‘Love’ punches

In Around the World on November 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Man can beat his wife as long as ‘no physical marks are made’:


A friend on Facebook posted this article earlier in October, and it states that the highest judicial body of the United Arab Emirates ruled that, “a man can beat his wife and young children as long as the beating leaves no physical marks.”

This is somewhat of a paradox if you ask me.  I don’t know how you can ‘beat’ someone without leaving marks on them, but the semantics of this law – or the incorrect translation, whatever it may be, are beside the point.  Of course this could be related to disciplining a child by spanking them or hitting their palms, etc. which I’m sure many parents do all over the world without it being a beating.  However, in this case, the wife is allowed to be ‘beaten’ as well.  Once a child reaches puberty they are no longer allowed to be beaten.  Does this mean that one’s wife within the UAE is seen as a child instead of an adult? How is it that one can go from being the daughter of a family – who’s not beaten, at least lawfully – to the property, if you will, and definitely the inferior to one’s husband?

Sharia law, ascertaining from this article, says that a man is allowed to discipline his wife and children, and if he so chose, could report his wife to the police for ‘wrong doing’, though that isn’t always the most desirable option so ‘disciplinary action’ is taken instead. 

It’s a little bizarre if you’ve been to the UAE, in cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, to think about this and to see the contrast among the local population with certain aspects of their culture juxtaposed against the modernity in which they live.  They have the best food, the best clothing stores, the best cars, the locals are well off, buildings are modern, streets are clean…and yet, they still seem stuck in the past.  I think it’s wonderful of a country to hold onto traditions but not if they’re adverse to the rights’ of humans. 

Looking at this from a Western perspective could be biasing my thoughts – actually it’s definitely at the root of my opinions, however, I didn’t necessarily grow up in the U.S. so I have a little knowledge about and perspectives from other parts of the world: Asia, Middle East, Eurasia, and Europe.  Of course, there are issues of patriarchy within Christianity as well, which is the religion much of the U.S. identifies with, and I’m sure some men would justify mistreating their wives or children based on what they’ve read in the Bible or heard in church, but I don’t buy it.  Such behavior is selfish and weak-minded. 

The problem is not only that women and children are being mistreated but that when young boys see this happening, and when it’s set into law, they will be more inclined to behave the same way when they grow up – it’s a cycle of negative nurturing.


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