Today seems hard…
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-=[ Cowardice ]=-
“Falsehood is cowardice, the truth courage.”
— Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American clergyman
I like to say that I write on the ‘net because I’m “Here to tell the truth.” At first blush that might sound arrogant and perhaps it is, I don’t honestly know. I do know that it is my intention to tell the truth as I see it.
Contrary to popular sentiment, opinions and knowledge are two distinct constructs: having a plenitude of the former doesn’t equate to possessing even a smidgen of the latter.
In fact, opinions mostly suck — big time.
No, what I offer isn’t mere opinion…
I’ve been listening and reading some of the most ignorant shit regarding domestic violence recently (connected to the Chris Brown violence) and I am disgusted. I have to sit back and wonder what the fuck people are using to make choices or form “opinions” because it damn sure has nothing to do with the truth.
Some of you may question my position regarding knowing the truth, and I would respond that you have a good question there. My response to such a question follows…
First, let me say right off that I come from a violent household. I am the oldest of five children and some of my earliest memories are of my mother using me as a shield so that my father would stop hitting her. He would hit her anyway… I can still clearly hear the thuds his fists made as he lashed out at my mother.
Whenever my father would hit my mother, I used to cry into my pillow and swear that I would never hit a woman. I have seen my mother have to face the public with a black eye, or make excuses for his behavior and I hated my father for that. But I also loved my father deeply and those feelings welled inside of me, creating demons that I would spend most of my life battling.
This does not privilege my position, or what I have to say on the subject. I am offering this personal information as an attempt at transparency. However, my experience does not detract from the following truth:
It is never right for a man to hit a woman… Period.
I don’t give a fuck what you say. I’ve heard women who admit to being abused actually go out of their way to rationalize the behavior of male batterers. I’ve heard so-called men, do likewise. To these women I say: when you say it’s okay to hit a woman (under any circumstances), you’re saying it’s okay for me to beat your funky ass down. When you rationalize or justify the behavior celebrity batterers/ abusers, you’re saying it’s okay for me to beat your daughter down. You’re saying that it’s okay for me to fuck your mother and treat her like a piece of shit.
Think about it.
If you’re a man and you’re rationalizing beating a woman, then you’re a coward. And I hope you never do time for beating on a woman, because male batterers suffer a lot inside the walls. Other criminals actually develop morals and you’ll be only fractionally better than a pedophile. This brings me to my second truth:
If you hit a woman, no matter what, you’re a coward. Period.
I believe the greatest danger we face as a society is a widespread inability to empathize. We form opinions and belief systems based solely on our insulated and often backward principles. Empathy is the ability to see the world through another person’s eyes without losing yourself in the process. It’s an ability we must learn to cultivate. Most people see or hear about a situation and immediately wade in with prefabricated (and often borrowed) notions about the world and how it should be.
In this way, women who get beat up are at fault for allowing it. Furthermore, you would never allow something like to happen to you. You’re different. You’re superior, smarter, slicker — you’re morally and intellectually superior than your abused sisters.
Perhaps empathy is best expressed in the Christian refrain, “There but for the grace of God go I… ”
But I’m not seeing a whole lotta Christianity being practiced these days. I see a lot whoopin’ and hollerin’, but I damn sure ain’t seeing no true Christian sentiment. Perhaps religion is part of the problem. After all, wasn’t it Eve’s fault we’re all in this mess to begin with?
Anyone can become part of a domestic violent relationship. What is domestic violence? It’s something that usually happens in the home. It is perpetrated by people who share some kind of intimate relationship. What is violent about it?
- Sixty percent of the women killed in the U.S. are killed by their husband or boyfriend.
- A woman is nine times more likely to be assaulted in her own home than on the street.
You may not believe that you’re not the type to get battered or be a batterer. I certainly hope you’re right — but the fact is that there is no way to know.
Battering relationships start out just like other relationships: with kisses, flowers, long walks on the beach, etc. One reason these relationships are so hard to detect (and harder to escape) is because they usually start out as romances and sometimes continue being romantic even while they are abusive.
If you bothered to get out of your comfort zone and actually attempted to understand this issue you would see repeatedly how easy it is to be abused and how hard it is to get out of once the abuse starts.
Why should you care? Here are a few numbers:
- In one year, there were about 4 million reported domestic assaults on women.
- 20% of those resulted in serious injury.
- A third of the women in hospital emergency rooms at any given time are there because of Domestic Violence.
- 25% of all female psychiatric patients who attempt suicide are victims of Domestic Violence.
- 85% of women in substance abuse programs are victims of Domestic Violence.
- 50% of the children in foster care are there largely because of Domestic Violence.
- 70% of child abuse is committed by the man of the house.
- In NYC, 40% of homeless families are fleeing Domestic Violence. Other large cities report similar numbers.
I have little patience and I am not here to sway anyone’s opinion. However, rather than compounding the issue with stupidity, perhaps educating yourself before sticking your fingers up your arse and offering the stench for others to smell would be in order.
The issue isn’t as simple as just walking away, but if you bothered to attempt some knowledge on the subject, you would see that truth immediately. Women attempt to escape all the time, but the way our social institutions are structured and the deep-seated bias against women, they often are not able to escape and often are forced to return to their batterers.
Finally, I’ve written about this before and have had one or two women say that I was trying to get some poosie by writing sympathetically on the subject. I have to shake my head in disgust when I hear such bullshit.
I will say that I am not a saint. My own hands are not clean. And while I didn’t grow up to be a batterer, I have hit a woman on one occasion and it was wrong. It was cowardly of me. There is never any justification for a man to hit a woman.
If you want some more information on the subject (rather than spouting off some of the dumbest bullshit I’ve ever heard), please visit the National Coalition against Domestic Violence website (click here). If you think you’re trapped in an abusive relationship, please visit the link, there are resources listed for organizations in every state. You’re not alone. For those who would judge? Read a book (click here for a list)
I’m here to tell the fuckin’ truth…