I’ve been following the news here and abroad and it has become very clear that it’s difficult to make assumptions about what constitutes ‘gender’ from place to place. Providing a gendered analysis of violence requires investigation into how people, from the youngest ages, are coerced into the binary roles that are particular to their culture. Our inability to be particular is evidence of our deeply rooted sense of biological determinism around sex and gender.
Young women are being kidnapped, subject to forms of sexual violence, forced into marriages, murdered by partners and strangers, systematically denied forms of economic empowerment, denigrated for their sexuality, and so much more. Young men are encouraged to become violent as a means of survival, conscripted into armed conflict, kidnapped, disappeared, have their bodies violated by other men, and tortured as symbols of nation. Non-binary people are caught amid all these rigid expectations and experience the violence of not-fitting in addition to everything else. What to do, what to do.