Assyrian women are the strongest, most talented, skilled, capable, intelligent, and hard-working women in the world. They are natural givers, lovers, nurturers, leaders, and matriarchs, which is why they make excellent wives, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and aunts. They are devoted to their husbands, children, family, friends, associates, and Assyrian institutions.
Without Assyrian women, our nation would have stopped evolving, producing, and restructuring itself, and our language would have ceased to exist. No school, church, or social and political organization could survive without Assyrian women.
Assyrian women are synonymous with unconditional love, self-sacrifice, and devotion. Each one of them is a Goddess, who fills the home of any Assyrian family with joy. When you enter a clean home, smell great food cooking, and experience an organized and well-run household, and interact with healthy, happy and clever children, know you are in an Assyrian home.
In spite of all these outstanding characteristics, Assyrian women are
some of the most neglected, abused, oppressed, and repressed women in
the world. They are taken for granted by every male household member,
(husbands, sons, brothers, even some fathers) as in the Middle Eastern
tradition of Patriarchal societies.
I know of many Assyrian women who have no rights in their own households, which are at times ruled with an iron fist. They are mentally and physically abused, belittled, put-down, cussed at, called horrible names, yelled at, and treated as servants. Most of the time Assyrian women are silent about their plight, sacrificing themselves for the sake of the family unit. They are either afraid or embarrassed to share their nightmares with other Assyrian women, repressing their own internal pain, and are even made to feel shame by other Assyrian women for leaving their husbands under extreme conditions. Most Assyrian women have no empathy or sympathy towards the abused Assyrian women, feeling that if a woman leaves her husband for ANY reason whatsoever, she is a harlot. Hence, many Assyrian women suffer in silence.
Even the most non-physically abusive Assyrian men are raised to disrespect Assyrian women in language or gesture, due to their socialization process. They would never DREAM of treating another man the same way as they allow themselves to treat an Assyrian woman, to the extent this is “accepted” behavior in Assyrian society, even today. I personally have encountered many educated, talented, well-respected Assyrian men who not only minimize and marginalize the role Assyrian women play in our society, but because of their over-inflated egos, or personal insecurities, they abuse women in a very violent way that would otherwise be unacceptable in any human society. This is not the end of this tragedy, however, to the degree that no other Assyrian man will step forward and publicly intervene, unwilling to risk his reputation among the “good old boys network.”
This sort of Boys club mentality has perpetuated the abuse of Assyrian women in our nation, and has gone so far as to hinder any progressive struggle against such unacceptable behavior, creating an endless vicious cycle of violence, abuse, sexism, and gender-control. Gender-based violence both reflects and reinforces inequities between men and women, and compromises the dignity, security, autonomy, and even the physical and mental health of women. Any one of these abuses can leave deep psychological scars, damaging not only the relationship between the couple, but adversely affecting the entire family.
Verbal, mental and physical abuse of Assyrian women is probably the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights abuse in Assyrian society. Gender-based violence also serves, (by intention or affect) to perpetuate male power and control. It is sustained by our culture of silence and denial, and its harmful affects undermine the Assyrian family unit, as well as the overall Assyrian social structure.