Ilka Oliva Corado
Women performing “Un violador en tu camino,” or “A Rapist in Your Path,” in a demonstration against gender-based violence in front of the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile.
In societies with neoliberal governments, gender violence, mass poverty and exploitation are all policy of the State. Before the armed forces we have religion that manipulates the excluded ones with emotions and women get double the dose for their gender. In the name of faith, with protection from misogynistic religions, many men exert gender violence to such degree that they lead to feminicides. This is not new, it is not sliced bread. In an absent State, infested in corruption, where machismo propagates, misogyny, homophobia and the patriarchy are systematic, the State is the one responsible for gender violence in all its context.
Without laws that punish those who are violent against women in all their forms, gender violence will continue. The principal criminal is the State. The State’s policies deny abortion rights, and in the most exploited sectors they plan poverty meticulously. They deny access to education to the most vulnerable girls. They force them to give birth, manipulating the population saying that abortion is going to be punished by God because it is murder. Abortion is a right that is denied in repressive States where mainly macho men are governing. They use the denial of abortion as a punishing tool against women and gender. If the governor’s daughters ever end up pregnant they send them to the best private clinics in the country or abroad to have abortions. The same goes for the oligarchs.
Girls without access to education, healthy food, and healthcare live in homes that don’t have the minimum safety requirements. They live in systematically violent surroundings that are orchestrated by the State. These girls will never have a healthy upbringing. They will never be accomplished women, not personally or professionally. Most likely they will be adolescent mothers because of sexual abuse. She might be victim to a romance based on patriarchy or be forced to marry. All this, anything but become a happy accomplished person. No woman can be happy in these conditions.
How can a girl be happy when her mom works 16 hours a day in a factory? They might be cleaning factories, buildings, hospitals, or burning away their lives cultivating fields. A mother who will leave at dawn and come home late into the night, has no time to share with her kids. There is no time to watch them grow up, no time for hugs or time to have fun with them. If the mother herself didn’t have time with her mother, this is thanks to the chain of systematic abuse provided courtesy of the State.
Attitudes and actions surrounding abuse against women are in the thousands. There needn’t be blows for abuse to count as abuse. Emotional abuse is just as harmful. In our societies, State sponsored violence post dictatorships has made men abuse teens, women and children in the family environment because they know that shame is a good ally. As long as people outside their house don’t know what is going on, they can do whatever they want inside it. The pastor or the priest is still giving advice of forgiveness, recommends silence and maintains the family united even when these crimes should be punishable by jail. If the crimes are against a woman, they should be forgiven by God.
This is why there is an ostentatious increase in sexual abuse in girls by their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and cousins. Teen pregnancies are regularly because girls are abused in their own home. The men know that their is no law to punish their crimes. State policies include repression and violence towards the population, poverty, and labor exploitation. If people are tired from excessive work or are hungry, there is less time and energy used for thinking. Without education they don’t know their rights. This is done on purpose. This benefits the corrupt, criminal government. To have unhappy teen mothers instead of teens on their way to a higher education or professional careers is convenient because the latter will not question poverty. Poverty obligates them to go and find food for their kids at all hours. If they develop professionally, the same teens have access to a better life and will therefore demand their rights. They will question the policies of the State. If the newly educated youth strive for it, they can change that same system.
We have arrived at a society without boundaries. The State has also stepped all over them. This is why feminicides do not cause us any reaction. No shock or indignation because there is no longer shock anymore at anything. No one is shocked when there are airplanes landing with tons of drugs they’re getting burned afterwards without anyone ever finding the culprits. We have stopped being shocked that the police or army are the ones taking care of the drug shipments. There is no shock that the same police and military are the ones raping women without punishment. Then the regular civilian says to himself “If the uniformed men rape, why can’t I do that to any woman around me? In my family environment or anywhere else.” The president himself sees that women are killed and never denounces this. He doesn’t care. Everyone knows that you can violate a woman and there will be no consequences.
The State criminally denies food, health and education to girls. It is also a crime to look the other way when girls are violated just for the fact that they are female. They are beaten, raped, impregnated, disappeared and murdered. The same goes the for women and teenagers. If the State does nothing, that same government should be changed by society. The people are the ones that should react and elect into power someone who understands that the policy of systematic violence against women must change. What society is willing to do this? Women, on the majority, are the most vocal about gender violence. Men belonging to whichever ideology they choose always benefit from the inexistent laws that punish such crimes and aberrations.
It will be up to women to change the policies feeding into gender violence systematically provided by the State. So be it.
Translated by Katrina Hassan