On Femicide

In real life, and as mirrored in media images, women as a class are targeted for extermination. Women are murdered, disappeared, placed in harm’s way, tortured and raped until we die from it, but this is never addressed as a class issue or as comparable to other acts of deliberate, political genocide, even though it is.

We often encounter media images evocative of femicide by way of the female superhero or witch, who possess supernatural powers but against a historical backdrop of the Burning Times in which millions of allegedly supernaturally-powerful women were persecuted, tortured and murdered.

We are also confronted with images of female rape and murder victims, all of which exist within the broader context of global femicide (and necrophilia), but that context and the political implications of woman-murder are never discussed.

Why? Because…

Femicide supports male power. Males as a class are working very hard to destroy females as a class, and they are succeeding: globally, women are underrepresented due to “gendercide” against females, where female fetuses and babies are literally killed before or at the time of birth. In what the The Economist has dubbed “The Worldwide War on Baby Girls,” the male-supremacist ratio of males to females in many regions simply would not exist in nature: in some places there are over 130 males for every 100 females due to gendercide. In some places at different times in history, according to census takers, no girls were found at all. The result is that males exist in unnatural numbers globally and share power and resources amongst themselves without sharing it with girls and women — power which they actually lord over girls and women and which includes mandatory PIV and rape. And unnatural numbers of males lording sexual power over girls and women, and where female infants are then killed and males aren’t, exacerbates and perpetuates the problem of male global overrepresentation and unequal male political and physical power and resource-hoarding with no end in sight.

Images of “powerful” women often include unnaturally-powerful women, even though historically the female “witch” was not politically powerful and was actually the victim of terrible state-sanctioned persecution including brutal torture — including sexual torture and rape — and murder. Of course, as witches do not exist, and powerful women who were executed as witches were not supernaturally powerful, but exercising completely natural skills such as herbal medicine and midwifery, all women exercising legitimate skills, agency or “power” are doing so within a historical and political context where powerful and skilled women have been literally demonized and subjected to violent interpersonal and state control. And many women persecuted during the Burning Times were not unusually powerful at all and were targeted anyway, for being female and as a result of false confessions exacted under torture. Femicide is actually completely arbitrary, but for the fact that it targets women only: the details and the “whys” of women’s persecution, torture and murder under patriarchy are obfuscations of a political reality whereby women are targeted for execution by men globally, with the intent and effect being to support male power, and this has been the case for a long time.

The psychological effects of femicide generally and the Burning Times specifically on women (and men) are both conscious and unconscious, and the issue of female “power” and the realities of female powerlessness are politically and psychologically complicated and fraught with political and historical meaning which is ignored. Instead, we see the issues of woman-murder and female power and powerlessness de-politicized and instead being individualized, as in discourses centering female “agency” and empowerment, or blaming individual women for their own powerlessness or dismissing women’s feelings of powerlessness as if they are incorrect. See also Necrophilia; Normalize abuse/neglect; Normalize porn/prostitution; PIV-centric narrative — Rape and rape culture; Reversal; Support patriarchal institutions (medicine/religion/law).