Your Letters

Let's not make violent relations a gender issue

The article, Smart single women and boyfriends who beat them (Dec 10, 2017), solely depicts women as victims of violence.

While it may be true that more women are affected when it comes to issues of violence, we must be careful not to turn this into a gender issue by portraying either gender as the victim.

In any interdependent relationship, particularly in the context of a family or other close relationships, it is quite normal that parties experience conflicts and disagreements.

When these conflicts become physical, unfortunately, it is more often than not that both parties played a contributory role to the breakdown.

To instinctively blame and accuse one gender or party of "abusing" the other is neither helpful to the relationship nor healthy for society in the longer term. It takes the focus away from resolving root issues in the relationship and encourages a blame mentality.

As the report points out, Singaporean women today are smart and highly educated - and, in fact, can be quite assertive.

We need to distinguish between conflict involving two parties and one-sided abuse or violence.

Otherwise, we run the risk of promoting a "victim" mentality on both sides, and turning the issue into a gender fight where everyone will be worse off.

Lee Kim Seng (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 07, 2018, with the headline 'Let's not make violent relations a gender issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe