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Turning the Table: Addressing the Issue of Abusive Women

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In Tyler Perry‘s movie, Why Did I Get Married, there was a character  called Angela, played by Tasha Smith.  Angela was a crazy woman. She and her husband, Marcus, were ALWAYS fighting and when the other guys asked him how he coped with all that energy, he responded that the make up sex was worth it.

I’ve never really understood physical abuse of any kind: not by men and I definitely can’t wrap my head around the idea of a physically abusive woman. I mean women are supposedly the ‘weaker’ gender and it shouldn’t be physiologically possible that anybody should get a beat down from a woman.

A few years ago, a colleague came to work looking completely disheveled. Upon further inquiry he revealed that he had come from the hospital. He and his girlfriend had fought that morning. “Ah! Ogbeni, you’re a woman beater. You beat your babe?” Then he said “She has been doing it and doing it but today when she brought out the belt to hit me and I saw the buckle heading towards my face I decided to defend myself. Besides, this isn’t the first time she has been doing it, but because I’m a guy and I know how it would be if I raise my hands against her. This isn’t the first time it’s happening.She has just been getting away with it”

Shock can not be used to describe what I felt when I heard him explain the scenario as he tried to smoothen the creases on his shirt. While everybody was asking him what the doctors said when they got to the hospital, all I could think of was Marcus’ response from Why Did I Get Married. I hope the sex was worth this guy remaining with an abusive woman oh!  Then I asked him and he said “We’ve not even been having sex, I’ve been sleeping in the living room for over a month”
Ah! In a house where you’re paying rent. Tufiakwa!

There’s a lot of hue and cry about domestic violence and whenever women try to go off on men I always remember that it goes both ways.  Even though there’s a predominance of awareness of the fact that some men are abusive, we mustn’t push the issue of abusive women under the carpet. It’s important to note that inasmuch as we have violent and abusive men, there are women who will beat you to get their point across.

When I was in school, there was a group of girls that nobody liked to mess with. Why? If you crossed their path they would gang up on you and beat the living daylights out of you. If there was a hint of you talking to their friend’s man, you were cruising for a bruising and they would NOT hesitate to deal with you. If you slept on their bunk, you might receive a hot slap.  I didn’t understand it. I still don’t.

What’s my point? How does a young woman get to the point where she feels that lashing out physically is the answer? How can it be controlled? Is it alright for us as a society to pretend like it doesn’t exist while we castigate the men for using brute force?

Let’s not bury our heads in the sand like it doesn’t exist. We can nip it in the bud.  When you notice violent tendencies in your child, caution her. It’s NOT okay to bite your classmate. It’s not okay to trample all over your classmate’s foot.  When you notice a mean streak in your child, address it. Remember, that kids pick up a lot of things from parents, spoken and unspoken. So as parents, aunties, uncles and family friends, it is very important that you do not give off the vibe that it is okay to be violent.

Because the truth is, IT IS NOT!


You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.