30 Apr Domestic abuse has shot up during lockdown. What is shocking is that some people find this shocking.
Refuge, the UK’s largest Domestic Abuse charity, has led calls for the government to take action as it witnessed an exponential surge in calls reporting domestic violence during this enforced lockdown. According to this article in the Guardian, the number of Domestic Violence calls rose by an unprecedented hike, 700% in one 24 hour period (https://bit.ly/2KzJRir). Bearing in mind that most cases are usually reported when either the victim or the abuser is out of the house, it’s not unreasonable to deduce that the increase could even be higher.
As unpleasant as this is, my only reaction is that I’m not surprised. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that we are facing the biggest problem of our generation, and I’m not talking about the Coronavirus. I’m talking about couples faking how united they are on the outside while on the inside, their hearts know full well that this is an act. These are the yardsticks for our future generations, “kids, look how we fake well; take notes because one day, you will be doing this too”.
Ever since the wonderful 1950’s (I say this with a generous portion of sarcasm, they were not wonderful at all. The propaganda campaign launched by the United States and Western Europe aimed at getting women out of the factory – women were needed to replace male factory workers during World War II – and back into the home was fitting of an Orwellian dystopia), liberal governments and their wider society have been trying their best to deal with the seismic change that happened within the family dynamic. In short, women opened their eyes to the power of financial independence. This put to rest the idea that the father must be the head, the bread winner, the mother must play the subservient supportive cookie baker, the children will learn and one day emulate their heroes, their parents, and all will smile proudly and show off those pearly whites thanks to Mr. Colgate.
That picture was shattered for good; and good riddance to it. As a father of two daughters, I find nothing more revolting than the idea of raising them to be Mrs. ‘Content with her lot in the kitchen, doesn’t use foul language, silliness is for men, virtue is for women, sex can’t be too adventurous, and man is to be taken care off’. However, what next for Eisenhower’s picture of domestic bliss is the question? 70 years on, did this result in the home being a place of joy where two equal partners are truly happy to be in each other’s company? Did it ****. What was shoved down men and women’s throats was anything but an education on how to become truly equal. Political correctness was all the rage where one must behave in a certain way, edit certain thoughts, stay in the good books, relinquish or compete in trouser wearing and ‘being careful’ rather than ‘carefree’ became the modus operandi.
Before any feminists arm themselves with their “yes, we’re in charge now so get used to it bucko” artillery, let me clarify exactly where I stand. I don’t care whether you’re black, yellow, red, white, brown, gay, straight, bi, tri, trans, male, female, feminist, traditionalist, woke, archaic, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, naturist, naturalist, evolutionist, flat earthist, into anal, oral, frontal, all three, none of them, or just a tad quirky, if you are in a relationship where one of you wears the trousers, you need a lobotomy; if you are in a relationship where you feel freer to talk to your friends than your partner, I pity you, if you are in a relationship where you feel you can’t, or shouldn’t, share some of the mischief you got up to prior to, or during, your relationship, kill yourself now and do us all a favour. However, if you believe that neither partner should wear the trousers, in fact, both should take them off and wear Bermuda shorts instead so that they can bring out the child in them to play once more, then please help me change things so that we achieve this, which I’m sure is what the vast majority, if not all wish for.
What we all want is for our children to witness their parents (regardless of sexual orientation, colour or where they stand on Trump) demonstrate that they are the antithesis of PC with one another, they have a mind orgy full of nude honesty, sarcasm, banter, warmth and laughter every day while sharing the most mundane of domestic chores. Yes, there is no such thing as 100% harmony 24/7, however, if couples are asked to put their number one choice for laughter, pleasure and freedom of expression, how many long termers would choose their partner? If we lived in a society where 80% of couples would put their partner at the top of that list, the by-product would be an enormous positive shift in our wellbeing, an overflow in our inner cup of kindness, an immeasurable reduction in depression and mental related issues, and, not least of all, an exponential decrease in domestic violence. According to a study on relationships, “Happily married couples enjoy better mental health status …….. They fall sick less often, have fewer instances of depression and anxiety …….. suffer less from loneliness and feelings of solitude …….. are less likely to get pneumonia, undergo surgeries, develop cancer or have heart attacks. It makes sense that the joy that is part of being part of a happy couple translates to mental and physical well-being.” (https://bit.ly/2KCMYq1)
The main problem is the continuous cycle that teaches tomorrow’s adults to be like today’s. The overwhelming majority of children witness two unfulfilled shadows fake and pretend and play their roles while harming themselves internally by neither sharing laughter nor freedom of expression. These children will subliminally learn that with a partner, you need to be careful, with a friend, you can let go and be yourself. This policy is not working; separation of parents with children is over 50% in Western Europe, 60% in America. These results, bad as they are, were the results pre-lockdown when we had sources of release. Sources such as work, hobbies, sport, fitness, socialising, friends, personal indulgence, in other words, things that we do OUTSIDE the house. These have been taken away causing a huge reduction in ‘I will tolerate my inability to be myself and speak my mind now because in a few hours, I will have my escape’ avenues. The result is in the title of this article. It is not a shock.
What saddens me even more is that the g*****n solution is right there in front of our eyes and has been since the 1960’s. Many well-intentioned reports have been published with the clearest of messages: “as necessary as it is to help couples in conflict, this is firefighting, not prevention. The answer is early education”. Here is just one example of a wonderful report by Tavistock Relationships https://bit.ly/3cMzDYc. One of this study’s conclusions is that “all children and young people must have access to relationship and sex education, which should be a compulsory part of the national curriculum.” As much as I agree with this 1,000,000%, why isn’t this a headline?? Why aren’t we making this a priority?? The only avenues that exist are for those already in long term conflict. By then, all that can be achieved is to teach these acrimonious partners how to deal with, let’s face it, their incompatibility. We teach them to further edit thought and speech so that they become less frictional in their communication, accept their lot and minimise the damage they are causing to themselves and, if they have them, their children. How is this solving the problem????
We need early education and awareness that is easily accessible to all from the age of 16. This awareness must be acquired before long term commitment. In other words, before choosing to be together long term and, far more crucially, before children come on the scene. The kind of education and awareness needed is not a repeat of the generic PC obsessed rhetoric that fools people into believing that being correct is the way forward, I want to see the following five principles taught to all before they commit:
- Kill the Mars vs Venus myth.
- Rescue love from the clutches of conformity.
- Abide by the hierarchy of happiness.
- Hop on the friendship train.
- Take off them rose tinted glasses.
(NB. What these mean can be found in an earlier article https://bit.ly/2zxaORL)