I read, in quick succession, a couple of posts on domestic violence. It got me thinking. Why do men beat up their wives? Anger? Passion? Inability to keep one’s sanity? Drinking? Most of the time, we assume that men who drink, who are unfaithful, who are inept, are the ones beating up their partners. But sadly, I find that none of these need to lead to violence. Yes, drinking makes it easier for a man to justify his behaviour. But, the actual reason lies elsewhere. It’s about control. It’s about domination.
When I was in college, I studied Women’s Studies. I studied rape from an academic perspective. The first thing I discovered was that rape was not a sex crime. It was not for sex that women were raped. They were raped because the men who raped them had a point to make. Of being stronger, more powerful, better. Domestic violence falls under the same category. Only, it’s more difficult to detect, identify or control. For one simple reason. The man who beats is the one who is supposed to protect. And more than anything else, it is not the wife’s responsibility to ensure she is not hit. Why do people not understand that the abuser is at fault? The comment quoted by Ra is a case in point. Women are attracted to violence? What the hell? Why are women always held responsible for what happens to them? It hurts when girls are told that they were teased on the road by some loafer because they must have dressed provocatively. It angers me that women are told to wear only salwar kameez because boys will be distracted by me if they turn up in jeans. It irritates me and causes me to rebel when I see some vague engineering college in Chennai enforce gender-based segregation because they don’t want their boys getting spoilt by under-dressed female classmates. Why can’t the world see sense?
As a woman, it’s my business how I want to dress. A woman’s dress, her job or her behaviour is not an excuse to beat her. I fell the need to tell all those women out there who are in abusive relationships one thing. If a man hits you, he can’t love you. A man who loves you will get upset when he sees you hurt. A man who loves you will risk his life to ensure you are not in pain. A man who loves you will get angry with you for crying over a friend’s death because he can’t see you cry. A man who really loves you will suggest you don’t do things that make you unhappy. So, if you have a partner who is abusive, he probably doesn’t love you. Stop deluding yourself. Walk out when you are still alive. Please.