Gender Inequality and Violence in the United States

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Gender inequality in the United States has been an issue since before our time with women and girls making strides since the early 1900’s to gain gender equity. Gender inequality is looked at as a key factor that underpins violence against women, why men produce certain acts of violence over woman and why men are looked at different by society than women, however the topic is complex and requires consideration from different perspectives, including ways to deter the violence.

Most violence among woman begins in the family or by the man in general.

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When looking at the sociological perspective learned about in class, there are different structures that can be seen as patterns of social inequality within society. These patterns give more political, economic, and social power to some groups. A few examples of significant social structures within our society are race, gender, and class. Living within the constraints or privileges of an unequal society shapes the way people see themselves, their opportunities and what it means to them by “playing by the rules” which support that unequal system.

Since the man in most families is seen as the money makers and the physically strong ones by society, this gives men a sense of entitlement or control when it comes to family matters. In the book “Reflections of a Domestic Violence Prosecutor”, Michelle Kaminsky, a chief with the Domestic Violence Bureau in Brooklyn provides insights into the legal dilemmas that many of abused women face regarding domestic violence along with multiple ways in which violence against women could possible be reduced. A few ideas Kaminsky had in regards to reducing violence amongst women or the battered in general were making sure the judges and juries of domestic violence cases were completely informed and knowledged of the batterers history prior to taking on the cases, determining bail based on the risk the batterer is to the victim, using GPS systems, screening judges and using multidisciplinary teams.

In one of Kaminsky’s cases as a Domestic Violence Prosecutor, her victim of abuse, Liliana, was killed and raped by her batterer Hector Sanchez over a case of jealousy. In this case Kaminsky explained that engaging Liliana in a meaningful discussion about her safety could have perhaps limited the chances of her fate by Hector (Kaminsky, 105).

Kaminsky could have also put into consideration all of her other ideas of ways to deter violence amongst women when dealing with Hectors case of domestic violence. Since Hector did have a history of violence against Liliana, the Judge and juries knowledge of this could have led to the case being taken more seriously by the court. Since Hector had a past of violence he could have been prosecuted with no bail to physically keep him away from Liliana. He could have also been monitored by GPS, this way he would be secured and as soon as he would go near any place Liliana was the police would be notified. To protect Liliana from her batterer, multidisciplinary teams could have also been used to further knowledge Liliana of the dangers of domestic violence and help her find a safer place to go instead of with her batterer.

Although there is a major issue with gender inequality in the United States, I do not believe that 100% of violence among men comes from the sociological labels given to them by society. In “Reflections of a Domestic Violence Prosecutor”, Kaminsky has good ideas regarding ways to limit domestic violence amongst women by the criminal justice system, but there are a few other things we can do as a society to limit violence related to gender inequality overall. A few things we can do is be more open minded about the topic. When talking about gender violence, we automatically assume that the violence is coming from the male figure more so than the woman because that is what society has taught us. But this is not always the case, in Kaminsky’s book there a few cases that direct that the violence can in fact be by the women.

In reference with the sociological perspective that is shaping men into the way they appear, manhood and masculinity is also expressed through violence, aggression , and anger in the video “Tough Guise” by Jackson Katz. Since society has made these labels, Men tend to act in these ways to limit themselves from not being humiliated by the public eye. When it comes to women, they are labeled by society as emotional, somewhat sympathetic and very expressive in showing feelings. Katz also explains in his video that such violence in society, such as the school shootings in Littleton, Colorado and Jonesboro, Arkansas are part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity.

Like Jackson Katz “Tough Guise.”, in the article “Gender Equality and Violent Behavior: How Neighborhood Gender Equality Influences The Gender Gap In Violence”, it is explained that men more so than women (in most societies) are more likely to engage in violent behavior. In the article, studies were conducted to show that violence among men is only the case in gender egalitarian settings.

Although men are described as adopting expressions of masculinity through toughness and violence as a means to handle everyday situations in kaminsky’s, Jackson Katz and Lei Man-kit this should not serve as a purpose for leniency when it comes to society and gender violence. Although men are first to choose a violent route when it comes to dealing with most situations, they should be held just as accountable for their actions regardless of gender or the preference society puts on them. Acts of violence against woman or random acts of violence by men are deemed normal when they occur because of the way men are portrayed by society. If the script were flipped and woman were the violent or “tough” gender, society wouldn’t know how to react because women are only looked at by society as weak and emotional, perhaps the perceptions among men in today’s society would fade out.

Works Cited

  1. Katz, J. Young, J. Earp, J. Jhally, S. (Director). (1999). Tough Guise [Video file]. Media Education Foundation. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from Kanopy.
  2. Lei, Man-Kit, et al. (2014). “ .” Violence and Victims 20(1): 89-108.
  3. Kaminsky, Michelle. (2012). “Reflections of a Domestic Violence Prosecutor: Suggestions for Reform.” 1-156.
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Gender Inequality and Violence in the United States. (2021, Mar 18). Retrieved from