He’s under his woman’s rule
“NOW as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” So says Ephesians 5:24, translated for some to mean that men should rule the roost.
In fact the Bible goes further to say in First Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God”. But while the Bible makes the order of things within the household clear, it’s a role reversal in some homes, where women rule with an iron fist.
And in these homes men do the washing and the cooking, care for the kids and perform ‘womanly’ tasks, and are even sometimes beaten, as their women play unrepentant roost rulers to their henpecked fellows.
Entertainer Mavado speaks to the treatment dished out to some men who have allowed their women to control their every move and make unreasonable demands that they are forced to live up to in order to keep the relationship fires going.
“She do it again, she beat him; Yuh nuh see [She] ah ill-treat him; Again she defeat him, once again she beat him; Him go out with him friends and affi sneak in…; When Friday come, she collect him pay…She a dis him up a way…,” the artiste sings in the song titled She Beat Him.
Psychologist Dr Leachim Semaj said a man who has more emotionally invested in the relationship, and who is dependent on the woman will allow himself to be unfairly treated by her.
“He can’t afford to lose the relationship,” Dr Semaj explained. “He can’t afford to do anything that will make her upset; he believes he can’t do without her. Once he has those kinds of beliefs then he will allow her to treat him a certain way.”
The psychologist explained that a man allows a woman to ‘rule’ him when she makes unreasonable demands and takes advantage of his weaknesses.
“Ruling means she will make unreasonable demands and gets away with it,” Dr Semaj said. “Suppose she wants you to pick her up and take her somewhere no matter what you are doing? You have to leave work and come for her and come back for her whenever she says.”
He said men will allow this because they are afraid of losing the woman and feel they cannot attract other women.
“Anything outside of that, you are afraid of the consequences of losing her affection… you feel you can’t live without her. If you feel you can’t do without her then she will treat your affection as weakness,” he explained.
Thirty-two-year-old Mark B admitted that it took him two years to extricate himself from a relationship where he was “treated like a child”.
“She would send me to the shop with a list; she would call me and tell me what to cook, even though I worked longer hours, and she would demand things like that I come with her to the hairdresser and sit and wait,” he shared.
He said his mother was the one who insisted that he put an end to the relationship, when she visited one weekend and saw him stooped over a wash bucket washing loads of his girlfriend’s laundry, even though the couple had a washing machine.
“She said she ‘never raise nuh maama man’,” Mark said. “I’d been viewing my relationship through rose coloured glasses, I guess, but my mother opened my eyes, and I left the relationship.”
Some women have been so bent on being in charge, that their actions sometimes lead to domestic abuse of their men who, for the most part, remain quiet about the treatment for fear of public scorn.
One gender expert says the issue is something that needs some serious attention, especially as some men are hurting in their relationships.
“It is very difficult to get statistical evidence on the issue,” deputy head of Fathers Inc Solomon McCalla told editors and reporters at a recent Observer Monday Exchange meeting. “The men will not come forward and say that they are being physically abused.”
Senior policy analyst and male desk representative at the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, Dave Noel Williams, said then that abuse of men by women is far more widespread than thought. He said he had counselled about 10 men, ranging from age 23 to their 40s over a nine-month period in 2009, who had been abused by women.
He pointed out that most men prefer that their story remains a secret, because for the most part, being abused by a woman is considered a “shame” or a “sin” in Jamaica.
And while men who allow themselves to be ‘ruled’ or abused are often dubbed ‘soft’, Dr Semaj said soft is relative.
“A soft man is a man who believes that he can’t replace the woman, that he can’t live without her. For me, soft doesn’t mean that he allows a woman to rule him,” Dr Semaj said.
“Ruling also means she will embarrass him and say things to him in front of his friends that sort of thing. So for me, it’s not a issue of physically responding to her or verbally responding. It’s walking away from her. That’s the ultimate thing. Once you believe you cannot live without her then there are two things — it’s either you brutalise her or you walk away, and the only thing I will endorse is walking away.”