I’ll try to write about this with as little abject fury as possible. Yesterday morning, my Facebook feed was full of sympathetic posts about Janay Rice, some good burgeoning conversations about domestic violence and how it’s been swept under the rug and normalized by our culture — but by the afternoon more than half the conversations I saw centered around statements like “What, was she stupid?” or “Anyone with half a brain knows how a MAN should act” or “If she’s going to stay, she’s bringing it on herself.”
Did the Hulk do diaphragmatic breathing or something? What were his methods? I need to know. Keep reading »
Yesterday, after TMZ released video footage of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally attacking his then-fiance Janay Palmer, Rice was cut from the team by the NFL. Instead of sympathy or concern, Janay has mostly been the target of criticism, in particular for marrying her abuser and/or somehow inciting the violence in the first place. Writer Beverly Gooden grew fed up with the victim-blaming nonsense she saw on her Twitter feed, and decided to share her own story of abuse. Gooden told Mic, ”When I saw those tweets, my first reaction was shame. The same shame that I felt back when I was in a violent marriage. It’s a sort of guilt that would make me crawl into a shell and remain silent. But today, for a reason I can’t explain, I’d had enough. I knew I had an answer to everyone’s question of why victims of violence stay. I can’t speak for Janay Rice, I can only speak for me…I want people to know that they have a voice! That they have the power. That’s so critical, that survivors feel empowered.” Keep reading »
When gun violence is addressed, the first thing that comes to mind are horrific mass shootings, but one of the most common victims of gun violence are women with abusive partners. Abused women are five times more likely to be murdered by their abuser if the abuser owns a gun, and more than half of all women murdered by guns in the US are killed by their partners. The nonprofit Everytown put together this powerful ad in support of the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, which would prevent domestic abusers and stalkers from being able to get a gun. It’s hard to think of scenes like this as a reality, but they will continue to happen every day until policy changes are in place to better protect women. Think before pressing play, because it’s a bit disturbing. [Smart Gun Laws, Everytown]
Berryville, Arkansas — Two days before she died, Laura Aceves stood on the side of the road and frantically dialed the police for the last time.
It was early afternoon and the 21-year-old had finished her shift at the Berryville Tyson Foods plant, where she worked on an assembly line deboning chicken. Moments after pulling out of the parking lot, her car broke down. At the nearest service station, a mechanic identified the problem: Someone had poured bleach in her gas tank. Read more on Huffington Post…
Mother’s Day is when advertising distills motherhood down to home-cooked brunch, a bracelet, or a fragrant bouquet. But for far too many people, the relationship with their mom is a complicated one. Not all mothers have been nurturing and caring; not all daughters and sons have overcome the trauma of their childhoods as adults. There can be a lot of love in a mother-child relationship, but also a deep well of pain. That’s why The End Of Eve: A Memoir, by Ariel Gore, is the perfect antidote to Mother’s Day.
Several years ago, Gore, who is the editor of Hip Mama magazine, was happily in a relationship with her partner and raising a college-aged daughter and a toddler son, when she got some news. Her narcissistic, emotionally abusive mother, Eve, announced she had cancer.
So, Gore and her family picked up their lives and moved to spend the last couple of years caring for Eve — who, in turn, made everyone’s lives difficult in every possible way, like reporting Gore and her partner to Child Protective Services for (nonexistent) child abuse. But Gore was dedicated to both caring for her sick mom and trying to keep her relationship with her girlfriend together.
As a memoirist, Ariel Gore is gifted: she is able to tell a heartbreaking story of illness and betrayal with the perfect mix of respect, humor and irreverence. I called Gore at home to talk about The End Of Eve, which I absolutely devoured. Our conversation is after the jump!
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I woke up the morning after feeling irritated, a clutching pain behind my eyes. Alert, but not wanting to do anything. There it was, that vague feeling of dis-ease, a familiar disconnection.
It’s difficult to admit how personally triggered I was by Dylan Farrow’s open letter in The New York Times. I would rather ignore it, throw myself into work or blame the feeling on something else— maybe I’m mad at my boyfriend. Maybe it’s my body; maybe I could make the way I’m feeling about the way I look— but that’s not the truth. I know what’s wrong and— like Farrow’s story itself, it’s worth saying out loud.
It was less Farrow’s letter than it was people’s reactions that had upset me. “Friends” on Facebook jumped to Woody Allen’s defense, many posting that awful piece on Daily Beast as if it were some kind of counterpoint. Yeah, it’s Facebook, I know I shouldn’t care. But my connections to people, however they come, are important. And besides, some of these people were friends in real life, individuals that I used to trust and respect. That trust and respect was gone.
Reading through comments, I found myself sickened. I mean, if it’s your position that you don’t know what happened, why say anything at all? Why re-enforce the message to survivors that we won’t be believed? That we’re making it up and anyways, who cares?
This is exactly what perpetrators do, I thought to myself. This is exactly what makes our traumas traumatic. Keep reading »