Violence Against Women is a Choice, Not Genetically Mandatory
In 2006 I was subjected to physical and psychological torture for several hours by my boyfriend at the time, which included be kicked in the ground and receive a "shower" of bleach on my skin. The episode, triggered by my boyfriend personal insecurities, was reported to the police. On that occasion, my boyfriend said he "did not know what he was doing." However, a review of his life history showed he knew perfectly what he was doing, because he has learned it at home: His father showed the same kind of "consideration" to this wife and my boyfriend, being a child, had been taught that to terrorize women were the fast track to "educate" them, "gain respect" and prevent cheating.
Number shows that at least the 70% of women in the world are victim of some kind of gender violence during their lives. Home is still the most dangerous place for a woman to be, because the high ocurrence of domestic violence and the cover of silence on this problem that encourages its reproduction. As a woman, muslim and feminist I want to take a stand in my behalf and in the other women who have been victim of gender violence against shameful speeches that pretends to invisibilize this epidemia by reinforcing the idea that is a normal element in relationships and, at the same time, counteract the struggle of Muslim women and all women around the world for their rights; what is exactly the article of Qasim rashid "The Islamic Solution to Stop Domestic Violence" published in the Huffington Post
There are some points about the article of Qasim Rashid that make me worry a lot.
The author says “men are far more prone to violence and far less capable of self-restraint than women”. This statement suggests there is a biological predisposition in men to violence. To support this, the author cites the opinion of a scholar. Only one; Mr. Rashid doesn’t mention in his article what kind of study was this, where and how was held, which are the characteristic of the people under the study and he doesn’t mention other related studies in the same field. I can mention one too that maybe Mr. Rashid doesn't know: In 1986, a group of eminent behavioral scientists met in Seville, Spain, to discuss the roots of human aggression and they concluded that there is no scientific basis for the belief that humans are naturally aggressive.
But this is not the point. The point is that even if tons of studies tell us that violence against women is inherent to the male DNA, that does not justify it or make it acceptable. Even if this behavior is universal and we are living in a global culture of violence and subjugation against women, we cannot automatically conclude this is part of our biological nature. All known cultures may produce pottery, but that doesn’t mean there is a gene for pottery making. So any attempt to justify it is frankly a disgrace and an insult to our intelligence.
If men have a biological predisposition to beat women .. women should have biological predispocisión to bear domestic violence? Qasim Rashid's analysis on the controversial verse 4:34 of the Qur'an is a dismissing of the agency of women on our life and integrity and an rude apology of inequality. He starts stressing inequality between men and women, of course favoring the privileges of his gender; then he fills his mouth with endless considerations on how women can avoid be beaten for men, considering we women - never men- are always the ones to blame for having "initially and deliberately undermined or attempted to destroy the family".
I think Mr. Qasim Rashid forgot that the Q'uran explicitly states the equality and dignity between men and women making them partners under the concepts of Shura ( advice) and Wilayat (partnership) stating that the only difference between people is their level of piety. (See verses 49:13; 3:193; 97:16; 124:4; 42:38 and the work of Dr. Ziba Mir Hosseini in www.musawah.org)
I am worried about the fact Mr. Rashid is alleging to defend the interests of battered women while he is labeling a behavior over which people have control and decision, as a biological fact that can't be avoided. It’s dangerous, risky and unfair both for men and women:
In one hand, he reproduces an anwful and fake stereotype about men that says all men are beasts, dominated by wild forces, unable to control their instincts and because of that, women are constantly in danger to be near them.
On the other hand, he suggests that women are the one to blame if we're victims of domestic violence. Check the logic: If men are biologically predisposed to beat women and can't control this impulse, then it is our responsibility not to provoke their instincts to keep our life safe. This is the same kind of logic that in our societies put the blame of sexual harrassement and rape on women: What kind of misogynistic, contempting and patronizing of women is Qasim Rashid's statement?
Let's face the truth Mr. Rashid: Violence against women is a learned behavior, a choice rooted in cultural beliefs of subordination of women to men, allowed for a system where men have privileges of property, use and abuse of women. Privileges you use to make us believe that we should accept violence as natural. Domestic violence is not a biological predetermination. Is Patriarchy and not DNA what encourage it. and Patriarchy is a set of human beliefs. They can be changed
Find excuses behind science and religion to keep women trapped in the silence and pain of domestic violence will never be helpful to end it; I believe we have been made to live in peace and recognize each other as able to join efforts to banish the barriers that prevent us from the recognition of human beings as equals and encourage our participation in society with full rights. We, humankind have a very serious problem regarding Gender Violence that we need to face straight on and work to eradicate it; this demands an honest attitude toward violence starting for accepting the only ones to blame are those who choose to exercise it.