A SUBTLE form of violence or “tender violence” exists in institutions like schools in the form of disciplinary actions meted out on students, Artlet professors claimed in a forum on domestic abuse.
Literature professor Ferdinand Lopez said tender violence is often overlooked because people only think of violence as something extreme.
“Kaya siya subtle [kasi] diffused. May isang klase ng violence na hindi mo mafi-feel kasi hindi naman talaga siya concentrated,” Lopez said in the forum held Saturday.
Marella Bolanos, a philosophy lecturer, said spanking and other usual forms of disciplining a child are usually not seen as dangerous for the child’s growth.
“Hindi kinakailangan na physically nasasaktan natin ang mga bata. They can be exposed to violence. […] There is always an assumption that children cannot understand what is happening and it becomes intergenerational because eventually, children who are exposed to domestic violence, ‘pag tumatanda na sila, mas prone sila to submit themselves to the same kind of violence,” she said.
Bolanos agreed with Lopez that there is tender violence in schools as everyone is expected to be orderly.
“’Yung pinakamagugulo sa klase, lagi silang napagagalitan, and that in itself is considered violence. Bakit mo pagagalitan ‘yung isang bata na unruly? Kasi nga that particular child is giving difficulty doon sa teacher in charge. When in fact, the child is just being a child,” Bolanos said.
Resisting tender violence
Lopez urged Artlets to resists tender violence that comes in the form of assigning identities to other people.
“How is gender different from sex? Sex is assigned at birth. Who assigns it? The one who assigns it already possesses power, that power to name. I refuse to be named. Because now, you are imposing something of that power in me,” Lopez said.
Lopez added that culture is responsible for shaping gender oppression and inequality, arguing that media has the ability to condition audiences.
“Media has this power to contain all of us. ‘Yung binabasa ko, pinapanood ko, hindi totoo ‘yan. Hindi ‘yung tanggap ka nang tanggap,” Lopez said.
The forum titled Our Gender Status: Domestic Violence Intersecting the Public Sphere was organized by The Concilium Philosophiae and was held at the Miguel de Benavides Library Conference Hall. F MA. LEANDREA A. TAMARES