Sunday, April 19, 2015

Why Do Women Keep Silent?

The other day I was at the airport when I noticed an obnoxious older man with a pretty, young woman. I use the term obnoxious because he was cursing the woman for no reason, calling her stupid, idiotic and utterly childish. 

My flight got delayed and I was having a coffee while the couple who were apparently on the same flight, were sitting behind me having a drink. While the man got drunk, he became more obnoxious. The woman tried to have a conversation with him in low tones and all I could hear was, “I can’t believe you can be so dumb.” And “I really can’t understand why you’re so stupid. I mean seriously you have no brains or what?” The woman didn't say anything and looked away most of the time, fiddling with her hair and sipping her drink while I was seething with rage. “Why are you keeping quiet woman?” I wanted to yell out but stopped myself as boarding was announced.

A few days later I went to a party where a husband verbally abused his wife in front of all of us. He said things like “Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat again!” And very often, “Oh she has no sense of style. I buy all her clothes.” And even things like “She was nothing till I married her. Now look how high class she pretends to be.” The wife just smiled and drank green tea because her husband hadn't allowed her to have a glass of wine. 

Why did she keep quiet? And again all I said to him was, “I think she’s amazing. With or without you.” But I figured he didn't care and she wasn't bothered.

Why do women keep silent in abusive relationships? Do they feel that because a man doesn't hit them, that there is no abuse? Is it because as a species we've been taught to be subservient? “Be adjusting. Be accommodating. Don’t pick fights. A man is everything in your life. He will give you status and security. Forgive him his faults. All men are like that only.”

The women in question were pretty, strong, and educated. So why do so many intelligent women keep silent at this abuse?

Because we were taught to do so.

Because somewhere we doubt our own capabilities. We are insecure of our potential. We've been told, taught and have imbibed that it’s a man’s world and we won’t be able to succeed without the help of a man. A drunken partner is better than no partner at all. Being single is worse than being in a dead marriage. Be a good woman and look after your partner – feed him, clean his house, look after his needs, keep him happy. If you keep quiet, the abuse goes away.

But let me tell you. It doesn't. 
The abuse never goes away. 

It comes in small lethal doses over time eroding your confidence and belief. And women suffer in silence, living in misery, self-doubt, depression and in delusion thinking their lives are good enough.

But the most important reason why women keep silent is because they’re LAZY. Yes. They don’t want to upset the “system” of having to explain to their families why they broke up, having to deal with friends looking at them as if it was their fault it didn’t work out and having to work hard at earning a living because the man at some level gives them money to do whatever they need. 
“Arrey I can buy whatever I want and he travels often. That’s good enough for me. At least he’s not slapping me.”

Stopping the abuse starts from YOU. Stop being CLINGY, LETHARGIC, LANGUID, SLUGGISH, INDOLENT.

This is what it means to be empowered. To do something for yourself. That’s YOUR CHOICE.

Stand up for yourself and tell him to “Shut up!” Tell him to take his own plate to the kitchen. Tell him what you want him to do for you instead of the other way around. 

Be strong. Be brave. Be bold. Be brilliant. 

And be powerful enough to leave the man to live your life the way you were chosen to do if he continues to abuse you. 

You are not the weaker sex. Stop behaving so. Have the courage to not be silent.
Speak up!


shivangi ramsay said...

Awesome Madhuri. :)

Bharathi Bhaskar said...

Seriously, till women themselves stand up for their own cause, empowerment can't be expected. Just by 'liking', 'sharing' somebody's post doesn't empower us. We need to empower our heads first.

Anonymous said...

Hi Madhuri,

Good attempt on your part to write about your observations on abuse. You are partly right when you say that women are taught to do so and thats why they sometimes suffer in slinence.

However; I feel you are being too harsh in judging the victims as lazy. As close I am to the subject, I can tell you that these women are anything but lazy.Regardless of whether a woman either chooses to live like that or is forced to live like that, she is walking on eggshells all the time and believe me a lazy person cannot be like that. These women become very sensitive to the environment and can sniff trouble far more quickly than their counterparts who have not undergone abuse. They are very very alert mentally. Also, you are perhaps overlooking the part, that these women are very trusting/ docile in nature and offer suffer of low self esteem.

Rather than labelling them as lazy, please help them. They need help from their better settled sisters such as you. Writing on the topic is great and brave, but facing it everyday and choosing to live like that is perhaps braver. I am not advocating the victim's bravery, but only encouraging you to empathize with them and support them.

Hopefully this comment will not be moderated.

Reserved for One: A poem

We don't trust enough We don't pour out our hearts  Telling all our secrets, our fears and surrendering to each other. Comple...