Women As Violent? Women's Biographic Experiences of Violence

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Seminarraum Geschichte 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Hermilio SANTOS, PUCRS, Brazil
The role of female as an active actor in violent action is rarely analysed by sociologists. This situation helps implicitly to diffuse the thesis that women are a priori and exclusively victims in a society dominated by the masculinity. In this sense, it could seem to be senseless to problematize women as protagonists in violent action, and this way it could be understood as something against the gender equality or the struggle for women’s right. Based of some influential sociologists and also on feminist literature some analysis, paradoxically, defend the women’s emancipation at the same time that doesn’t recognize them as able to act violently or, when it does, women do it under the domination of a male partner or to repeat male’s behaviour. Refusing to problematize this issue seems to implicitly support the thesis that violence is exclusively a masculine behaviour. Recent researches conducted by the author in several favelas (impoverished urban areas) in Brazil concluded that male and female small children suffered the same experience as victims, and that mothers are the most important perpetrator of physical violence against children. Based on these findings and on biographical narratives of female adolescents and young women currently in prison, the paper analyses what could preliminarily bee considered as different types of women’s engagement in violent action.