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Racism, Misogyny and Gender Violence

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Andy Shi

on 11 June 2016

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Transcript of Racism, Misogyny and Gender Violence

Yasmin Jiwani

Feminist academic and activist

Examines intersectionality of race and gender in media narratives of
violence against women and representations of racialized peoples.

Professor in the Department of Communication studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.
Graduated from University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Received her Master’s degree in sociology from Simon Fraser University in 1983.

Jiwani attained her PhD in Communication studies at Simon Fraser University in 1993

She has co-written 3 books along with authoring many scholarly articles.

Situated positions: Feminist researchers

Investigating terrain of racialized and sexualized violence and its mediations

Focus on the frames used by mainstream media in covering the issue - how hegemonic discourse about Aboriginality and prostitution play out within the larger framework of reporting on violence against women

INTERSECTIONS: Race, class, gender, sexuality

Thesis Statement:
“We argue that prevailing and historically entrenched stereotypes about women, Aboriginality, and sex-trade work continue to demarcate the boundaries of ‘respectability’ and degeneracy, interlocking in ways that situate these women’s lives, even after death, in the margins”
The hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, hostility, male supremacist ideas, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.

Women as spectacle of violence and bare life:

Giorgio agamben (1995) “homo sacer” (sacred man) - Under the Roman Empire, a man who committed a certain kind of crime was banned from society and all of his rights as a citizen were revoked. In consequence, he could be killed by anybody, while his life on the other hand was deemed "sacred", so he could not be sacrificed in a ritual ceremony. The sacred human may thus be understood as someone outside the law, or beyond it.

The way missing women’s bodies were treated in death became not-grievable and too horrible to contemplate. As Judith Butler argues, the capacity to mourn grant us the sense of life that allows us to oppose violence. In this case, we can clearly see that the victimized women became bare life, their political rights were striped from them by the process of non mourning. The lack of recognition de-gender the issue of violence.

The remains of these women only constitutes bare life (zoes), vs what they are supposed to be represented as Qualified life (bios).

Mary Lynn Young
She is currently Associate Dean of Communications and Strategy, in the Faculty of Arts.

Completed her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2005

She was a reporter and editor at a variety of daily newspapers including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The Hamilton Spectator and The Houston Post.

In January 2007, Dr. Young launched FeministMediaProject.com in partnership with other feminist academics.

Invisibility vs. Hypervisibility
Aboriginal women - invisible as victims of violence, seen as those “who deserved what they got” and hypervisible as deviant bodies whom are disregarded as people but regarded as drug addicts and/or sex trade workers.

(Jiwani 2006)

Racism, Misogyny and Gender Violence

“Missing and Murdered Women: Reproducing Marginality in News Discourse”

A presentation by Nicole, Jordyn, Daniel, and Andy
Violence against women, racialized and sexualized violence, missing women, colonialism, sex-trade work, serial killings

Content warnings
Trudeau on missing and murdered indigenous women
Social process by which complex human behaviour, identities and bodies are reduced to the social meanings we ascribe to difference. We see one’s race first and foremost. Creating privileged circle of whiteness, creating racialized stigmatized “other” (Lecture 4, SA 335)

“meanings attached to physical and cultural differences imply inferiority where such differences are seen as departing from a norm” (Jiwani 2006).

1. Where are there other zones of degeneracy in the Metro Vancouver area? What boundaries of respectability exist in these spaces?
2. Historically, how has the effect of racialization affected media’s portrayal of criminals and victims? Examples in either current or past news stories?
3. How does the media work to manage populations through bio-power?

4. How do the “capacity to mourn” and “limits of the sayable” as part of bio-power continue to contribute to patriarchal resistance of violence against women?

Woman + Person of Colour -- affect life chances

Highly educated
Middle class

Oppression through being a woman, through being Indian and through being an Indian woman.

“I am interested in how bodies are valued and devalued and how racism itself becomes a way of communicating power – of differentiating those bodies that count against others who don’t”


Finding Dawn | Documentary

Ex-RCMP Officer Investigates Highway of Tears Murders | Youtube

How do we stop aboriginal women from disappearing? Beverley Jacobs | TEDxCalgary | Youtube

Searchers: Highway of Tears | Youtube
Why is it okay?
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful.”

"All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected."

“If I were running ‘The View’, I’d fire Rosie O’Donnell. I mean, I’d look at her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass"

UN Reports Blasts Canada's Human Rights Record on Violence Against Indigenous Women

Author Reflexivity
Discussion Questions
If you find this topic interesting, consider...
Relates to the practice of modern nation states and their regulation of their subjects through an "explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations."
Full transcript