What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Domestic Violence
When it comes to the discussion about domestic violence (or as they say in barbershops, “laying hands on a woman”), we’ve been doing it wrong.
We love to talk about it, but not until it becomes an actual thing in the news, when famous people are either the perpetrator or the victims of such an act. Then, the media goes out of its way to act like it cares. They say it’s a serious problem, start applying a whole bunch of statistics and try to say the celebrities involved are a reflection of an ongoing issue and we need to talk about it!
All of it is legit, because domestic violence is a legit issue and we must talk about it, we must educate people on it beyond the fact that it’s wrong, because we need it to go away. But domestic violence is never going away, and part of that has to do with our inability to really do any of those things I just mentioned.
I bring this up because as someone who witnessed it in their own home growing up, I get disgusted the way we cover it in celebrity news. I hate the way these discussions focus on individuals who we don’t know in any real way. We want to use them as props for a discussion that we should always have, but the reason we don’t, the reason it eventually goes away and lies dormant until the next celebrity thinks it’s a good idea to lay hands on their partner, is because to take it out of the celebrity context is to put the spotlight on us.
We want to talk about this issue, but we want to do it in the least personal way possible. I sort of get that, because you know, privacy and all, but domestic violence is deeply personal to many of us because we actually went through it or were affected by it. As a matter of fact, it’s because it’s happened to us in a real way that we want to say anything about it.
As far as I’m concerned, no one should be talking about the choices of a Chris Brown or Rihanna post-that-horrible-incident unless they’re willing to talk about why they actually care so much. You want to talk about Chad and Evelyn, but if you’re only talking about them as opposed to the deeper issues they’re dealing with, you’re basically recapping an episode of a reality television show that hasn’t aired yet.
Every single time I hear about a domestic violence case in the news, I get goosebumps, especially when I see ones that took place in front of children. When I read stories about a man who chose violence as a way to get his point across while the children were home, I think about those kids because I know what it’s like to be those kids.
But I don’t want to talk about it, not at length, nor in detail, and that’s a difficult thing to admit. It is absolutely wrong for a man to lay hands on a woman, that much has been clear for I don’t know how many years, what isn’t clear is why it still happens.
Love is a great equalizer because it makes all of us dumb. It makes us accept and tolerate things we probably wouldn’t if we were in our right mind. But love has nothing to do with our mind and everything to do with our hearts, we just don’t want to admit it. Common sense will tell you don’t stay with a man that you’re afraid is going to hit you again, but love is why you have faith that he won’t. Common sense will tell you to never hit a woman, but love will be the reason you won’t ever hit her again.
I get tired of people using their heads to talk about two people who are acting with their hearts. Get logic all the way outta here. This is the show we deserve folks because most of us know love makes us do the dumbest shit ever.
We need to talk about the issues with the men who have committed such an act and the women who either take them back or never push them away after it happens. Once we talk about that, then we might finally be getting somewhere. But in order to do so, we would have to start talking about our own experiences with it. We would have to admit that we’re no better than someone like Chris Brown or Rihanna, that even though we may not be #teambreezy on a matter of principle and political correctness, we know someone, (sorry, loved someone) who was just as flawed as him and committed similar crimes against the fairer sex. It’s easy for us to call Rihanna a fool because at times she looks and sounds like she would take the ex who beat her back swiftly, but we know someone or maybe we were that someone, who did the same, and that’s even more troubling.
The biggest lie we tell ourselves is we actually care about what Chris Brown or Rihanna does because they’re celebrities. But it’s like that section in US Weekly, we really care about them because this incident and the after-effects of it make them more like us than we care to admit. That’s why, when it comes to domestic violence, we talk about them more than we talk about us.