Domestically abusive relationships swarm the media like killer bees, and the response from the public all seem to have this one thing in common – the bashing of the women who are normally victims in such situations. Being an AA woman, I can’t help but to question the code of such logic, held by many of our own peers. New York Knicks player Ray Felton has just recently been charged with multiple gun charges for waving a fully loaded 28mm at his wife. Just one week ago, Ray Rice was caught on camera dragging his limp bodied girlfriend out of an elevator, after knocking her out cold. Shamelessly enough, the fans of Felton’s as well as Rice have commented providing some pretty harsh criticism via social networks. Why is that? Why are we giving ‘hall passes’ to men who obviously need to face consequences and/or seek help for their aloof decisions? The excuse and commentary from everyday people, both men and women, seem to point towards the ideas that ‘the body of a woman holds little to no value’ and ‘a woman’s safety is not vital’. Today’s culture, influenced by media , sports, and music genres suggest that women should be more open with their sexuality and passive with the disrespect they allow in their personal lives. We’re expected to give all of our physical, with expecting nothing but the minimum of blame, disrespect, and passive commentary about physical altercations that could end our lives in seconds.
Most importantly, why must women compromise their own integrity or even safety, by being quiet about being domestically abused? Why are we being asked to compromise our own lives with the feelings of disappointed fans? Would the angered commentators rather these women, the mother of some child, be quiet, and lead to their surprising death – because she was too afraid of backlash to say something? In many domestic abuse situations, let’s be clear on the fact that there are kinks and incorrect information being reported – due to drastic emotion and personal feelings. We understand that, but, why is it so common for society to question women who ‘claim victim’? The first thing that is normally asked when a celebrity or public figure is accused of domestic violence is: ‘What did she do?’ Too often this seems to be this ‘cheap inquiry pass’ provided by many, who provide thoughts that women are just as guilty in domestic abuse situations than men. The shameful mental escape that women are expected to emotionally, physically and mentally travel, while being abused and battered, is one sick suggestion. No, I will never be so shallow and state that the females who are involved in domestic disputes are all 100% innocent in their actions. I will not write off those situations where women provoke physical altercations. Women who provoke abuse are just as ‘at fault’ than their male opponent, but this doesn’t write off the fact that the number of domestic violent related injuries and deaths exceed the number of car accidents, rapes, and muggings combined. Although female-on-male abuse is relevant, the reports don’t reflect it as being a worldwide issue, compared to the abuse on women. It also doesn’t write off the fact that most men carry a natural physical advantage over the women who make them angry enough to strike them.
Why as women are we expected to place aside our fear and frustration, to caress the egos of disappointed fans? Who cares if the alleged abuser is an NBA player or your favorite music artist? If in fact guilty, that person is a womanizer and destructive to the bodies of those who physically naturally are weaker – women. Take your star struck mentality away from the lives of these humans who’re committing mistakes that set horrible examples for our future’s women. If you know of someone being domestically abused, lead them to expert sites like the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, where they can find the help they need. Women are delicacies of this world. They deserved to be treated as such, and domestically violent relationships must end.
Chakara Conyers is a music journalist, published fiction author, public speaker and W.R.I.T.E. is Right community program facilitator. She can be reached at [email protected]