Women Talk

A woman in a toxic relationship is in that position because she chose the wrong Partner. Why is the onus always on a woman?

A tale of victim-blaming rising from the patriarchal biases


Talking to a friend Garima (name changed) about relationship and love, a conversation that really stayed with me went somewhat like this –

Garima: I will certainly marry the man my parents will choose for me. You know, I wonder if there is anything which can mean love to me if choose whom I should love.

Me: Why would you say that? And do you think that the person who your parents will choose to be apt for you? How can you be so sure of it?

Garima: I am not sure, but see, I know my choice is not very good. Whomsoever I have chosen to be with till now, I have ended up hurting myself. You know, the last one being highly toxic and abusive, and I certainly couldn’t realize it all. And see, I know I wasn’t the first girl to choose him, he did similar things to others too. You see, I just don’t have the know-how to find the one right for myself. Everyone says that, that I perhaps don’t have a good choice.

A toxic and abusive relationship can really leave a scar on a person’s heart for longer than ever. And this scar can shape in the for that a person might start to lose the trust they have in themselves, happen to lose their self-identity and end up being in a spell of self-doubts. A relationship is a moment where two people enter each other’s personal space. A good relationship can be a beautiful life-changing experience, while a bad one can be a life lesson, one might ever forget. Yet the fact which everyone will agree upon is that the moment two people enter a relationship, they sign in to know each other with a plausibility of uncertainties. So, if a relationship happened to be toxic or abusive (essentially saying for women as they are the primary survivors) ho is to be blamed? The woman? for making a wrong choice? for choosing the wrong guy? or in fact, for just choosing?

Well, this blaming and putting the onus on the woman, who is a survivor of abuse in her relationship, is certainly not justified and is backed with the patriarchal biases and gender stereotypes that the society has lived up being in. The condition has plausible two arguments that I can see –

A. Refraining to put the onus on men

Garima, who is a survivor of abuse is in a spell of self-blaming for whatever happened to her. Though, she tends to be in a mentally healthy space now, yet, they doubt her choices because the man she had been with was abusive. So, let’s dissect, ‘THE MAN WAS ABUSIVE’. But in the conversation with her, she rarely gave any acknowledgement to it. Well, certainly because is a survivor who was stripped of her dignity and self-identity, but for a fact, she was told by people that she had a poor taste in men. So basically, the onus is not generally put on a man, who is the perpetrator of the crime and made the relationship miserable for her that she had to get out of the relationship.

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B. Women are not trusted for their choices, stereotyped of being innocent, naive, and someone who can be easily manipulated

A prevalent stereotype is such that women are not very mature to make decisions for themselves. That is one of the reasons why women are often not allowed to make decisions for marriages in many places. And when they do, they are blamed for choosing the wrong guy altogether if things don’t work out as they are seen as someone who is inevitably incapable of making the right decision. And the worst part is, that when she thinks of deciding to get out of that so-called ‘bad decision’ she then becomes the receiving end of the blame and shame which is equally traumatizing.

So, to conclude this up, it is high time now that women are handling the blame and shame of something they neither wanted nor are responsible for. For a woman who ends up a toxic relationship, it is not her fault. It is the man who behaved badly, did the wrong things to her, and disrespected her. Kindly make the man responsible.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.

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