Posted: 26 June 2010 at 2:54pm | IP Logged
No. It is wrong to beat your wife. In fact it is wrong to commit an act of violence against any human being (BOCTAE). We ought to respect each other and sort out differences in a reasonable manner.
However, many cultures have had such tendencies. Many people were raised in a culture that raising hands on women and children is alright. Men would be stringent and physical on wives as well as children. Does that mean that anyone who raises hands is intrinsically wrong or evil? Not necessarily.
Over here in the states kids will call cops on parents and teachers if a hand is laid on them. Its called child abuse. However, growing up - I've had a spanking from my parents. My grandma even hit my dad and aunt with a belt. I had teachers who maintained ranks by the ruler raps on the knuckles. Are they terrible abusive people? Are they criminal? Not at all. Many of these people loved their children, had compassion for others but mistakenly believed that physical force is the only way to correct behavior. This is changing now as more and more people realize there are better ways to discipline children.
Unfortunately, when it comes to wives such changes have not picked up quickly. While the position of women has changed rapidly in urban and middle class many parts of society still have archaic attitudes to women and marriages. Not just physical abuse, but marital rape is also prevalent in many people. While in some cases there is no help, I don't think all men who do so are inherently evil either. Many are uneducated and have actually been trained by their own mothers and feminine figures in their lives that such is the way to deal with wives. Some of them actually do care for their wives, but are just plain ignorant.
When such practices prevail, society definitely has to step in and change the way things are being done. Men should be discouraged from such practices with education as well as legal action. Women should be taught that they need not endure abuse for the sake of children or anyone and receive support. I mean help in standing up for themselves and help through intervention to improve family dynamics and prevent future such occurrences. Leaving the husband is the option when the husband indeed is an unrepentent abuser who genuinely has no care for his wife at all and will do what it takes to assert his dominance (as well as special cases of alcoholism and drug abuse - where a woman sometimes has to make the decision to leave someone who may have once been a great husband and father)
That being said, as horrible as it sounds - I think as humans we all have slight violent tendencies. Some people have a harder time controlling their emotions and every now and then they will raise their hand on another. Its not just men, women actually have raised their hand on friends, spouses and significant others too. In fact women who snap are known to be more sadistic. Not to justify violence at all - but sometimes an occasional smack, an angry pull/push/shove, refusing to let go can occur. You have to take everything in context - how often or rare is this? what were the circumstances that caused it? did they truly repent? was there a marked improvement? how do they act otherwise?
No man or woman should ever have to endure abuse or violence. Everyone deserves to be respected in a relationship. However, the slight sign of violence does not mean pack your bags and leave. You have to take it in context. Sometimes relationships can be saved and maybe worth saving too.
I think while physical abuse gets a lot of attention emotional abuse often is so subjective that it flies under the radar. Many people never raise their hands or voice, but are psychologically so condescending and abusive that they break and control people by hurting their spirit rather than their bodies. Spouses as well as children end up mutely compliant, constantly suppressing their own wishes and desires, their own freedom because they simply do not have the motivation or confidence to stand for themselves. You will often see children who will do anything for their parents or spouses who seem perfectly fine with never having a personal/social life because they have been emotionally controlled in such a way. Its a dangerous form of abuse that even the law cannot really catch and fix.