Wives beating their husbands with frypans, rolling pins and brooms-these images have given us a good laugh. A friend pointed out if such images were confined to Indian culture and while I believed it otherwise, but  I could not find a single image of wives abusing their husbands. Another friend came to the rescue, and he found a ton of images in other cultures too.

Looking through the images, I realized that cartoons are inspired by real life. Is it true that husbands get thumped too? And while wife-beating is shunned upon, reported (not a whole lot), discussed, husband-abuse is merely chuckled at. 

It is considered physical violence if one person throws things at the other, pushes, pulls, kicks, slap,  and in extreme cases shoots someone with a gun. All the cartoons that you may have seen use one or the other methods to maul, yet husband beating is not considered a grave crime, unless the wife murders the husband.

From LA Times

Partner violence by women is one of the most contentious subjects in social science. The first large-scale study of domestic abuse, the 1975 National Family Violence Survey conducted by the late University of New Hampshire sociologist Murray Straus and his colleague Richard Gelles (now at the University of Pennsylvania), found that similar numbers of women and men admitted to assaulting a spouse or partner in the previous 12 months. The researchers were skeptical initially, assuming most female violence had to be in self-defense, though in many cases the wife was the self-reported sole perpetrator. Later surveys showed that in mutually violent relationships, women were as likely as men to be the aggressors. These findings have been confirmed in more than 200 studies.

Husband-beating may not be as rampant as wife beating, and I think one of the reasons may be because men want to show themselves as powerful, having masculinity. Perhaps men are afraid that if they speak out, they will be considered as weak and swear by the phrase mard ko dard nahi hota.

Click on this quora link – the question asked is what a husband should do if his wife beats him. An answer that surprised me was “slapping” is not really beating. If a husband was slapping his wife, the whole world would have considered that as abuse. Why is it different in the case of men?

Perhaps,  because men carry the burden of the belief – ‘mard ko dard nahi hota.”

My research has led me to believe that men do get beaten and they are afraid to report, because they believe they may be the only one. Don’t suffer alone, find your tribe, take action. Violence is violence and abuse of any kind needs to be stopped.