Sunday, February 17

V-Day... Stop the Violence 1

With the curent trends and attitudes in modern day Egypt, a very important problem has surfaced that I feel is unacceptable, and attention needs to be brought to that matter.
I am talking of course about violence against women in general, or spouse abuse in particular.
Abuse can be one of 2 types: either emotional or physical. Many factors have promoted this abuse, including te media, misinterpretation of religion, and our mysogynist culture. In older movies, it was not uncommon to see a woman being beaten by a man, and it always shown in a positive light, and the man was always the good guy, because the woman of course deserved it. This led to the acceptance of the concept of domestic violence and abuse, making it appear as a normal every day event, and encouraging people to follow the footsteps of the star in the movie... slowly it became widely acceptable, and mainstream.

Abuse can be one of 2 types, either emotional or physical. Emotional abuse is the least evident form of abuse, yet has the most damaging concequences on the victim. The problem with our society is that it advocates the emotional abuse of women... Girls are taught that they are inferior to boys in childhood. Boys run around as they please, while girls are told, "you are a girl, so you should be quiet".. it is not "natural" for girls to be active or to run around freely or misbehave like boys. As they get older, things only get more difficult and more complicated. Brothers are given control over their sisters, simply because they are males, and therefore should be dominant. They are encouraged to order them around and to monitor their every move... some families go as far as allowing their son to beat their daughter if he feels that she is doing something he does not approve of, or something that may threaten the "family honor". This scenario sets the stage for what is to come later as boys and girls grow to be men and women. In a household, men begin their marriage by trying to establish the fact that they are dominant, every decision that is taken is the man's.. everything the woman does, has to be pre- approved by the man. Family and society encourage him to do that, and tell him he is not a man if he doesnt do that. Some men will force their wives to stay at home. So they are 100% financially dependant on the husband. In return, the wife is expected to attend to her husband's every need. If she doesnt, she is not good enough and needs to be "disciplined" according to the man's standards. And of course according to the way he was raised, "beating" his wife is justified... after all, isn't she the one who didn't have dinner ready on time, or didn't clean the house efficiently enough, or didn't perform a task he asked for in a timely manner? Women are taught that they are nothing without a man.
She does not even have the option of leaving him, which is a right God gave her, but which society has taken away from her. Fanta discussed how women are prevented from seeking a divorce by society here. Some men will even forbid their wives from communicating with their families, and make sure they are totally cut off from all of their friends.... and when these poor women complain, they are told, "you have to obey your is his right to 'protect' you, and women can spoil (yefsedo) each other, so your husband is only protecting you by cutting you off from your life as you have known it before he married you". Now this may look like a fact of life for some people, or a husband being over protective compared to others, but the truth is: this is a very systematic approach to deprive women of everything they have and to gurantee their total submission and dependance on their partners, so they are unable to function in society... which gives people a reason to forbid them from holding positions or being figures of authority...etc.

This scenario is in fact a direct application of the steps of Psycological abuse!!! Here is how:

Based on an adaptation of work from Alice Miller's For Your Own Good and John Bradshaw's Healing the Shame That Binds You

Authority figures (AF)
1. AF's are the masters of dependants.
2. AF's alone decide what is right and wrong
3. They alone make up the definitions, the rules, and the "consequences" (i.e. punishment)
4. Dependants are held responsible for the AF's feelings (anger, disappointment, embarrassment, humiliation, happiness and unhappiness)
5. The AF is only responsible and accountable for good things that happen, never the bad ones. Thus the AF appears to always be right, and when things go wrong the dependant is always blamed and feels responsible and guilty.
6. The AF tries to exercise total control of the dependant by controlling his thoughts, feelings and behavior. Whenever this control is not absolute, the AF feels threatened.
7. The dependant's individuality is minimized as much as possible by the AF.
8. The AF creates an intricate system of punishments and rewards which rob the dependant of any sense of inner direction or esteem.
9. The following freedoms listed by Virginia Satire are denied to the dependant as much as possible:
a) The freedom to perceive b) To think and interpret c) To feel To want, need, and chose
10. The AF never (or rarely) admits mistakes or apologizes.
11. All of the above take place in a way which does not expose the AF's true motives, and none of this is openly talked about. No "back talk" is allowed
Some of the Consequences:
-Mistakes are concealed
-People are under constant stress
-Needs are frustrated, denied
-Fear dominates
-Power is based on fear, not respect
-Information is withheld and distorted
-Information flow is primarily from top down
-Behavior is forced; does not come naturally
-Behavior is not consistent with true feelings, which adds to the stress
-Conflicts and problems are blamed on the dependent's "poor attitudes" and "character flaws."
-All of this tears the dependant person apart, causing self-alienation and even self-loathing. The dependant person loses faith in his/her own mind and feelings with devastating self-esteem consequences.
-Depression, rage, mood swings, co-dependency, self-injury and self-destruction are typical outcomes.
-If the authority figure is a parent, this person will likely develop symptoms of various "disorders" such as the so-called Borderline Personality disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Anoexia, Bulemia etc.

The previous box explains emotional abuse and how it is accomplished, and how it affects the abused person. I copied it from this link

If you read through the points, you will see that we can all agree that points #1,2, and 3 are all systematically carried out in most Egyptian households, and are considered to be traditional values that people should not question. Emotional abuse is mainly having someone depend on you emotionally , financially, socially.. You threaten to leave them or marry someone else if they disobey you.. You cut off ties between them and their friends and family.. You control them financially, then you make them feel that they cannot function in life without you!!!

Point #4 may not be as evident, but it is the one argument used by most Egyptians when they talk to women to see why a husband has cheated on his wife.... For example, if a man cheats, the woman is always told "you are responsible for his bad behaviour... you must have done something wrong, so you were unable to contain him... maybe you are not enough for him... see where you are deficient, and try to fix your flaws, then beg him to come back to you.. maybe if he sees your sincere efforts to correct your faults he will have pitty on you and be yours exclusively"!!! A woman is never encouraged to leave a cheating husband, and of course the welfare of the children is always mentioned as a reason she should tolerate abuse.

On the other hand, if a woman cheats on her husband, then she is a slut and a whore, who does not deserve her husband .. she does not deserve to live .. he is encouraged to throw her out, and never look back.. what she has done is inconceivable and unforgivable. The husband is discouraged from ever forgiving his wife, and to society, she deserves every bad thing that comes her way. The children's welfare in this case is not an issue, since they claim children dont need a mother who cheats on her spouse!! Notice how the man is never at fault.... if he cheats, she is wrong.. If she cheats, she is wrong!!! Men are never wrong in society's twisted logic.
To Be Continued..


Heart of Man Explained said...

I agree with the most of what you said and such behaves are sins not just mistakes

but from the discussion point don't you think that such a raised king have to act as the king he is, if he tasted the bad treatments and suffered seeing the all punishments in his life, this might make him more sensitive and understanding the unfair pain.

what we -men- claim for not accepting the female cheating that she did so because of love, she wouldn't give her body with her will unless she loves or lust, if the man health is fine and his manners are good, who is going to blame us to separate this un-honest woman apart from her children, why didn't she think at first of her children feelings.

and if the man cheats, he is mistaken of-course and needs to be burnt even,at least this what have to be.

he is doing so just to prove his strength and ability to impress women and he is not thinking from his head.

whether men or women are away from their messages in life everything in the life is going to be spoiled.

and if the justice didn't exist so it is a jungle.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Salam Egyptian Feminsit chic,

Your post is as much enjoyable and easy to read as your previous ones. Points just run over smoothly from one line to the next.

I think that what you presented as the features and characteristics of Authority figures are found in all cultures and civilisations throught history. Actually, they, as such, are of the most basic ingredients of civilisation. Take for example, the U.S which has a very opressive politcal system masquerading as an "elitict democracy"- while the Hollywood film and media Juggernaut sell it to the disillusioned global masses as freedom!!!!!

على باب الله said...

you know what .. even the slightest thing as ( the woman's name ) isn't allowed to be told in public

we witness on daily basis a man calling his wife/mother/sis, or daughter ... by calling a man's name

usually his name ..

and i really donno why ?

what's the point ?


no good reason but the concept precipitated through the years in his mind .. that women

as body and figure and even name

are a tabu belongs to be suppressed

looked down at , and abused if tried to rebel


egy anatomist said...

EFC Hanem

Wonderful post. The most amazing thing about is that its conciseness and clarity.

I'd also praise the visual effects in the post. The pictures are really attractive.

Actually you are very true in ur analysis. The problem in the way in which change can occure.

Waiting the other parts.


raaasa said...

EFC, excellent thought-provoking post.

I was going to write a response a few days ago, but was so angry that I was going to rant and ramble and take up way too much space, so I stopped myself.

The point that strikes me, and you have summed it up quite accurately, is a woman cannot win in a relationship--and here, by winning I mean maintain her sanity in a marriage by being involved and engaged and having some say in her marriage. If the man abuses her and/or cheats, it is because she is not good enough in one of the million ways that she is judged. And then, there is a whole series of strongly biased justifications: she is a sharmouta, she has been spoiled by her parents/ by her husband--too much freedom, she is not religious enough, and so on. Ridiculous.

As Anatomist rightly noted, what is the solution? This nonsense is endless and so firmly embedded in the nation's consciousness, it is difficult to know where to start.
Obviously, the law is a good beginning--quite the challenge. Similarly, women have sought protection and justification in religion--some time ago, I posted a link about an American-Iranian woman translating and interpreting the Quran(--yes, Amre, I know she is a Shiite).
Then, some large scale propaganda provoking thought in the masses might stimulate things somewhat--and we've spoken of such things before.

I would love to say that we can make progress through discussion and so on, but the truth is that in most cases, women are expected to just lie down and die after marriage--stop having any opinions, any needs, any desires.
I must agree with Fanta that radical action is going to be the only way to change. The very beginning to this is for women to stand up and so "no, this is unacceptable." Of course, in order for this to be an option for women, they must have other choices provided by education, work, family support, and so on.

(somewhat related--I came across a recent post on the Hapsetshut blog that claimed that western feminists were insisting that women suffering spousal abuse go to the police. The blog person questioned what kind of family structure and society Egypt would have if women did this. hmmmm. don't get me started.)


Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Raaasa,

Come on I am sure that you know very well how secular I am. I have no problems with shiites at all. On the contrary, I do identify with some of their spiritual tendencies. I am only cracking down on Iran's manipulation of shiism to hide its horrendous crimes in Iraq matched only by Hitler's holocaust.

Also I vehemntly oppose the polticisation of shiisim as it only churns out the most retarded and fundamental ideologies and primitve sentiments- much as I resent the wahaby monpoly on Islamic truth

Fantasia said...

dear EFC,
brilliant as usual. do i need to say it every time? you held the roots of violence in your hands and showed them to us all. we should reap those poisonous fruits as long as we continue to turn a deaf ear to the cries of the victims while we shake hands with the criminals. not only so, but we work so hard in making excuses and justifying all these acts. and of course how can we forget the new islam we are witnessing nowadays that aims to spread violence and justify it? we are drifting away from what religions are all about in favour of a bunch of maniacs who enforce their distorted reading of Islam on us.

shame on silence. shame on vulnerability.

اجندا حمرا said...

my dearest fantasia

sorry for being late in commenting on your post

a very important topic u r writing about my dear

i think fantasia violence against women results from lack of love,respect

i cant imagine someone loving his partner and respecting her to be violent with her
how comes?

violence with his partner will lead to her frustration ,crying
how can someone love his partner and has the ability to see her crying

thank u for the impressive issue my dear

my best regards to you

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear EFC,
Excellent topic. I guess when important factor is self esteem of the man. The old story,
أسد علي و في الحروب نعامة
The contrary Omar ibn Abdel-Aziz told about his uncle Abul-Malik ibn Marwan saying,
رحم الله عبد الملك ، كان أسدا في مجلسه فاذا عاد إلينا نحن لآل بيته يخفض لنا جناح الذل من الرحمة

When a man has a shaking status in his public life, he starts to enjoy being dominant in his personal one, beating is a symbtom of that I believe. The social roles encourage and facilitate it but does not cause it. Another factor could be also problems in his sexual health. While in our society manhood is linked to sexual perofrmance he might try to be violent in a compensatory mechanism. Best Regards

Dr. Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear EFC,
Excellent topic. I guess when important factor is self esteem of the man. The old story,
أسد علي و في الحروب نعامة
The contrary Omar ibn Abdel-Aziz told about his uncle Abul-Malik ibn Marwan saying,
رحم الله عبد الملك ، كان أسدا في مجلسه فاذا عاد إلينا نحن لآل بيته يخفض لنا جناح الذل من الرحمة

When a man has a shaking status in his public life, he starts to enjoy being dominant in his personal one, beating is a symbtom of that I believe. The social roles encourage and facilitate it but does not cause it. Another factor could be also problems in his sexual health. While in our society manhood is linked to sexual perofrmance he might try to be violent in a compensatory mechanism. Best Regards

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Dear Friends,

I have been away forsome time so was not able to respond to comments, so I am sorry if my responses are a little late :)

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Dear Heart of Man,

I agree with you, much of this has to do with wrong upbringing by men's families, but this has turned into a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself, and there is no way to stop it if men dont think for themselves and stop being selfish. I am sure many men are lke that, but the majority are not. This is where we come in.... what we need to do is try to change public perception to the way men and women are treated.We are fighting for equalty.

I am not advocating cheating by women at all.... I think cheating is wrong and unexcusable. My main objective is to say that it is just as unacceptable for men as it is for women. When society blames women for men's infidelity, they are promoting women's abuse. I believe that men should be held accountable for their actions. If men are never responsible, then they will be more lkely to cheat, because they know they will not be accountable and there are no consequences. I am not saying that anyone who cheats should get a divorce... this is a purely personal decision. Any man or woman needs to assess his/her situation and decide what is best for his/her individual situation, without society pressuring them in any certain direction that would devastate their lives.

What i disagree with is that no, a cheating man does not show he is strong or able, and people need to learn is that this is not an excuse.... a cheating man is hurtful, and destructive to an entire family and abusive to his wife, and a bad rolemodel for his children, and untrustworthy in general. Cheating is a cowardly act, and only a weak coward will not be brave enough to control himself, or confront his wife and family regarding any prpblems they are having, but he would rather burry his head in the sand and look for another woman to sleep with either to spite his wife, or to prove to himself that even though he is a coward, someone else might forgive him.

however, you are right, without justice, life would be a jungle... I think in time we will get to thelevel of civilization we are fighting for. Thanks for your valuable comment!!

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Dear Amre,

Thanks for coming by. I am glad you like the post.

you have an interesting point of view, but realy I was only thinking of family units in Egypt, and applying this on a global perspective was never my intention.

However you are right, this is what authority figures usually do, except in this case this is a family with 2 authorty figures. one a man, and the other a woman. they are both educated, and they are both intellectual. both can make decisions and think rationally. both can raise the childen and teach them right from wrong. It would be grossly unfair to make one of them " the boss" solely based on the presence or absence of a penis. Family life is not a war that needs to be dominated by one of the partners who will opress the other. It is about working together in harmony and complementing each other. Spouse abuse needs to be cut out of the equation entirely, and men feeling that they are either dominating or obsolete needs to be changed.

Sometimes I feel that abusive spouses are that way out of fear. They are afraid of being overshadowed or of being abused themselves, so they do this as some sort of a " preemptive strike" to break the woman before she even has the chance to think of how she wants her marital lfe to be.

It is all about education. These men are taught to be this way. If we change attitudes, hopefully future generations will not have the same problems.

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

3ala bab allah,

thank you so much for dropping by. you make a very valid point!!! I have actually noticed this phenomenon, and even asked my parents why do people not call a woman by her name in public!!! their response?? 3eeb!! nothing more. when i pressured for more details, their only response was people can call her names!! which is the most rediculous thing my parents ever told me since my next question was... so it is okay to call men names but not okay to call women? besides why would total strangers suddenly decide to call a woman names simply because they know her name? ITs one of those things that make a kid think... there is more to this matter than what parents are willing to share with their kids!!

In a way my parents were doing their role in society to completely brainwash everyone into believeing the same baseless biased ideas.

I think that most of this ismore of a "conditioned reflex" kind of like pavlov's dogs...

if someone doesnt know about pavlov's dogs, the story is that pavlov was a scientist who was experimenting with dogs. What he di is that every day he rang a bell at lunch time, then brought food for the dogs. Every time the dogs saw their food they would salivate. After a while he discoverd that the dogs started salivating simply because they hear the bell, whether they receive food or not...
so this is a conditioned reflex... or a learned reflex if you will... ordnary dogs that have not been conditioned do not salivate if they hear a bell.

the same applies to people. Society teaches a woman's name is wrong!!! if you hear her name in public, it is an open invitation to insult her or abuse her... men need to protect their egos, by avoidng saying the shameful thing that is a womans name... so in turn all of society is taught that a woman's name is wrong!!! the same can be applied to hegab.. and other social restrictions applied to women!! In a way, society is now conditioned to believe so many false baseless claims... current socielty is the "pavlov's dogs" verson of opression of women.

The good news is since they can learn it, they can also unlearn it!!! there is hope. We will not be like this forever if we all put up a fight!

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Egy anatomist,
thank you for your lovely comment!! I guess people are conditioned to be the way they are now... so i believe deconditioning them is the answer... they need to be conditioned into believing that violence against women is bad, and that opression is not acceptable and that women are equalpartners in life and not subordinates. I think the more we talk and the mor people listen, the more likely they are to change their opinion and to believe the most reasonable thought processes. the problem with recent society is that the same opressive attitudes have been repeated for so long that people have been totally brainwashed and there has been o counter movement...
an example of this is hegab. whe i lived in cairo, everyone was saying hegab is good, women need to wear it, it isa positive thig..etc. plus all the peer pressure that goes along with that. There was no counter argument. everyone who thought of opposing was attacked and so people just stopped arguing to avoid the hassle.... i have never ever hardanyone say hegab is not a requirement. no one ever voiced that opinion. when i questioned the validity, i was attacked by everyone in sight. i felt that i was the only one who thought this way..... until i found the online blogs that actually suppported what i said and agreed to it.... what i amtrying to say is both sides of the argument are not heard.... inthe case of violence against women.... we all heara man is superior, a wife ha to be submissive and a man can beat her and he is good when he does it.... there is no anti violence movement... nada nothing zilch... when was the last time anyone saw a movie that was anti violence? how of ten is this even discussed in the media??

now almost everyone has access to the internet, and most people especially younger ones will read blogs... so we may influence younger generations so in the future people will be better... they will see both sides of the argument and they will make up their own mind... hopefully choosing the right path and being moe responsible for their actions. eventually our society will change, and people will be conditioned into being better, and more respectful of each other.

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Dear Raaasa,

Thank you for your comment. I guess we are all doing what i believe the answer should be.. spreading the word!! i have just discussed this in response to egy anatomist's comment. I guess it is not as adical as you would like, but realy in a society so intrenched in archaic ideas,and after more than 30 years of constant nagging in the wrong direction, we need to prepare society for radical change, or we will be viewed as anti society and anti morality, and we will lose all support from he masses. Of course you know the radicalization of egypt didnt happen over night... it happened slowly, and persistantly, one citizen at a time!!! and for some reason this constant brainwashing accompanied by a bad economic environment pushed all of our country in this direction. I believe we can follow the exact method until we have more supporters of our way of thinking before any radical change can be made!! As for the current economy, there is little any one can do other than do their best at their job and fight corruption, but when it comes to opressive attitudes and ways of life, we can do a whole lot of good. We also need open minded media that shows progress in a positive light and fights all these is th most pwerful tool ever... and if we dont have tv at our disposal, the second best is the internet... and we are all here doing ur part :) so have hope dear... you will see , things will get better!

Regarding women calling the police in case of violence... I actually like the idea, i believe it provides alot of support for thewomen in the west, and it protects them, becaus abusive men will think a millon timesbefore they beat a woman... they know there will be consequences, so althouh violence is still present, it is not without repercussions and women can fight back because the law is on their side!!!

the big question is, can this be applied in egypt??? and unfortunatly my answer is that i am not so sure. Why?? because the men in our police force are the same as the ones in our society sujected to the same brainwashing and have the same opressive attitudes.... until recently the egyptoian lawhad the "ta3a" ordinance where a police officer ca go garrest your wife and bring her home if she decides she wants to leave you!! i have always thought about this as th most humiliating privacy invading law ever!!! how can you force someone to be somewhere they dont want to be when this woman clearly did not commit a crime??? it was unacceptable, and i am glad this law no longer exists.... however it will show you just how our lawmakers and police force think....

first of all we dont have the whole "call 911" system.,.. you cant just call the police an expect them to come over in a couple of minutes... they wont answer the phone, and if they o, they wont takeou seriously. you have to go to the plice station in person... and with cairo traffic for example, i doubt that any police officer can go to a house fast enough to stop a woman being beaten by her husband. so this leaves us with a badly bruised woman going to a police station along with criminals and drug dealers... she will notget sympathy rom the 3askary or sol who is there to meet incoming civilians... he may or may not direct her tyo the police officer... but not without a little disrespect and arcasm first... then comesthe officer, who may or may not be supportive.... there i no rule that says all officers have to be nice to civilians... they all start by asking whatb you do for a living , and if they see that you aren not well connected or well educated, you more likely to be insulted and abused rather than helped. and if by chance you run into a nice repectful officer,there i realy little he can do.... he will ask you to go see a doctor and get a report... and if the report says you have been injured and it will require ( i am not sure of the exact number) more than 3 days to heal, then you can make a police report against your husband and take it to court... which can take years to resolve... i guess it can be used as evidence in case of a divorce lawsuit, but other than that it has no value, and lets not etinto the corruptionin some courts where if yor husband is connected enough or rich enough he can always have your law suit documents "lost"... so it is one big headache that i dont think will help prevent battered spouses at all with the current environment in egypt..

the other thing batterred women need is a place to stay where they will be protected from an abusive husband. Some women work and can take care of themselves, but a lot dont work, and will not have immediate family willing to accomodate them for a long time... in other countries this problem is solved by women's shelters... which are run by not for profit organizations, and get a lot of community support and donations. I have personally worked with these organizations so i know just how much they can do, and what they offer. In my experience, the shelter provided food, and and an apartment for every woman and her children. she was given a monthly allowance for food, and all of her bills were paid for her. they paid for her eduation if she is in school, and sent her children to day care or school. they each had a phone, computer with internet access, and all medical expenses were paid as well. each one is given a car, and if one is not available, they pay for all of her public transportation until a car can be given to her. they then helped get a her job, and when they guarantee the woman can support herself and her kids, they help her find an apartment of her own... they also provide lawyers to work for her divorce lawsuits, and any other law suits she may have dealing with her husband or the people who abuse her... they provide her with a social worker who will make sure her needs are met, and they pay for therapy to ghelp her recover from the abusive relationship and regain her self esteem so she can reenter society andfunction well with others.

An organization like this will need a lot of funding.... and this funding will never come from the government, although the government here supports them by exempting them from paying taxes!! also people have to support this kind of shelter both financially and via media and just acepting that they are good places working for a worthy cause. Also, eployees will be needed,and these people can be either volunteers, or they can be hired and their salaries are paid by funding from the community.

the other concern in egypt is that a lot of people will feel it is not socially acceptable to turn to such a shelter, and immediate family will always try to pressure the woman into remainingwoith an abusive husband rather than go live on her own in a shelter. just so that the immediate famiy will feel better about themselves and will look good infront of aquaintances... of course the woman's well being will not be a concern as usual.

there are so many drastic changes that need to be done, but they all depend on one thing.... Egyptian people's support. Blogging here is only the beginning... like i said before... the more support we have the easier it will be to establish these ideas and to help women in abusive relationships.. so no... right now having women go to the police may be a good option but it cannot be done on a mass scale, and it will not provide the required support...yet. it will in the future though... but needs a lot of preparation in order for it to be efective.

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

my dearest fanta,

it is people like you who give me hope and make me feel like we will have a better future. I agree with everything you said. I am so glad to have you as a friend :)

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Dear Agenda,

Thank you for commenting on my post. Actually Fantasia and I are 2 different people, but she is nice enough to let me post on her blog.

I agree with what you said completely. But you know what I think he problem is?? Most marriages in Egypt are arranged, where there is no love in the relationship. Young women are encouraged to just get married to someone her family believes is financially stable and has a good future and comes from a good family... Most young people in love never get married for financial reasons, and a lot of times families will refuse a young man's proposal just because he is young and cannot afford the most expensive apartment..shabka...etc. on the groom' side, some mothers are overly controlling and will oppose a young man's choice and will not agree to help finance his marriage unless he marries a woman of his mother's choosing.this results in people hurrying into marriages where they hardly know their significant other ( fanta talked about this so well in a previous post), and harbor a lot of resentment towards their new spouse. it is very likely that a lot of people will not be madly in love with their spouses, but will live with them nevertheless because they just want life to go on. in a situation like this ,any problem that happens ( and problems do happen)can make a spouse so frustrated, that he may take it all out on his wife, thus resulting in her beating, as the man tries to vent his pent up frustraion.

you are right people who love each other will not be abusive... in most cases.

on the other hand, there is another scenario to this madness..... some kids ae raised in families that have abusive relationships... if a boy grows up in a household where he is constantly seeing his father hitting his mother, he will hate his father and have emotional and psycological problems ( which of course will not be treated since seeing a psychiatrist is taboo in our ignorant society) this boy will grow up to be a man and will get married, and during the first problem he has with his wife, he will notice that he cannot control his temper nand will involuntarily get into a rage and physically assault his wife!!! and he will not be happy about it, and will regret it and try to stop, but most cannot... it is a problem that needs proffessional help. this is why it is best to treat children in families where abuse happens when they are young, and this is why we need to help wome leave abusive husbands, because it is damaging to the children as well as the mother... in a way , staying in an abusive relationship for the children does the oposite of what the poor woman wants... it actually harms her kids rather than help them!!

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

thank you for your vauable comment. You are 100% right in what you said. sexual prolems and impotence are a huge factor, but these men tend to be angry and will yell and fight a lot with their wives simply to compensate for what they perceive as a decline in their manhood.still most will not physically assault their wives, especially if beating your wife is not perceived as being more of man. it has a lot to do with self esteem. while i agree with you about most wife abusers have low self esteem, i disagree with you in that anyone with low self esteem will hit his wife... I think low self esteem is a contributing factor in a person who is already predisposd to a problem, because of all the factors i mentioned above and in the post. I still believe the key to correcting this problem is correcting society... so even people with low self steem and with other emotional /physical problems will not even think of hitting their spouses. The idea that beating a woman makes you more of a man needs to be abolished because it only encourages violence attributed to a contitioned phenomenon that people learn but are not born with.

raaasa said...

Dear EFC,

Thank you so much for your detailed response to my earlier comment. Certainly there are a great many impediments at this point.

One thing I'd like to mention is that with regard to calling the police in the west in the case of domestic assault. If the police come and clearly the husband (or brother or father) had been assaulting a woman, the police automatically press charges against the man. This is important because it is understood that it is difficult for the woman to legally confront the man--ie. publicly and legally accusing him. Often, this would just make her home situation worse. Again, this requires a huge attitude shift in the minds of police--this may take a while in Egypt. Also, as you mentioned, there needs to be an extended support network available for women too to enable this, shelters, counselling, housing, job-(re)training, and so on.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde