Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Why violence against women in film is not the same as violence against men by Noah Berlatsky

Whenever you mention that a piece of art shows violence against women, you can be sure that the comments section will reply, with confused gusto, “What about the men?!” Men get shot in movies too, after all; why doesn’t anyone complain about that? Hurting men, the argument goes, should negate hurting women. As long as everyone is being treated with equal violence, gender is irrelevant, and we can go back to enjoying murder and mayhem untroubled by conscience, or, indeed, thought. So goes the argument.

Earlier this week, I pointed out that the treatment of Batgirl in The Killing Joke is sexist. Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl, in the original 1988 comic by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, is gut shot, stripped naked, and photographed by the Joker as part of his plot to terrorize her father. Sexualized violence against women as a way to motivate men is a wearisome misogynist trope – only compounded in the recently released Bruce Timm cartoon version by further “character development”, which presents Batgirl as emotionally unstable and incompetent. ...

 

This article was first published by The Guardian on 29.7.16. You can find the full text here.

 

Inspired by our participation with the Write to End Violence Against Women awards organised by Zero Tolerance, we are now collecting examples of good journalism about domestic and sexual violence and abuse to make it clear that it is possible to write about DSVA without resorting to myths, misrepresentations, minimisation and victim blaming.

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