[TW: domestic violence]
The other question everybody asks is, why doesn’t she just leave? Why didn’t I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don’t: It’s incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she’s gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries; denial of financial resources; and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn’t she just leave?
“Why domestic violence victims don’t leave” - Leslie Morgan Steiner (via childofweakness)
The question itself is part of a system of oppression. It’s not a real inquiry, it’s a reminder that abuse is a problem that the abused person should solve.
If it were a sincere inquiry, we’d hear, just as often, “If he was unhappy, why didn’t he leave instead of beating her?” But we don’t hear that.
One thing I’ve trained myself to notice more often in the past year is the loudness of a man’s voice when you (a woman) are debating or arguing with him. In most cases, when you disagree with him or he feels challenged, his voice gets louder and louder as he tries to reassert his opinions, sometimes interrupting or trying to talk over you.
And a lot of people, when I mention this, play the devil’s advocate and insist that all people do this naturally when trying to get their point across or prove themselves right. They tell me I’m too sensitive, that I’m just trying to demonize men for my “feminist agenda.”
But if you’re a woman (especially one without a deeper voice), you probably don’t subconsciously do this while arguing, especially with men. I know I don’t. Because when women get loud, especially in passioned, emotional ways, we are not more likely to be listened to. We are called hysterical or shrill, told to calm down, regarded as “bitches,” and our words are disregarded. I know that when I argue with men, I go out of my way to keep my voice even and calm even when my blood is boiling. Even when their voices escalate, even when I’ve been talked over for the fifth time. Because otherwise, I will be discredited for using the same tactics that are being used against me.
That’s without mentioning the fear so many women have of shouting, loud men. An overwhelming amount of violence women face is from men, and when they become loud or belligerent, we don’t know what to expect, and many of us fear the worst. Because to be weary is to be concerned with our survival.
A shouting man may not realize that he is forcing any woman with which he argues into a battle to subdue her own emotions while flaunting the systematic power he holds over her, but he is. And if you don’t think that’s a mechanism of the patriarchy and its silencing of women, you need to open your eyes.
[TW: Rape] Better late than never? Public spotlight on rape in the US military
“if i’m a person of color, i’m allowed to hate white people!!!!’
“if i’m gay, i’m allowed to hate straight people!!!!”
“if i’m a woman, i’m allowed to hate men!!!”
“if i’m trans*, i’m allowed to hate cis people!!!”
The problem with this post—one of the problems with this post—is what we might call the logic of allowance. In point of fact, the reverse of those statements is true across the board.
White people are allowed to hate people of color, and we do, with wide-reaching results. Straight people are allowed to hate gay people, and they do, with wide-reaching results. Men are allowed to hate women, and they do, with wide-reaching results. Cis people are allowed to hate trans* people, and they do, with wide-reaching resutlts. These hatreds are allowed, encouraged, supported, and upheld on systemic and personal levels.
The “reverse hatreds” being cited with such gleeful derision (this is hateful post, by the way… whether you agree with its sentiments or not, this post mocks people and kicks them when they’re down and I’m very disappointed to see a blog that I don’t think of as hateful reblogging it) aren’t actually allowed. They aren’t tolerated. They are slapped down. Just observe on Tumblr how a person of color who is not suitably deferential to white people… and this is a moving goalpost, often an invisible goalpost that is erected on the fly specifically to pounce on and victimize a particular blogger… observe how they get treated. Observe the reaction to trans* people who don’t bow to cis sensibilities.
And some might say “WELL WHAT DO YOU EXPECT WHEN YOU SAY THINGS LIKE DIE CIS SCUM OR DEMAND WHITE PEOPLE EXPLAIN WHY THEY’RE FOLLOWING YOU”, but here’s the thing: those things are reactions. And I’m sure the person who made this post and everyone who co-signs it would say “well, those reactions are just as bad as the actions they’re a response to”.
First of all, they’re not, on any level. You might believe in your heart of hearts that they’re not good, but there’s a severe imbalance of power and a resulting imbalance in effect. If a tractor trailer hauling several tons of cargo has a head-on collision with a smart car… well, we could say that they both hit each other. But that descriptor tells us nothing about the aftermath.
Or to use a better example: a pedestrian gets struck in the crosswalk by a car. Might the pedestrian have looked both ways or exercised more care to avoid the accident? Yes, possibly. But the impact of the car on the pedestrian matters more than the impact of the pedestrian on the car, a fact which is actually recognized by law.
Second… if they’re just as bad, well, then why do so many ~*good progressives*~ expend so much time and energy addressing only half of the problem? You can believe that two wrongs don’t make a right, but by addressing the second wrong, you’re implying that one wrong is just hunky-dory. And the wrong you seek to redress says a lot about the actual values that guide your hand.
You could say hate isn’t a Christian value. How about recognizing when someone is in pain and giving them balm? Is that a Christian value? Is it a Christian value to see a scream of rage and frustration and blame the person who gave vent to it?
Jesus might as well have said “I was powerless and you did not empower me, I was defenseless and you did not protect me, I was marginalized, and you did not center me.” when he spoke of physical hunger and thirst.
The hatred society directs at “the least among us” is lethal; the hatred reflected back is an embarrassing reminder of the cloud of hostility and threats society forces them to live under. That’s why we’re so uncomfortable with the latter, even as we blithely accept all but the most blatant and egregious examples of the former, and try to rationalize away or deny what we can’t ignore.
why shouldn’t I be allowed to hate people who are trying to kill me again i’ve never gotten a good reason for this