I've been working on this post in my head for quite a while now. I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to say. It started out as a rant about powerful men who have secret love children. Then I moved on to asshole politicians like this guy who think it's perfectly fine to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies. And then there was this dummy: Anthony Weiner, who thinks every woman who follows him on Twitter wants actual junk mail from him. These types of men don't actually physically abuse women, but still use them and then lie about their actions to anyone who will listen.
All of these men abuse women in their own ways. They use women and degrade women and they marginalize women. These guys all suck, but they're not nearly as heinous as men like Chris Brown and now, Ray Rice.
Unless you live under a rock, you've heard of Ray Rice. He's the professional football player who punched his then-fiancee, now-wife in the head and knocked her out cold while they rode together in an elevator and then dragged her limp, unconscious body out of the elevator once it arrived at their floor. This incident happened in March, but just now Rice is being terminated from the NFL.
What took the NFL so long? There's a lot of Blah, blah, blah we didn't know. Oh fuck you, NFL. You're liars. We didn't need to see a video to know that Ray Rice is a piece of shit. Men like him just are. I don't care how fast he can run or well he can catch the ball or how much money he makes for the NFL. Fuck that noise. He ABUSES women. That's all I need to know about him. I'm guessing this isn't the first time he's cold cocked a woman that he claims to love. This is just the first time it was caught on tape and now the NFL has to do something about it. Come on, NFL, you were tougher on Michael Vick for abusing dogs! You're too little, too late.
There's a Twitter hashtag trending out there #WhyIStayed. It is heartbreaking to read why so many women stay in abusive relationships. There are so many reasons and I'm not judging them, I'm just so sad for them.
And then I'm furious. I'm furious because women shouldn't be in this position! Real men don't hit women. I am sick to death of men abusing women. I realize this is not a new problem. Men have ALWAYS abused women. Raping and pillaging was a world-wide sport and is still done in many countries. Here in America we're actually in a much better position now that we're not considered chattel and it's illegal to rape your wife, but we're still being abused and some are even dying at the hands of our husbands and boyfriends and that's total bullshit.
The hashtag shouldn't be #WhyIStayed, it should be #WhyDoMenHit. We're too focused on asking ourselves why Ray Rice's wife stayed with him. It doesn't matter why she stayed. Many women are trapped in these types of relationships because of many reasons. Their self-esteem is shot, they've been cut off from all family and friends and have no one to help them, they are literally held captive, they love their abuser. I don't care why Janay Palmer stayed with Ray Rice. I care WHY Ray Rice feels the need to beat up women. He's a 200 pound professional football player who hit a woman. Why did he do that? Why do men hit? Why do men feel the need to control and to abuse physically smaller and weaker individuals?
I have a son and I want to raise him to be respectful of women. I want him to understand that women are to be protected and not abused. I want him to know that women are to be cherished and not shamed.
There was another famous fight in an elevator caught on tape recently. This one was between Beyonce's husband Jay-Z and her sister Solange. No one is quite sure what started the fight, but the video shows Solange hitting and kicking Jay-Z. Do you know what Jay-Z did? He stood there and took it like a man. I'm not saying that what Solange did was right. I write a blog called People I Want to Punch in the Throat, but I've never actually hit anyone in my life. I don't advocate violence towards anyone. However, for reasons unknown, Solange took a few swipes at Jay-Z and he never even flinched. Jay-Z is much bigger than Solange and he could have easily knocked her out with one punch, but he never even raised his hands to protect himself. I will show my son that video and I will tell him that that's how a real man behaves.
And then I worry about my daughter. I want to raise her to be tough as nails. I don't want her to take shit from any man. I want her to watch The Burning Bed. I will teach her that she should have a plan and she should know that I will always help her. I want her to know that no matter what, she's never alone. Her abuser can cut her off from me, he can take away her self worth, but I will always love her and I will always be there to help her.
#WhyIStayed might be heartbreaking, but #WhyILeft is inspiring.
If you need help, please make a plan. Be safe. Take care of yourself and your children. Call 1-800-799-7233 or email The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
You are not alone.
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