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Full Frontal Feminism – What is Still Preventing Women from Achieving Equality? Essay (Critical Writing)


One of the key issues addressed by Jessica Valenti in her book “Full Frontal Feminism” is violence against women. The book mainly addresses young women by encouraging them to participate in feminism. Other people that the book speaks to include: young women, young people of color and people who identify as queers.

Valenti explains that violence against women is not only a women’s issue and recommends that young men should also be trained on gender equality (Valenti 80). The book also addresses young people of color by encouraging them to report cases of sexual violence and queers by talking about same sex relationships.

The book majorly aims at speaking to young women who shy away from being called feminists. Jessica Valenti wrote this book to clarify why feminism is so essential and pertinent. The aim of the book remains relevant in the modern society as young women continue to be the key victims of violence against women.

Specific women groups that are more susceptible to violence include: native and immigrant women; expatriate women and those in circumstances of fortified conflicts; women in marginal groups; women in establishments and custody; women with physical impairments; aged women and young girls.

Violence against women remains a global issue as it represents a violation of fundamental human rights and is an impediment to the attainment of the goals of peace, growth and equality (Kimmel 27). In the United States, domestic violence is the principal root of injury amid women of reproductive age.

It is also estimated that in every six minutes in America, a woman is raped. As a young woman, am seriously concerned about this issue since young women are principally affected by violence as they are most likely to be battered (Valenti 61).

Prevalence of Violence against Women

Violence against women goes on to be a worldwide epidemic that kills torments and hurts physically, economically, mentally and socially. It violates human rights thus repudiating women security, equality, self-esteem, confidence, and their freedom to have basic rights (Hooks 17).

Violence against women exists in every nation cutting across borders of age, class, traditions, education, earnings and ethnicity.

Although nearly all societies forbid violence against women, the truth is that desecrations against women’s rights are frequently endorsed under the array of cultural norms and practices or via delusion of religious doctrines.

Furthermore, when the contravention occurs inside the home, as it happens frequently, the violence is usually dealt with by the passivity and implicit silence exhibited by the nations and the legislature.

The international scopes of this violence are startling as demonstrated by studies on its prevalence and rate (Kellermann and Mercy 2). There is no community that can allege to be free of women violence. However, differences exist in the trends and patterns in communities states.

Forms of Violence Against women

The most common forms of violence against women include: domestic violence and intimate partner violence; sexual assault within marriage; sexual harassment; and rape (Valenti 61). Let’s focus at each of these separately.

Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence

Incidences of violence against women take place evenly in both developing and developed nations. For a long time, states and communities treated violence against women as a private issue. However, governments realized the need to treat the issue publicly since this violence frequently resulted to public disasters.

In the United States, domestic violence is the principal root of injury amid women of reproductive age. A survey carried out indicates that a woman undergoes physical abuse in every fifteen minutes through beating in the United States, (Kellermann and Mercy 3). Hence, the majority of women who gain admission to emergency rooms are usually victims of domestic violence.

Sexual Assault within Marriage

In most states, sexual assault by a man on his wife though it is a crime expects a woman to be silent and to be submissive. Therefore, it becomes extremely hard for a woman to show evidence that sexual assault had taken place unless when she exhibits severe injury.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has caused increased concern for women at the place of work. Managers abuse their powers by trying to find sexual favors from their feminine colleagues or minors; at times guaranteeing job promotions and other types of career development or merely creating a vulnerable and unfriendly environment for work.

Women who decline to surrender to such useless sexual advances run the menace of anything from relegation to sacking.

Rape

Rape can take place everywhere including in the family where it assumes the shape of incest or nuptial rape. It also happens in refugee camps, at wars and in the general society. It is estimated that a woman is raped in every six minutes in America, (Konishi 1811).

Causes of Violence against Women

A number of intricate and interrelated cultural and societal issues have kept women mostly susceptible to the violence expressed to them; all of them demonstrations of traditionally unequal power associations amid women and men.

Some factors leading to these uneven power associations include: credence in the intrinsic dominance of men; the family organization where power dealings are imposed; socioeconomic aspects; apprehension and power over female sexuality; cultural norms; and legal policies that have conventionally denied children and women a sovereign public and legal status (Valenti 75).

Deficiency of economic resources fortifies women’s susceptibility to violence and their intricacy in disentangling themselves from an abusive affair. The connection between deficiency of economic resources and violence is spherical.

On one side, the risk and dread of violence prevents women from looking for employment or else forces them to admit underpaid and abusive domestic work. On the other hand, devoid of economic sovereignty, women lack the ability to flee from a violent affair.

The opposite of this claim also holds true in several nations. That is to say, women’s growing economic sovereignty is considered as a risk which results to augmented male brutality. This is mostly true when the male colleague is jobless and feels as if his supremacy is weakened in the family.

Moreover, cultural beliefs both in developed and emerging nations offer authority for violence against women in some situations (Valenti 75).

Sacred and traditional customs in history have authorized the punishing and thrashing of wives (Konishi 181). Incidents during infancy, such as seeing domestic violence together sexual violence, have been acknowledged as aspects that put children at peril.

Again, absence of legal defense especially inside the sacredness of a family is a sturdy factor in effecting brutality against women. Up to now, the private/public division that rules the majority judicial systems is a chief hindrance to women’s civil liberties.

Nevertheless, countries are expected to be accountable for shielding the rights of women even when it comes to managing offences done in the home. In most states, violence against women is aggravated by acts of parliament, law executors and legal systems that fail to categorize domestic violence as a criminal offense.

Consequences of Violence against Women

Conceivably, the most critical effect of violence against women is the refutation of basic human rights. Global human rights movements like the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) assert the values of basic rights of each person (United Nations 24).

Domestic violence against women results to extensive physical and emotional effects, some which have lethal effects. Although physical injury embodies only a fraction of the negative health effects on women, it is amongst the most evident type of violence.

According to United Nations, 37 percent of all women who were in the emergency rooms out of violence-associated injuries in the United States were either hurt by an existing or a previous spouse (23).

Assaults cause injuries varying from fractures and bruises to unremitting disabilities like limited or entire loss of sight or hearing and burns may result to defacement. Children who see domestic violence scenes are likely to display behavior and health issues, as well as problems with their eating and body mass (Kelly 120).

The Relevance of the Book “Full Frontal Feminism” by Jessica Valenti

This book is highly relevant as it addresses the key issues affecting women. It also features the modes in which feminism is still pertinent nowadays and why it is still significant and offers exceptional ideas on what we can accomplish to sustain the movement.

In conclusion violence against women goes on to be a worldwide epidemic that murders, torments and hurts physically, economically, mentally and socially.

Credence in the intrinsic dominance of men, the family organization where power dealings are imposed, socioeconomic aspects, apprehension and power over female sexuality together with cultural and legal policies is some of the factors that have accelerated gender inequality.

Violence against women remains a global issue as it symbolizes the breach of basic human rights and is an impediment to the attainment of the goals of peace, growth and equality.

Works Cited

Hooks, Bell. Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics. New York: Pluto Press, 2000

Kellermann, Arnold and Mercy Corrin. “Men, Women, and Murder: Gender-Specific Differences in Rates of Fatal Violence and Victimization.” Journal of Trauma 33.1 (1992): 1-5.

Kelly, Lewis. “When Woman Protection is the Best Kind of Child Protection: Children, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.” Administration 44. 2 (1996): 118-135.

Kimmel, Michael. The Gendered Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004

Konishi, Timothy. “Cultural Aspects of Violence against Women in Japan.”Lancet 355. 9217 (2000): 181-182.

United Nations. Strategies for Confronting Domestic Violence: A Resource Manual. New York: United Nations, 1993

Valenti, Jessica. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Women’s Guide to why Feminism Matters. London: Seal Press, 2007

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IvyPanda. "Full Frontal Feminism – What is Still Preventing Women from Achieving Equality?" March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/full-frontal-feminism-what-is-still-preventing-women-from-achieving-equality/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Full Frontal Feminism – What is Still Preventing Women from Achieving Equality?" March 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/full-frontal-feminism-what-is-still-preventing-women-from-achieving-equality/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Full Frontal Feminism – What is Still Preventing Women from Achieving Equality'. 29 March.

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