Disobeying Parents Is Not A Reason Why Women End Up In Abusive Relationships

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“This had to happen,” said my uncle after Shraddha Walker was chopped into 35 pieces by her live-in boyfriend. “She should have obeyed her parents when they disagreed with her relationship. Women nowadays are doing what they want which is not right because they can’t make the right decisions.” When my uncle retorted with this when I mentioned the case, I was shocked at how casually people are blaming Walker for the tragedy. Not even a single finger was raised at Aftab Poonawala who actually committed the unimaginably grave crime.

Is disobeying parents a bigger crime than being subjected to violence in relationships? Is going against parents’ decisions really a crime? Doesn’t it enforce the idea that children, especially women, do not have the freedom to stand by their own decisions?

Obeying parents is obviously important but that doesn’t mean that a person gives up on their right to make their own decisions. In our society, parents generally make all the decisions in women’s lives. Be it the clothes they wear or the person they marry, everything happens as per the choice of the parents. In older times, women didn’t have the freedom to oppose their parents’ decisions which is why obeying their parents has become a necessity and not a choice for women. It is assumed that women are not free and intelligent enough to make their own decisions. As it is often said that women shouldn’t be made head of families because their decisions making powers are not reliable.

Women don’t end up in abusive relationships by being disobedient

But dear society, who said that women do not make reliable decisions? Aren’t women human enough to have the right to decide what they want in life? If women don’t know to make decisions how come they are leaders of the countries?

Even if some women don’t make the right decisions, shouldn’t it be their choice whether they want to trust their parents’ decisions or not? In fact, how can we be sure that every decision that parents make is right? Is it not right that many marriages set up by parents are abusive and toxic? In that case, do parents take the responsibility for their wrong choices? Then why should women be blamed if their choices end up in mess?

If women are victim-blamed for not obeying their parents, they will automatically lose the support from family and society to fight against abusive relationships. Women get caught up in bad relationships or marriages not because they make wrong decisions but because of the fault of the men they end up with. Women are not responsible for the abuse they face in relationships in any way. It is men who need to be pulled on the right track to resolve the issue. How long before we understand that victim-blaming women for bad marriages is not going to solve the real issue of male dominance in society? How long before we start questioning the privilege men use to abuse women and yet not be held guilty?

It is high time now that we let women make their choices. Rather than victim-blaming women for their wrong choices, we need to encourage women to learn from their downfalls. Rather than imposing obedience towards parents as a marker of character, we need to see it as a choice. Parents are important but they can’t be always right. They are humans too and hence prone to committing mistakes. So let us not use such a fragile reason to push women into the darkness of victim-blaming. If parents really want to do something good for their daughters, they should support them in their choices even if it doesn’t sound moral or logical enough. It is this support that women will hold onto later when they need a hand to come out of the depression of abusive relationships.

Views expressed are the author’s own. 

Suggested Reading: Qala And Other Recent Films That Portrayed Complicated Parental Relationships