Saturday, May 24, 2014

Understanding Violence in Women - An Attempt

Recently I have been very actively writing blogs to an extent realizing that I am enjoying this very much. Further adding to my enthusiasm I created a page so that people know that I am serious about writing. There have been a few loyal friends who have been reading, commenting, agreeing and disagreeing with my views but all in a healthy way. A dear friend ‘Dr (Mrs )USD’ posed a question about my thoughts on movies like Gulabi Gang, Revolver Rani, in a way she wanted to know about the ‘violent streak in women’. I promised her that I will come up with my thoughts in the form of a blog. So concocting this blog has been a bit tough for me as the topic is serious, thought provoking and needs understanding of psychology behind the violent streak. I am into writing something that categorizes as ‘feel good’ but I decided to come up with something sensible not because I promised USD but it was a challenge for me to push my limits, compelled me to come out of my comfort zone. 

I thought hard that what violence means to me. How would I define violence? Unable to come up with a proper definition but can visualize violence. I can relate violence with physical power, anger, hatred, agony and destruction. The batterer causes intentional physical damage (injury or death), psychological damage (threat, diffidence) to the battered. To simplify this, a person who is violent has to be powerful to harm someone (weak) physically first and then psychologically. Is ‘Violence’ gender specific? If violence is associated with power then it can or has to be gender specific. It is said that Men are from Mars and Women from Venus. Mars represents anger, power and so does Man. The society, be it Indian or any other has always been dominated by Men – aggressive, strong, powerful. On the other hand Venus which represents Women is calm, soothing, and quiet. Women are not strong, powerful physically as Men are but they are emotionally strong, composed. I have no answer to why always in our society Man has been on the giving end and Woman on the receiving!?

I would like to mention that there have been well known social reformers in India who have toiled hard to bring in gender equality in the Indian society but we need more active reformers. I now shift my focus on Violence in Women – fairly based on my observation as a child, teenager and now a woman in the Indian Society. I completely understand and accept any contradictions to my thoughts. 

Power and strength has been misused by Man leading to mistreatment of Woman by physically abusing her (domestic violence), Injury or Death (Gang rapes). India is known for its diversity, different cultures, customs, traditions, languages but all unanimously agree on an unwritten rule that Man is the whole and sole head of the family, he knows all and is always right. A Man is bestowed with these qualities by birth. Does being a Woman mean that one has to be compromising, understanding, subdued always? I classify Women in two sects

Scenario in weaker sect:

There are families especially categorized as below poverty line where the bread earner is a Woman. She works as a maid, on construction sites or anything that can earn her a meal or two for her family. The Man (husband) from such families finds prestige in drinking alcohol, physically abusing their respective wives only because he is powerful. Women bear all this for the sake of her children and there is no much support from the society to stop such abuse. What happens to the Women? The weaker commit suicide and the stronger survive but they have to live with this abuse throughout their lives.

In such situations violent, agitated females like Phoolan Devi (Bandit Queen), Sampat Lal Devi (of Gulabi Gang) arise with uncommon heroism. They were not born as rebellions but were made. They were normal girls who fantasized a normal life but were married at a very young age to a much older Man. They faced marital mistreatments left them embittered. Caught between a desire to lead a normal life and a brutal society these females were left with no choice. ‘Die or Survive’ and they chose to survive but not as a sufferer anymore. They are the rebels, insurgents that the society has created who carried the flag of heroism and called a war against all such brutal Men in the society who made life miserable for the Women. Phoolan Devi was supposedly worshipped as an incarnation of Durga Devi. Sampat Pal Devi’s Gulabi Gang has tens of thousands of women today who look after several issues related to women other than of physical mistreatment. Can we state that the cause in gender discrimination?

Making of Phoolan or Sampat is a process which can be compared to making of a ‘Sword’. A natural human tendency and Women are no exception. The more you try to suppress them the more stronger they will emerge.

Scenario in educated, financially independent sect:

Does only physical abuse cause the damage?
Women from the urban civilization are educated, financially secure-independent. The abuse they face may not necessarily be physical. Being educated, well read, informed they are not prone to physical abuse but may face domestic violence in an indirect form which hampers their psychological balance. I personally feel that psychological imbalance  is more harmful. Psychological imbalance means threat, diffidence which makes a woman incompetent and weaker in the society. Women belonging to this category can make their choices of living alone where she does not have to face this harassment. The financial security she has, gives her the freedom to make her own choices. She may not transform into a Phoolan Devi or Sampat Pal but seek legal advice and come out of all this unscathed physically but invisible bruises.

My thoughts in brief:
Women should respect themselves first. Parents should try to modify the upbringing of a girl child by teaching her how she can maintain her own self respect, dignity and stand up for her own defence. 
She needs and deserves more respect. The way she is looked at in our society needs a serious reform. The unwritten rules should be wiped out and there should be gender equality. One should realize that she is made of cells, blood, and flesh that can feel physical pain; she has a sensitive soul, heart which can be bruised by harsh words – this makes her the most beautiful creation of GOD. Let us all treat her with love, dignity, respect which has been due.

A humble request to all Mums :
Teach your sons to respect every WOMAN, teach them to be sensitive towards every WOMAN they come across, teach them to bring in a twinkle of dignity when they see any WOMAN.
A WOMAN is like an ocean with waves of emotions….if tortured, disturbed limitlessly can bring in a tsunami. After all, water in excess acts like a poison. 

P.S: I know that I have only mentioned about Women but with no intention to generalize that all Men are violent causing abuse to Women. The act of bringing balance, reform in the society is only possible with equal contribution by Men


  1. Nice.....but something is missing.....I dont know what is missing.... however the best line from this post is .... "The more you try to suppress them the more stronger they will emerge:.

    1. Thanks Sam for your honest comment. It was a bit hard for me to limit myself. There were so much to write but the space is a limit. I tried to actually focus on the rural and urban scenario to make it look balanced or rather diluted.

    2. I have echoed similar sentiments and agree that like charity respect for women begins at home. A father needs to treat his wife with respect and give her the credit that is her due. A mother must not only teach her son to respect girls and women but emphasise on equal treatment for son and daughter in the family set up. If such values are inculcated violence against women will come down.

    3. Hey Hi and thanks for dropping by. For the change we want to see, we have to be the change ourselves first. A lot of problems in our Indian Society would solve with little change in our attitude, way of upbringing kids. With such strong cultural background and little change, appreciation for good will make India a better place to live in.

  2. Trupti a very nice post, though I feel another form of abuse you might have left out. Emotional abuse or in certain forms, manipulation of thoughts by male is a serious offence. I think the term is gas lighting. They sometimes do it unknowingly but, the manifestations can linger on a woman's psyche forever....

    1. thank you very much Nivedita for liking the post. You said it right and the main reason behind such gas lighting effect is the woman herself. Somehow, over the years Women have had a very high tolerance level which has been manifested wrongly, letting Men say whatever they feel like.So it is important we realize that we are worth everything special, good and respectful