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Forms of abuse not a gender thing


TERRANCE A. JENNINGS

Forms of abuse not a gender thing

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ABUSE IS NOT DONE by male or female, it is by people exercising power over others.

A very sensitive issue, not to belittle it in anyway, but when a young man is killed, many think it is as a result of some involvement in crime. When a young woman is killed – no, murdered – it is a breakdown in society. Gender is to be seen as dynamic, evolving and as roles interchange, very individualised.

Right or wrong, boys are generally expected to be tough, strong and to hide emotions. Girls must be seen as nice, soft-spoken, patient, and cry for attention and sympathy, especially from males.

By puberty, the male is a big man, could pull a trigger, boasts about sex, drugs and alcohol, and has large bills in his hands. The female is a lady, a sex symbol, easily employable and attracting wanted or unwanted attention.

In this modern day and social culture, the male as protector, provider and head of household has been eroded by women’s liberation calls for gender equality, enacted by laws, enforced by police and upheld by the courts with severe penalties and social scorning. The female as nurturer, peacemaker and lover has been woven into [different] roles.

Admittedly, females have been victims of horrific acts of violence in and out of the home, by mostly males who knew, and still know, no better; who were taught, by fathers and mothers, to control through physical violence rather than by persuasion; whose words and education have failed them; who were victims themselves.

Continuing cycle

They may have won some sympathy and are simply continuing the cycle of abuse. Many males got the brunt of licks, beatings within inches of their lives, in defence of mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives and even female strangers . . . .

Good and bad, nice and mad, knows no gender. However, abuse is multi-faceted: verbal, physical, financial, freedom, to name just a few, and primarily acts across and between genders – man beating man, woman bawling at woman.

Verbal abuse surely outranks others and is more commonplace than – while leaving no visible damage like – physical abuse. Financial and freedom abuse are less known and often misunderstood and referred to as respect, where employees or unemployed spouses are made to suffer in silence and do things, mostly non-sexual, against their own will and desire, in fear of money or privileges being withheld.

Much has been said about the bad man, but listen to women plot “to do for him” and wonder which is worse – a bad man or a mad woman?

It is often said that men lie, to get something in or for the short term, and will only apologise to get another benefit, but women can start generational wars and never admit. Power over others, by any means – verbal, physical, financial, freedom of choice, mental tactic – is not limited or belongs to any particular gender.

Understanding human nature and its evolution is the key – as individuals first and then as groups in society – to appreciating how and why gender is nothing but a convenient excuse.

– TERRANCE A. JENNINGS

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