There is a saying that "a woman is another woman's enemy," and "a woman can make a home and break a home." I strongly believe in these two sayings because of my personal experience. A woman's influence on her family should never be underestimated. That influence can make the worst enemies into best friends and that influence can turn two best friends into enemies.
I have seen women who make a mountain out of a molehill.
I have seen women who put fuel in the fire.
I have seen women who cause rifts in the family and misunderstandings between two people, and still act like an angel, like nothing happened.
When I wrote an article on "femininity" many people told me in the comments that "a woman can wrap men around her fingers." And I totally agreed with them. Now, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, it depends on the woman's personality, intentions and how she uses her influence.
Now, that I have given five examples above, the first point has been established that a woman can either be a sunshine in her family or a dark cloud, it all depends on her, it is all in her hands, it's a choice she has to make.
Many people think women misuse their influence to only hurt men but women also misuse their influence to hurt each other. Women will always hurt each other a lot more than men.
The biggest reason of this is jealousy among women.
1. Jealousy among women
a. Asian women compare their past with a young girl's present
Even in families, women are jealous of each other. Be it a mother-in-law, daughter-in-law or a sister-in-law. The day the world began, these three types of women never got along with each other. They were always jealous of each other. They always treated each other like a competition. They always compared themselves with each other in all aspects of life be it looks, height, weight, education, career, partners, children, clothes, shoes, wealth and most importantly attention.
As an Asian girl, I know many Asian women compare their past with a young girl's present.
They view the young girl's present as the modern life or a dream life they couldn't live for many different reasons. They compare their past life full of restrictions with a young girl's freedom.
My Asian mother always compared her past with my present life.
In some cases, even mother-in-laws compare their past with their daughter-in-law's present life.
Many people say controlling mother-in-laws also once had controlling mother-in-laws.
The cycle just repeats.
Those women lived their life with restrictions because of their controlling mother-in-laws and they can't tolerate their daughter-in-laws living in freedom. Therefore, due to jealousy, they also become controlling mother-in-laws to place restrictions on their daughter-in-laws instead of breaking the cycle.
Many Asian women who compare their past with a young girl's present had arranged marriages at the age of 17 like my mother.
My Asian mom had an arranged marriage at the age of 17 and she had me at the age of 20, whereas right now I am 20 and still unmarried. Sometimes, she looks at me and thinks, "I wish I lived the kind of easy life my daughter is living."
When I was 17, she told me for the entire year, that when she was 17, she had an arranged marriage and had to cook for the entire joint family. She finally stopped telling me this when I turned 18. (lol)
Now, that I am 20 years old, she will now spend the entire year telling me that when she was 20, she was pregnant with her first child in another words me.
When I will turn 21, she will then start telling me that when she was 21, she was raising me, having sleepless nights because of me and changing my nappies.
On the surface, this might sound funny but if we dig deep into this, it is quite painful and sad. If we put ourselves in her shoes, and what emotions she goes through when she sees her daughter living the kind of life she never got to live, it is quite painful and sad.
My mom probably looks at me and thinks, "I went through so much as a teenage wife and a 20 year old mother and still got nothing in return. Despite my sacrifices and struggles, I am neglected whereas my daughter whose struggles are not anywhere near mine always gets praised. Despite fighting a war every single day, I didn't get to live the kind of dream life my daughter got on a silver plate in this modern world without having to struggle or fight for it."
b. Women competing for attention in the family
Things always go wrong when women compete for attention in the family.
The man always becomes a sandwich between two women in the family, when they compete for his attention.
We all have seen mother-in-law and daughter-in-law competing with each other over attention. As a result, the bloke always becomes a sandwich between his mother and his wife. He is even made to pick sides. He knows if he picks one side, one will give him a peck on the cheek and the other will sulk all day to make him feel guilty and horrible. She will not only sulk all day but she will also give him a silent treatment. And he will feel like he has to walk on eggshells around her.
c. How a woman might contribute to domestic abuse of another woman in her family that she hates
The situation I mentioned might seem funny, petty and quite harmless on the outside but it can be dangerous. That situation can even lead to a divorce. There was a case, where a man became so fed up that he murdered his mother and divorced his wife because his mom and wife used to fight with each other every single day and this had been happening for years. Their toxicity turned a once innocent man into a killer.
These sorts of situations are very common in joint families and as an Asian girl, I know that joint families are still prevalent in the Asian community. Even though, my Asian community talks about living with parents with a lot of pride but joint families are not always beautiful, there is a dark side to it that never gets mentioned in the interviews.
In some cases, the husband was provoked to beat his wife because of his mother, who turned her son against his wife, by brainwashing him with lies. The man had a blind trust on his mom and never gave his wife the chance to defend herself, to present the other side of the coin.And we all know "half truth is more dangerous than a whole lie."
"Half truth is more dangerous than a whole lie."
Women can turn two best friends into worst enemies by presenting a half truth, by presenting one side of the coin to manipulate and brain wash.
This is done by all sorts of women in the Asian joint families .
Five women are legends in this tactic: mother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, a step mother and a co-wife.
A woman can turn her husband against his sister.
A woman can turn her brother against his wife.
A woman can turn her mother-in-law against her another daughter-in-law.
A woman can turn her husband against her step children.
A woman can turn her husband against his siblings and parents.
In some cases, the in-laws can turn the guy against his wife, as in the guy's mother and sister turning him against his wife.
In some cases, even a girl can turn her parents against her sister.
In my case, a mother can turn her husband against her real daughter that she gave birth to.
Dear brothers, just because a woman is sweet and angelic to you doesn't mean she is the same person to others. Some people are only sweet and angelic to their favourite people because they have a soft corner in their heart for few individuals who are their favourites instead of treating everybody with equal respect and kindness.
d. My experience with a jealous woman
In my case, it was my own mother turning my dad against me, with lies and exaggeration, by presenting only half truth or one side of the story in front of him. My dad has a blind trust on his wife and never gave me the chance to explain myself in a civil and a calm manner over a cup of tea. I always had to scream to defend myself or beg him to listen to my side of the story. My mom made my dad hate me so much because she behaved like a step mother. She treated me like a competition not like a daughter.
Her influence and her brain washing my dad provoked him to emotionally and physically abuse me and he even tried to murder me for the third time.
Even though, his first two attempts to murder me at the age of 10 and then at the age of 16 were purely because of his own short temper but the third attempt was provoked by my mother.
When I was 17, I saw a ray of hope when my father stopped physically abusing me. He began to lighten up and began to control his temper, his voice and his hands but then my mom became jealous of me. She didn't like it when father and daughter finally began to get along with each other after years of physical abuse.
For the next two years, she had a daily routine where every time my dad came home tired, she complained about me by exaggerating everything, by making a mountain out of a molehill. She created a very bad picture of me. My dad came home at 10 pm in his afternoon shift, so he never knew what happened behind the scenes. He only knew what my mother told him which is never the best source of information.
At 10 pm, I always went upstairs to avoid the drama, whereas once I used to actually spend like 15 minutes with my dad to say hello, to ask him about his day and to tell him about my day. I did this to create a bonding and to give the father and daughter relationship a second chance despite years of physical abuse.
But when my mom began complaining about me every time my dad came home, I could no longer say hello to him, ask him about his day or tell him about my day. My little attempt of improving the father and daughter relationship after years of physical abuse failed before it could even begin.
I remember her complaining about me for hours whilst I was upstairs.
Two years later, when I turned 19, something horrible happened. It was November 2018. It was like 2 days before my boyfriend's birthday. It was my dad's afternoon shift again. He came home tired at 10 pm and like for the past two years, my mom began screaming her lungs out to complain about me when he came home and my dad just lost his temper.
He tried to physically abuse me. He pushed me on the sofa. And when he tried to beat me up like an animal, my mom came in front even though she provoked him. I then ran upstairs and out of anger, I threw water on his bed. Then, I locked myself in my room but my dad still managed to open the door. I hid myself in the blanket and my dad threw the chair at me, and despite the thick blanket I got a blue bruise on my arm. That blue bruise stayed on my arm for two weeks. For the next 20 minutes, it was my mom trying to stop dad from attacking me like an animal, and it could have been a murder. Then, I called the police and they came home, spoke for 30 minutes. I remember I was crying my eyes out and shivering so much. They wanted to arrest my dad but for like 20 minutes, it was me convincing them not to arrest my dad and just to give him a warning. I knew I will not gain anything by sending my dad to jail, I just wanted a peaceful life. I thought maybe my dad will respect me if I forgive him.
After this, I didn't like the reaction my Pakistani community gave. One Pakistani woman, who I met on the train asked me whether I slept with someone before marriage because she assumed it was an honour killing. She didn't even give me the chance to say I was 10 years old when my dad tried his first attempt to murder me due to his short temper.
However, that conversation was a blessing in disguise. It gave me a warning that if I share my story, my Pakistani community will assume it was an honour killing. I knew they will question my character, my past, my personal life and perhaps even my virginity to do something called "victim blaming and shaming."
Even two Pakistani guys on this app assumed it was an honour killing and took my dad's side. One Pakistani guy told me "you must have provoked your dad and he was trying to protect you." He assumed I was having a "haram" relationship or a male friend, and my dad was trying to protect me from the opposite gender by murdering me.
Another Pakistani guy who still follows me and is a good friend of mine shamed me for calling the police, and he made me feel guilty.
Victim blaming and shaming is extremely prevalent in my Asian and Muslim community. It is a salt on the wounds because a woman's character is questioned, her past, her personal life, her clothes and sometimes even her virginity is questioned even though none of those things justify violence. Yet, she is asked about her past, whether she had a boyfriend or a male friend, something which is frowned upon in the Asian community because Asians are against relationships before marriage or even friendships with the opposite gender. Even a prostitute does not deserve to be tortured. She can also say no and she also has human rights to be safe. But in many countries, sharia law gets in the way where even rape victims can be jailed for losing their virginity before marriage.
(This took me three hours and now my parents are telling to turn the internet off)