Dear Husbands: Control Your Anger. Not Your Wives!

Indian men take their rights to violence for granted - that they can raise their hands at or be abusive to a woman. Preferably a woman married to them, but any woman will do. 

Indian men take their rights to violence for granted – that they can raise their hands at or be abusive to a woman. Preferably a woman married to them, but any woman will do. 

I was having dinner with few of my friends. Reasonably modern group of people.  Somehow the conversation shifted to domestic violence. One guy said that it is really a problem of the slums where the drunkard husband beats his poor wife who works as a domestic helper somewhere. It is not a problem of the ‘privileged’ class.  My (female) friend and I looked at him with disbelief.

“My ex hit me”. I snapped at him immediately.

“My husband has slapped me so many times.” My friend said. “But now I slap him back”. She added, in an attempt to sound empowered.

The guy who had made the comment said, “Well, that’s surprising. I have never hit my wife. Just that when she makes me very mad, I have been little aggressive.”

“Aggressive! Like what!”

“Like pulling her and grabbing her arm. That’s it.”

“Aww! So sweet of you!”

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“Haha… Very funny.  I am a nice guy unlike others.  Didn’t you watch that episode of KBC – “Pati hai to marega !!!”

This pompous fool said with his chest puffed up. This same idiot will say contradicting things depending on how convenient it is for him:

‘Most men hit women. I don’t! I am such a good husband!’

‘What!! Why are the crazy feminists always exaggerating! Most men don’t hit their wives!’

A little trivia…

‘As per the recently published Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related Killing of Women and Girls released by The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) a total of 87,000 women were intentionally killed in 2017. More than half of them (58 per cent) ̶ 50,000 ̶ were killed by intimate partners or family members. More than a third (30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or former intimate partner ̶ someone they would normally expect to trust. The largest number (20,000) of all women killed worldwide by intimate partners or family members in 2017 was in Asia.

Available data on dowry-related killings from the National Crime Records Bureau indicate that female dowry deaths account for 40 to 50 per cent of all female homicides recorded annually in India, representing a stable trend over the period 1999 to 2016. Despite legislation adopted by the Indian Government in 1961, prohibiting the payment of dowry,54 the practice continues throughout the country and dowry deaths continue to account for a substantial share of all female homicides.’

The above is copied verbatim for the report. Those who cry foul about ‘false dowry cases’, read the above again. And again until it registers in your head.

Therapy for the beti / bahu instead!

If any of us have seen any global movies or TV shows, we see that counselling / workshop/ support groups/ rehabilitation on anger management and rage issues, is very common in other countries.  Men who cannot control their anger (once they accept it on their own) seek professional help.

In India, too, families put in a lot of effort to provide help to a couple where the husband has rage issues. They train the wife to become Lord Buddha, the epitome of calm and serenity who manages to slice bhindi in the kitchen despite being manhandled and screamed at.  She has been told by her mother and her mother-in-law that she is doing the right thing by not reacting.  After all, pyare Damaad ji manages to NOT act like a crazy dog most of the days, right? The few days when he does suffer from an explosion, can’t she stay quiet? Can’t she manage the situation with patience and maturity? Is it really too much to ask for to save her marriage?

If you think that women are being fooled to put up with wayward men, you are wrong! They are getting something very fulfilling in return – glorification!! You have more strength! You have more patience!

I don’t know what use is this patience, and calm, and self-restraint for us? Training for the next time hubby acts out? Instant ticket to sainthood in the Himalayas?

Boys will be boys!

Our society has conditioned us to believe that the humans born with a certain Y chromosome are incapable of change. They rape if they get hard, so we better stay indoors.

Inside the house also, the married lot is not immune from rape.

When not busy raping, they could be hitting or yelling because of course, aggression is their birth right!  The men reading this, would already be fuming. ‘Not all men’, they would be screaming their lungs out. Don’t tell me. Go tell those of your own tribe.  Look at the statistics before dismissing our fears and concerns.  The ‘boys will be boys’ attitude should offend you not be your excuse. It means that you are beyond any help! It is NOT a compliment.

She provoked me…

Every man who has ever hit a woman lets out the same old, broken record:

‘She provoked me!!’

I have heard MILs question their DILs ‘Maar khane wala kaam hi kyun ki?’

The poor man! He has body parts he has no control over! His limbs start moving involuntarily every time he sees or hears something he doesn’t like! He is a programmed robot!!

A man’s anger is his business! None of our business! Don’t expect us to adjust!

Have you heard of men beating up their bosses at work? The boss may tell a man that he is the shittiest performer of the year. That he is good for nothing. Worthless. Yet, the man manages to stay poised.

Why is that? Because he knows the other person is more powerful. If he does something, he will be thrown out and never be employed. In fact, guess who will face the brunt of this restraint back home?

Men take that liberty with their wives, because they know they can get away with it.  It is BY NO MEANS true that they cannot control their anger. They can if they want to. They do when they know of the consequences. In the U.S. women call 911 immediately when they feel a sense of danger. In India, despite the laws, men know that if they have money and connections, they will walk free. It is not a moment of rage. It is years of conditioning, and entitlement. They feel entitled to their anger, as well as our bodies.

Not cool, guys! Your generation can change this toxic masculinity. It damages you. It damages us.

Why didn’t she just leave?

Women in violent marriages are judged.  Judged for not leaving. Judged for not leaving sooner.  Why be a victim? Take charge of the situation! Sounds good…

Have you heard of men killing women who have dared to walk away from them? Have you heard of acid attacks by men who have been rejected?  Parents of Indian girls often suffer from ill health when they hear that their daughter’s marriage is falling apart. They fall apart too. A heart attack possibly?  Plus, separating from the husband means arranging for a living situation, getting support to raise kids.

It is not simple. A lot of women these days do walk out. But it takes some time and resources to prepare themselves.

Dear Nice Guys,

If you have not yet killed your wife or broken her bones you are a civil human being. It does not make you a nice guy. It just makes you non-criminal. Stop praising yourself and expecting a ‘Husband of the Year’ award.

You CANNOT touch a woman without her consent. Period. Not for sex. Not for pushing. Not for pulling. Not for grabbing. Not for stopping her from talking. It is still assault. Nobody deserves it. No matter what they do. Nobody asks for it. There is only one person responsible for it. The one who raised the hand. Take accountability for your actions. Nobody can provoke you. You are not a trained monkey who dances to the tune of the madaari. Nothing is out of your control. Unless you are possessed by an evil spirit…

See the sex ratio of this country before you act. The day we decide we are done with you, there are not so many more of us left for you.  Mend your ways.  You can control your anger.  Don’t let your anger control you.

Image source: shutterstock

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I like to write about the problems that have plagued the Indian society. I feel that the concept of gender equality is still alien , and that has been the focus of my articles and posts. read more...

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