Violence Against Women and LGBTQ+ People
Written by Jakub L. Marsovzsky
Edited by Simona Kollarikova
Many people nowadays say that transgender people and women are already equal, that LGBTQ+ and feminists should stop voicing their issues with how they are treated in today’s world. Granted, it is much better than even 40 years ago, when being homosexual was considered a mental illness by the World Health Organisation¹. And even before that something like a female leader or a gay doctor were very frowned upon and often had consequences because of the prefered sexuality or sex they were born with.
This of course is not an issue that is just a concern for women and LGBTQ+ people, it is also an issue for racial minorities, clashes of cultures, genetic or birth disorders, and so many more. It is also important to acknowledge that there never will be a real solution to this problem, only a mitigation of that problem.
Yes, just because gay people are more accepted nowadays than 40 years ago doesn’t mean that they aren’t being killed. Gay men in particular are often targetted with over 60% of Anti-LGBTQ+ attacks targetting them in Africa². In fact, being LGBTQ+ is riskier than being African-American, Jew, or Muslim. This was stated by the FBI in their 2018 report and is proven by 28 Transgender people dying in that same year, mainly from hate crimes³. Women are also often harassed too, roughly 1 in 3 women have been victims of sexual violence once in their lives⁴ with Africa and Oceania leading the numbers, mainly from less advanced countries where this is a lot more acceptable by the local culture.
In the end the solution can be divided into four separate sections: education, awareness, security, and empowerment. All four of these tackle the problem in a different way but alone won’t fully solve it. All of these solutions also take considerable time and effort, pressing a button to resolve the world’s problems is sadly not possible yet.
Education to prevent it from happening in younger people, showing a woman doing housework while a man is doing more ‘important work’, while not changing any adult’s mind, has a big effect on children and how they perceive these roles. So instead these roles should be mixed with both men and women doing all sorts of tasks. This allows children to have a more unbiased look on life which will make a big difference on them as a person as they become an adult⁵.
Acknowledging that female and LGBTQ+ rights are still something to fight for despite some people thinking that true equality has been achieved. Women are still being abused in many of the countries and continents of the world, specifically in Africa, the Middle East, with South Africa having the spot for most rapes since 2004².
Security in which a person should be safe coming out as gay or be a woman in a leadership position without being harassed or even possibly assaulted. This could be done by having more women in police jobs to make women feel safer when calling for help or for there to be more LGBTQ+ and woman politicians in the government to help counteract the discrimination. In the end only a woman or LGBTQ+ person knows the extent of the abuse that those people are going through and how to help them the best⁵.
And then empower them to deal with the depressive forms of harassment sent by people who dislike LGBTQ+ and feminists. A large number of LGBTQ+ people kill themselves due to harassment, even in advanced countries like Poland. This is one of the most important steps as LGBTQ+ youth have contemplated suicide 3 times as much as heterosexual youth and attempted suicide 5 times as much with the total amount of LGBTQ+ adults adimitting to having attempted suicide being as high as 40%⁶.
Female and LGBTQ+ people are still being discriminated against to this very day, despite it seeming like a done deal here in the West. The number of hate crimes has been increasing in the last few years with gay men as the primary victims³. This statistic however is overshadowed by the amount of hate crimes aimed at African-American people in the US³ and the ever-increasing violence against the Muslim people in India⁷. All this ties into a larger scale problem of hate that should be addressed. As was stated before, there isn’t a button to magically fix the world’s issues and the processes will take time and effort, but investing that time and putting in the effort helps a great deal to create a future where people don’t have to hide their sexuality and where half the global population isn’t oppressed.
¹Cochran, Susan D., et al. “Proposed declassification of disease categories related to sexual orientation in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11).” 2017, p. 8, https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/92/9/14-135541.pdf. Accessed 22 October 2020.
²“Countries Compared by Crime > Rape Rate. International Statistics.” NationMaster.com, NationMaster, www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Crime/Rape-rate.
³Security.org Team. “Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes Are Rising – But We Really Don’t Know How Much.” Security.org, 17 Aug. 2019, www.security.org/resources/anti-lgbt-hate-crime-stats/.
⁴“Violence against Women.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 29 Nov. 2017, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women.
⁵“Facts and Figures: Ending Violence against Women.” UN Women, www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures.
⁶“Facts About Suicide.” The Trevor Project, 20 Sept. 2017, www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/preventing-suicide/facts-about-suicide/.
⁷Ayyub, Rana. “Religious Hate Crimes in India Surge in Modi’s Second Term.” Time, Time, 28 June 2019, https://time.com/5617161/india-religious-hate-crimes-modi/. ⁸“Gender Equality.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/gender-equality/.
Written by Simona Kollarikova with the contribution of the team
We think that LGBTQ+ people undoubtedly should have the same rights as straight and cis-gender people because they are human beings just like everyone else. Sexuality is determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment and is immutable by social norms or pressure, therefore, it’s not a choice.
Gay marriage should be legal because the core definition of marriage is a union of two people who love each other. If a man and a woman can exhibit this kind of love, why couldn’t two men or two women be capable of the same thing? True love is beautiful no matter the source.
Violence is never an accepted action and should be punished unless the other side started the conflict and the violent side used this method to defend themselves. Even nowadays, we see a lot of attacks targeting LGBTQ+ people simply because of the aggressor’s personal disliking of LGBTQ+ people, religious beliefs, political convictions or cultural background where heteronormativity plays a large role. None of these is a sufficient reason for someone to attack another person. Everyone has the right to live according to their beliefs, however, one’s freedom ends where another person’s rights begin.
Lessons about LGBTQ+ people should be implemented into the education system. They should be taught as part of Sex Education, Biology or Ethics, because there’s a lot of misinformation going around nowaday’s about LGBTQ+ community that might hurt it’s adherents. Therefore, especially the younger generations, need to be taught the truth about LGBTQ+ people and why it’s immoral to discriminate against them. This will help fight the prejudice against LGBTQ+ people which is present in schools these days and raise awareness of the most misunderstood groups like transgender people. It’s one of the building blocks in establishing a society that welcomes LGBTQ+ people and judges them based on their character, not sexual orientation/identity.
Men and women are both human beings deserving of the same human rights. Thankfully, in today’s world, the majority of people realize this fact, but it’s heartbreaking to see that in some parts of the world, women are denied their rights and treated as the second sex. We think it’s everyone’s duty to fight against this injustice if we want to maintain our dignity as humans.
Some people oppose equipping the workplace with conditions that suit both men and women, because they see it as favoring women. But that’s nonsense. Letting women use a ladder in factories so they can reach the top of the shelf is just compensating for the fact that their bodies are biologically different from males’. Because of these differences, men and women need different conditions to suit their needs. By making a workplace contain demanded conditions, we’re making men and women equal, not favoring one gender over another.
While it’s true that, on average, men and women tend to have different behaviors or preferences, gender roles are harmful social constructs that completely separate all men and all women into two different, mutually exclusive categories. Most people don’t want to be sorted out based on their gender and it’s impossible for most people to naturally resemble all characteristics of their assigned categories. For centuries, people have been forced to conform to their assigned category and act accordingly, resulting in them having mental issues, depression and insecurities. The best thing to do would be to get rid of gender roles and stereotypes, as most people naturally have characteristics from both categories, and that we should let people express their personality freely.
Since all people are born equal, we do not see any reason to deny a certain person a certain profession based on their gender. Women are, on average, intellectually on the same level as men so they should also have the same educational opportunities. While it’s true that women are more likely to become a dancer or a teacher and men are more likely to become a crafter or a truck driver, these likelihoods should not dictate all adherents of a certain gender what they can and can’t become since those likelihoods are not a rule for everyone.
Another biological fact is that men are on average stronger than women. Because of this, women weren’t allowed in combat roles for a long time until recently when military technology has reached such advancements that physical abilities aren’t that important anymore. Thanks to this, we don’t think that women should have any less of a chance in having a combat role in the army. Thereby, gender prejudice should be eliminated in the military environment.
Keeping tolerant and respectful language, please comment what your opinion on children being raised by same-sex couples is