Individual violence tends to be more shocking due to the personal aspect. It usually involves two people, the abuser ad the victim. Individual abuse can come in the form of domestic violence, rape, or random personal violence.
“Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner” (“National Organization for Women”). Domestic violence is the physical attack, sexual assault, or abusive behavior by an intimate partner against the other. Historically more females have suffered the damaging effects of domestic violence. Statistics show that “eighty-five percent of domestic violence victims are women” as stated by The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Don't be a victim.
In the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe “there is a clear case of domestic violence. Ruth Jamison suffers beatings influenced by her husband, Frank Bennet. Ruth’s abuse didn’t stop at physical battery; forced sex was also part of her oppression. As a child Frank Bennet was physically abused by his father. His mother was the nurturing, caring source of his life.
“when he came home from school early one day, with some feigned illness. and found his mother and his father’s brother on the floor in the kitchen, all that love turned to hate in the five seconds before he screamed and ran out of the room; the five seconds that would haunt him for the rest of his life” (Flagg 174).
An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by intimate partner each year as claimed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. States have different ideas of what type of relationship qualifies under domestic violence laws. Usually the legislature requires marriage or living in the same dwelling.
“Domestic violence is a human rights violation. While domestic violence is often treated as a private matter…” (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence<http://www.now.org/issues/violence/>).
Article three of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” reads “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”
A victim of domestic violence has no security of person. They are always waiting for the next episode. In fact, women of domestic violence often stay with their abuser for many reasons. Fear, shame, and economic reasons often keep a victim oppressed.
In the “Five Faces of Oppression” Iris Marion Young states “It is a social given that everyone knows happens and will happen again” (Flagg 62). As a battered spouse the victim always hopes to believe the batterer will change.
Another kind of individual violence is when the perpetrator has no connection to the victim. In the movie “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, Lizbeth suffers an attack by random men in the subway station. As she collides with the rowdy bunch one shouts: “What are you doing? Damn bitch!” (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 23:46). He then violently grabs her around the neck from behind and yells: “This bitch is going down.” as one of the other men pours beer on her head. Lizbeth fights back then grabs the broken beer bottle from the ground, charging the men screaming.
Later she is abused again by her new guardian. When Lizbeth asks for money he slaps her and taunts her to attack him. Then he threatens to have her arrested. (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 39:04)
He uses his position of power to render her defenseless and then forces her into sex acts. He again abuses her at his home when she comes to video tape their interaction. (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 48:47)
Martin Vanger is also uncovered as being a brutal rapist and murderer. When he has Michael in his basement (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 1:48:14) he confides what he was doing.
“I had a girl in that cage when we were dining upstairs.”
“Those kind of women disappear all the time. Nobody misses them. Whores. Immigrants.”
Martin explains logically why he rapes then disposes the bodies. Martin’s behavior was learned by his father.
According to the (2004) National Crime Victimization Survey [by the US Department of Justice] there were 198,850 rapes and sexual assaults. (Violence against Women 33)
Article five of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explains: “No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Nothing is more degrading than rape. The women Martin Vanger and his father abducted as well as his sister, Harriett, were subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. These assaults stemmed from Gottfried Vanger’s affiliation with the National Socialist Aryan Race.
In recent years it has been documented that men were more violent than women. “Deeply held preconceptions about gender perpetuate the nation that violent behavior is exclusive territory for boys and men” (Burns 14).
Gay women fall into this form of violent sexism oppression. The female dominate or more masculine inclined partner does not have a complete place in society. Feeling misplaced, jealous, or inferior can lead to violence in a domestic partnership.
The other form of violence comes from an organization which seems less intrusive, especially when the organization is part of every day life. This type of violence comes from social inequality. This violence is accepted as a whole without having one person take responsibility. In the “Five Faces of Oppression,” Iris Marion Young discloses:
“Violence is a social practice” (Young 62).
In the old South in Alabama, as seen in the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe , racial groups were segregated. White males had all the the rights. White females were to submit to their husbands and African Americans had no rights.
The “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
Article 1: All human beings born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political opinion or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
The social oppression caused by segregation and violation of their basic human rights left these groups volnernable to violence. Big George was beaten by the K.K.K. and a rock was thrown through the window of the cafe in the book “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”.
In the movie “Fight Club” the violence, however committed by individuals was instrumental of the entire group, “Project Mayhem.”
Often violence of this form happens in so many layers it is difficult to pin point the perpetrator singularly unless they are caught in the act. This violence is more systematic.
Mary R. Jackman points out that:
This idea is imposed when Tyler Durdan disregards the human casualties of the oppression dealt by the credit card corporations and marketing companies.
The last face of oppression in Iris Marion Young’s essay “Five Faces of Oppression” is violence. She explains how oppression can lead to violent events caused by overlapping of exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, and cultural imperialism.
Tyler Durdan organized “Fight Clubs” as an anti-cultural organization. It’s original intent was to give unfortunate, misfits an outlet for their frustration. It quickly evolved into organized vandalism giving birth to “Project Mayhem.” Tyler Durdan wanted to free himself and others from the grip of societies oppression. He talks about the human race as: “An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars.”
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don’t need.” (Fight Club) His first act of violence is the exploding of his apartment; his initial step of freedom.
As “Fight Club” grew, his confidence grew. He was able to do what he could not before; stick up to the oppressing behavior of his boss and deliver himself from the need to acquire possessions.
It was easy for Tyler to recruit members for the club. He went to places were he knew people were hurting and needed an outlet.His early visits to self help groups were the perfect place for him to meet people and gain their trust. As his forces grew, his plans grew. It was easy for him to manipulate the socially oppressed men he inducted to his army. As often happens, singularly they didn’t have the courage to change their lives. However, motivated by a stronger source they could band together and accomplish more, even if it was destructive. Their vulnerable state made it easy for Tyler to convince them that they were liberating the world from the forces that oppressed them. In a sense they became the dominating, oppressing power possessing a strength of unity. Only their “elite” or chosen could participate and any that apposed would be dealt with at all cost.
Unfortunately, in his quest for liberation he lost sight of humanity. During a mission one of his loyal and loved “soldiers” was killed by a police officer. The lack of remorse as a whole seemed to shake him. While they were committing the crimes it was easy because the victim did not have a face or identity. When Bob was killed Tyler was shocked back to reality which provoked the fight with his alter ego. His desire to free himself from oppression pushed him over the edge to become the oppressor and drag many individuals in; ending in an organized Immense collateral violence.
As a whole violence due to oppression is a deadly weapon that all of us have witnessed whether individually or corporally. Individual violence, as damaging as it is can be prosecuted much easier than corporal violence. Any form of violence is a direct violation of human rights; which we all need to be better educated on and speak out against these violations without waiting until we are the victim. Getting involved in human rights organizations and supporting their cause is a good step in helping to releasing oppression. The Advocates for Human Rights is an organization that helps the individual to understand their rights in the United States. Thia program helps improve the lives of victims rights are at risk. They raise awareness and helps to hold oppressors accountable.