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“Has physical abuse become the norm in relationships these days?” Guest Post by #SharonMatanga

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I had the most heartbreaking conversation today and after I gathered my thoughts I decided to vent a little. And what better way than a blog post. For a while I used to feel guilty for being a feminist because in this society of ours, such is frowned upon but today I realised that fighting for equal rights is my calling and God willing in 2015 my dreams can come to fruition. So anyway back to the conversation I had that brought out so much anger in me.

I have a relative (let’s call her Lucy) who has been married for a little over three years. Unfortunately for her, her marriage has been plagued with infidelity from the get go. From the moment Lucy married her husband she discovered he was having numerous affairs. Sometimes she’ll call me to vent her frustrations and she’ll even say she knows of more than 10 women that she knows have had an affair with her husband. As if her husband’s philandering ways weren’t enough, to add insult to injury, on several occasions she has been subjected to physical abuse from her husband when confronted about his extramarital affairs. And in as much as there are indeed times when she has seemed fed up and ready to throw in the towel, she stays and continues to put up with the mistreatment. Anyway, earlier today I was with two other relatives of mine and the conversation turned to Lucy. Lucy’s mum had enough of her daughters unhappy marriage and wanted someone to go talk to her husband to discuss the way forward. Now after my relations were discussing the matter I decided to give my two cents which now I regret doing. I told them I’d like Lucy to leave her husband because it is so clear that her husband doesn’t want to stop sleeping around. I added that for me personally the physical abuse was the last straw and if it were me I would have left long time ago.

Honestly if I had known the backlash that my statements would have gotten I would have kept quiet. One of them who happens to be a woman responded by saying “you think you’ll never get beaten up? Even you your husband will lay his hands on you” and the other the male said “the way you get rude sometimes you think your boyfriend will never get annoyed and slap you. I can guarantee you you’re going to be beaten up with that behaviour”. They proceeded to say that they made a vow “till death do us part” and that I’m only 24 what do I know about marriage and I shouldn’t be commenting on things you know nothing about. At that moment I was in so much disbelief. I couldn’t believe what I was being told by my own relatives. I mean in 2014 are women still expected to go through some sort of abuse from a spouse? Has it become the norm for your spouse to react violently towards you? Are we teaching our sons that it’s okay to lay your hands on a woman? As a woman am I expected to put up with a terrible husband all in the name of vows? All these questions crossed my mind.

I was so appalled I was left speechless. Mind you these are not just random relations. These are people I am actually close to. People that unfortunately before this incident I revered and looked up to. These are people who at one point in my life provided me with a source of comfort and protection. I won’t even lie the moment I got out of the car and was alone I broke into tears. There was so much that was going through my mind. When did it ever become okay to abuse another human being. I wouldn’t wish what Lucy is going through even on my worst enemy. Such atrocious behaviour by any human being should not be tolerated at all. There is absolutely no reason in the world that would make it okay for any man to lay his hands on a woman. It got me thinking. How do we expect men to respect women if even the women themselves think it’s okay to be physically abused. What happened to valuing yourself? Not as a woman but even just a human being period. Why should we be accustomed to the violent oppression? When will it all end? Our society tends to be rather accepting to the men’s immoral behaviour which is rather disheartening. The fact of the matter is HIV/AIDS doesn’t see gender. It shouldn’t be okay for a man to “sleep around” because he is a man. We are only hurting our fathers/brothers/uncles etc. The really sad thing about Lucy is that as we all know there is HIV & AIDS. Her staying with her unfaithful husband will just put her life at risk but people don’t want to think like this. As woman we must know our worth. We are queens and we all deserve to be treated as such. Everyone deserves to be happy and you don’t HAVE to stay in unhappy situations.

WE ARE ALL QUEENS AND ANYONE WHO DOES NOT RECOGNISE THAT DOESN’T DESERVE OUR LOVE.

Made with Square InstaPic (www.studio8apps.com)

Sharon Matanga

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1 Comment

  1. […] a wide variety of subjects (how menstruation matters; maternal health; natural disasters and GBV; normalisation of violence in relationships; and, “Trophy” wives and the objectification of women). EmGender […]

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