#CelebrateingtheRainbow at the workplace – share your stories of Pride!
Teach your daughter to stand up for herself. Teach your sons to treat women like human beings. This is the only way to curtail domestic violence.
Not so long ago, a woman was brutally stabbed to death by her husband in the capital, New Delhi, just because she didn’t quit her job when he told her to. News about this incident spread like wildfire across the country, sparking conversations amongst the people.
Everyone felt like giving their opinion about it, as if the reason could transform the wrong into right. Some talked about the alleged affair her husband thought she was having at her work place. Some talked about how wrong it was to share the video of the whole incident and why didn’t anyone came to save her. Some called the man “psycho” or “mentally retarded”, as he just roamed around the area and sat there for a while after brutally murdering his wife, in broad daylight, in a crowded area.
But there was also another conversation that was silently happening in some families.
“Women should compromise a little bit in a marriage. If the husband is rich enough or is capable of meeting the basic requirements of the family, and wants his working, self dependent wife to leave her job to take care of the kids and his old, sick parents, she should just quit her job and live happily and at peace in ‘her’ house”.
As if a woman works outside the house just for money!
We hear this a lot, don’t we? “Women should compromise in a marriage” or different versions of it like “Thoda bahut toh aurat ko sehna seekhna chahiye, varna do parivaar barbaad ho jaayenge” (a woman should learn how to tolerate a little bit, because if she doesn’t, she’ll cause the destruction of two families) when her husband or her in-laws physically abuse her. But how much is a “thoda bahut” (a little bit)?
Where is the line in your head, between the amount of injustice and abuse you are asking her to tolerate, and the amount you aren’t? Where does this all end?
Here are some questions for all you parents: If your daughter leaves her husband’s house to stay with you after he slapped her for the first time, how many of you will actually support her? How many of you will tell her the same thing that you and other relatives have been telling her, that she’ll have to compromise to save her marriage?
How many of you will take some action against the doings of your beloved son-in-law? How many of you will just force your daughter to go back to her husband’s place because that’s where she belongs now, that’s where her duties as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter-in-law lie?
And if it’s your daughter-in-law who is being abused by your son, will you support her, thinking it could have been your own daughter at her place, or will you just leave her on her own, thinking she probably deserved it?
Parents, you may not realise it but every single thing you say or do has an effect on your children. Sometimes, this effect is so disastrous that it ends up costing them their life! If your young son hears you saying that a woman has to compromise in a marriage, that’s what he will learn, that’s how he will react and that’s what he will expect from his future wife.
If your daughter hears the same from you when she is little, you will lose her trust. She will never be able to get herself to trust you when she needs you the most. That’s why most of the women hide their abuse from their own parents, and keep facing the physical torture and the mental pain. They either slip into depression and are never able to heal fully, or they succumb to their wounds, because parents, if a person can slap your daughter just because he was drunk or angry, just know that he most certainly can do more, permanent harm.
So please stop telling your daughters they need to compromise. Start telling your sons that you will throw them out of your house or report them to the authorities if they ever hit their wife. Teach him how to behave, how to respect women not just because she is a woman but because she is just as much of a human as he is.
Start telling your daughters to hit back, to fight back if they ever find themselves in such a situation. Start telling her that you’ll support her and that she can trust you, because if you don’t succeed in building a trust, an understanding between you and her, you’ll lose her forever, one way or the another.
Image: Still from the Hindi movie ‘Thappad’
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