There has been a lot of buzz around domestic violence in recent times. Violence is a horrible thing, and it is worse when it is inflicted on you by someone you profess to love and who professes to love you too. It does not matter who carries out the violence. It does not matter what their gender is. It does not matter their status. In my opinion, violence is not a gender issue. It is a bad behaviour issue, and it needs to be addressed as such. A lot of things we tag gender (or women) issues are in reality not gender-based at all.
In my experience, every time women have had the same opportunities as men, they have acted the same way (and sometimes worse) than men have been known to act – in whatever ratios, that is. It is human nature (not male nature) to be self-centred and selfish and take advantage of others where possible. It has nothing to do with gender.
Women who are bigger and stronger than their husbands have perpetuated violence against those men as bad as the average man has perpetuated violence against women. Also, women who have attained greater economic power than men have been as ruthless with it as men have been. Do you see the pattern? There are good people and there are bad people. Simple. It is not a gender issue. It is just a question of the flawed human nature.
But you see, it is more sensational to tag these things gender issues. Us versus them. The good guys (women) versus the bad guys (men). Patriarchy versus feminism.
This is a good time to drop this too: millions of women exist over time who embrace patriarchy and swear that their patriarch men are the most loving, most caring and most just people that ever existed. Those women swear that they would marry them again and again. And there are feminist men who swear by their grandfathers’ beards that their feminist wives are the worst things to happen to their lives. Patriarchy is not the problem; the abuse of patriarchy is. And feminism isn’t the solution to the problem either, for we see how feminism continues to be abused too. In fact, it is so abused and so often disfigured that very often, many sane, intelligent, caring people despise it.
There are now different definitions of patriarchy and feminism, skewed to each person’s tastes and conveniences. Meanwhile, if we had addressed these issues as bad behaviour, things would never have gotten this complicated, for bad behaviour is pretty much clear to everyone. or maybe even that too is no longer so clear, for everyone claims to be who they are and loving it – even if who they are is trash. Sigh. But that’s an essay for another day.
As said, the lazy approach is to draw a gender line and tag certain things as gender issues (men versus women). It is easier to make it about us versus them. But that is simplistic. It is easier to tag bad behaviour as misogynistic. It glosses over the real issues: bad behaviour by whoever. Meanwhile, the real gender issues hardly ever get addressed. I hate the gender wars. We are here and designed to live in harmony, not a gender face off against one another in bitter wars that clearly will have no end.
Domestic violence should be stripped of its gender tag. There are women who cry out against men hitting women, but who freely hit at men or keep silent when a woman hits a man. It is an unjust scale. It will create only more problems. That is what happens when we tag bad behaviour with gender. The fight for justice must be balanced and fair or we shall end up in anarchy.