Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2022

Why is violence against women so widespread? Because it “polices” gender norms and upholds the patriarchy

By Nora Khalaf-Elledge Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty You likely have encountered “gender policing” in one way or another. You may have observed everyday examples, like girls being called “bossy”, “easy”, or “not ladylike” when they do not conform to some ideal of modesty. Yet, not everyone realizes that violence against women is also a form of gender policing. It is arguably one of the most widespread ways of putting women back into “their place” and preserving patriarchal power structures. This blog post explains the connection between violence against women, gender policing, and patriarchy, and what can be done about it.  In feminist theory “gender policing” refers to the enforcement of the gender norms that a given society deems as appropriate or most desirable i . By punishing all those who do not conform to traditional gender norms, gender policing helps maintain the status quo. Most societies in the world today are still patriarchal in practice ii . This means that most ge