Violence Against Women Across Culture, Media & Generations

593 Words3 Pages
In Donna Smyth’s short story Red Hot, it is proclaimed that patriarchism, in a democratic society, not only encourages male empowerment leading to physical or verbal abuse of women, but also proliferates the vulnerability of women across culture, media and generations. To demonstrate various effects of this issue, Smyth presents Red Hot in a fragmented storyline, which revolves around the central story of Jane Stafford’s trial to address the constant patronization of women in media, in adult entertainment and in private homes. Furthermore, Smyth’s constant referrals to the violent erotic video, featuring physical abuse of a woman, and the condescending male figures strongly depict the tendency of male dominated society to impose masculinity over women for the fulfillment of its needs. Therefore, as the fundamental element of patriarchism, masculinity promotes corruption of men’s nature leading to chaotic violence and vulnerability strained upon women. As suggested by Smyth, patriarchal masculinity exploits the very essence of democratic freedom, allowing men to claim “In the privacy of my own home I can do what I want.” (533.27.7-8). In addition, the prime minister’s statement “The state has no business in the bedroom of the nation” (533.22.7) gives men the unwritten civil rights to abuse women in the privacy of their homes. Smyth’s fragmented storyline exposes this broad social issue through exemplification of Jane Stafford’s story. Through scrutinized exploration of Jane’s personal life, Smyth exposes the abusive nature of Jane’s husband and her father with reference to their past, “Billy beat his first wife and his second wife and he beat Jane like Jane’s father beat her mother.” (530.3.1-3). Furthermore, Billy’s abusive behaviors toward his sons and his sexist advice “men don’t cry” (533.26.15) strongly demonstrates the passage of abusive masculine nature of
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