Jennifer Parker


Domestic violence is a global phenomenon that knows no geographic or cultural bounds. Whether they are shot, poisoned, stabbed, or burned, women across the world are dying at the hands of their male partners. Nevertheless, the Western media's portrayal of dowry deaths in India illustrates American society's failure to, or refusal to, connect dowry deaths to the parallel domestic homicides committed in the United States every day. From a postcolonial feminist standpoint, this Note argues that this disjunction is neither accidental nor inconsequential but rather reinforces the United States' hegemonic self-perception as a society in which women's liberation has been unequivocally achieved. By overemphasizing and sensationalizing the injustices against women in India, the Western media diverts attention from the same injustices against women in the United States. This Note proposes a reframing of the issue by the Western media and American society. To enable the United States' continued progress in the realm of women's rights, American society must abandon the "us-them" dichotomy; it must accurately place both domestic homicides in the United States and dowry deaths in India within the framework of domestic violence.