Monday, October 19, 2015

Abuse - From the wrong side

While a lot is being said about women being abused by men, domestic violence, marital rape and what not, we often miss out on the other side. No, no, I am not trying to justify the act of violence against women but just trying to shed some light on the men who are subjected to violence by women. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, let me assure you, this happens and a lot at that.

As a society, we have made such a stereotype of “being a man” that being a man itself sometimes becomes a problem. We instill the gyaan that men do not cry while bringing up our sons. We tell them not to pursue finer interests in life in order to become, doctors, engineers or such as they would be the primary breadwinners of the family. We tell them not to wince at pain as they are expected to have high pain tolerance and above all, we embarrass them if they ever come complaining about a woman who harassed them - physically or emotionally.

While we scorn at men who get abusive against women in fits of anger, we always try to find an excuse to vindicate a woman who does the same. She must have been so depressed. He must have said something to annoy her to that extent. While that could be a possibility, we cannot always excuse a woman’s action as a possible reaction.

If a man says that he is not interested in a day job as his wife’s income is enough to take care of the household, we again unleash our judgment on that person without really bothering to get into the deeper facts. But if, at the same time, a woman decides to quit her career for no plausible reason, we take it for granted or worse still, we again judge the man for not letting her pursue her career.

I recently stumbled across a post on social media where all the abusive celebrity relationships were illustrated for public judgment. The only question that kept reverberating in my head was, “How many men must have been through the same while nobody is even aware?” The article mentioned women who were abused by suspicious partners, partners who were alcoholic, who had temper issues in general and more.

What about men who have been abused by suspicious wives, alcoholic wives or wives with bipolar disorder? Our societal pressure is such that these men could never come out in the open to talk about these matters. We always ask our girls after they get married, if they’re treated well by their husbands and in-laws.

Do we ever bother to ask our sons if they are indeed happy? Do we ever ask them if they have got what they sought in their partner? What we do ask is, if their wife cooks well for them, if she manages the household as expected. We never ask if they are in a peaceful relationship. We don’t bother ourselves to ask if there are any signs of abuse, physical or mental.

When I walked out of my marriage, I was asked if my husband abused me. I was asked if the abuse so bad that I had to leave him. I wonder if men are asked a similar question. What they would be asked is, if there is another woman in their life. And god forbid, if the answer is positive. The man in that situation would be termed as a living monster, guy who is characterless and heartless. And if the answer is negative, then this guy would be called a fool for walking out on a marriage.

So basically, we have trapped our men in a game. A game where they cannot become victims because that’s not manly, where they cannot become oppressors because that’s monstrous, where they are left with no choice but to live with it, every single day.

Think about it, is this what we call equality? Is this the kind of situation we want ourselves to be in?


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's quite a bombshell. Society has to change, Change is the new constant in today's world. We talk about gender equality only when a woman is suppressed and not a man. A simple act of change creates an endless ripple. Cheers for writing something against the wind.

Bombshell Ideas by Kriti Vajpeyi said...

Many thanks, Aadi... I do hope that these ideas create a ripple for better.

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