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Opponents argue that since over 80% of all murder victims are men, the term places too much emphasis on the less prevalent murder of females.In addition, the study of femicide is a social challenge.All of these definitions refer to the idea that femicide is unique from non-gendered descriptions of murder and homicide.
A related critique targets the dearth of rigor in the political, philosophical and legal conceptualization of the term.
Some view it as too general and at risk of designating any negative action toward women as femicide and thereby diffusing its usefulness as a feminist tool.
Here is part of what she wrote for the proceedings: "We must realize that a lot of homicide is in fact femicide. From the burning of witches in the past, to the more recent widespread custom of female infanticide in many societies, to the killing of women for "honor," we realize that femicide has been going on a long time.
But since it involves mere females, there was no name for it until Carol Orlock invented the word 'femicide.'" According to the Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, "...[Femicide] is proposed as an alternative to the gender-neutral term of 'homicide'.
Feminists also argue that the motives for femicide are vastly different than those for androcide.
Instead of centering in street violence, much of femicide is centered within the home.Russell believes her definition of femicide applies to all forms of sexist killing, whether they be motivated by misogyny (the hatred of females), by a sense of superiority over females, by sexual pleasure, or by assumption of ownership over women."Femicide is on the extreme end of a continuum of antifemale terror that includes a wide variety of verbal and physical abuse, such as rape, torture, sexual slavery (particularly in prostitution), incestuous and extrafamilial child sexual abuse, physical and emotional battery, sexual harassment (on the phone, in the streets, at the office, and in the classroom), genital mutilation (clitoridectomies, excision, infibulations), unnecessary gynecological operations (gratuitous hysterectomies), forced heterosexuality, forced sterilization, forced motherhood (by criminalizing contraception and abortion), psychosurgery, denial of food to women in some cultures, cosmetic surgery, and other mutilations in the name of beautification.Whenever these forms of terrorism result in death, they become femicides." She includes covert killings of women as well, such as the mass murder of female babies due to male preference in cultures such as India and China, as well as deaths related to the failure of social institutions, such as the criminalization of abortion or the prevalence of female genital mutilation.Another term used is feminicide, which is properly formed from the Latin femina, meaning "woman" ("femicide" being truncated).The current usage emerged with the 1970s feminist movements, which aimed to raise feminine consciousness and resistance against gender oppression.Examples of this include neglect of female children in preference of males, as well as dowry related murder where female in-laws kill women due to dowry disputes.