Friday, August 19, 2011
Love is Not a Fight it's a Journey :Feminism Fridays
I have known countless girls, and women,who have been beaten and in some cases killed by the men they loved/feared. And while I was never a battered woman, I have experienced domestic violence, as well. Growing up in New Orleans is tough. Women are abused here at ,as much as, seven times the national average.
I've gotten in plenty arguments/debates with men and women about female on male abuse. No one is here to deny that it happens or dispute that it is wrong. But the comparison between the two is false--men lie, women lie, the numbers don't. Fully 60% of the women murdered in New Orleans were killed by their intimate partner.
Based on the life I have led, the pain I have witnessed women endure-- I have been led to this conclusion,it's not okay and shouldn't be rationalized...period.
Domestic violence, as it most popularly understood, is an epidemic in our society,in my city, and my community. One of my soul's innermost desires is to one day see our culture begin to shift in our thinking on this topic. Its always hurtful to see women who have been,are currently being abused defend,and those that haven't, rationalize or sympathize with the behavior of abusers.
The classic and most famous case is the Rihanna/Chris Brown incident. Some might say that I am harping on a years old story but what happened in that car goes on every day. I would contend that our community's cultural response to that incident is still very relevant. At the height of all of it, I was truly disgusted by the amount of "she probably hit him first" coming from women. I mean, damn, he choked her till she almost passed out--her blood was sprayed on the car windows--beat her while she was limp.
I'm not here to demonize Chris Brown over a past incident or say that there is no redemption possible for him. I do understand black people's anger at Chris Brown being turned into Scary Black Dude of The Year, while Charlie Sheen, and countless other white celebrity perps of domestic violence receive a pass for those offenses. But black women need to wake-up and smell the roses.
This isn't about white people, men or the media--its about us.
For all our defense of our son,brother,lover Chris...he came from a troubled background, he watched his mother be beaten..etc, I have two questions. One, what does understanding your old man's childhood trauma do for a black eye, busted lip or cracked rib? Two, when Steve McNair's boo-thang blew him away, did you hear or see men, take to the internet and airwaves in droves to say, "But he lied to her about leaving his wife, she was financially stressed, she came from a broken home"...?
Of course not--they know better than to be on anyone elses' side but their own.
Women need to stop thinking about their relationships with men in such simple,sentimental, moralistic terms. One of my best guy friends just shared this gem with me, "you gotta make sure the juice is worth the squeeze..ya heard". Ladies,we have to break our addiction to "caring"--you can't keep being hurt just because you know why your partner is an abuser. It is time for us to embrace love from a cost-benefit perspective.
Your life is priceless and happiness is your right.
We need to elevate and find