “men’s expectations concerning women’s domestic work”  “men’s sense of the right to punish ‘their’ women for perceived wrongdoing”  “the importance to men of maintaining or exercising their position of authority”

11 Naming and Minimising Violence  Men minimised the frequency and severity their violence  “I didn’t really like abuse her that much” (Scott)  “It was just that one time. We never fight before, that time when she get hurt” (Lance)  Men attempted to present non-violent selves in interviews  “It’s not that I’m not a violent person... Most of the times when she gets hurt it’s because she is running from me ends up damaging herself” (Randy)  Men distanced themselves from the violence they perpetrated  They avoided the use of the first person when referring directly to their use of violence: “I just lost control and she got a hard pound [lash]” (Lenny) 11Men's Perspectives on Violence

12 Naming : Gendered Depictions of Violence  In describing the violence they perpetrate men engage in what Wetherell and Edley (1999) refers to as hegemonic sense-making of masculine identity  Anderson and Umberson (2001, 363) in their analysis of men’s accounts of IPV observed that “men depicted their violence as rational, effective, and explosive, whereas women’s violence was represented as hysterical, trivial, and ineffectual.”  Men in the current study suggested that violence enacted in relationships had differential effects depending on whether the actor was a man or woman. 12Men's Perspectives on Violence

13 Naming : Gendered Depictions of Violence  Well it’s obvious the man would get the upper hand right, women could get the upper hand too right, but all of the time I would get the upper hand. When me and her argue it would lead to a fight. In order for me to get her to humble [calm] herself I have to get the upper hand. Let me tell you, she’s bigger than me, you know. She’s bigger than me, but her bigness don’t fool me. I would make sure she get on the ground, not box her down or anything of that sort, you know. I would squeeze her; fight with her like a man, right. I would squeeze her off; choke her off. When I say choke her off, not in a way to like kill her, but just so she could humble herself, you know, because the way she behaves; she behaves as if she could beat me. She can’t beat me, regardless of what. I would hold her around her neck [He performs the action as he explains] like I would hold her like so and if I really put pressure on her that would fuck her up. No but I wouldn’t do that. I would do that just so she could humble herself. But she would want to box me, pull a knife at me and I would be like ‘humble yourself, you can’t beat me, you can’t this, you can’t that’, but she insists. (Roger) 13Men's Perspectives on Violence

14 Blaming  Men often constructed their violence as a consequences of women’s provocation  Suspicions of women’s infidelity was the most common explanation cited for men’s use of violence by women and men in the study  Often implied in these accounts is the associated threat of emasculation  By shifting the burden of the violence on to women, men position themselves as victims: “The things she would do gets me in a rage... I would a crazy man to just go and start beating her like that” (Randy)  Other reasons cited by men for their use of violence included: women’s disobedience by women, women’s inability to complete household chores and gossip 14Men's Perspectives on Violence

15 Blaming & Provocation  I tell you I mek some mistakes because, like, at times when that stuff was happening I lose my temper a couple of occasions, you know because I couldn’t believe what she was telling me. And with attitude too. You know, that help me to succumb to the, ahm, stupidness. (Earl) Blame  I was home breezing, right, and I get a phone call. A man tell me he now burst the bathroom in school and butt up my girl bouncing on a fella and sucking a next one cock. I say “shhh.” That one hurt my feelings boy. When she get home I beat she so bad and she keep denying it, denying it, denying it. Until I tek up piece ah log to slap she in she face until she tell it. I tell she, “man don’t worry man, but you know you have to keep from round me and ting. I don’t really keep those sort a things man.” (Henry) Provocation & Justification 15Men's Perspectives on Violence

16 Silencing Violence  Men’s silence on sexual violence  Well she always remember a certain thing that happened, you know, because it have a certain time like when we used to thing [argue] before and you come home and you want little sex and she ain’t give me and she start to thing and a time when she go through the back door. She say how me fight she for sex through the back door, and all thing, ahhhh, ok. She go [would] more remember that. (Brent)  Constructing stories on violence: we learn of men’s motivations, feelings of remorse, where responsibility should be place, but men are often silent on the acts of violence they perpetrate 16Men's Perspectives on Violence

17 Conclusion  Men often portray their violence as decisive and effective, and that of their partners as ineffective  Men’s tendency to minimise and to silence their violence, I would argue, may be a result of:  Their awareness that violence is loathed in public discourses  Their awareness of state sanctions associated with against violence against women  The shame associated with using violence against women  Protecting their public masculine image 17Men's Perspectives on Violence

18 Conclusion  Men tended to engage in discourses of provocation in order to shift blame for violence on to their partners, and to distance themselves from the practice of violence. It functions as a means through which men rationalise, justify and excuse their violence  Suspected infidelity is the  most common justification given for men’s violence  The source of violence is often presented as something external to the individual; something outside of his control  It is imperative to recognise the nexus between ideologies of gender and the discourses of violence produced as often explanations of violence draw on dominant narratives of gender 18Men's Perspectives on Violence

19 THANK YOU FOR LISTENING QUESTIONS???? 19Men's Perspectives on Violence

Download ppt "Dr Halimah DeShong Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit (IGDS: NBU) University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus MEN’S PERSPECTIVES."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google