Title: What is Violence?
Topics: feminism, violence
Date: December 2, 2012
Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20131208044550/http://utopianmag.com/updates/what-is-violence

Violence is not only the crime that we are shown on the TV news, it’s not only the hand holding the gun, the kicking and punching, or the bodies that are brutalized... like the deaths and victims that we remember today.

Violence is here with us each day: it comes from above and we reproduce it and suffer it down here.

Violence is a large part of the history of this imperialist country: slavery, the taking of others’ land, the killing of native peoples, and so many wars throughout the world.

Violence is the terror of war and the colonization by those in power.

Violence is also poverty, hunger and injustice in this land of so much wealth.

Violence is the exploitation of millions for a miserable wage, so that others may profit and become millionaires.

Violence is the impunity with which ICE detains our neighbors and loved ones, terrorizes us and separates our families.

Violence is the so many cases of rape not being investigated, supposedly for “lack of resources,” while millions being spent on political campaigns as we speak.

Violence is losing your house because the bank ripped you off with the lawyers, judges and interests.

Violence is when our schools do not give our children what they need, or when the city does not give our schools what the need.

Violence is the lack of lighting on these streets, around these houses and abandoned lots, the factories spilling out toxic waste, and the trash piling up because the city won’t pick it up.

Violence is a courtroom that fills prisons with poor people of color, but saves the banks and big businessmen by forgiving their white-collar robbery.

Violence is the lack of dignified, quality health care.

Violence is not being able to study in college.

And finally, violence is the sexism we observe every day: when your spouse doesn’t let you work;

when women are used as a product to be consumed and desired on television;

when a man is paid more than a woman who does the same job; when you are only valued as a mother,

but not as a woman; when you aren’t allowed to go out to see your friends or family;

when the housework is only your responsibility;

when you are laughed at; yelled at;

when they force you to do something you don’t want to do using threats and fear;

when they force you to have sex;

when they blackmail you using your children;

when they treat you as if you were stupid or ignorant.

This culture of sexism is a very clear form of violence, and sexual attacks are a part of this violence.

We all deserve dignity – respect – we are all human beings, and we all have the same rights!

First they attacked sex workers, but I did nothing because I don’t exchange sex for money.

Then they attacked high school girls, but I did nothing because I have no children of that age.

Then they attacked homeless women, but I did nothing because I am lucky enough to have a house.

Then they attacked me, but it was too late, since there was nobody left to help me.

We must build an organized community to oppose against violence against women!