Speaker: Yurena M. Manfugás Terry
Telegram Channel 11M Debate
Gender is a category of analysis that has served to justify the constant situation of subordination that women and certain groups in society live in, in the face of situations of violence or macho subordination. Violence based on this is an element that has high social impact, and is given in any behavior that causes death, injury, or suffering. Gender becomes a very important complement to the circle or cycle of violence, which is nothing more than the three unequal phases in time and intensity in which violence is manifested in the couple.
Although in recent years in Cuba there has been a growing wave of feminist struggle and against gender violence, which is addressed with greater responsibility, the truth is that until recently, the types of violence most explored in our context were psychological and physical violence, as sublime and somewhat idyllic manifestations, without treating all other forms of violence.
With respect to these two variants of violence, we can say that psychological violence is of great importance with respect to people, since it affects the actions of human beings and causes consequences that can go as far as the loss of life. Mainly by decision of the person who is violated, as a result of so many mistreatments. Any action that is provoked in a violent way against a certain person is intense and causes emotional instability.
As far as physical violence is concerned, statistics are not able to fully reach the rate of occurrence. This type of violence causes damage to the integrity of the person. It is precisely one of the most common, it manifests itself in various spaces and crosses almost all other forms of intimidation.
Violence as an event is a social problem that must be taken into account from the area of knowledge. However, although we currently know a little more about its diverse behaviors, it is necessary to make a specific approach to the treatment of all forms of violence and its manifestations with respect to a certain population group, which, given the incidence of this, is violated.
Going deeper into the subject, we will refer to the specific types of violence that we are interested in addressing. First, from communication, aggressive forms occur within the home. The abuse, the offenses, physical aggressions, pushes, blows are some of the forms in which the intrafamily violence is manifested. It is important to clarify that for a violent act to be defined in this way, it does not need to occur only inside a home. The requirement for this is that whoever provides it belongs to a family, either by blood or by affinity (i.e., brothers-in-law, close or distant relatives, compadres, padrastres, etc.). The main victims are usually women, elderly people and children. It is one of the types of violence that in the present times is closer to the mistreatment exercised given the sexual orientation and gender identity of a person.
The form of violence mentioned above and domestic violence are strongly related, and even according to some studies consider it the same type of abuse. In the case of the last mentioned form, it has as its main scenario the home of a couple, where the victim has little or no possibility of defending herself. It is executed by one of the couple’s members (spouse).
Although they are less treated and sometimes unknown, there is also patrimonial and economic violence, two different forms of violence, but which are closely related to each other. One acts only on the economy, and the other is related to real estate and other assets or actions derived from the patrimony. In this last type, it is necessary to deepen a little more; since in Cuba it is one of the most classic manifestations of violence. Many people, given their sexual orientation or gender identity, have been subjected to being deprived of their patrimony (whatever it is, house, cars, family relics, etc); and having to live before a constant fight to recover what has been expropriated. Or they even go on to live as exclaves in their homes and on the other side, depend economically on one of the members of the living space. It is also worth mentioning that economic violence is one of the harshest realities that women face today. It can lead to other types of intimidation.
Other forms that we cannot avoid, and are key in our analysis, are the transphobic, homophobic, labor and institutional violence, which we name together since the latter crosses with the previous ones, by influencing or acting from a figure of power; which through threats, offenses and even beatings, stalks the other person turning his life into a setback. In the case of transphobic and homophobic violence, we are faced with two of the cruelest forms of abuse towards the LBGTIQ+ community. Its manifestations marginalize, denigrate, and contemplate episodes of psychological and physical violence. In their maximum expression they can become hate crimes.
Aggressions directed at people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity are unconstitutional and based on stereotypes where aggressive elements condition the treatment.
Sexual harassment and rape, as a form of sexual violence, appear in public and state settings. It is highly dangerous and both women and people from the LGTBIQ+ community often do not find understanding in the family environment, and are sometimes re-victimized when they go to file a complaint with the corresponding authority.
Vicarious violence is another of the forms that are not very treated in Cuba, despite the fact that we have lived with it for many years, without knowing how to identify it. This is not only based on the use of the figure of the minor to force the victim to fulfill some demand, but it goes up to the mistreatment by omission, example, not to give food to a minor to force the other person to carry out any act. Its relationship with the LGTBIQ+ community is manifested by the fact that many people, faced with the need to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity due to social prejudices, have formed families. Once they make the decision to live in accordance with their emotions or identity, they suffer emotional blackmail, they are threatened by the prohibition of a relationship with their children, and in many cases the child is the direct route to psychological oppression, joining two or three forms of violence into one. With respect to the Vicarious Violence, we must say that it reaches its maximum expression when infanticide has been reached.
Although in this Summary we are not going to deal with all the manifestations of violence, since we are going to establish a debate that will bring us much more in this sense, there are other forms of violence, such as Obstetrics, Gynecology, political violence, human trafficking that gives way to the enslavement of the being; social violence, which is very close to vicarious violence. Islamophobic violence, racism, and as a superior category in the spiral of violence, femicide or femicide. In the case of lesbians, transgender people and others in the LBGTIQ+ community, they are more biased towards corrective violations.
Although it becomes difficult, we have to break the cycles of abuse. Violence in interpersonal relationships is a learned and apprehended pattern of behavior, sometimes reproduced as a complex phenomenon.
The forms of violence mentioned above, and others, directly attack the LGBTIQ community if it is taken into account that from the Cuban context, the prevailing machismo, transphobia, homophobia, etc; they cause exclusion, restrictions that are carried out and these delimit the human being, and with it establish violations of human rights.
Sexism, heteronormativity, and racism are forms of discrimination that accelerate violence. All of them become more aggressive when several categories converge in a single human being that do not follow gender patterns and that establish at the social level a problem for the prevailing population groups.