“Rediscovering” women’s rights: The question of beating
what “sane” people do. “Sane” people in relationships with high power imbalance and dependence involving abuse react in strikingly similar ways, be it children, boys or girls, toward abusive relatives, teachers, men or women in violent relationships (although women experience it more often), abusive superior-subordinate relationships in armed forces, especially in the field where both dependence and power rush are on the rise, not to forget captives or hostages toward their kidnapper. They blame themselves way too often, and elevate the wrongdoer. Why it happens – there is tons of psychological literature on that. To say these people are not “sane” is naive, to say the least. Most importantly it is false. These people are perfectly sane, their abuser isn’t. After the abuse, sadly, the victims are not “sane” any more, far too often.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is ramping up its efforts to win over women voters with the formation of an initiative called Agenda Wanita Malaysia (Malaysian Women’s Agenda) this September 13.
This comes on the back of political observers and analysts saying that both the youth and women are the swing voters who will determine who takes Putrajaya, as the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and PR are locked in an almost even tussle for support.
As women make up half of the country’s electorate, the fight for women voters is something the federal opposition is taking very seriously.
Women, stay safe!
Nobody can protect you better than yourself! Trust your instincts and fight back!
It is a sad reflection on our society that women feel unsafe and unprotected not just on deserted roads and car parks, but even in their own homes. Young lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha was attacked and killed by her watchman in what should be the most secure place — her own bedroom! Pallavi’s case has shaken the confidence of the bravest of girls. In the aftermath of the horrific news, a single friend asked in distress, “Does that mean we cannot trust any man?”
I hate to say this, but yes, it does seem like it. Better safe than sorry… or worse. When work and lifestyles dictate that women need to travel alone, live alone and commute alone, how does a woman ensure her own safety?
I think it is important to be prepared for the worst. However dire this may sound, the only way to defend yourself is to take measures against the worst that can happen. Most girls are caught unprepared. Make a note of your most vulnerable moments when you can be overpowered and guard against those.
Trust your womanly instincts about people and situations. Be alert to your surroundings and aware of the first signs of danger. If you feel someone is following you, step into a crowded place. Call a friend or relative to escort you back.
As you get into or out of your car, watch out for anyone lurking around or a single man in the car parked next to yours. Run back to safety if you are suspicious. Always walk confidently, don’t look lost. It is proven that criminals target the lost, scared-looking women. I read advice from a cop that said even if the assailant has a gun, try and get away; there is only 4 in 100 chance that he will be able to get a hit!
Feed in the police control room number or 100 into your speed dial. Also have a friend or relative on speed dial. When in vulnerable spots, keep a pepper spray handy. Spray it into the eyes of an assailant. A perfume bottle or hairspray are good alternatives. Supreme Court lawyer Shilpi Jain urges single women to learn self-defence techniques and apply for licenced pistols, to keep in touch with neighbours and call the police patrol at the first sign of danger. “The law is clear that in self-defence you can attack anybody though you must not harm them more than necessary.”
Politeness could be your undoing. Never open the door to a stranger when alone nor stop to help another in a deserted area. Call the cops instead. When a mechanic or plumber is due home for work, request a neighbour or friend to be present.
Door keys should never be left in obvious places. Once inside, do not leave them next to the main door. This is the mistake Pallavi made. Dress appropriately, as per occasion. Clothes that may seem appropriate inside a bar will look provocative when alone in a deserted area.
Remember we live in a world of sharp contrasts — the haves and the have-nots, the educated and the uneducated, the cultured and the uncultured. To flash wealth or flesh, or to be perceived to be free with your favours, is to tip the balance, and invite trouble!
While reluctant to go into the details of the initiative ahead of the launch, Wanita PKR information chief Ramlah Bee Asiahoo said: “The agenda will focus on the enforcement of law, increasing quality of life, providing opportunity for women to involve themselves in the economy, revamping the educational policy, social harmony and the empowerment of young women.”
Although this sounds very much like political rhetoric, the initiative seems to be more than just talk.
Srikandi PKR chief Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail said they would also head to the ground and host forums as well as ceramahs. “Once Agenda Wanita Malaysia is launched, we will head to the ground starting with rural areas, and then suburban areas and finally target the young working professionals in the cities.readmoreREADMORE http://themalay-chronicle.blogspot.com/2012/08/not-tonightmahathir-not-in-mood.html
“Unbelievable! This is how you greet me? I give you the money for the shopping don’t I? You know what I like to eat, don’t you? Didn’t my mother waste enough time trying to teach you that over the years? My God! I am so close right now to getting angry– you know that would break my fast don’t you? You couldn’t be that stupid! Are you trying to make me lose my fast? You do this on purpose. And if I do get angry, it will be your fault and you will deserve what you get. I guess I’m just too soft, letting you go to the store on your own. You probably spent so much time gossiping with God knows who that you forgot why you were even there. And now you tell me we’re out of cumin? And you are so selfish that you think I will go to the grocery store to cover for your mistake. No! I just got home from work. I need some rest. You’d better shut your complaining mouth and go get it. I have to open my fast soon so you’d better hurry. Can I at least trust you to drive without wrecking the car? And take these whining brats with you so I can get some peace and quiet.”
“Why is it impossible for you to have the iftar ready on time? There are a billion Muslims in the world. You think they are all waiting for twenty minutes after Maghrib before the meal comes? You think I won’t notice you haven’t finished preparing dinner if you try to stall me with a bowl of soup? When you do finally bring the food to the table, you are sweating like some disgusting pig. You must think it is funny that you manage to kill the appetite of a fasting man. I know that Allah must love me, because He sends trials to those He loves, and with you there is rarely ten minutes at a time you don’t offend me. And you know that when a woman offends her husband at night she is cursed until the morning!”
It is true that the devils are locked up during Ramadan, but vitriol can continue to spew from a monstrous and distorted personality with no additional assistance from the devil. And while few of us may have delivered or been on the receiving end of the outrageous comments imagined above, my guess is that even fewer of us have never allowed ourselves a milder variation on at least one or two of them.
The discipline and patience that Ramadan demands of a Muslim places added pressure on those who are angry and abusive towards their spouses in the remaining eleven months of the year. Victims of domestic violence often describe emotional abuse as leaving far deeper scars than the physical beatings. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well” (narrated by Abu Hurayrah in Al-Tirmidhi).
There are thousands of our sisters in the United States who continue, even during the blessed month of Ramadan, to endure something like what I’ve depicted above. Pray for them and make a contribution to those working to rescue these battered women. You can find many of these organizations listed in the resource section of Project Sakinah’s website: www.projectsakinah.org.