Meena Kandasamy writes about her abusive marriage at Outlook:
And when I tell him that I want to walk out of the marriage, he wishes me success in a career as a prostitute, asks me to specialise in fellating, advices me to use condoms. I shrink and shrivel and shout back and shed a steady stream of tears. He smiles at his success.
I picked this excerpt not because it was salacious; I picked it because it captures the worst of male behaviour–which is precariously close to the average.
Then I happened to glance at the comments section (never a good idea). Most of the comments are supportive–from men and women alike–but as you’d expect with the internet, there are a few different takes:
Niranjan (a fellow commenter), your bias towards the woman in this article shows clearly in your insensitivity to the male version. Please have an open mind, and educate yourself about anti-male politics first.
Thanks to the left leaning media the disease of political correctness has become viral and helped to spread standard clichés – the weak is always the victim and the strong got to be the aggressor ; the rich are always exploiters and the poor, the poor exploited; woman is always right and the man a liar and woman beater ; Upper casters are evil and the dalits are victims and so on – to take deep roots . The generalisation is so intense it is taken for granted that the other side doesn’t deserve to be listened to. But unfortunately the reality lies somewhere in between or can be on any side as the case may be. It’s absolutely foolish to think that these alone are truths. A man can be good and woman can be evil and vice versa also is equally true.
In today’s news there is a story of a woman’s appeal against the divorce granted in a family court which was dismissed on the ground that the woman was unduly cruel when she alleged without evidence that a sexual relation existed between her husband and his mother and her father in law was a womaniser. Imagine the mental trauma of this man who is slapped with an unspeakable slander that he is a mother f****r. Can any man tolerate a woman who accuses him like that? Definitely the man will go into a rage and he may then resort to beating the woman thus falling into the trap. I have known cases of women who enrage their husbands to beat them to gain sympathy and mileage. Equitable law ensures that the rule of law is truly balanced and not influenced by the sex of the individual. No doubt the present legal arrangement is too much in favour of one sex. Time real equality before law is brought in.
In all fairness, I do not know the male version. It is possible that Meena’s husband is the good guy here and she is the evil woman. However, that will not be my null hypothesis–my default position–because of statistics. If someday we reach a point in our society where males are often victimized by false accusations, I might even agree with the above commenters.
But we’re not there yet. So it says something about men and women whose default position is male victimization when there is not evidence of it being statistically significant. It’s bigotry. And yes, misogyny.
With social issues, I tend to believe that death takes care of the problem. The old die and the young bring in their fresh perspectives. How long this transition takes depends on how natural to our psychology a bias is, how long it has lived in society and how many people have the bias.
With misogyny, it’s going to take a while.