Monday, March 2, 2015

Manic Monday Musings

So I know everyone is buzzing with Fifty Shades of Grey. And I'm not here to condemn or support it, I'm here simply with an observation.

I read this article about domestic violence in Cambodia, I encourage you to read it also.  It struck me what a cultural gap there is between us. The women in Cambodia have virtually no recourse when they are abused by their husbands.
First of all, in Cambodia it's not violence until somebody bleeds. That means that when the woman in this article got hit over the head with the blunt end of a machete she was not being abused, but when he chopped her fingers off with it, it finally became a crime. WOW!

Second of all, the laws are designed to preserve the family, not the woman's life. If a woman is abused, and actually reports it because many don't, she has to submit to mediation three times before the court will even consider divorce. Combine that with the fact that 45% of the authorities considered it to be okay for a man to beat his wife if she deserved it and that 42% of wives accepted being drunk as a excuse for abuse and you end up with a culture that accepts the regular abuse of woman. WOW!

Finally, because of the culture in Cambodia, when a man does actually go to jail or prison for abusing his wife she loses all her income. Cambodia is a culture where the women don't work, can't work for a living wage and when you remove the provider because he is abusing his wife she loses her security, home, food, everything. She and her children become homeless. So she is encouraged to not press charges, or to retract them if she does in order to survive.
Now let's compare this to America where women are tweeting that they are “looking for their Mr Grey.”  American women are fantasizing and asking to be tied up and, essentially, abused.  What a difference. I'm not judging anyone who desires this, or finds it erotic, it takes all types, I'm simply thankful that I live in a culture where I can make the choice.

I'm thankful that I live in a culture where I could leave my husband if he wasn't treating me the way I wanted to be treated. Where I could earn a living and support my children, albeit maybe not as well as he has but I could. Where if I call the police because my husband came after me with a machete they wouldn't shrug and wonder what I was making a fuss over.

I know there is a lot wrong with our culture, we still have racism and inequality, and homeless people and poverty,and on and on but there is a lot right with it also.
Virginia Slims, if you are old enough to remember them, used a slogan for a while, “You've come a long way, baby.”  I agree we have. And we need to keep pressing forward because this is not a sprint it is a marathon and we have many laps to go. It is our example that will encourage others to step up and do the right thing, lets remember that.


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