The piece below is a man's journey to redemption.
I finally stopped beating my wife just last weekend. And I vowed never to touch her again. The reason for this paradigm shift is what I want to share in this article.
In the few years that I've been married, I have often come to the tipping point of giving my wife a thorough beating. I have often been tempted to end a heated dispute with a deafening slap. Sometimes I threaten her with physical abuse (Don't lie, you've been there too). In all these cases, I have only succeeded (or is it failed?) once in punching her arm. An incident that I deeply regret till today. I'm not sure if I felt sorry for hitting her or disgrace and disgust at myself for having stooped so low.
My wife is a very strong woman and you'd have to really be in control to convince her on many issues. Let's just say she has her own voice and refuses to be silenced for no good reason. This attribute is very rare in my society for ladies. I was brought up in a society that promotes male superiority over the woman. I belong to a religion that relegates the female folk on all possible fronts to background responsibilities. I enjoy the privilege of knowing that I can get away with almost anything I do to my wife in this society. Even her folks would accommodate many of my excesses should I choose to subject her to such. So little wonder that I feel so much venom when she does not succumb to my whims and wishes as often as I want her to.
However, being the type of person that self scrutinizes often, I decided to investigate the root of my disposition by asking these questions:
1. The rage I feel when my wife challenges me on certain issues - is it nature or was I nurtured to feel that rage? If my younger brother or friend (emphasis on younger male), who's taller, bigger and obviously stronger than me, were to challenge me on same issues will I feel the same rage? If I do, will it be to same extent? Will I be as condescending in my reproach of fellow males as I am of my wife?
2. If I married Ronda Rousey, the MMA champion, will I feel the same rage as I do towards the woman I married? - knowing that Ronda will kick my ass will calm me down considerably I'm sure.
3. What if I ended up with a soldier wife who's well trained in all combat situations and can physically defend herself? Will I ever raise my hands on her or ever think of striking her?
The answer to the questions above is quite obvious. Evidently my position of authority will be greatly hampered should I find myself in any of these situations. That begs the question - can wife battery be justified in any guise? I think every man who has thought about beating his wife is guilty of wife battery because only a coward man hits or thinks of hitting a woman (especially one that can't defend herself physically). This warped ideology in itself is the problem with my society - the misrepresentation of cowardice for authority.
In southwest Nigeria, women are taught absolute submission from the tender age of 5. It is almost as if marriage is a trophy to be achieved in this lifetime and making that marriage work is her ultimate goal in life. Men on the other hand, are prepped with endless doses of superiority complex pills right from boyhood to the extent that they assume this demi-god mentality and inevitably often act with impunity towards the wife.
It is this superiority complex that I seek to address here. I am a firm believer in spanking or flogging children as a form of reproach. I was often spanked and I turned out pretty fine. But spanking an adult? Naaaa! Not done. Should never be done. The thing about beating a woman is that you are announcing that she is a child. If she is truly a child then you the man should be charged with pedophilia for marrying a minor. She is not a minor. That she is your wife already confirms her adulthood because only adults concede to marriage. If you have ever as much as thought of hitting a woman, you are guilty of wife battery because it all starts in the mind. Only a question of time before it is made manifest. Men should think of women as adults and that may just help a bit.
I would like to make clear here that most movements that advocate against domestic violence are getting their tactics wrong. The fight should be taken to the root of the problem - society and religion. We the people must stop feeding men with these superiority mentality and must start to encourage the females to self identify early in life. When a woman understands herself and loves herself she can better identify a life partner that she naturally connects with. She should not be a servant wife but a partner wife who understands that she has rights just as the man.
I have since stopped "beating" my wife and realized that loving her gets her to do the things I want faster and better than before. I am happier and healthier. Above all these I am finally free of the many thoughts of battery because each time it crosses my mind I think of her as Ronda...lol.
(CAVEAT: A woman that hits a man and gets an as whooping is guilty of beating an adult and self defence on the part of the man is a good excuse.)
*This piece was written with permission of the couple involved*
SPARK! Let's change it.