αναδημοσίευση από feminismandthelaw
– The case of HIV-infected prostitutes in Athens.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, school of law.
In conditions of severe economic crisis such as the one greek society is experiencing during the last 3 years, social tension and antagonism tend to sharpen, quite obviously revealing, how all forms of violence are being created and reproduced. Under these conditions, intensified gender-based violence, that permeates social relations of gendered subjects, would inevitably occur.
This essay deals with the role of the greek media in maintaining and intensifying this kind of violence through the constitution of gender identity and the reproduction of gender roles. I use as example the media coverage of the existence of HIV-positive prostitutes in Athens, on May 2012.
At first, I attempt a description of the historical and social context in which the news aired and I thoroughly delineate the sequence of events as presented by the greek media. Furthermore, I use the text analysis as a tool, as it is being understood in the context of post structuralist thought. I specifically present a general overview of the mass media headings of this period of time and I analyze an article from a nationwide circulation newspaper.
Moreover, I comment on the way public health was used as a tool to demonize certain behaviors and characteristics and I proceed by focusing on how the mass media represented identities as woman/ mother, woman/ wife, woman/ sex worker, woman/ immigrant on one side, and man/ straight /white/ middle class/ sex client/ family man, on the other.
By using these tools, I prove that gender and gendered subject is not a natural condition, but a result of violent cultural production. The identities of men and women (and the roles that they entail), as experienced in competitive relations, are a result of social actions, reactions and interactions. The role of the media is crucial in this process, as they express the dominant discourse, reproduce gender roles, construct gendered subjects and abjects, design human and non human zones, as well as bound and fence gender relations and bodies, thus eventually managing to control them.