Transforming Cultural Norms of Sexual Violence Against Women
Journal of Research in Gender Studies, Volume 4(2), 2014, pp. 39–51, ISSN: 2164-0262
14 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2014 Last revised: 25 Sep 2015
Date Written: December 20, 2014
A version of these remarks was delivered at the Stoneman/Katz Human Rights, Gender and the Law Conference: The State of Equality in Comparative Perspective, held at Albany Law School in April of 2013. The conference transcript was assembled into a monograph to memorialize the conference itself, as well as the Spring 2013 Kate Stoneman1 Series of Events. These remarks were part of a larger panel examining the issue of law and “culture.” In my remarks, I addressed culture in modern society which, though an ambiguous concept, greatly informs our world and our actions. I examined how individuals have become complacent at times, adopting a culture that normalizes violence towards women. I posited that even while explicit gender bias is often deemed unacceptable, modern society is embedded with implicit biases against women. These implicit biases contribute to a culture that is imbued with gendered norms relating to domination, over-sexualization, violation, and power and control over women and girls. I argued that the way to remedy these problems is to change the underlying culture in such a way that redefines gendered norms and gender equality. This can be achieved at least partially by educating our children before these gendered norms become embedded in their minds.
Keywords: gender, bias, violence against women, rape, culture, norms, modern society
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