The Missing Statistics On Women In Cuba

Gender violence affects an unknown number of victims in Cuba every day, but the statistics of these reprehensible acts do not come to light. (Silvia Corbelle / 14ymedio)

Gender violence affects an unknown number of victims in Cuba every day, but the statistics of these reprehensible acts do not come to light. (Silvia Corbelle / 14ymedio)

Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 25 August 2015 — In the neighborhood of Cayo Hueso everyone knew her as “the woman with the machete slashes.” You didn’t have to get too close to see the scars on her arms. These marks for life were made one night when her husband returned home with more alcohol than patience and, machete in hand, went after her. He was in prison for a couple of years and afterwards returned to the same tenement room where the fight had been. “He didn’t have any place else to live and the police didn’t get him out of here,” she said, apologetically. Gender violence creates an unknown number of victims every day in Cuba, but the statistics on these acts are not made public.

For weeks now, marking the 55th anniversary of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), we’ve had to hear on television and in the official press the numbers of women who have achieved administrative positions, who are at the helm of a company, a part of Parliament or who have managed to graduate from college. They stuff us full of only some of the numbers, to show that the women’s emancipation has reached this country, while remaining silent on the data about the dark side of reality, where the man commands and the woman obeys.

For a couple of years now I have been talking in a climate of trust with at least eight women friends, all of them graduates of higher education, with professions in the humanities and a certain economic autonomy. Most of them confess to having been beaten by their husband at least once, a couple of them have suffered rape within marriage, and three have had to flee “with just the clothes on their backs” to avoid domestic violence. Most alarming is that they tell these stories with the equanimity of “this is what we get for being women.”

They stuff us full of only some of the numbers, to show that the women’s emancipation has reached this country, while remaining silent on the data about the dark side of reality, where the man commands and the woman obeys.

If we move away from Havana, the problem worsens and takes on connotations of tragedy. It burns you up to hear about the humiliations women experience, the wife battering that is a much more common practice than is admitted in the statistics. Odieti, a peasant from a little village lost in the Cienfuegos countryside, drank a bottle of India ink to put an end to the ordeal her husband subjected her to. After hours of suffering, her life was saved and she earned the next beating for “being loose.” This is what he repeated while whipping his belt against her back.

Living in a country where there is no female circumcision or forced marriages, where women are not forbidden to drive a car, is not sufficient reason to breathe easily and believe that the serious problem of gender inequality is resolved. To display the numbers regarding professional development, integration into the workforce, and the responsibilities of millions of women throughout the island, doesn’t silence the drama so many of them are mired in.

They need to display other statistics. Those that reveal the number of kicks that fall on women’s breasts, backs and faces each week. They should clearly publicize the number of victims who have gone to a police station begging them to keep the abuser away from home and who find only a yawning duty officer who says, “you have to take care of that between the two of you.”

Where do they keep the inventory of the suicides, or of the suicide attempts, because of the indignities suffered at the hands of an abusive man?

They also need the numbers of those who are “slaves” to the stove after a full work day outside the home and it would probably match the four million number of members that the FMC boasts about. The numbers of single and divorced women with ridiculous pensions that aren’t enough to feed a child for even a week. Who includes these in the numbers reported to official journalists? And what about those whose partners have threatened, “If you leave me I will kill you”? Where do they show up in the statistics? How many have had their faces cut with a knife like one “brands” a cow, so that everyone will know they belong to the male, the man, the masculine, who cheats on them with so many others?

Where do they keep the inventory of the suicides, or of the suicide attempts, because of the indignities suffered at the hands of an abusive man? What is the number of those who have been harassed by a jealous boyfriend who follows them everywhere and beats them and causes public scandals? How many have to give in to pressures for sex from their bosses at work, because they know there is no other way to get ahead professionally? And what about the number who are harassed on the streets by those who think it is a virile obligation to accost a woman, touch her, to insinuate himself all the time?

We can only be proud of what has been achieved with regards to the dignity of women when we can begin to solve all these evils, evils that right now cannot even be publicly debated. Having autonomous women’s organizations is essential to achieve these demands. Shelters for abused women, a legal framework that forcefully penalizes the abuser, and a press that reflects the suffering of so many, are essential if we are to leave such atrocities in the past.


23 thoughts on “The Missing Statistics On Women In Cuba


    THE GUARDIAN UK: Pensioner looking for cheap goods killed in Venezuela supermarket crush – Saturday 29 August 2015 02.22 EDT

    An 80-year-old Venezuelan woman died, possibly from trampling, in a scrum outside a state supermarket selling subsidised goods, the opposition and media said.

    The melee at the store in Sabaneta, the birthplace of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, was the latest such incident in a country where economic hardship and food shortages are creating long queues and scuffles.

    The opposition Democratic Unity coalition said Maria Aguirre died and another 75 people were injured – including five security officials – in chaotic scenes when National Guard troops sought to control a 5,000-strong crowd with tear gas.

    “Due to the shortage of food … the desperation is enormous,” local opposition politician Andres Camejo said, according to the coalition’s website. It published a photo of an elderly woman’s body lying inert on a concrete floor.

    Critics, though, say incidents of unrest are symptoms of the increasing hardships Venezuela’s 29 million people are facing due to a failed state-led economic model. Low oil prices are exacerbating economic tensions in the Opec nation.

  2. Now the predictions of an imminent collapse in Vzla are coming hard and fast. The evidence is overwhelming. The first thing that has to happen is to get rid of the Chavista Organized Crime Gang. So, finally at last, maybe the Vzla people can get to enjoy much more of the oil wealth than just low fuel prices…

  3. Humberto: The real driver of the economic problems in Venezuela is the low oil prices in the World and the United States oil companies selling crude in the World Markets… and now China’s economy slowing down.

  4. BLOOMBERG: How Hugo Chavez Trashed Latin America’s Richest Economy – By Justin Fox

    Now, of course, Venezuela’s economy is a disaster. The government stopped releasing regular economic statistics in December, but one official told Bloomberg News the annual inflation rate is 150 percent. The latest estimate from the Troubled Currencies Project run by Steve H. Hanke of the Cato Institute and Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, is that inflation is really 808 percent. Food shortages have become a problem, a debt default seems almost certain, and a complete economic collapse isn’t out of the question. By 2014 Venezuela had, by the World Bank’s PPP-adjusted accounting, slid to fifth place in per-capita GDP in Latin America, behind Chile, Cuba (!), Uruguay and Panama. Mexico and Brazil may pass it this year, despite their own economic troubles. Even next-door neighbor Colombia is getting within striking distance.

    What happened to Venezuela between 2005 and now? Well, this happened:

    Note that the divergence between Venezuela’s revenue and spending started long before last summer’s oil-price collapse. When oil prices hit their all-time high in July 2008, government revenue — 40 percent of which comes directly from oil — was already falling. The main problem was Venezuelan oil production, which dropped from 3.3 million barrels a day in 2006 to 2.7 million in 2011. It was still at 2.7 million in 2014, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

    Venezuela isn’t running out of oil. Its proven reserves have skyrocketed since 2000 as geologists have learned more about the heavy crude of the Orinoco Belt. But getting at that oil will take a lot of resources and expertise, both things that Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA, best known in the U.S. for its Citgo subsidiary), has been lacking in since Chavez initiated a sort of hostile takeover starting in the early 2000s. First he kicked out 18,000 workers and executives, 40 percent of the company’s workforce, after a strike. Then he started demanding control of PDVSA’s joint ventures with foreign oil companies. One could interpret this in the most Chavez-friendly way possible — he was aiming for a more just allocation of his nation’s resources — and still conclude that he made it harder for PDVSA to deliver the necessary tax revenue.


  5. So…the Cato Institute publishes a Freedom Index handbook and claim that Women in Central America and the Caribbean have personal freedoms that are among the highest in the World. Yet, according to Yoani, things in Cuba are not going so well for Women. In Haiti, fathers have sex with their daughters and I know that Americans, even though they live in a leading economy of the World, ( or one of the leading economies in the World) do not all enjoy the same degree of Freedoms. Only 28% of the population of the United States or in other words, the privilege crowd in the country live and enjoy freedoms that could resemble the high scores given to the United States by the Freedom Index of the Cato Institute. The other 72% live in economic prisons that allow them to enjoy a (6) pack of beer while they seat around bars lying to each other about Freedom and Liberty and how great the Free Market economy is or women telling each other how lucky they are to live in the United States where they don’t get pay the same as men for the same work. Women also ignore that if they are a little overweight, their male hiring manager will not hire them because they don’t like the fact that they are overweight. Women over 55 years old, also are discriminated because their potential employers do not want to take the risk of medical costs for middle age women. In my opinion, the real Freedom Index number for the United States is probably around 5.4 and not over 8 as the Cato Institute report indicates….but, of course, they get their money grants from Right Wing organizations that are notorious for exaggeration and propaganda about the achievements of the Free Market, Democracy, Freedom and Liberty…..

  6. Interesting …the Cato Institute Freedom Index does not rate at ALL control of the internet for the United States….(I guess that NSA surveillance and three institutions that collect personal information for every American is for “national security” reasons and should not be weigh negatively against the Freedom Index for the United States…..:) :) :) ). Another bias publication with the intent to camouflage the oppression of the American people by the greed of corporatism in America….

  7. The average score for Personal Freedom for Women in Central America and the Caribbean region is among the highest in the World at around 8.5 out of a possible 10. (Cato Institute Freedom Index)

  8. Interesting……according to the Cato Institute Index of Freedom calculations Chile has greater Personal Freedom, Economic Freedom and higher overall Freedom Index than the United States….

  9. The Cato Institute published a Freedom Index handbook from around the World. It is interesting to me that it shows a correlation between per capita income and freedom in the society. In other words, the richer a country is the more free people are (according to this report). In the United States there are 200 Million people working, average income is around $54000. Yet, there are around 50 Million Americans that need government assistance for their basic necessities and 54% of black youth that cannot find employment. This facts makes the United States a country where American citizens do not have equal rights to freedom in their own country!!….the economic apartheid of capitalism makes it impossible for all Americans to enjoy the same degree of freedom…..the United States is a country made by the Rich for the Rich…don’t believe the nonsense that the United States is the champion of Freedom in the World…is all lies….the only thing American foreign policy champion is hegemony so that the Service Economy in the United States can prosper by being a parasite to the resources of the World.

  10. (from a former female army colonel in the U.S. army)
    What an honor to be in Cuba for the first celebration of One Billion Rising to end violence against women!

    One hundred fifty of us from the United States had traveled to Cuba with CODEPINK: Women for Peace in the largest delegation of Americans to visit Cuba since the December 17, 2014 announcement of opening of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

    Realizing that our delegation called “To Cuba With Love” would be in Cuba on February 14, Valentine’s Day, we asked our host organization the Cuban Institute with the Peoples (ICAP) if there was a venue in Havana where we could dance in the worldwide campaign to end violence against women.

    The dynamic ICAP director and member of the Cuban Parliament Kenia Serrano suggested that we have the dance at the annual Cuba International Book Fair held in the San Carlos de la Cabana fortress, the scenic fort located across the harbor from Old Havana.

    Dance at a Book Fair we asked?

    Yes, she responded, “the Book Fair will have tens of thousands of Cubans each day — it is one of the highlights of the year for Cubans. We will be able to have thousands of Cubans to join the dance to stop violence against women.”

    And she was right! On February 14, called “The Day of Friendship” in Cuba, there were tens of thousands attending the fair. Hundreds of vendors at bookstands set up inside the massive walls of the fortress were selling books to Cubans for less than $1. Cuba has 100 percent literacy after a remarkable one-year program in 1961 in which over 250,000 Cubans spread out over the entire country to teach their fellow country persons how to read and write. In one year, Cuba was certified as going from an illiterate country to a literate country. Cuba’s technique for teaching reading and writing is one of its greatest exports. Catherine Murphy, a member of our delegation, has directed a documentary film called “Maestra” that gives details about the extraordinary literacy program and its effect on Cuban society and the world

  11. In Italia it’s called “l’arte di arrangiarsi”, in Spanish “resolver”. Any place where society and the economy isn’t working properly, smart people find a way.
    The Castros are probably trying to create a Chinese/Vietnamese type system, allowing prosperity while keeping full control.
    Change in Cuba is a trickle now, will it become a flood or a controlled stream?


    SUN HERALD: Cuba’s Internet dilemma: how to emerge from the Web’s stone age – By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan
    HAVANA — Julio Hernandez is a telecommunications engineer, but like almost anyone else in Cuba who wants to get on the Internet, to do so he must crouch on a dusty street corner with his laptop, inhaling car exhaust and enduring sweltering heat. That privilege costs him $2 an hour, expensive in a nation where the average state-paid salary is $20 a month. The Internet is essential for today’s business, finance, communications and information, but today hasn’t dawned in Cuba, which still has some of the worst Internet access in the world. It’s restricted to a few workplaces and fewer than 4 percent of homes, including those of senior officials, foreign executives and media, doctors and artists. It’s unavailable on the country’s 1991-vintage 2G mobile-phone network.

    President Raul Castro’s government recognizes the problem, but faces a dilemma: how to expand Internet access to boost its economy and satisfy its population while maintaining control of information. Cuban officials say at least 50 percent of the population will have residential Internet service and 60 percent will have mobile phones by 2020, without saying how they’ll achieve that.

    “It’s stupid how much they’ve delayed the inevitable,” said Carlos Alzugaray, a former Cuban ambassador to the European Union and professor at the University of Havana. “Meanwhile, we’re losing ground – we’re in the Stone Age.”

    Thanks to new regulations issued by President Barack Obama as part of his push to normalize relations, U.S. companies – from information technology giants such as Google Inc. to mobile phone providers AT&T and Verizon Communications – could help lift Cuba out of the Internet Stone Age. But it’s not clear that the Castro government wants a lift from them at the risk of ceding some control and influence to American companies.
    In the rare broadband Wi-Fi oases – the lobbies of top tourist hotels – tech-savvy young Cubans discreetly surf on their phones, circumventing log-on fees as high as $17 an hour at one Spanish chain hotel. They share Wi-Fi connections or use apps to tap into servers overseas. They’re doing what’s needed to “resolver” – overcome the barriers to online access in Cuba.


  13. L.A. TIMES: Dissident artist Tania Bruguera talks leaving Cuba: ‘I would not let them make me a paranoiac’ – by Carolina A. Miranda

    For months, the case of Tania Bruguera has been a protracted drama that has played itself out on the international stage. The artist — a Cuban national — was detained in Cuba just prior to the New Year, for attempting to stage a performance about freedom of expression in Havana’s Revolution Square. And while she was soon released, Bruguera had her passport confiscated, and was later detained on various other occasions. All of this was happening during a historic political moment — when the U.S. and Cuba were coming to a rapprochement.
    Bruguera, who works primarily in the U.S. and Europe, is now back in the U.S. She landed in New York last Friday, after getting on a flight without previously alerting friends or family. Her return puts an end (for now) to an eight-month-long political and artistic drama that, for a time, appeared as if it might go on indefinitely.

    The artist is currently in New Haven, Conn., participating in the Yale World Fellows program, where she will be working on a new project (yet to be determined) and participating in various activities at the university.

    She took time to chat via Skype on Wednesday to discuss her whole Cuba experience. (“I am still digesting everything,” she said.) In our conversation, which has been edited for flow, the artist said she would return to Cuba. But first, there are a number of projects that will keep her in the U.S. for the time being — including one that will bring her to L.A. and the California Institute of the Arts.

    You left Cuba very quietly. In fact, I understand that you only let friends and family know you were leaving once you were in the air. Why the secrecy?

    I have been surveilled for eight months. At one point, I thought, “No, I’m being paranoid. Of course they don’t care about me anymore.” But in the meanwhile I suspected that someone very close to me was one of the informers. So I didn’t tell anybody that I was leaving. I did tell that person the night before. And then in the morning I did normal stuff, like I’m not leaving. I go to the house. I go here. I go there. And immediately in the morning, I have five people — friend and friends of friends — calling me saying, “When are you leaving?”



    QUARTZ NEWS: Bitcoin comes to Cuba. Could it help end the country’s crazy two-currency system?

    The first reported bitcoin transactions between the US and Cuba mark the latest innovation brought to the island’s complicated economy, as the two countries normalize relations.

    Fernando Villar, the Cuban-American founder of a group called BitcoinCuba, told Crypto-Currency News that he made the transaction this week using public wi-fi networks that Cuba’s socialist government has started installing in public parks.

    “The future for Bitcoin in Cuba is promising, but it’s going to take some time and effort,” Villar told CCN. “Cubans are only now being connected through public Wi-Fi, which is somewhat cost prohibitive at $2 an hour, with the average Cuban salary about $20 a month. … [but] it’s only a matter of time before they also start receiving money through those networks.”

    The barriers of cost and investment may well be surmounted with time—internet infrastructure is one of the few sectors where the US trade embargo against Cuba has been relaxed and American and Cuban entities can begin doing business with one another. That leaves political barriers as the primary challenge for bitcoin in Cuba. This is no small obstacle in a country where the government only began gradually relaxing control over the economy in recent years.

    One area where controls remain firm is currency. Cuba has a unique dual-currency system: There is one regular peso for mass use, and a much more valuable peso that is convertible to foreign currency, known as the CUC (“kook”). The regular peso trades at about 26 to the dollar, while the CUC trades one-for-one to the dollar, but the government takes a 10-cent “dollar penalty” and a 3-cent conversion fee. Some products, even some necessities, can only be bought with CUCs.
    By imposing these capital controls, the government boosts its much-needed foreign currency reserves each time a foreigner changes money or a Cuban expatriate remits money to family members back home. The controls also make it more difficult for Cubans to leave the island with their wealth.

  15. BOOK: “Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba”- Julie Marie Bunck teaches Latin American politics and international relations at the University of Pennsylvania and George Washington University.
    Women in Pre-Revolutionary Cuba:
    Women in pre-Revolutionary Cuba had achieved a more respectable status vis-à-vis men than women in any other Latin American country, with the possible exceptions of Argentina and Uruguay. With regard to political rights, Cuban women received the vote in 1934. Among the Latin American states only women in Uruguay, Brazil, and Ecuador obtained voting rights earlier. Rates of abortion and divorce in pre-Revolutionary Cuba were among the highest in Latin America. In education the percentage of female students from ages five to fifteen approximately equaled that of male students. According to Cuba’s 1953 census, the percentage of illiterate males (26 percent) exceeded that of illiterate females (21 percent). Within Latin America only Argentina and Chile had higher female literacy rates (85 percent and 79 percent respectively). With regard to work positions and social status, the percentages of Cuban women working outside the home, attending school, and practicing birth control surpassed the corresponding percentages in nearly every other Latin American country.

    Before the Revolution women had been elected to Cuba’s House of Representatives and Senate. They had served as mayors, judges, cabinet members, municipal counselors, and members of the Cuban foreign service. The Constitution of 1940, one of the most progressive in the Western Hemisphere with regard to women’s status, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex and called for equal pay for equal work.

  16. Secretary-General, Hailing Cuba’s Role in Fighting Violence against Women, Stresses Need to Place ‘Shame and Blame’ on Perpetrators, not victims
    Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the Unite to End Violence against Women campaign in Havana, today:
    Buenos dias.
    Gracias por sus directivas haciendo frente a la eliminacion de la violencia contra la mujer.
    Estoy profundamente conmovido e inspirado por los poderosos testimonios.
    You are doing magnificent work. I am grateful for this chance to learn more about it today. I applaud Mariela Castro and all the wonderful staff at CENESEX. Thank you for helping to lead the way for tolerance and understanding, including of the rights of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of our human family.

    I launched the UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign six years ago because we needed a global solution to this global problem. Violence against women is the most pervasive human rights violation in the world. Because it is everywhere, we all have a responsibility to stop it.

    This problem cannot be tackled just by Governments, law enforcement or any other sector working in isolation. It takes all of us — women and men, girls and boys, friends and neighbours, networks and organizations — from every part of society to work together. I launched this campaign not only as the United Nations Secretary-General, but as a son and a husband and as a father and a grandfather.

    Our message is clear: women and children have the right to feel safe and live with dignity — in all places, at all times — in war and peace, in poverty and prosperity, inside and outside their homes, in schools and in places of work. Cuba is a leader on many development issues, including expanding opportunity for women and girls. It has battled stereotypes and worked through its institutions to advance equality and to prevent and end all forms of violence. However, like in all countries, the challenge of violence against women and girls remains.

    To solve any problem, we must recognize that there is a problem, not hide or minimize it. Since this threat is rooted in discrimination, impunity and complacency, we need to change attitudes and behaviour and we need to change laws and make sure they are enforced, just like you are doing in Cuba.

    Men and boys have a special responsibility. Far too often, intimidation and physical and sexual abuse comes from the hands of those close to the victims — fathers, husbands, brothers, teachers and supervisors. Too many young men still grow up surrounded by harmful stereotypes. We know if attitudes do not change, violence will continue.

    We need to say to men and boys: Do not raise your hands in violence — raise your voices to stop it. Stand up. Take action.

    I am so encouraged by the work of the Iberoamerican and African Masculinities Network (RIAM). Thank you for sending the message: “El Valiente no es violento”. I appreciate the efforts of all of you — civil society leaders, journalists, health professionals, young people and so many more. Let us keep building on your progress and widening the circle of engagement and action. Ending violence against women is not a dream. We can do it.

    We can build safe public spaces for women and girls, safe homes, safe schools and safe work places. We can place shame and blame where they belong — not on the victims but on the perpetrators. We can ensure lives of security, opportunity, dignity and hope for every woman and every girl.

    It starts by saying in one voice: “Yo digo no a la violencia contra la mujer”.

    Muchas gracias.

  17. Are You in Danger?

    A violent partner is dangerous. If you are in an abusive relationship, get out.
    Photo of Sad WomanForms of Abuse •Physical — actions which cause physical pain or injury, such as kicking, pushing, or punching
    •Emotional — actions which cause loss of self-esteem, such as name calling, swearing, or criticizing
    •Psychological — actions which create fear, such as isolation or threats
    •Sexual — acts of a sexual nature that are unwelcome or uncomfortable
    Behaviors characteristic of abusive partners •Jealousy
    •Controlling Behavior
    •Unrealistic Expectations
    •Blames Others for Problems
    •Blames Others for Feelings
    •Cruelty to Animals or Children
    •Verbal Abuse
    •Rigid Sex Roles
    •Jekyll and Hyde Personality
    •Past Battering
    •Threats of Violence
    •Breaking or Striking Objects
    •Use of Force During an Argument
    •Constantly checking up on partner
    •Forces sex on partner

    Relationship Rights
    I have the right to: •Be treated with respect
    •My own body, thoughts, opinions, and property
    •Have my needs be as important as my partner’s
    •Not take responsibility for my partner’s behavior
    •Keep my friends
    •Grow as an individual
    •Change my mind
    •Determine how much time I want to spend with my partner
    •Pay my own way
    •Assert myself
    •Not be abused physically, emotionally, psychologically, or sexually
    •Break-up, fall out of love, and leave a relationship
    What Victims of Domestic Violence Need to Know •The abuse is not your fault
    •You don’t deserve to be abused
    •You can’t change someone who is abusive
    •Staying in the relationship won’t stop the abuse
    •Over time the abuse always gets worse
    •If you stay, make a plan to keep yourself safe when the abuse happens again

    If you are in an abusive relationship, find a friend of relative you can trust and tell him or her about it. Call your local community center, or contact a national organization that can link you to a local affiliate.
    Click here to go to the top of the page

  18. •Is violence against women rooted in the way men and women are socialized?
    •How is violence against women portrayed in popular culture? Can you site examples?

    What are the seeds of male violence? Experts are still debating the answers to that question. We do know that all human beings can be violent given certain circumstances, such as war. We also know that while not all men are violent, men in general tend to be more violent than women. Biologists cite the male hormone testosterone as a kick-starter for aggressive behavior in men. While the hormone affects male attitudes and the propensity toward violence, they stress that as humans, we make individual choices whether to be aggressive or not.

    Is violence against women rooted in the way men and women are socialized?
    Violence against women has been accepted and even condoned throughout history. More than 2,000 years ago, Roman law gave a man life and death authority over his wife. In the 18th Century, English common law gave a man permission to discipline his wife and children with a stick or whip no wider than his thumb. This “rule of thumb” prevailed in England and America until the late 19th century. Many feminists claim violence against women is the result of a deeply entrenched patriarchal culture that encourages and rewards male domination. They say that in a patriarchal culture, men are more likely to use violence to keep their dominant position. While society claims to abhor violence, we often make heroes of men who are aggressive. In the culture of masculinity, heroes are often predicated on some kind of violent action. The traditional model of masculinity encourages men to exude an aura of daring and aggression.

    How is violence against women portrayed in popular culture? Can you cite examples?
    From film to television to music videos, song lyrics, t-shirts and advertisements, violence against women is often portrayed as normal or erotic. Some critics say that such attitudes conveyed in the media can set the stage for actual violence against women.
    Click here to go to the top of the page

    No Safe Place: Violence Against Women is made possible in part by a grant from the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation and the Dr. Ezekiel R. and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation. The documentary is a production of public television station KUED in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  19. I read this blog on a regular basis and must congratulate the author on picking a real life topic. Yes, domestic violence is quite a problem in many countries and Cuba is not a paradise.

    Please write more about issues which affect everyday people, such as this one, and not the worries of Cuban high society who want to chat over the internet 24/7 and watch porn over satellite dishes.

  20. First I was disappointed that Yoani, after a long silence, didn’t say anything about embassies opening. Then I remembered that she already has, also on CNN.
    Yoani talks about what’s really important to real people everywhere. This problem is not only a sign that a society is failing, it’s a terrible reality that too many people have to live in.
    However, I do need to bring up the regional and geopolitical dimension:
    The criminal Chavista rulers of Vzla have closed the border with Colombia and stopped travel and commerce cold turkey without warning. That would be bad enough, but they’ve also thrown out more than 1000 Colombians, including newborns. Many men have been arrested, and the Colombians’ houses are marked with a D for demolish.
    Also, in more Absurd News, Sec. Kerry has been asking the Cubans for advice about how to avoid a collapse in Vzla. Then I have to ask, how do you get rid of the Chavista Criminal Gang without any kind of trouble happening? The answer is that the US govt doesn’t care about the well being of the Vzla people, or anyone else for that matter. Geopolitical stability and fun and games, including wars, is their thing…

  21. There seems to be a universal belief that one can own another person.Particularly when men demonstrate that they own their wives or children. When you own something, you can treat the property as you choose. Thus beatings for women are common around the world. Another facet of this practice is lack of esteem. Someone must be lower than one on the food chain ( in every society ). To express one’s superiority, the lesser is mistreated. Alcohol or drugs can be used as an excuse, but that is the symptom, not the disease.Further, some feel that another person’s love can be bought.and the possessed is buried in gifts. It is sad that this is far from the truth. S

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