Friday, November 14, 2014

Unhealthy Relationships - "Why I Stayed"

     A common theme in the articles we have been reading is class, is about equality. Specifically, with regards to gender and race. Another article we studied, titled "Why I Stayed", was another of interest to me, with regards to its nod towards feminism, and gender equality. Although on the outside it can be blatant to some that a relationship is toxic or abusive, it can be tricky to be able to leave that person, for a number of reasons. I think that oftentimes, people are quick to scold someone who stays in a bad relationship, particularly women. One reason for this could be the fact that women may be more likely to speak up about any issues they are having in a relationship, whereas men might be worried of appearing "weak" or "whipped". With this in mind, I think it's important to acknowledge that abuse can happen in any relationship, to both men and women. It is certainly a lot more common to be aware of domestic abuse in which the female is the victim. It is a common reaction to imagine a woman being treated poorly by a man, when someone thinks of abuse in relationships. While it is still very important to know that this does happen to women, and it is of extreme concern, society should be more informed about domestic abuse on both sides. Just because the issue of men being the victims, does not dismiss it as non-existent.

     I encourage absolutely everyone, both men and women, to speak up if they are in any way uncomfortable in a relationship. Whether it be feeling belittled, invalidated, of physically abused, telling somebody does not make the subject weak. Nobody deserves to feel trapped and scared in a relationship. It can be these very emotions that cause someone to stay in an unhealthy relationship. Being scared of their partner getting angry, or the fear of being alone. Some people even admit that they can not leave a relationship, simply due to the fact that they love for their partner. On the surface, these reasons may seem petty or unreasonable, however when one is actually in this situation, it isn't as simple as black and white. It takes a lot of strength and willpower first of all, to not only admit to yourself that you are not in a healthy relationship, but to confide in someone who is trusted.

     Overall, I believe that we should be sensitive to the reasons in which someone might choose to stay in a relationship, both women and men. In addition to this, never assume that men do not face any sort of abuse, merely because we don't hear about it as frequently as their female counterparts. This is a part of gender equality, and something that anyone who considers themselves a feminist should take in to account.

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