While the direct blame for abuse rests solely on the abusers, we live in a culture that supports and perpetuates the cycle of violence. It is on all of us to listen, support and validate the voices of those who come forward. Victims shouldn’t feel censored or have their stories dismissed just because there isn’t a direct line solution to their complicated realities. We cannot get to #WhyILeft without confronting the reasons #WhyIStayed.
At first glance, Charlotte Alter’s piece on Time.com, “Instead of Asking Women Why They Stay, We Should Ask Men Why They Hit,” sounds sensible. In 140 characters, it even seemed empowering — almost spectacularly right on the money.
Why are we asking Janay Rice and other victims of intimate partner violence to explain themselves?? Abuse survivors shouldn’t need to justify their circumstances and choices in a hashtag. Shouldn’t we be as shocked and appalled at that conversation as Alter seems to be?
Actually, no. It turns out, she has missed the point entirely. 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 »
Continuing a long tradition of celeb family members who should just shut up, Nick Cannon’s father posted — then removed — a damning comment on Facebook seemingly aimed at Mariah Carey. As everyone in the world is now aware of, Nick and Mariah are currently separated, the chief rumor being Nick was unfaithful.
Not so, says Nick Cannon’s televangelist father, James. According to the Hollywood gossip blog Crazy Days And Nights, the elder Mr. Cannon posted the following statement on his Facebook page and “deleted [it] a short time later”:
Here a thing to talk about if the wife love sex and the man can’t stand making love to her. What should that women do?
Heres a thing, if the husband say no lies, and the wife lies all the time, what should that man do?
Here a thing, if the wife put on 200 pounds and the husband like a nice slim wife what should that man do?
If a husband tells his wife not to have an abortion, and she it anyways, what should that man do?
Here a thing, if a husband wants to have ten children and his wife only wants two children then what should that man do?
Um, awkward. You have to wonder what Nick’s father was thinking. There’s no way a post like that wasn’t going to be embarrassing to his son. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins made comments about rape and pedophilia on Twitter that made many people angry.
From what I can gather, Dawkins appeared to have been tweeting over the weekend regarding religion and Israel, saying support for the Israeli state does not mean condoning the country’s current behavior in Gaza. Then he pivoted his examples — I would argue somewhat insensitively — to ones about about sexual abuse:
Keep reading »
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