EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network http://www.europrofem.org
Gender Violence : Seven P´s of Men´s Violence
Centro de Estudios Históricos
Irma Saucedo isaucedo(AT)colmex.mx
From: Irma Saucedo
My name is Irma Saucedo and I am currently a researcher and professor in the Women's Program at the Colegio de México. For many years I have been an activist in the feminist movement and have dedicated a good part of the past 13 years of my life doing work on the issue of domestic violence. I have supported, designed, organized and implemented various projects related to this issue and keep on thinking that this work has helped me understand how slow and contradictory social change can be. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I decided to say something about the message that Barbara Georgi sent in relation to the Seven P´s of Men´s Violence.
I also received the original message on the seven P's and had quite a different reaction to it. I have been reading most of the information that came out from this discussion group in the last two weeks and kept on thinking that I would send some of my ideas on the many important issues that were raised but my hectic schedule kept me from doing it. However when I read this message I realized the "line is still open" and decided to send this note.
I don't think that we have to stop philosophizing about the male culture of violence, or stop talking about the millions of women victims and survivors of sexual abuse and male violence, in order to look or pay attention to the violence that SOME men inflict on other men.
The original message was sent by a men that has promoted the link between feminist activists and men that have decided to stop being "observers" in a world where gender violence is the key to the reproduction of women's subordination in society and is able to reproduce transgenerationally thanks to the millions of men that decide not to acknowledge this problem.
In México researchers, activists and service providers have been working together with the only organization that at present work with violent men to stop their violence. We don't see any part of our work as exclusionary. WE NEED TO WORK ON BOTH ISSUES but should not forget that it is a reality that the victims and the final aim of gender violence is to keep women and the meanings associated with femininity undervalued.
We should do a lot more advocating for programs that support women victims of violence, and of course a lot more of what has been done previously on the issue of men victims of violence. But let's not confuse this with the idea of the victim's pathology. There is no definite information that might lead to the conclusion that male victims will become victimizers, they might become peace advocates too. Women, in general, have been victims of male violence for hundreds of years and have not become violent themselves toward men.
I'm just terrified every time I hear this idea of "maybe" is better to spend more energy and forces (or whatever) working with men.
Let me tell you that in México City, a city of approximately 20 million people we only have one shelter for battered women and was inaugurated only last year, after at least twelve years of pressure on the part of the movement; we have a legal system and police that do not protect the women and medical services that treat the consequences but not the causes of violence, etc. etc.
In the program that we are implementing in this country we have been working with men in many ways and of course we work with men victims: a lot of the victims of sexual abuse are male children that end up been treated in the women's support centers just because it is the mothers of this kids the ones that ended up protecting them and finding a way to get the treatment their kids deserve!!!!
I am completely convinced that the only way we'll be able to end gender violence will be when we realize that male violence against women is part of the construction of a masculinity that is associated with violence and hurts women as much as it hurts men (they kill themselves in wars, street fights, drinking alcohol, etc. etc).
BUT, PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THIS AN APPARENTLY BETTER OPTION FOR ACTION.