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The threat of occasionally getting a beating or two for mistakes looms over every married woman’s head. It can just happen, anywhere, any day, anytime.
Recently, one sensible judge in Karnataka announced that a husband cannot act like a beast just because he has married the woman. Many hailed this change as revolutionary.
Yes, it is a revolutionary verdict in a land where marital rape is legalized. In a society where a husband can rape a wife, beating her is not a big deal.
One of my friends whose husband is known to raise his hand on her had once defended him by saying, “X is a good guy. He is better than many husbands I know. He takes good care of me and loves me. I know he sometimes loses his cool and then raises his hand on me, but then I am also responsible for triggering his anger. He had told me about his anger issues even before we got married. I don’t know when to stop. I go on and on and finally, he loses his cool. But then, he makes up for it later. It happens very rarely, so you should not take that as domestic violence”.
She is not the only woman who has developed such a view on domestic violence. I was aghast that this lady was admiring a guy who raised his hand on her because he “doesn’t do it too often.” Is it OK for a ‘person’ to be beaten?
The threat of occasionally getting a beating or two for mistakes looms over every married woman’s head. It can just happen, anywhere, any day, anytime. It could have become a part of my life as well, that is, if I had not taken a strong stand against any kind of physical violence.
My parents brought me up with lots of freedom and that included the freedom to debate, argue, and also throw some tantrums now and then. I grew up throwing around my opinions freely. I had the sense not to hurt others, but at the same time, I knew not to let others hurt me.
Once I got married, this so-called virtue became a vice. I was not supposed to argue, debate, or give an opinion on anything and if I did, I was accused of being a disobedient wife/daughter-in-law.
I couldn’t change suddenly and that triggered my husband’s anger. One day he warned me, “Don’t make me hit you. You know that I have permission to hit my wife if she crosses the limits and is disobedient to me”.
I knew there and then that I had to handle this the right way to stop this possibility. I did not react but responded very calmly and told him, “Do you expect me to keep quiet if you hit me?”
To which he replied, “You are a woman. You cannot hit a man, right? Also if you try, I am stronger than you.”
“Yes you are strong and I may not be able to fight you. But then, you will fall asleep, right? You will be sleeping right beside me in a closed room. I may not be able to take the insult and fall asleep. Maybe someone has said that you have the right to beat your wife if she is disobedient to you, but I do not agree with it. Being beaten is not normal and the anger may keep rising in me to know that the man who hit me earlier is sleeping right here, next to me, helpless now. I may just get up and take something and hit you black and blue to vent out my anger. You can beat me up because you are strong, but I think it is not a good idea to sleep in the same room with the woman you have beaten. Again, I am not sure what people will say looking at you the next day!”
It was an arrow shot blindly, but it hit the bull’s eye.
The message was clear I will not take physical violence by being silent and accepting it as normal. The retaliation may not have happened exactly the way I described it, but it would happen.
This may not work in all situations but there will be a way out in every situation. Only thing is, we should never accept that it is OK for a husband to sometimes physically abuse a wife.
In my case, the so-called ‘strong’ husband never slept well even after a verbal spat with me to this day.
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I am Farida Rizwan, 55, Counselor and Psychotherapist working as Senior Curriculum Developer with Chimple Learning. I am ardent blogger @www.chaptersfrommylife.com and share my life experiences of surviving breast cancer 3rd stage for read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Homeschooling in India is having a moment. As families become increasingly weary of traditional schooling thanks to cookie-cutter policies and high costs, parents are opting for alternate methods of education
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