At times like the present, I wonder if there exists some sort of justification for violence. Violence against anything, anyone, in any shape; it makes me question if people who actually see through this act are in reality aware of their actual action… and especially how they justify it in their mind. They must rationalize, I guess. But how?

As we all know, there are numerous types of violence. It is an act of various faces; people label it as: domestic violence, physical violence, verbal violence and much more. I will try to limit my discussion on this topic but knowing how emotional I am when it comes to this barbaric act, I think I could write a book! Being a woman, I will focus mainly on the different type of violence that a woman is subjected to, not only in our society but all over the world. You are more than welcome to interpret this writing piece as a feminist’s opinion, but let’s face it: I don’t really care how you wish to call it.

Let’s start with the domestic/ physical violence. By using pretty words and pretty labels we simply cannot deny the cruelty of this act. It is, unfortunately, very much practiced in our society; where women are sometimes sent to the other world after being subject to physical assault. I am in no way implying that this does not happen outside Pakistan, it does but I think my country needs more awareness, women need to learn to stand for themselves and for their fundamental rights. Why is it easy to harm a woman? Because she is weak. She is not strong enough to resist the pain? True, physically we women have been built in a rather delicate way, in a beautiful manner. But doesn’t that signify something in the first place? Something like maybe she is not supposed to endure the physical pain?! Fine, man has been given strong muscles, he’s stronger than a woman, and I get it. But is inflicting pain on a weak woman the only way for the man to feel strong… to feel like a man? If a man really needs to show his masculinity, it would be only fair if he were to go and fight with someone of his own size, don’t you think? But my question is: why does a man feel the need to raise his hand on a woman? Now, don’t say that the woman asked for it! I admit some women may have the tendency to push men to their limits. But does that justify the violence? There are many categories of the physical pain: slow body torture for instance burning some parts of the body, or cutting flesh with a blade or knife or anything sharp or sexual abuse and so many more. There are a lot of sick people out there living around us, and the sky is the limit for their brutal imagination. No matter what the situation is, no matter what the context is, there is simply NO room for violence of ANY kind. Beating a woman just so a man can feel like a man… Ha! I laugh at such cowards. In reality, such men are very weak and clearly they need help – a lot of it.

And then comes another level of violence, an act which we cannot see with our eyes but which exists and is equally harmful and painful. I am talking about the mental violence which in other words can be referred to mental torture. This is an act which anyone can inflict on another human being regardless of their gender. And this too, I’m afraid, is very common in our society. The objective is to put the next person down, to make oneself feel superior to another human being. But don’t you think it is violent to reduce another person to that level? I mean how can we justify this act of ours? I really don’t have a good solid reason that would make sense and satisfy my common sense. I really want, no, need to understand what people get out of this… I mean what kind of satisfaction do they experience? And how come they can sleep in peace after that?! In my society, I have seen people use various methods for getting what they want; tools like black magic or other weird and bizarre things. I do believe in the existence of the “evil”, of the bad and I have seen a lot of people stoop to the lowest level to get what they think they need or want. Creating so much damage around them, to themselves, they temporarily get some sort of sick pleasure. But let’s all agree that whatever one does in life, it comes back, in one shape or another, to bite you in your fancy behind.

One fact that is common in both the violence that I have briefly talked about is the element of control. It shows how important it is for people to control another human being or several persons through either physical or mental violence. Why is it so darn necessary to control people in the first place?! To bend them to your own liking? Bend them so hard and bad that breaking them has no importance in their eyes?! Where has humanity gone, I wonder. I feel extremely helpless when I hear stories of child abuse or when animals are being tortured and killed or when women are being burnt alive in the name of dowry or when men are being shot in the streets for a mere mobile phone… When did we all stop feeling? When did we stop being a human being?

The writer is a PhD French literature. She’s now a professor of French settled in Canada.