Showing posts with label Marital Abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marital Abuse. Show all posts

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Boys Do Cry!

This is one advt that deserves a standing ovation!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Raped by My Man

Two decades ago, when I was raped by a man while vacationing in Kerala, I didn't know what I'd do.
My family didn't take it seriously and brushed it aside. They thought I was lying. 

I was raped twice after that. 

For many years since then, I lived with the abnormal fear and mistrust of strangers. I suffered at school - was bullied right through high school. I hated and tortured my body and held myself responsible for what some guy did to me. I craved for love, ended up in relationships that had no trust and it affected me in as many ways it would have affected a woman.

While my wounds have healed since then, when I hear about abuses against women, I question how much of that goes unreported.
For every rape outside of a relationship that does get reported, there are 100's of wives who are being raped by their husbands that goes under the radar.

The perpetrator will enjoy his 3 minutes of sexual domination and roll off to his side of the bed, and sleep.
Shocked, in pain and still trying to grasp what just happened, she isn't going to sleep tonight or for the next couple of nights either.
He may see the sadness of what she is going through next morning, and apologize. On his knees, maybe. Until she nods a half smile. Probably a special romantic dinner or a surprise gift hoping that she will have magically forgotten the brutality of his actions the night before.
The wife is now thoroughly confused. She knows that he loves her. He knows it wasn't a mistake. She hopes it won't happen again, and he now knows he can buy her silence. 
He now has a wife who he can play out his rape fantasies.
The wife won't 'snitch' on their otherwise picture-perfect marriage.
To save her husband's integrity? To save herself from ridicule and shame?
She won't snitch not because she refuses to believe the man who she once adored is now her pimp and her unpaying client.

Because she thinks he owns her by virtue of being married.
The husband deserves to ravage her body because she promised herself to be loyal and understanding through sickness and health until death do they part.

Because she hopes that this will pass? 'This could be just a 'one-off' '
Sure! Every crime is just a 'one-off' to its victim.
Of all the crimes we have perpetuated, sexual abuse is one that is the most brutal, most cowardly and yet the most invisible.

But then why would a husband want to rape his wife?
She is married to him after all. Isn't she?
He is probably the only man she will ever be intimate to, so why he want to turn something that should remain so sacred and intimate to something that will forever traumatize her?
Could it be a mistake or an error in judgement on the husband's part? I wonder why we don't do equally good things in error too - like pledge to donate your eye, or write your wealth to the truly poor and needy.

But aren't we the culprits?
Our parents, their parents and their parent's parents have always perpetuated the idea of a husband's sexual dominance within a marriage. Girls are supposed to be docile and mute and willing givers of sex anytime he desires. In a case of art imitating real life, there were a lot of South Indian movies in the last Century which would invariably have a scene where the husbands rape their wives, and the wife would put up with it because she is the Bharati Naari.
But then this is not just India. Across Asia and Africa, centuries of gender discrimination has conditioned women to believe they are always a pedestal lower than men.

Why we haven't passed legislation to encourage victims to report and discourage husbands from this, is beyond me.
Sure, homosexual sex can land you in jail but if you are raped by your man, the law looks away.

March 8th. International Women's day.
When we celebrate women so eloquently, we forget the millions who silently endure unspeakable pain and untold guilt.

Thankfully, times are changing and our women are growing up. When I hear of wives who came out of abusive marriages, I do a fist bump and I hope we hear of more women who will learn to stand up against abuse. Everywhere.


Domestic Violence against Women

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This has gotta change [80/365]

Religion is the crutch of weak people.

World over, more men have used religion to rule and subdue women.
The headlines today was an eye opener to how another man has used the tool of the triple talaq to his advantage.
Shahtaj Khanum, former deputy mayor of Bangalore and married woman, narrated how her husband gave her the triple talaq through an newspaper advertisement almost a year ago. (Read the exciting story unfold here)

Apparently, the estranged husband divorced her after she lost the last elections. How convenient.
That the chap decided to divorce his wife through the newspaper when the registered mail came back undelivered was at best unimaginative, at worst a sign of utter weakness.
Now c'mon, we've heard infamous tales of young lovers breaking up over an SMS and companies firing their CEO over a phone call, but this? Now, this has got to change.

The last time I wrote about talaq, quite a few readers who were hurt at the facts I stated insisted I rewrite them to make it appear less caustic than it was. I refused. 

It is easy to sympathize with the victim, a lady, in this case. If she was a victim of much abuse, then what made her wait so long before she decided to come public?
Throughout the article, we hear a lot of posturing. File the goddamn suit, lady. Stop threatening.
Why did the guy not have the balls to say the triple talaq in the presence of his wife, like he was legally supposed to do. She is not a fugitive!

And if you look carefully, there is a lot of money and a child involved here. Talaq be damned, any divorce is bad news for the child. While the facts are obviously against the estranged husband, the root of the evil is much deeper.
The lady here is not a saint either.
According to her statement, she allowed the husband to misuse her political clout to amass wealth and admits feeling useless to her husband since she lost in the elections. See any red flags here?
If she is as honest and strong willed as she proclaims herself to be, she would've nailed his ass for graft and not traded her self esteem for a term in office.

Which makes me think. What are they fighting for now? 
Wealth? Possible. 
Custody of their daughter? Does not look like it. The husband didn't appear too excited about the idea. 
Integrity? By washing their dirty laundry in public, they can kiss any last bits of integrity goodbye.
Fame? Maybe. She does reiterate her desire to make this a monumental judgement ala Shah Bano.

But what has got to change is how unscrupulous men, and bitter women, use divorce laws as a way of getting at eachother. No more.

This post is an Official entry for Stayfree's Time To Change hosted by IndiBlogger.
Promote this article here if the eradication of such evil means as much to you as it does to me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daughters for Sale

Indian Weddings are big, boisterous and shit expensive.
I've seen a lot of weddings in my lifetime. Most of them have been extravagant affairs mainly to flex the money muscle and to announce to the world (or to their relatives and friends) that they've arrived.

The copious amounts of money that is spent on mantaps and jewelry would make King Solomon blush.
All this of course does not include the obscene amounts of dowry that is given.

Ofcourse, any one could justify why we'd still want dowry, an integral part of our weddings, but when I read about mysterious 'kitchen cylinder blasts' that kills or scars a new bride, or when a new bride is burned, is when I wonder why we won't raise our voices against the system.
Perhaps we are just not ready to fight a system that risks making our daughters ineligible for marriage.

Where did the tradition of a little 'seed money' go so wrong?
Dowry, money that was supposed to help our young husbands start their lives has become a vicious circle of greed, death and guilt.

Young people that I've spoken to, have agreed that dowry is a tradition that they will not indulge in. But many of them yield to the 'wisdom' of their elders who espouse dowry and are brainwashed to believe that a suitably sized dowry will give the girl and her family respect in the eyes of the boy's family and his relatives.

Vast amounts of money or assets are passed hands. For many in suburban India, societal expectation on what would constitute a suitable sized dowry would differ.
But for the girl's parents and family, this could mean money that was saved for many many years. Money that was kept aside for a home. Money that was kept aside for the aging parents.
But for the boy and his family, this is easy money. Money that he hardly worked for. Money that he would be secretly drooling for. Publicly he would be against dowry, privately a staunch supporter for dowry.

Having proven its mettle, Media must play a more strategic role in promoting anti dowry. Simple awareness about the consequences of accepting or even offering dowry should be taught at schools.
However, having said that, legislation is a double edged sword. Unscrupulous women and their families have used anti dowry laws to their advantage. In a society where marriages are planned and verbally binding decisions made in the drawing rooms of elders, unwitting men fall for the trap of women and their families who want to teach the men a bitter lesson in matrimony.

Personally, I know a dear friend who was fighting a bitter divorce that ought to have been over nearly 12 years ago. Just a written complaint from the ex and her family and the poor chap was suffering for over a decade until last year at the age of 35, he died.

Greed begets greed and dowry is something you wouldn't want to touch with a barge pole.

Are we breeding our daughters with a dread that we will have to pay, some day, a million bucks?
Are we raising our sons with the hidden delight and relief that some day, all our 'investments' will be repaid when he gets married and get a Big Fat Dowry?
Maybe it is because we have more men than women. Or maybe we need to stop female infanticide.

Fight the right to marry your soul-mate, sans the money. Of course marriages are never a piece of cake and you'll always end up stretching to make ends meet. But you'll atleast set an example when you refuse to accept or pay a dowry. Be a Man.

The question is: Are we ready to fight for the right to wed without dowry?

The Statistics are chilling.
Go Figure.

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