I would like to revisit a subject here. It has to do with this thread:
http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/somebody-please-slap-rihanna-again/ and most particularly this comment.
A few thoughts…
I’d love to know what actual survivors of domestic violence think of her as opposed to people who talk about it but have never experienced it (not witnessed it mind you, but experienced it) themselves…
First, you began your post with a joke (your word was figuratively) about violence against a woman, then get mad that Rihanna doesn’t take it seriously? You don’t see the hypocrisy in this?
Second, her behavior is extremely typical of most women in abusive relationships. Your judgmental reactions to her response is no help for her or any other girl/woman in an abusive relationship who may be reading your post. Think about it, telling the woman who has been told and shown (violently) by someone she loved who she thought loved her, that she is stupid/without value/”hopelessly clueless” that you agree doesn’t really empower her, or the “14 year old girls” who also may not have had the strength or self-value to leave the first time their abuser attacked them.
Third, I do think that Esquire and anyone else who is aching for her to speak out on domestic violence should direct their attentions elsewhere. She clearly has not dealt with this. She has repeated time after time that she doesn’t want to talk about this. People need to leave her alone. If a person had been sexually molested by a family member or close friend or raped, it is hard to imagine people pushing questions on someone like this in the same manner when that person has repeatedly expressed that they are not ready to discuss the topic. Then, when pressed, grow increasingly agitated.
Fourth, Esquire can pat itself on the back for asking the “hard questions” but those questions serve no purpose and actually a negative purpose (in her case) when you get no answer or unfortunately the angrily defensive answers they ultimately received. (I wonder how many abusers heard about her calling the situation “trivial” and were arrogantly holding their heads up defiantly looking at the girl/woman who did not have the strength to leave them? I wonder how many 14 year old girls read your article and thought “I am an idiot just like her. I do deserve to be slapped again.”) Great work Esquire! Keep it up! If you want to preach to the choir, you did it. If you want to help domestic violence victims, not so much. If you wanted to sell magazines with salacious controversy (I think I hit on it there), mission accomplished! Get off your high horse now you hypocrites.
If you are looking for a role model for domestic violence you should look no further than the mirror. Look at your own reaction to the situation. Look at your own negative judgment of her. Domestic abuse is a worldwide problem. It affects women of all races, ages, and economic brackets.
What’s important for these girls and women who may be in a violent relationship to remember are these things… you are not stupid and clueless for staying, you are actually very typical, you love someone although that one is not worthy of your love – and that happens to the best of us, you are not a weak person because you didn’t leave (despite what the abuser-or this author-thinks), you are beautiful, you are smart, you are loving, you are strong, you can make it, you are talented, you didn’t do anything to deserve being abused, humans are imperfect and you are imperfect and you have the right to make mistakes without paying for them with your life or health (or in slaps, as this author “figuratively” suggests, punches, or choke holds), you are important, you matter, and you are not to believe anyone who says differently – whether it be your abuser or the author of this blog. There is help out there for you, more help and support than you know, believe me.
If you are in danger, you can get out, you deserve better (even if you stayed the first, second, or third time). Connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline here:http://www.thehotline.org/ or here: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233).
Signed, a former victim of domestic abuse who left after the third incident and so desperately needed to hear “you are important, you are not stupid, and you can make it” and didn’t even realize it.
I have to admit that this comment brought me up short because of this person’s first hand experience with the subject and her passion in expressing just how she felt about how domestic violence and the people victimized by it are viewed.
I will speak for myself. I could do better. I could do more to understand the what and the way. I can also share some of the things that I have learned along the way.
I was fortunate enough to come across this series of videos from Pastor Ladawnna Hudson. A survivor of DA herself who now dedicates her life to helping women get out of these situations and to build a better life for her self and her children. So much of what Pastor Hudson is talking about dovetails neatly with the work BWE bloggers are doing and with what site BB&W talks about.
I hope you will take some time to watch these short clips and pass them along to other women who can benefit from them.