Sunday, January 9, 2011

'What's Love Got To Do With It?"

When girls are young, they are often told that if a boy is mean to them (e.g.) pulls their hair, pushes them, pinches them, calls them mean names, etc., then that means, without a doubt, the boys like them. I imagine some (exaggerated) parental reactions as:

'Oh, honey, Josh called you a "doo-doo face" and pushed you down into the mud today? Hooray, you've found yourself a keeper!'

Horrible, I know. Fast forward to the adult life of a woman. >>>>>>>>>>

If a man treats a woman poorly either verbally, mentally, emotionally, or physically, are women still supposed to accept that treatment and those actions as symbols of love? Now, I know that there are plenty of good men out there that treat every woman in their lives like queens. But I also know that there are some bad eggs. I've met and seen a few myself. (Men, I also know that there are women out there who treat men badly.) However, my point here is that I feel there is an extreme societal double standard instilled in both males and females at such a young age that many people overlook, and just accept this type of negative treatment throughout their lives.

I believe this may have a lot to do with why some women stay in abusive relationships. If a man verbally berates a woman and attempts to shatter her self-confidence, making her feel he is the only one who does or will ever love her, why would she not stay? And why would she not believe that, in his own way, he truly loves her? If women are lead to believe, from their youth onward by those around them they trust and rely on, that mistreatment is just a different form of love, then they are likely to settle for less than they deserve. They also won't even consider looking for something or someone better. It's a tragic cycle that must be broken by encouraging women to know their worth, starting when they are young.