Monday, September 22, 2014

A Rant to Victim-Blamers about Victim-Blaming

Unless you've been under a rock the past several weeks, you've probably seen the video. You know the one. Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancĂ©e Janay. We finally saw what happened inside that elevator--the truth wasn't surprising. Sadly, I had been arguing for weeks on social media with men AND women who wanted to believe all sorts of alternatives about how Janay's lifeless body wound up being dragged out by the man she loves.

When the first video tape came out--the one where she was dragged, before the actual knock out was released--I heard many iterations of the following:
  • She probably attacked him so he defended himself
  • If she's gonna come after a running back, that's what she gets--it's his job
  • They were both drunk
  • If he was drunk, he didn't know what he was doing
  • If she was drunk, she went crazy
  • Maybe he shoved her and she hit her head
  • Bitch was probably drunk and fell and hit her head
  • Bitch married him anyway--clearly wants the money
  • Bitch married him anyway--she must like getting beat
  • Bitch married him anyway--she must be stupid
  • Bitch married him anyway--she deserves it
And then, when the knock out video was released, it was similar victim-blaming, but more along the lines of "bitch married him, wants the paycheck," "bitch married him, she's stupid," etc.

I'm coming to the realization that in 2014, women continue to be treated as second-class citizens in this society. Hell, I had a friend message me on Facebook after hearing a poll on the radio that said more listeners thought ANIMAL abuse was wrong than intimate partner abuse. Hey, I love animals just as much as the next person but...really?!?'s more ok for a woman (in most cases, it's a woman)--a human being--to be abused than an animal?

I've had to step away from many online arguments over this, if only for mental self-preservation. Many people really are this ignorant about domestic violence. And they'll say these things with so much self-perceived if they KNOW what it's like.

Let me tell you: you have NO IDEA what it's like unless you go through it.

Take a step back and really think this through. Do you REALLY think a woman WANTS to get beat? That she likes having black eyes and bruises and physical pain? That she deserves to be harmed at the hands of the man she loves?! And make NO mistake about it...she does love him. That's only one of the probably 50+ reasons she has for staying with his sorry ass. Because guess what? He has already sucked her in and made her fall in love with him BEFORE the abuse starts!

Don't you people understand that?! It's not like these men fly their abuser flag for all to see! ESPECIALLY when they're trying to win over their next target.

Abusers LIVE for the pursuit and know exactly how to play the game. And that's what is it...a game. Win her and get control over her. Meanwhile, victims are falling in love because we're told how amazing we are, never met anyone like us, we're an upgrade from their ex, they can see themselves growing old with us, all they want is a long life of happiness with us, they'll take care of us, they'll take care of our kids if we're coming into the relationship with them, they'll give us the life we've dreamed of, we're just so beautiful and kind and good and blah blah blah blah blaaaaahhhhhhhhh. They've been waiting their whole lives for someone just. like. us.

So okay, to all you men who want to blame us...maybe YOU are the problem. Maybe YOU see too many behaviors in descriptions of abusers that hit a little too close to home; maybe you fear you might just be one. Ever thought of that? Why in God's name would you blame a woman for a man beating her or abusing her in any way at all? Would you want that for your sister? Your mother? Your cousin? Your close female friends? Because I'm sure they're not all stupid women, right? But guess what CAN happen to the women you love. No one is immune. So quit blaming the gender you're supposed to be so enamored by and give us a break and help us out a little. Have our backs! Talk to your asshole controlling friends--you know who they are and you know you have them--and tell them to knock it off! Call them out on it!

And I have so very much to say to the women who victim-blame other women. I got into it with one lady who claimed to know so much about DV victims because she'd worked with them back in the mid-80s. I didn't tell her I was a survivor for a little bit, and then dropped the bomb that I'm a DV and gun violence survivor--and recently. Not from 30 years ago. It shut her up. But I hate to even have to pull that credential. I couldn't sway her with anything I said prior.

See, she thought she knew better. SO many women who haven't been abused think they know. "I wouldn't put up with that shit. I'd leave right away." "I'm not weak." "I'm not stupid." I've met countless survivors as a result of my journey and I'm here to tell you: they are some of THE strongest, smartest women I know. NONE fit the stereotype of weak victim. They're sassy and feisty, funny, educated. Drop dead gorgeous. We're just like any of you who have had the good luck not to have met an abusive man. AND let's not forget: abuse is more than physical only. There's emotional, mental, financial, sexual. Just because you're not getting beaten doesn't mean you've never been abused in any way--and if you haven't, you don't know how lucky you are. It's 1 in 4, ladies, 1 in 4.

I swear I will not stop until this victim-blaming crap ends. What about ABUSERS?! Why in the world are victims being blamed for the horrendous actions of abusers? THEY need to be held accountable and much stronger consequences must happen.

This is insanity. Please share this blog with anyone in your life who really needs to be TOLD about victim-blaming. It has to stop.

Love and Support for Kate Ranta and Family 

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