Background: Poet and Dalit activist Meena kandasamy recently wrote about her story of domestic violence. She is an evocative writer and her article has resulted in a lot of conversation on various web-platforms. Among the usual “hear, hear” and “she must be lying” comments were a few a few questions that are earnest and need to be answered. This is a post addressing those questions.
Note: I am not trying to explain Meena Kandasamy’s story, I have no business doing that. I am strictly answering general questions on the topic of Domestic violence.
How can feminists be victims of violence?
One of the earliest reactions to this story was “how can someone so “strong”, a fierce feminist, put up with domestic violence?”. I hope this leads to people searching for truths about domestic violence, and not concluding that her story is fabricated based on a presupposition that strong women do not get beaten up. On my timeline on twitter, stories were pouring in about VP’s of companies, Doctors, and NGO owners who were victims of violence who suffered in silence for a long time. This is, no doubt, puzzling and I hope to explain why it happens.