Double standards

Enoch Zantsi, Khayelitsha

It’s interesting to see (how society reacts to) physical altercations between two partners in a relationship.

Society is not interested in fairness (and) has no zero tolerance approach to violence.

All society wants is for women not to be abused, which in itself is a noble and desirable goal.

But… the goal is not underlined by any logical and principled basis apart from being a response to the scourge of physical and sexual violence against women.

We’re faced with these challenges specifically because we lack a principled foundation as a basis for our position on GBV, abuse and violence. In fact, we have no position on any of those. Read that again. Society has no position on GBV, abuse and violence. (It is) only opposed to such against women.

For instance, I have since observed that physical violence against children, for instance, is handled through different standards.

There’s higher tolerance for violence against children, often diluted by gender dynamics, wherein it is important to first determine the gender of the abuser and if the abuser is a woman, then the tolerance increases.

By the same measure, if the object of the violence is a male child, the tolerance is higher.

A woman physically attacking a male child is most likely to be palatable to society.

Any other wrongful conduct by women is also seen through these rose-tinted glasses and widely defended.

A man who poisons and kills his children is evil, (but) a woman who does same is instantly diagnosed with depression by people without any clinical training in psychology or psychiatry.

We are doing things wrongly because we lack principle in this approach. It really is simple, why are we opposed to violence against women? Because we are against human suffering and violation of other people’s rights.

Or are we? How opposed are we to the human suffering and violation of the rights of a newborn baby exposed to weather elements and left to die after being stuffed in a drain overnight in a cold winter night?

Let’s ask ourselves these questions. How opposed are we to the human suffering and violation of the rights of a poor and drunk male beggar, stabbed during a fight with another drunk male beggar?

None of our business