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Aloysius Phillips

St Aloysius|India

Bless those who have hurt you. Refuse to retaliate. Rest in His love.

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Violent Women and Men

Dec 07, 2013

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Her name, Anagha, in Sanskrit means ‘innocent’. I have never heard of a male equivalent. Men are guilty by gender. Barbarian is a male term. There is an unspoken assumption, a prejudiced perspective among some feminists especially, that men by nature are bloodthirsty, rapacious, violent animals, guilty as hell. All they want is to kill and rape. They are dogs.

In contrast, women are angels, all innocence, sweetness and love. You can bet your belly button on them cornering most of the space in heaven.

If men are by nature like that, can they be blamed? Evolution or God, take your pick, made them that way.

Violent Women

Eleven-year-old Durga migrated to Delhi from backward Jharkhand in India. She desperately wanted to escape the gut-wrenching hunger and deprivation that tortured her family. She started working in the home of a wealthy female medical professional in the capital city. Instead of helping Durga get out of her pain and poverty, the educated doctor took to slapping, shouting, and punishing the girl, making her stand in the hot summer sun for hours. Finally, Durga managed to call her parents, who went to the police, who rescued a bruised and battered Durga[i].

Indian lawmaker Dhananjay Singh from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh is a member of parliament. His doctor wife Jagriti Singh worked in a prestigious Delhi hospital. Both were arrested for allegedly torturing and murdering their maid, and severely beating up another male domestic help called Ramphal.

Ramphal testified that Jagriti (meaning awareness) beat the two of them with an iron rod, sticks, and even with the horns of a dead animal. She branded the genitals of her domestic ‘servants’ with a heated iron rod. The maid died, the man survived.[ii]

High flying woman executive Vandana (worship) Dhir lives a posh lifestyle, and stands charged for brutally torturing her maid, including letting her dogs loose on the victim.[iii]

A young woman in Mumbai had a disagreement with her husband. She took their five-year-old daughter to the terrace on the seventh floor, and threw her down. Then she jumped down herself. Both died, and one man on the ground was paralysed for life, because the woman fell on him, breaking his back.

If that’s not violence, what is?

Universal Experience

Around the world, the stories are the same, only the details may be different. The literature increasingly confirms what common sense and experience reveal, that women are as capable of violence as men. The difference is when men get violent they may do more damage, due to their muscular strength. Given the opportunity and the power, some women tend to overdo the aggression, be it emotional, physical, verbal or legal, just like some men. All shackles are off, ethical, societal, whatever, and there is seemingly unbounded freedom.

Reducing violence to a gender issue is a mockery of justice and truth. Violence is a human issue. People are violent, not because they are male or female, or because of their race or religion, but because it is a tendency of human nature. As someone said, “There’s a Hitler hidden in each of us.” One’s gender socialisation or beliefs may check or encourage the violence which is innate, despite our penchant for denial. For example, we cannot have arbitrary, self-serving abortion laws, and then cry foul at female foeticide. Either all foeticide is wrong, male or female, or all foeticide is right. Otherwise, you may as well throw justice and equality out of the window.

Don’t scandalise dogs or dog lovers by calling all men dogs. Some dogs are bitches.

Radical Prescription

The biblical worldview is that men and women are equally sinful, equally capable of doing wrong. And equally in need of radical transformation and divine help. Socialisation, cultural evolution, and individual predisposition may lie behind people of one or the other gender being more violent than the other. Violence is wrong no matter who does it against whom.

The challenge is to address all violence, instead of blaming and defaming one particular gender, race, or religion. Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, said, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” This applies to individuals and communities, to women and men. And that’s why Jesus taught, “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.”[iv] Tough teaching, but that’s what keeps the blindness away. c

[i] The Hitavada, Nagpur, Sunday, December 1, 2013, page 9, Stop this inhuman behaviour against domestic maids by Aditi Singh.

[ii] ibid

[iii] ibid

[iv] Luke 6.29