Ophelia (art) - digital painting of a doll by Barbara Agreste

Women are not Objects – Stop Violence to Women

Women are not Objects - Stop violence to Women - drawing of a fearful woman's face, she wouldn't expect to be...

Women are not Objects –
Stop Violence to Women

Women are not Objects – Stop violence to women. This drawing is contributing to the cause against violence to women. It is the portrait of a woman in the exact moment before death, when she wouldn’t expect to be betrayed in such a horrifying way as to be murdered…

Violence to women springs from the attempt to dominate and control their behaviour, and to change their personality trying to conform it to an idealized submissive individual, (Women Objects) it is usually an escalation of small bullying, subtle prevarications  (psychological violence) that are operated daily or on a regular basis usually by a partner, and that aim at undermining their self esteem and driving them to completely lose their belief in themselves, and in their worth.

It is often perpetrated by those men who are incapable of accepting their partner as a separated individual, with a mind and a will of their own. This form of violence is alimented by the cultural misconception that women are mentally inferior to men, and that their duty as wives is to always stand for their man, and to absorb all his frustrations, or satisfy all his demands at all times, even if he misbehaves heavily.

Women who experience domestic violence are at first isolated by their partner: they lose all their friends in the process of being continually threatened to lose their man (and therefore their secure status of wife). If women won’t adapt to the stereotyped role they are assaigned to, they are put under pressure, threatened with the dreadful idea of losing their place in the “perfect marriage”, which would be a scandal  to the eyes of the surrounding community.

Women gradually also lose the support of their family of origin: they are taken apart from it, not allowed to see their relatives without the presence of their partner, put in the position of being in constant fear of judgement by society for not being able to hold on to their relationship, or for not to keeping intact that appearance of the “perfect couple” that is so rewarding to our patriarchal society, and highly valued by everyone, their family included. Women who receive violence are in the psychological condition of someone who is constantly blackmailed with losing the privileges given by a relationship. But such relationships are actually a trap.

In Italy a woman is killed every two days.

The worst form of betrayal is murder, murder is the denial to the right to a person’s life. It is unfortunate that this form of criminal revenge, often identified as “honour killing” by partners or ex partners, is very common  in countries where the patriarchal values are still very strong, but I believe, a new form of mysoginy has taken place in the last few decades, because of what capitalist and consumerist values have added to the patriarchal rules.

Criminal acts against women in the form of rape, harassment, and depreciation are increasing, helped by the way the media like TV shows, adverts, and magazines represent women, showing them only as decorating objects of possession alongside products to purchase like cars and other goods.

These media representations are visual constructs that are contributing to a form of dehumanization of women, by objectifying their body: they use glamorous images to induce a form of envy/jealousy in spectators who will start troubling themselves about what happiness and goods they “posses”, “do not posses”, “can or can’t have”,  and therefore help creating an atmosphere where women in society are no longer seen as respectable individuals, like real people with compassion, or equals, but as instigating sadistic enemies.

And moreover in male subjects this process of constantly looking at the same kind of inspiring images – the brainwash they get about the stereotyped roles for women – makes them incorporate it, and accept all of it as normal, instilling in them the deep misconception that women, like every other object that can be purchased with money, once acquired can become disposable if they no longer function in the way it was intended at the moment of purchase, or if the owner has grown tired of them, and wants to buy something new.


Murderers are people who do not question their destructive impulses and acts, not only because they have a psychopathology, but also because they are immersed in a cultural conspiring clime that once again objectifies, dehumanizes, and demonizes women (see “The Spectacle of Hysteria” for more on this topic). Immersed in this cultural consumerist imperialism men feel excused for destroying this “object” of commerce, when the human being in it stands up and shouts for her rights, showing that unespected and unwanted subjectivity in full that inevitably makes her become a transgressor to punish.

Women are not Objects – Stop Violence to Women


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Dolls - Ophelia (art, paintings) series by Barbara Agreste