There are studies showing that in verbal “confrontations” a man’s blood pressure goes up faster and takes longer to come down than a woman’s, that is unless men retaliate. Ironically, if women are pressured to retaliate their BP will go back up. Does this mean there’s a biological imperative that men need to get even?
In heavily patriarchal countries when men are dissatisfied with women for, say, refusing a marriage proposal, initiating divorce proceedings or attempting to keep wages they’ve earned, some men throw sulfuric, hydrochloric or nitric acid on said women’s faces (or genitals) and often there’s no ramifications for the man or help for the woman. [acid costs from 15-50 cents and India has a maximum penalty of only five years in prison]
In the case of an Iranian woman, Ameneh Bahrami—now blind and mutilated—she’s getting restitution in the form of dropping five drops of the same acid into her victimizer’s, Majid Movahed, eyes. However, he will be blessedly unconscious unlike Bahrami was when Movahed threw acid in her face in the street.
Bahrami is the only one who can pardon the Iranian court’s sentence. And she’s not going to. Instead, she hopes her actions will send a concrete message to any man ever considering such an act. And I do too. The difference between Bahrami and Movahed? Her action is one for the greater good, not for vengeance. She is literally taking an eye for an eye but I don’t believe she’s getting even and I bet her BP is just fine.
I probably couldn’t do what she’s doing but I sure understand why she is. Sometimes, when bullies keep bullying, the only way to get them to hear you is to mirror what they’re doing in similar fashion. Sometimes, actions do have consequences.
But what scares me most? Since Movahed is male, does this mean that in order for him to return to “normal” he’ll believe he has something to get even for once again?