Thursday, July 30, 2009

women and battery.

Emotional abuse is perhaps the most common form of abuse that women suffer from and yet, we wouldn't even acknowledge that it is there. That it is real. That our own partners are sometimes doing it to us. We think that it is normal that our spouses sometimes lose their temper, insults, tease, and/or isolate us. Or is it really? Normal, that is.

In Dutch society, it is quite normal for women to talk straightforwardly (to the extent of being abusive) to their partners. This kind of behaviour is equated with "emancipatie" (emancipation). If you talk rough, you are stoer (tough). If you are tough, you are emancipated.

And so, some Western women have this idea that Western men who marry Eastern women are weak and weaklings. They can't handle the liberated Western woman, therefore they have to find a subservient wife that they can boss around. And where do you find these women? In what they call, " Third world countries" where women seem desperate to get out of their miserable state.

To some extent, this is probably true. I observe western men married to Filipinas to be more manipulative, controlling, aggressive, even insulting sometimes. There are Western husbands who do not allow their Eastern wives to take care of the finances at home. They have to ask for allowance from their husbands. And they have curfews!

There are also those men who blame, terrorize, and demand. Whether intentional or not, this kind of behaviour leads to repeated incidents so that verbal harassment becomes "normal."

As years go by, the abuses become more severe, destroying the very core of a person... her self-image... her self-esteem.... her self-confidence. These women begin to feel insignificant, unlovable, unworthy, and they think that they deserve to be punished and blamed whenever something goes wrong. Some even suffer from panic attacks.

Indeed, how do we counter the negative messages that we receive almost everyday? How do we protect ourselves emotionally from our abusive partners? How do we minimize the impact of the abuse if we are subjected to constant yelling, intimidation, criticism, and being ignored most of the time? We can turn the other cheek or accept defeat or interrupt the flow of painful thoughts by being kind to ourselves, BUT at the end of the day, we know that we are too exposed to the abusive person to even hide or run.

As educated as we are, our logic dictates that we deserve to be treated well. We know that a disregard for one's feeling has a deep and profound effect on that person. But what do you do when you are trapped in this kind of relationship?

I wish I knew.


Jesusa said...

this is heavy stuff but so true.

Droomvla said...

Wara lang baya ako masurat. HAHAHAHAHA Pero, amo talaga. Realidad siya sin damo na mga babaye. Lain lang an intermarriages. Maski diin, damo sin irog sadi na mga incidents.

cherie said...

i second the motion nindo na duwa...