The article below tells much of the story about the structural basis of illiberalism in many of our medieval societies. Womenfolk have so seriously embraced oppression that to them, love by their husbands means being physically assaulted. But anyhow, if you are launched into adulthood through the pain of being genitally mutilated (with all the life-long trauma that it will occasion), what other pain will you not tolerate? Which makes me wonder why a primitive society that still tolerates the structural violence of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) and wife beating should have any claim to make to being ruled democratically. Silly pretense!
As the article below shows, more women in Uganda find wife beating more acceptable than men. “Eeeeeh, nze mze nze bannage omwami wange mwagala nnyo kubanga ankuba kiboko”. Quite certainly if those same women were ‘liberated’, they would want to switch roles, and become husband beaters.
And let me come to rule you with the intention of being democratic, and I catch your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and house helpers all praising the whip-cracking male, I will immediately become a dictator. I will as soon learn that ruling you democratically is like strapping wings on a caterpillar with the hope that it will fly! If the foundation for romantic love for husbands is their ability to whip you, why shouldn’t the policeman also whip you? If being whipped is the building block for your love of your sons’ father, why shouldn’t your sons relish being kiboko squadsmen? If your husband furnishes you with more spanking than perfume, why shouldn’t teargas become a standard air freshener? Munziremu! Answer me!
That is the same social milieu that sustains child sacrificing with the hope of getting enlisted on the stock exchange; pastor-defile-flock idiocy; witchcraft loving, jigger-hosting, goat-mounting, offspring-raping imbecility; teacher-impregnate-pupil cerebral lobotomy; prostrating for some other piece of Homo Sapiens because we think he was born with two umbilical cords……and all other pre-enlightenment primitivism which many deluded a soul wants to sugarcoat with institutions and rituals of modernity.
I say, you will need more despots for the next many decades to save you from yourselves before you can hope to sustain the outward manifestations of liberalism. If, and only if you are lucky, you will get enlightened despots. If not, you will get the un-enlightened ones because you surely deserve them. They will be you mirror image.
And didn’t Alexis de Tacquiville supply the view that in primitive societies (like Uganda), “…every time that an attempt is made to do away with absolutism the most that could be done is to graft the head of liberty onto a servile body”? But Alexis de Tocquiville to UAH! Aaaah! Mbivuddeko!
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto
The New Vision – Uganda’s Leading Website
Wife-beating is [un]acceptable
Publication date: Wednesday, 27th April, 2011
By Dora Byamukama
ACCORDING to the World’s Women and Girls 2011 Data Sheet, Uganda records the highest percentage of women internationally who agree that wife-beating is acceptable if a wife argues with her husband. This state of affairs is totally unacceptable.
Sadly more women than men find wife-beating acceptable! One wonders why this is so. India was ranked second with 30% and Ghana came third at 21%.
In the East African region Ugandan women are considered gentle and submissive. Whether this is a positive or negative trait is a subject for debate. This notwithstanding, when gentility and submission have the potential to contribute to self-hate then this attitude calls for change. Change can only be effective when the causes are known otherwise whatever action is taken may be like mopping a wet floor, when the tap is left open.
Causes of acceptance of violence against women are several. These are basically beliefs and practices that treat women as inferior human beings and thus undermine their self-esteem. These beliefs and practices perpetuate an attitude that makes men and women believe that women are inferior and less intelligent—thus the need to punish them for arguing with their husbands.
Beliefs and practices permeate the human soul to the extent that women who are likely to be harmed by such a negative attitude internalize it and thus not only accept the degradation but also pass on the same to their children over time.
It is, therefore, not uncommon for a woman to be told to endure violence in a marriage by her mother on the basis that this is the wear and tear of marriage. While growing up, I heard of a story of a woman who reported such violence several times to her parents who kept sending her back to the marriage until their daughter was sent back to them in a coffin! In fact the coffins were two because the woman had been eight months pregnant.
Beliefs and practices that wife-beating is acceptable are rooted in several factors which include religion, culture, social pressure as a result of war, poverty and alcoholism. Most religions emphasise that women are inferior to men. Christianity, however, categorically states that all human beings are made in the image of God.
When some religions read texts to support oppression of women out of context then the resultant effect is to misinterpret and misapply the very same religion that is fundamentally based on respecting the person created in the creator’s very image.
Religion shapes attitudes fundamentally because it is personal and the frequency with which one is exposed to it on a daily and weekly basis ensures that the belief is sustained and that is enforced through social pressure.
Culture is another aspect that shapes attitude that may promote women’s tolerance to wife-beating. Culture is a form of religion because it dictates a person’s way of life, and shapes what is socially acceptable. In fact most cultures do not condone wife-beating but because domestic matters are considered private, this privacy is abused and used to commit crimes.
Culture is dynamic and is also shaped and influenced by globalization through internet interaction, videos and films. Globalization has introduced what is termed as modern culture, which has large doses of violence and in some instances is spiced with witchcraft. One such good example is the growing consumption of Nigerian films in Uganda .
When one is exposed to such films over and over again, the resultant effect is that they will copy and put into practice what they see.
The World’s Women and Girls Data Sheet also indicates that 31% of Ugandan women and 19% of Ugandan men said that it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. This indeed is an interesting and deeply disturbing finding. The question is, if after a beating the woman agrees to sex, does it make the man feel any better?
Apart from wife-beating being a human right abuse and a crime it also has the potential to spread HIV/AIDS and other venereal diseases.
In most cases when one talks about wife-beating people imagine that it is a mere slap. A mere slap has the potential to cause the destruction of an eye. More importantly no one has capacity to pre-determine the kind of beating that may be meted on a woman in any given circumstance.
The anger of a spouse can lead to grievous harm and even murder! Wife-beating also has the potential to turn the victim into a violent person with the potential to avenge the torture any time.
Uganda has set the trend in the East African region for the empowerment of women significantly since the NRM came to power in 1986. The law is clear. Wife-beating is a crime prohibited by the Constitution, the Penal Code Act and the Domestic Violence Act. All people have a right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The fact that less men than women find wife beating acceptable is cause to celebrate. However, more work needs to be done in order to make wife beating totally unacceptable by religious and cultural leaders and the media.
Champions that promote and practise respect for the dignity of the person are needed at all levels of society—beginning with you.
This article can be found on-line at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/20/753278