I am a vociferous supporter of the #MeToo movement. We women have been silent on harassment and assault for too long. Long enough for the world to think we don’t have a voice. In a society like ours it takes guts for women to speak up. But there is another sort of insidious violence that is seldom discussed. It is often swept under the proverbial carpet. Statistics point at the fact over 30% women face abuse in intimate relationships. No one talks about emotional and mental abuse that women endure in relationships for years together without as much as batting an eyelid.
Our connotation of abuse is often rape, physical assault and harassment. This emotional violence is a rather subliminal sort of violence which no one seems to talk about. Emotional abuse, is defined by the internet as any act in intimate relationships by the partner to denigrate, isolate, or control victims. What is sad is our society seems to endorse and protect this form of abuse. In fact our Cinema and pulp fiction often show emotional abuse as a form of love if you please. I have often heard women around me justify emotional abuse by saying “Oh he gets jealous, he must really care.” “He makes fun of you, only because you matter to him!” There is a thin line between being caring and overprotective. In a society like ours where women are seldom encouraged to develop boundaries in relationships and a healthy sense of self, these lines blur ever so often,
Why are we women always looking for excuses for men’s abominable behaviour? Why do we need to shield them from their own insecurities and demons? That is because we are reared into rescuers. Families even in this day and age believe the way to transform an errant man is to get him married. No one thinks about the woman in the equation, why should she bear the burden of fixing someone? Get help, seek counseling but please don’t tell your son’s marriage is the answer to all their indiscretions.
I so wish we raised our daughters to learn the distinction between love and abuse. They ought to be conditioned to know love shouldn’t be limiting and suffocating. It should in fact give you the proverbial wings to explore unknown dimensions to your personality.
Denigrating someone or running them down is NOT love. It is a form of manipulation of trying to turn a confident woman into a puppet.
Always calling to check where you are is a violation of Space and Not Love.
Name-calling, running you down in front of friends and family and mocking at you because of your physical or mental attributes is definitely not familiarity and love it is downright emotional Atyachar.
What makes us so accepting of and oblivious to emotional manipulations and machinations? Our social conditioning and our need to maintain status quo. Every woman is told, it has always been like this. This is how men are, accept it!
Women you’ve found your spunk and your voice. Don’t let society crush it anymore. Speak up. Raise your voice. Get help, if you are in an abusive relationship. Speak to family, friends, counselors. Flee at the first sign of any intimidation or denigration. Don’t let things get to a pass where your spirit is too crushed to react. Let us extend the #MeToo movement to this subtle perpetration of emotional violence and break the conspiracies of silence.
By Megha Nayar Mathur
Having dabbled in writing, editing and content management, Megha possesses 12 years of industry experience, most of which has been with Fortune 100 IT & Consulting majors. A warrior wife and a doting mother and daughter, she hopes to raise her child to look at the world through lenses of equality and empathy. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, reflecting, travelling and connecting with friends and family.
Disclaimer: Views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the article belongs only to the author and not to the author’s employer, organisation or other group or individual.