Cate Andrews, East Lismore
Violence against women is undeniably an important issue worldwide. However, female-to-female violence is not high on the agenda.
When we evaluate a situation we don’t simply evaluate from our gender or sexual orientation. We also evaluate from our sociocultural position: our education, religious beliefs, political persuasion, race, socioeconomic situation. For example, why do Australians value an English migrant female over a Sudanese female, for example?
What if the English migrant female comes from a housing estate, is an unregistered sex worker, deals cocaine, transmits HIV knowingly, and has a criminal record? Whereas, the Sudanese woman is involved in charitable organisations, educates herself, belongs to a church group and as a single mother is an engaged, educated role model for her children?
Why do I still find a lot of Australians answer, more comfortably, that the English migrant knows the language and fits in? Even though she has no education and doesn’t pay taxes because her sex work is unregistered and she bullies women she believes are her competition?
Female-to-female violence is found in families, friendships at school, the workplace, and in sexual aggression and competition for a mate. It is also racial discrimination, sex discrimination (single mothers know this well), religious discrimination, educational discrimination, and cultural discrimination.