Monday, August 8

Nine myths (dismantled) to which the denial of sexist violence gives wings and which serve to perpetuate it

It usually considers the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence an attack on men, repeats the mantra of false accusations and refuses to recognize machismo as the cause of the murders. The denial of gender violence, a reaction to the advancement of women’s rights, has amplified its message in recent years due to the presence of Vox in the institutions and a greater boost in the virtual spaces of the sectors that question them. Meanwhile, there are already 1,109 women murdered by their partners or ex-partners since there are records, 31 so far this year. The narrative is nourished by arguments, and sometimes false or misrepresented data, that proliferate on the Internet and that today have the speaker of the extreme right in the political tribunes. Here are some of them:

The entire Congress stands against Vox’s denial of sexist violence

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Violence has no gender

It is one of the most common slogans, used on multiple occasions by Abascal’s party, the first time in 2015, when a group of people with Vox posters, still without parliamentary representation, broke into the 7N march against sexist violence. “Anyone, be it a man or a woman, can use violence, but deprive gender violence of this obvious characteristic that responds to a specific cultural pattern, a sexist structure, of inequality and domination of men over women,” he says. Miguel Lorente, former delegate of the Government against Gender Violence.

The forensic doctor also explains that gender violence “has different motivations and objectives from other interpersonal violence, that there are, and many. Nobody says they do not exist”, but “it is important to differentiate them.” Marta Roqueta, Gender and ICT researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), agrees, adding another specific feature of sexist violence: “It is socially legitimized, it justifies itself, minimizes and blames the victims.”

The details of murdered men are hidden

It is something that has been affirmed on several occasions by several Vox deputies, including Javier Ortega Smith. From time to time, supposed data that refer to the number of men murdered by their partners or ex-partners reach notoriety, which are usually false. The real figures are there, and are published annually by the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ): between 2009 and 2019, the latest available, the average is 7.6 cases per year. In 12% of the cases the aggressor was another man. In this same time frame, an average of 56.3 women were murdered.

It is violence, but it is not macho

It is common for these sectors to recognize that women suffer violence, but they avoid naming it as sexist and tend to limit it to something exceptional or specific, the product of the irrationality of a specific man. “With the data in hand, it is impossible to deny it, but they do deny the machismo of violence and argue that it is necessary to talk about people, not about men or women,” Lorente explains. Again, a way of ignoring the cultural and social roots behind: “We are not talking about having lives that are worth more or less, but about what gender violence means, if we do not point out the machismo that sustains it, not It will end. And that machismo is normality, it is society itself that gives rise to violence; the more than 50 murderers a year are normal. ”

The mantra of false reports

That there are a large number of false complaints remains a recurring argument, and was in fact recently used by Vox in Congress. Denied, yes, over and over again by the Prosecutor’s Office: in its last report, of 2019, it assures that 7 were initiated that year and another 17 were at that time pending the initiation of the total of 168,057 complaints filed for this cause. Comments that confuse dismissals with false reports are common, when they are not the same. Every year a high number of files are produced, around 40%, but this does not mean that in these cases the women have falsely reported, but rather that the judge has not found enough evidence.

Women seek to keep custody and house

Related to the above, that women would have a spurious motive to report men linked to economic interests is another of the most common prejudices of denial. Something that connects with the widespread myth of the “bad woman”. On the contrary, what happens is that women, when reporting, tend to face long and harsh judicial processes in which the exploitation of their sons and daughters by the aggressor is not uncommon. But it is also that the proportion of cases in which this type of precautionary measures are adopted is low: around 15% the attribution of the home and only 3% the suspension of the visitation regime.

Moreover, “he is the father of my children” is one of the most common reasons given by women who refuse to continue with the process, according to the 2019 Macro-survey of the Ministry of Equality. The CGPJ itself considers that having sons and daughters with the alleged perpetrator is a “factor of vulnerability” for the victims themselves and up to 51.7% of the female victims with minors in charge affirm that they themselves also suffered violence.

The Comprehensive Law Against Gender Violence is unconstitutional

It is one of the most repeated myths: that the law “is contrary” to the equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution or that it “violates the right to the presumption of innocence.” Ideas that were used in several of the questions of unconstitutionality raised by sectors of the right after the approval of the law and that were overthrown by the Constitutional Court. With this same argument, Vox recently promoted the repeal of the law in Congress, something that was rejected by all groups. There are even associations of “affected” men who consider themselves victims of the norm and who defend the false Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and even defend those accused of gender violence.

If they are foreign aggressors, feminism does not denounce it

It is very common for these sectors to link sexist violence with immigration using false data. It is usually a resource to charge against foreign and racialized people. “It is just the other way around,” says Roqueta: “When this is done, it is not focused on the complaint that women suffer, but on blaming migrants and other cultures, who present themselves as atavistic and macho.” For the expert, it is denialism that “makes a very selective complaint” which in her opinion “comes to say something like that they can do whatever they want with their women, but what they do not tolerate is that non-white men do it ”

Feminazi and gender ideology

The term was extended a few years ago as a way to discredit feminists and has been complemented in recent years with the discourse of the so-called “gender ideology” against the advances of women and the LGTBI collective. “It is usually used when feminism tries to extend to the rest of society, to education or to politics. They try to imply that behind there is a hidden plan that comes to impose certain positions,” Lorente reflects. What is an orchestrated strategy is the activity of ultra-Catholic parties and organizations organized at an international level to try precisely to stop these advances and impose their conservative agenda.

Neither machismo nor feminism

Some people equate both terms, ignoring that they are approaches that pursue opposite objectives. “Machismo is an ideology that pursues the domination, subordination and discrimination of women,” explains Roqueta, while feminism “is the social and political movement that fights against it and pursues equality between men and women.” However, feminism is still misconcepted at times as an ideology that seeks the same thing as machismo, but in reverse.