We are bright beings, but very dangerous. Cruelty is part of the human essence and we are so used to it that we have lost the ability to scandalize ourselves. Although we continue to progress in all our dimensions; such as physical, social, spiritual, aesthetic, cognitive, communicative, emotional, ethical … from time to time we have collapses, cable crossovers and we go crazy.
Barbarism is a subject that has not been studied much. Unfortunately, it is unique to the human being. Animals can be fierce, but they are not cruel, they do not enjoy the pain of their victim. In contrast, human beings do.
Throughout our evolution, we have maintained two types of innate behaviors: one aggressive and one compassionate. To stop the powerful and mighty path of aggressiveness, we created dams; as the phenomenon of feelings of compassion and solidarity; legal and moral normative systems; political and social institutions. But when these levees collapse, the flow of aggressiveness spills out and we get to horror., without palliative, reaching dehumanization. This event is repeated, over and over again, throughout history, leading to the loss of the feeling of humanity, capable of bringing out the worst in each one of us.
To understand gender-based violence, it is important to first determine what violence in general is. This can be defined as those behaviors and situations that threaten the physical, psychological or moral integrity of people. All violent action is individual, although it is influenced by social manifestations, ideological or structural. But what characterizes gender violence is that it aims to harm women.
Nowadays, violence in couples is occurring among very young people, mostly during the dating season and in a bidirectional way, that is, not only does the man harm the woman, but the woman also does it to the woman. man. It is evident that the fact of belonging to the male gender does not imply being an aggressor. Violence is a social learning that is especially related to the construction of a specific masculinity model called hegemonic masculinity.
One of the most frequent questions that arises in any debate related to the subject we are dealing with is: what leads the new generations to fall into the spiral of gender violence? And the answer is not simple. Although we live in a democratic society, The three essential pillars for gender violence to be achieved are machismo, hegemonic masculinity and the configuration of romantic love that continue to roam freely.. From time to time new series, teleseries, songs, television programs, YouTube channels are broadcast, where romantic myths are presented as the true proofs of love and, far from being analyzed as the germ of gender violence, they hide under the umbrella of love without raising suspicions.
We have been educated in a romantic model based on suffering. Sayings such as “whoever loves you will make you cry” or “those who fight each other want each other” are a clear example of the trap. Let’s not forget the poisoned compliments like “two tits pull more than two carts”; a myth of the power of women over men, a subtle ruse claiming that man is a puppet in their hands.
The arrival of technologies, especially social networks, have not created a new configuration of love, it has not generated a conceptual change itself, what it has created, really, is a new space where to live it, express it, enhance it, both for the good as well as the bad. Those who are jealous in a love relationship will continue to have them through social networks. It should not be forgotten that the media have a very important role in education and, precisely, they are the ones who do not show an egalitarian society. They continue to make women invisible and maintaining sexist advertising, but in a very subtle way, unlike the previous decades.
They have not taught us to love in a space of equality and freedom. They have educated us in a model of perverse love, whose roles are already established
They have not taught us to love in a space of equality and freedom. They have educated us in a model of perverse love, whose roles are already established. These beliefs come from a traditional cultural model where women have been confined and subjected and which, simplifying, we call “patriarchal” or “sexist”. Attributing all responsibility for violence against women to the patriarchal model is to greatly simplify the problem, which prevents us from taking effective educational measures. Of course you have to change the belief system. But it is also necessary to refine more in the description of the phenomenon. Sexual violence against an unknown person is different from sexual violence against a person with whom there is an intimate relationship. The latter case is affected by the beliefs of romantic love such as, for example, “love can do everything” or “Jealousy is a demonstration of love.”
One of the characteristics of today’s culture is that desire is in fashion. Freedom is considered to be the expansion of desires when, really, this consists of making decisions about them. “The hidden system of desire” encourages impulsiveness and little resistance to frustration. Without realizing it, he went from forbidden pleasure to compulsory pleasure. A new court has been installed: not only do you have to have sex at all times, with everyone, in all possible ways, but you have to ensure that the pleasure is adequate. If we are permanently making a song of desire, we will reap impulsive behaviors that are difficult to stop.
Moral systems are also in decline. Nobody takes ethics education seriously, without realizing that she is the great protector of freedom. Every time there are acts of violence, there is previously a breakdown of the capacity for self-control or of the “moral disconnection”.
It is absolutely necessary to educate in the prevention of gender violence from childhood; socialize ourselves in a model of behaviors, attitudes and more egalitarian relationships, specially oriented in four areas of action: autonomy, self-care, self-esteem and empathy. It is the educational centers that have to become key spaces for raising awareness and detecting gender violence.
The conclusion of this article, too short for the complexity of the subject, is that gender violence will not disappear as long as we do not take into account the number of factors that intervene in it. Some are of a social nature; other characterological; other cultural; other ethics and; those others of the person’s own interest. Given the strength of the “hidden system” that fuels it, simply treating the symptoms is not enough.
(Amaranta Ratón is a Psychologist and Master in Sexology)