grammar of patriarchy; “A woman is killed every so and so minutes”
22.04.2011 § Leave a comment
some sweet thoughts over at shesamarxist last week:
Recently I read a book that pointed out that when people talk about violence against womyn, there is often no subject within the sentence. Think about it:
“A woman was raped today.” or “A woman is killed every so and so minutes.”
How come there isn’t a subject in that sentence? When violence against womyn happens, it apparently happens, like a condition. Someone doesn’t kill. Womyn get killed. Its as if a womyn went out and stepped in a puddle, caught a cold. Rape is something a womyn gets, its not something a man does.
Its never “a man raped a woman today” or “men kill women every so and so minutes”. There’s never a subject or an actor identified. We are made to envision the womyn, and what she was doing. Where was she when she got killed? She was in an alleyway. Why don’t we ask what that dude was doing waiting in an alleyway? Because he’s not identified in the sentence. Our mind goes to her. We put her on trial because she’s the one attached to the crime.
She’sa blogs on this and how the new law in NY against choking results in 2,000 arrests within the first 15 months of the law (i mean screw some police state but the passive voice of it all is flawless).