Summary: What do you think of when you hear "gender-based violence"? While the term gender-based violence is primarily associated with men inflicting violence towards women and girls, it is important to analyze why the reversed scenario—women inflicting violence towards men—is often disregarded. Pink's video "Please Don't Leave Me" is a stark example of the way that gender-based violence towards men is perceived as somehow less serious than men inflicting violence towards women. This video is centered around Pink's various (violent) attempts to prevent her partner from leaving. She keeps her partner as a prisoner in her house and relentlessly begs him to stay. It is important to note that gender-based violence disproportionately affects women because of unequal power relations between men and women. For instance, women account for 85% of domestic violence victims in the United States. Questions to consider alongside the video include: Why is it that we do not see a problem (or see less of a problem) when a woman physically and/or emotionally abuses a man? Why do some people perceive gender-based violence against men as humorous? Might this affect the number of men who report gender-based violence? What are some examples of violent actions and/or language in this video? (e.g., "I can cut you into pieces," "You're my perfect little punching bag.") Does Pink try to make violence sexy? Is sexualizing violence problematic? Would people be more critical of this video if the characters' genders were reversed? It may be helpful to clearly define gender-based violence so that students can critically analyze the video according to accepted definitions of what qualifies as gender-based violence. Gender-based violence of any kind is unacceptable and should not be used as a form of entertainment. As a society, we should actively speak out against images that work to normalize violent behavior. To learn more about gender-based violence check out the European Institute of Gender's website.
Submitted By: Patricia Louie