OPINION

Social convictions, tolerance, femicide

social-convictions-tolerance-femicide

News is dictated by events, which however always have causes and consequences. Usually, the causes are complicated, whether they are known to us or understood in hindsight. Similarly, the consequences of events on the environment and society may be immediately visible or may only become clear in the long run.

Many women have been killed in Greece in recent months, and this trend is attributed to domestic violence – a phenomenon which is rife in the country and more extended than most would admit – combined with widespread reactionary beliefs regarding the status of women in everyday life and society. There is is the idea that “women belong to their husband or father,” notwithstanding what they have achieved in their professional or social life – accomplishments which are only recognized and respected by a part of the population. Experts are now also taking into consideration the added strain that the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon family ties. 

Sure, domestic violence, abuse and femicide are not exclusive to Greece. Studies in the United Kingdom for example have shown a spike in domestic abuse after soccer matches as intoxicated men often become aggressive and abusive toward their partners. Meanwhile, in the United States extensive gun ownership plays a key role. Should we conclude that Greece is no different to other countries? 

Not quite. Greece’s particularity has to do with society’s addiction to violent behavior as a result of the tolerance displayed by the authorities. The violence at soccer games, schools and universities, in public spaces and even aggressive driving and the overall belligerant behavior have been a dominant characteristic of daily life for years. 

Such attitudes are also encouraged by the political class, which is too keen to react with excuses, understanding and leniency, if not indifference. Society inevitably becomes addicted to violence. And once you’ve reached that point, you are not too far from a surge in domestic violence, femicide and killings in general.