In today’s society, many are under the impression that it is only possible for men to commit domestic violence. This is due to the fact that men are usually portrayed as stronger than women and capable of taking advantage of them.
The cultural object provided is an article. The piece says that Emma Roberts was arrested in Montreal, Canada for domestic violence. She had apparently given her partner a bloody nose and the victim had bite marks upon his body.
This case relates to Baynton’s “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History” where he states that women were/are known as weak and fragile in society and they are often seen as the victim rather than the abuser. Because of this, Emma Roberts’s story and others like it comes as a shock. Cases like these that involve a woman as the abuser aren’t as well known as other cases where a man is the abuser. Chris Brown and Charlie Sheen are great examples of this. The case involving Emma Roberts shows just how little society’s views on women have changed. The ideology of gender disability is still upon us, meaning that women are still being seen as weak, fragile and inferior to men.
When will society acknowledge that domestic violence caused by men and women can have the same harmful effects? Will this double-standard ever be put to rest?
The concept that women are fragile or weak is still present in today’s society. This idea can be commonly seen in children’s movies. These films ultimately end up showing the message that women and men are not equal to both young boys and girls.
The link above leads to a short snippet of one of Disney’s classics: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In this scene, Snow White is seen lying down presumed to be dead by those around her. The prince then comes and kisses the fallen damsel and moments later Snow White is brought back from her death-like state and calls for the prince to take her away so they can live their happy ending. This film and other Disney films like it portray women as damsels in distress and are in desperate need of a man to save them. This is a huge step back for the feminist movement seeing that in the early twentieth century women weren’t able to vote because of women’s “frailty, irrationality, and emotional excesses.”(Baynton 41) These films spread the message that women and men aren’t equal, when feminist activists have put so much effort to put an end to hegemonic masculinity.
How can the notion that women are frail and weak creatures be removed from society’s perspective? If Disney were to change the way it portrayed it’s princesses, can future generations see past the dominance of men in society? Will women forever be in the shadows of men?