New feature: Are women and girls vulnerable?
Jess McCabe // 19 May 2008
Violent men do not attack girls or women because they are ‘vulnerable’, argues Jennifer Drew, and it deflects attention from the perpetrators to pretend otherwise
There is a buzzword circulating the legal, media and societal systems, and it is being used to deflect attention away from male accountability and responsibility for men’s violence against women and girls.
What is this word? Why ‘vulnerability’, and we increasingly hear this word being used by judges when sentencing men convicted of raping or murdering women and girls. Prosecution council too depicts female victims of male violence as ‘vulnerable’ creatures. The media, politicians and society in general are all claiming acts of male violence are ones perpetrated upon vulnerable women or girls. But rarely have I heard or read male victims of male portrayed as vulnerable victims. I wonder why?
Now, before anyone berates me for claiming women subjected to male violence are being turned into powerless victims, I am not in fact rendering women survivors of male violence ‘powerless victims’. I leave that to the ones who use the word ‘vulnerable’. Rather, women survivors of male violence are victims of the crimes these misogynist males commit. Therein lies the difference – not powerless victims but victims of crimes men commit against them.