Violence against women
By Jana Elsayed
Discussed: sexual violence
Violence against women looks into the way that society views and constantly normalizes all the struggles that women face.
Most people don’t outwardly condone violence against women. Most of us don’t agree with a lot of what is viewed as a social atrocity. While we don’t agree with certain behaviors, and we outwardly show our disapproval as long as a story is prevalent in the media, some lose their sensitivity to others’ pain through society’s constant shrugging off of misogyny. A lot of times you’ll read about a horrible incident in the news in which a young woman was raped or attacked on her way home from class one night. Maybe the next day you’re talking to some of your peers about it, and everyone feels sorry for her, but some are asking why she was walking home alone in the dark. “Doesn’t she know better?” they wonder aloud. “Don’t these people know better than to say something like that?” you wonder internally in response. While every person is responsible for his or her own behavior, sometimes there’s an explanation. Our environment has shaped us, and our environment has also constantly sent us mixed messages. The media tells us about victims, and as humans, we feel for them. Later, the media blames the victim (especially if the accused is white and wealthy). The next day a song is promoted on the radio that hints at sexual violence. Meanwhile, advertisements that both men and women see are telling women how to seem sexier, while influencers tell young girls to stop being sluts. In other cases, we see people that have a lot of power and fame get away with a lot of reprehensible acts. They don’t get held accountable for this behavior, so the rest of society just has to deal. We normalize this behavior by not holding the men responsible for their actions. This is what leads to rape culture; this is how we fracture our society; this is how we fail women. Women don’t know their place in society as they face a double bind around every corner. Women can be used as scapegoats by society, punching bags by men, and sex objects by the media and the world.
My inspiration is a book that I’ve reread countless times, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She talks about the struggles that women face in Nigeria and relates it to all around the world. She has been my inspiration for an abundance of things and I quote her very often. This originally was one of my late-night thoughts that I wrote down in the notes app on my phone but I decided to expand on it a little more. It went from a mind-vomit to something a little more comprehensible with some structure added to it.
Jana Elsayed is a dedicated and devoted junior in high school. She keeps busy not only with her school work, but also with her extracurriculars, including a club she founded in 2018, Female Empowerment Movement, or F.E.M., New Generation Civic Politics Fellowship and Girls Write Now. With all that she does, she still finds the time to keep up with her hobbies and have some semblance of a social life.