The epidemic of violence against women, a phenomenon rooted in deep male narcissism and supported by a culture of manipulation, represents one of the most serious and pervasive threats to the safety and well-being of women in contemporary society. This violence does not simply manifest itself in isolated acts of brutality, but rather reveals itself as a systematic pattern of behaviors that culminate, in their most extreme expression, in feminicide.
Narcissism here is not just self-admiration or egocentrism. It is a deep-rooted and dangerous belief that men have rights and desires that surpass those of women, reducing the latter to mere objects, tools for satisfying male desires. Their autonomy is perceived as a threat, an insult to the presumed male supremacy.
Manipulation is a key piece in this scenario, emerging in forms of jealousy, control and isolation, often disguised as love or concern. Such tactics create a grip of fear and dependency, making it difficult for women to recognize and escape these toxic relationships. Faced with this alarming scenario, it becomes crucial to educate women to recognize and counteract malignant narcissism and its processes of manipulation.
It is imperative that specific modules are included in schools and community programs to teach women to identify the signs of a narcissistic and manipulative relationship. These programs must offer tools and strategies to recognize gaslighting, emotional manipulation, financial control, and other abusive tactics, as well as provide resources and support to help women safely exit these dangerous relationships.
by Valentina Guglielmo
The phenomenon of femicide
In parallel, the judicial system must decisively address the phenomenon of femicide, considering it not as an isolated tragic event, but as the result of a culture of abuse and control. Laws need to be strengthened, with harsher penalties and greater protections for victims.
However, these measures are not enough. It is imperative to address this issue on a systemic level, fundamentally changing the way we talk about relationships, the way we educate youth, and the way we treat women in every aspect of life. Only through profound cultural change and a collective commitment to education and support can we hope to eradicate this silent and deadly epidemic.
For too long, society has turned a blind eye to this disturbing reality. Women are raised to be understanding, patient, often tolerating unacceptable behavior in the name of love or family stability. This mentality must change. Women must be encouraged to recognize their strength and their right to live without fear or oppression. They need to be equipped with the skills to identify the red flags of an abusive relationship and know that they have the right and support to remove themselves from dangerous situations.
by Elisa Manacorda
Furthermore, society must stop idolizing the toxic masculinity that fuels these dynamics. We need to stop glorifying male dominance and start valuing qualities like empathy, respect and collaboration. It is a paradigm shift that requires serious commitment from everyone, at every level of society.
Femicide is not just a women’s problem; it is a symptom of a sick society. To effectively combat this epidemic, we must join forces, recognizing that the solution requires radical change in our social, cultural and legal structures. Only in this way can we hope to protect women and build a future in which gender violence becomes a sad memory of the past.
Giuseppe Lavenia is a psychologist and psychotherapist, president of the National Association of Technological Addictions, GAP and Cyberbullying “Di.Te”, professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the Polytechnic University of Marche