Man Breaks Ex-Girlfriend's Hand: Why Can't Men Handle Rejection?

Why can't Indian men walk away from a broken relationship and start afresh? Why do they chose to abuse and harass their exes instead?

Ritika Joshi
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At some point, everyone has to deal with rejection, whether it is in a job interview or a romantic proposal. Learning how to accept rejection is an imperative part of growing up, a part that apparently many men have not wrapped their heads around, especially when it comes to love. From incessant text messages to women who are clearly uninterested in them to using physical violence, men who cannot handle rejection can react in many ways- a lot of which can have tragic consequences for women who dared to say "no". Why can’t Indian men handle rejection? Why do they think it is right to react violently when a woman says "no"?

In Chennai, a 23-year-old man allegedly broke his girlfriend's arm after she broke up with him. The man, Praveen Kumar and his 24-year-old friend Mani jumped on the arm of the former's ex at her home at Maraimalai Nagar in Chengalpet district. The 21-year-old survivor, Vinisha, is an engineering student.

The police reported that the couple had not been on good terms over the last three years. Vinisha broke up with Praveen after she realised he was keeping bad company. Following the breakup, Praveen kept on insisting they meet. An officer said, “He kept stalking her even after she refused to meet him and even warned him. She avoided his phone calls.” Following this, Praveen and his friend Mani attacked her and pushed her to the ground. After she fell, Praveen jumped on her hand and broke it.

Vinisha’s neighbours rushed to the scene after hearing her cries while the assailants escaped. When her mother returned home from work, the young woman was taken to a hospital and treated for her fracture.

The assailants were arrested on charges of assault, threatening, and using abusive words.

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Man Breaks Ex-Girlfriend Hand: Why Can’t Men Handle Rejection?

There is a multitude of reasons why women can reject men. No matter how disappointing the rejection may feel, a woman has the right to make her own decisions, including whether or not they want a relationship of any kind with a man.

Due to male entitlement and the assumption that women should bend to every whim they have, men find it hard to understand that they can be rejected. Instead of gracefully accepting rejection, men waste no time before attacking the woman who had the audacity to say “no” to them. The belief is that if a woman rejects you, she must be a slut with an attitude problem.

Toxic behaviour like violently acting out a heartbreak is often romanticised in films and media. How then do we expect men to learn that such behaviour is simply problematic?

In certain cases, when men still don’t get the attention they’re craving after they hurl misogynistic insults at women and escalate the situation. The ordeal doesn't end at verbal harassment, some men resort to Stalking, physical assault and sexual assault. All because they are not taught to walk away and start life afresh.


Being Rejected Is Not An Insult

Men often see being rejected as an insult to their pride and believe that women do not consider them to be “good enough” for them. They then prove those women correct by resorting to stalking, non-stop messages, and violence.

However, rejecting men is not a personal attack against them or their character. It can mean that a woman is just not interested in a relationship or does not believe they are compatible. Personalities often clash and that is not the fault of any party. Infact, a breakup is a chance for two people to move and find happiness elsewhere. It can prevent complexities like divorces and separations, which could arise if a couple refuses to address that their relationship isn't working out and ends up getting married.

Years of being told that women exist to serve men and seeing media romanticise stalking skews men's perceptions about reality and rejection. Films often insist that if a woman says no, men should ignore it and continue to stalk and harass them until they change their mind. Men stalking and insisting that they know what is right for women has been normalised in media and now men believe that it applies in real life. The belief is that, if a woman says no then she doesn't really mean it.

It's time that rejection is seen as a part of life rather than failure. Women are not obligated to bend over backwards to the desires of men, and rejection is not just a phase that can turn into a relationship.

Views expressed are the author's own.

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