The first Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) conference took place in London in November 1981. Papers from this and two further conferences were published in 1985 by Onlywomen Press under the conference title. The view that violence against women should be understood as an expression of patriarchy reinforced by economic, familial and cultural arrangements first gained popularity in the 1970s. Among others, WAVAW argued that violence was fundamental to male biology and also that it had a spectrum of symptoms including murder, battery, rape, reproductive technologies, psychiatry, pornography, and even make-up and fashion. For WAVAW, a radical feminist organization, even when individual men did not actually participate in any of these acts, men as a group still benefited since brutal and physically coercive acts served to keep all women oppressed by placing the threat of violence over all heterosexual relationships.
   See also: domestic violence; violence

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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