Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 by Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy from South Lake Street and has been living in their backyard outside Antioch. She was rescued in 2009 at age of 29. She lived in captivity for 18 years. She also bore two children for Garrido, bearing the first at age 13. During her years of captivity she kept a journal depicting the pain and suffering she endured. In her journal she wrote that, she wished to be free to do as she will but couldn’t express this for fear of hurting her captors. She also wrote the ways in which Phillip Garrido manipulated her. She wrote that he also dictated what she should do and say to others.
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The Conflict perspective stresses that in order to understand society, we must understand the struggle between groups (race, gender, age, social class, etc.). The power groups will always try to maintain their status through manipulation, exploitation, and control. In the Case of Jaycee Dugard, she was kidnapped, exploited and manipulated by the Garridos. The Garridos, in this case was the power group. It must also be noted at this time Jaycee Dugard was merely an eleven year old child. More specifically the Conflict Theory on Gender states that men are dominant over women because of their superior power. Because of this dominance men tend to become aggressive towards women which can lead to violence. Phillip Garrido’s dominance over Jaycee Dugard made her feel demeaned and a loss of identity. His dominance resonated when she wrote that he said to “tell people that the girls were hers and that she was OK with them being around Phillip Garrido.” By her writing this it shows that she was not content with this and was afraid of what he might do to her if she didn’t abide by his rules.
As we can see Jaycee Dugard was a victim of Gendered Violence. She was raped and sexually harassed. Rape and sexual harassment is not only used by the rapist to subjugate and degrade his victims, it is also used by the dominant culture to oppress women. Jaycee Dugard was raped on several counts by Phillip Garrido and even bore two children for him and this began after she was kidnapped and it was proven because she bore her first child for him at the age of 13. Not only is this rape but it is statutory rape. Jacyee was powerless to him. She was also sexually harassed and this can be shown when she wrote in her journal, “How many times is he allowed to take it from me? I am afraid he doesn’t see how the things he says makes me a prisoner … Why don’t I have control of my life! I feel I can’t even be sure my thoughts are my own.” This statement expressed by Jaycee indicated that the situation she was in was unwelcomed, sexual in nature and there was a power differential, which are all necessary to constitute sexual harassment. Worldwide, up to one in five women and one in 10 men report experiencing sexual abuse as children (WHO 2009). Children subjected to sexual abuse are much more likely to encounter other forms of abuse later in life.
I believe that women should never be subjected to these conditions or rather no one should be put in situations like this. Taking the Functionalist Perspective on Gender, which states that the divisions of labour and role differentiation by sex are universal principles of family organization and are functional to the modern family (Talcott Parsons & Robert Bales 1955), society would function more harmoniously with men and women adhering to their specific roles and less violence would occur. Also looking at the experiences of women and men through the lens of gender there should be five principles to improve society:
1. The need for change
2. Expansion of human choices
3. Elimination of gender stratification
4. Ending Sexual Violence
5. Promoting Sexual autonomy
There are a large number of kidnappings around the world which lead to heinous crimes being committed to the victim and most of them go unreported and even more unsolved.
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