Monday, December 19, 2011

Blogging Hiatus

We'll be taking a little blogging hiatus to celebrate the holidays. If you spot an article that you think our fans should see, post it on our Facebook wall. We'll see you in January. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Taylor Armstrong Blames Self for Abuse

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong gave an interview about the domestic violence she experienced last night, and she said that she "ended up in this situation because of [her] own flaws and [her] own insecurities." We want to say to Taylor, her viewers, and the rest of the world, that this is patently false.

No one deserves to have violence used against them and there is literally nothing in the world I can do to cause you to hit me. We each have individual responsibility to control our anger and to control our bodies, and each time we get angry, we have a choice to make. We can choose to hit another person, to scream, to walk away, to dig a hole, or to do whatever we need to do to channel our emotions and our adrenaline. However, it is our choice, and ours alone.

Whether a person is weak or strong, it doesn't make it their fault if they are hit. If a person is well-educated or not, it doesn't make it their fault if they are hit. If a person is confident or self-conscious, rich or poor, gay or straight, well, you get the picture.

Many women blame themselves for the violence used against them. It's not surprising. As a society, we blame her, too. We just couldn't believe that boy-next-door Chris Brown would possibly hit Rihanna. She must have done something to cause it. And even when her bloodied, broken face was plastered throughout the media, some people still blamed her while others acknowledged that the crime was committed, but pressed us to hurry up and forgive.

Isn't this tragic? We blame survivors so much that they internalize the blame and put it on themselves. Not only that, they go on national television and spread that blame to all women who have been victimized. There is a poison in our culture that allows this to happen, and it is going to take all of us standing up to this type of victim-blaming to find a cure.

Check out this follow-up article: 5 Domestic Violence Myths I Learned Still Exist From Watching ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’

Monday, December 5, 2011

5 Things a Survivor Wants You To Know

Last week, we spotted this amazing post from The Good Men Project, written by a domestic violence survivor. She challenges 5 myths about domestic violence, using her own story to set the record straight:
I’m not weak.

I , legitimately, walk the planet on a daily basis knowing that there is someone out there that wants to physically harm me. I live knowing that, at any minute, Scott could return. And I’m only able to do this because on a hot July afternoon I picked up my broken body from the concrete floor and limped out of the door, without looking backward. Nobody else did that for me. Nobody was there to protect me from the madness, nor did they hold me by the arm while I walked on a strained ankle and battered knee. I was in so much pain that I wanted to crawl. But I didn’t, knowing that if I took even a second longer than necessary he might kill me. Weakness wasn’t an option. Strength is what allowed me to survive. And it kept me alive every day before and every day after.

It wasn’t easy to come home to a house that didn’t have electricity or running water. It was heartbreaking to have my car repossessed two days after I made the decision to leave. Trying to find a job, without a car, was embarrassing and difficult. But I did it. And I lived in a home for the next several months knowing that, at any moment, he could walk back into my life (and my house) because he knew where I was and he knew that my back window was broken out (because he shattered it with his left fist).

Survivors of domestic abuse are strong.
This excerpt is just one highlight from an article that you really should read in its entirety.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Our Favorite Christmas Song About Rape

In many places, December 1 (or the day after Thanksgiving in stores and shopping malls) marks the official beginning of the holiday season, and that means incessant Christmas music. This makes our staff cringe every year, because we know we are about to be bombarded with one of our least favorite holiday songs, Baby It's Cold Outside.

This duet has been covered by a long list of musical legends, and it sounds great, but the content of the song is more than a little disturbing. In essence, it is a song about sexual coercion and, possibly, rape.

In the song, the female character is trying to leave her partner's home for the night. She comes up with many good reasons to leave, but her partner is insistent that she stay the night, despite her obvious desire to go. You might be tempted to interpret this as coyness. After all, as women, we are not encouraged in our society to be direct when talking about sex. If we say no, we are frigid prudes. If we say yes, we are whores. But even if you choose to interpret their back and forth as an innocent game, the innocence flees instantly in this lyric:

"Say, what's in this drink?"

It could simply be a delicious beverage that causes her to wonder about the ingredients but, in context, it is more likely either a much stronger drink than she expected or it has an ingredient that she did not agree to having added. Both of those suggestions lead the listener to believe that she is being chemically manipulated into staying against her will. It doesn't exactly put us in the mood for Christmas.

Before you call us oversensitive feminists, check out this article - "8 Romantic Songs You Didn't Know Were About Rape." We're not the only ones who noticed.