CODE RED for Gender Justice and Women Speak take exception to a suggestion from a colleague that the term “violence against women” is discriminatory against men, and should be replaced by the term “relationship violence”.
My thoughts, with all due respect to all parties involved:
Wasn’t this solved when we found the term ‘gender-based violence’? I agree that axing ‘violence against women’ in preference for ‘relationship violence’ will not work because there are a number of fronts on which women (and men) face violence.
But, I do not think that adopting the term “gender-based violence” or similar over “violence against women” would help to ‘socialize [us] to devalue a focus on women, [which] not only [allows] violence against women to continue but [creates] a more permissive environment for it to occur’, as WomenSpeak argues.
Re: CODE RED’s view that “erasing the language feminists have invented to describe the harms women disproportionately face is an attempt at silencing women”, I rather think that gender-inclusive lenses through which we view vulnerability are a good thing. I long to see women and men share a platform on issues like these, rather than to frame them almost-exclusively as women’s issues in what very-often comes to look like misandrist discourse.
I’m open to counter-views.
Edit: Oh, sweet Jesus. Would you have a look at the notes in which this post is being seared by feminists? Some of whom are very angry and dare I say, abusive? I love the ‘discussion’ and the opportunity to get further insight on how they think. Check it out.