Mira Soni revealed last week why she never talked about her abusive arranged marriage. “I come from a family where women are raised to be not just strong, but fierce. But […] I was expected to treat my husband as God, and it couldn’t be any less than that or there would be ‘consequences’,” she admitted. An abusive partner will never change and I’m not being taken seriously despite being cheated on and abused, some other victims of domestic violence confessed on our portal. Just as I was trying to understand why these fierce women took so long to seek help, allowing themselves to be abused for years, I chanced upon a video by a Moroccan TV channel 2M that thought the best way to deal with domestic violence was – make-up. Ironically, this show was being broadcast to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women.
Viewers insisted on benefits of make-up when one is not comfortable showing bruises, being questioned or having strangers point at them. Hiding it may not mean they didn’t fight it, they chorused. However, to me, hiding abuse under make-up says more about the victim’s shame rather than the perpetrator’s. Shame has always been known to perpetuate more abuse, and with this attitude, the only recourse left for women will be more layers of make-up over time.
Why a woman should conceal domestic abuse under layers of make-up and validate the violence being meted out to her, and why any country’s national television should endorse such a regressive attitude is still beyond my comprehension. I was reminded of an incident in the year 2013 when a Mumbai gang-rape victim wowed the entire nation with her courage when she walked out of the hospital with her face uncovered.
Related reading: A dreamy love story that became a real-life nightmare
She could have walked out with a veiled face and no questions asked; but by ‘not’ doing so, she showed valour and strength to shame the perpetrators instead. Similarly, the braver move for a domestic abuse victim would be to walk tall with that bruised face to the nearest police station and lodge a complaint against the abuser. Now, that I would have called, an apt touch of make-up to the woman’s soul and spirit!
Divya Nair Hinge
From the Editor’s Desk, Bonobology