RN33_08: Everyday Sexism, Abuse and Violence
Deception And Abuse: Manifold Instances Of Proxemic Violence Against Sub-Saharan And Eastern-European Women-immigrants In Sicily
University of Palermo, Italy
Over the past few decades and up until 2017, Sicily has hosted increasing numbers of African fugitives (ANCI et al., 2017) as well as migrants from Eastern Europe, especially after the entry of Romania into the European Union.
The aim of the research was to analyse some of the role positions found in gender dynamics among migrants, throwing light on possible processes by which mechanisms of submission to and normalisation of gender violence seem to have been internalised by these victims of proxemic violence, emphasising the viscous links existing between vulnerability, resistance and resilience.
Within this markedly multicultural context in Sicily, the researchers carried out a two-part qualitative research project, the first part consisting in participant observation of a number of sub-Saharan women hosted by some of the island’s migrant reception centres, victims of abuse, followed by a set of semi-structured interviews administered to them; the second part consisted in participant observation and some semi-structured interviews with Romanian women involved in outdoor prostitution.
The project sought, furthermore, to highlight equivocations surrounding affective action declined in feminine terms and instrumental action in masculine terms, suggesting that proximity may be considered a more “intimate and deceptive” declension of gender violence.
Gendered War Memories: The Case of Croatia
University of Osijek, Croatia
This paper analyses gendered memories of the War in Croatia 1991-1995, particularly of the armed conflict in eastern Slavonia and western Srijem, the areas figuring as symbols of suffered aggression at the time. We look into personal narratives and dominant discourses, the latter shaping (gendered) cultural memory, which influences the processes of cultural modernization during democratic and capitalist transition. The objective is to do an auto-ethnography of displacement in late 1991 and to critically analyse the discourse of transcribed interviews with victims and witnesses of the war and selected media coverage. Analyses focusing on the relationship between war and gender typically emphasize militarized masculinity in national discourses and cultural sphere, while femininity represents the space outside of war (home, normalcy, peace), to which man-soldier returns to and in defence of which he is willing to die. Both gender identities are however constructed in a way that reproduces militarism. In this sense, analyses of gender as both a social construct and a political category keep informing the studies of not only war, but also migration, bio politics, female work exploitation, international relations etc. Leaving aside the debates on the petrification of gender characteristics that associate men with war and women with peace, the path needs to be cleared for considering mutual constitution of war and gender, especially from the perspective of social power. Maybe the most important contribution we may hope for is revealing ontological implication of gender in war: we cannot make war without doing gender and vice versa. This is no new argument (Betty Reardon, Jean Bethke Elshtain and Cynthia Enloe), but contextualized research on the topic is the task ahead of us.
Writing against Violence(s): Cultural Difference and Sexism in the Narratives of Immigrant Divorced Mothers from Turkey in Germany
Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
In Germany, people with immigration stories from Turkey are affected by a set of dominant discourses which shape their public presence around religion and gender violence, represent Muslim women as victims of Muslim violence (Weber, 2013), stigmatize the masculinity of Turkish Muslim men (Ewing, 2008) and racialize Islam as tainted by Turkish traditions (Özyürek, 2014). Based on my current fieldwork, this paper tackles the daily struggles of immigrant divorced mothers from Turkey living in Germany and how they narrate their experiences as personal, structural or cultural problems. My previous research experience with middle class divorced mothers in Turkey in 2015 has shown that they often make sense of their daily struggles in terms of personal problems (as a matter of capacity, strength or worldview) and/or structural problems (such as gender inequality or the state’s institutions and policies). In the context of Germany, however, such individual narratives also merge with the discourses of cultural difference, and even the structural problems that the participants experience as immigrant divorced mothers can be framed within the Turkish/Muslim patriarchal culture. Hence, this paper analyzes the narratives of immigrant divorced mothers from Turkey in Germany through the question of how to negotiate as a feminist researcher, between writing against gender inequality and challenging the existing stigma on the Turkish-German community as culturally oppressive and violent. How can feminist research enable an analysis of racism and sexism without trivializing the narratives through which some of its participants’ claim to have fought against an oppressive culture all alone?