Women cause some of the abuse they suffer

2009-12-12 13:07

CONGRATULATIONS to Lerato Mogoatlhe on a brave and candid exposé of

how women literally abuse themselves, Boogy’s Space, December 6.

It is high time we stoped flogging the usual suspects during this

­period of awareness of violence and abuse against women, and look much deeper

into the malaise of woman abuse.

As a magistrate, I have to deal with horrifying accounts of how men

abuse women and I am a committed gender activist for the rights of women. As a

pastor, I also deal with the problem ­daily.

But as much as I sympathise and actively support the cause of our

women, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that some ­women are their own

worst ­enemies. In fact, women are the main cause of their own abuse.

The biggest socioeconomic problem in our country is the multitude

of children born to unmarried mothers. This has resulted in the decline in the

moral fibre of society, including the high crime rate and juvenile ­delinquency.

When one asks mothers why they bear children with men to whom they

are not married, the standard answer is: “You cannot ask a man if and when he

will marry you.”

This boggles the mind. A woman is equal to a man in all respects,

according to our constitution, and can become president of the country.

Yet she has no right – according to these women – to ask her male

partner about her future, while gratuitously affording him all the privileges of

a married man.

Surely a woman cannot claim to be free until she has full control

over her body and her ­future?

I have often been frustrated when trying to apply the Domestic

Violence Act to help women. Half the cases are withdrawn by the victims because

they are more committed to the relationship than to their own wellbeing.

Why do women seem to exist solely to please men?

Why can’t they establish their own lives and enter into

relationships on their own terms and as equals?

The constitution gives them that right.

The reason is clearly not just money and security because even

economically independent women are victims.

A love relationship was designed for the man to love the woman, not

the other way round.

Why should a woman have to prove her love to a man at all? The sad

truth is that most women set themselves up for abuse.

Bishop Moagi Michael


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