Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Intimate Partner Violence Club (No Gays Allowed)

An article from the Huffington Post, "How Heteronormative Paradigms Ostracize Queer Populations in Intimate Partner Violence Research," delves in to the issue of intersectionality and domestic violence in a way that I had not previously considered. Kimberl√© Williams Crenshaw's main point in our class reading, "Mapping the Margins," was that the intersectionality of being an African American or immigrant women can make domestic violence a greater threat and a more inescapable reality. She makes an excellent argument, but focuses on male violence inflicted on women. Statistics show that the majority of domestic violence is committed by men against women, but is this because the research is not taking everyone into account? The article from Huff Post makes the claim that the research being done today is influenced by "heteronormative biases under the dominant gender binary paradigm." Members of the LGBTQ community are left out of the conversation entirely. The lack of research would imply that no one is concerned about victims of sexual violence unless those victims are women, and their perpetrators are men. Incidents of intimate partner violence happening between LGBTQ couples do not fit this mold.  As we continue to move forward in accepting all gender and sexual orientations, we need to start using "language that includes all identities," especially when talking about possible victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is already in isolating experience, but when all of the shelters for victims seeking help are predominantly designed for women in heteronormative relationships, all other victims are left feeling marginalized to an even greater extent.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy you posted this article! I just finished reading, "We don't need another wave" which is a compilation of a bunch of really powerful feminist poetry, testimonials, and essays. One of the essays is about the lack of recognizing domestic violence when evaluating a same sex couple. Just like sex ed, the situations and discussion are never altered to include a same sex couple and therefore we just don't think it occurs. So much of our knowledge comes out of what we see and what we hear and when that is not talked about because LGBTQ couples are not normalized in education, we don't hear about it and therefore don't ever know how common domestic violence in LGBTQ relationships is.