Trigger Warning: Domestic violence
I’ve been making sense of the whole #yesallwomen business. Mostly thinking about it to myself and discussions with my partners and friends. When I really think about the feeling I get, it’s enraged and perhaps a good amount of regret and guilt. Processing things is never an easy task.
I grew up in a home with a lot of domestic violence. Beating your wife or children was/is very common from my culture. It’s not seen as bad, it’s seen as behavior modification.
With brings me to this,
I remember very clearly the domestic abuse I witnessed my mother had to go through. Her ex-husband was quite abusive and I experienced my share of it. He once beat her so bad that she got a concussion, he beaten her into a closet. There was screaming, crying and begging. The whole thing is still pretty burnt into my mind.
I tried to defend her for a little while, but then I started to feel maybe she did deserve it. I was angry that we had to be part of it. I was angry that I was being hurt by this person myself. That she didn’t defend me, like a mother should. I felt this way for a long time. I blamed her for the domestic violence we all suffered at her exe’s hands. That she should have know better.
But the sad thing is, we assume all people should “know better” in these situations, we don’t take into account how easy it is to fall into these situations. These abusers don’t come at you swinging, they usually are sweet and do all the right things to earn trust. Along with the all the hell my mother’s ex put us through, I can still remember him buying me penny candy. I remember him being nice to me. I remembered a time he treated my mother well.
We do this thing, as a society towards women. We excuse their abuser’s behavior, that because said abuser says nice things, does nice things sometimes, that it’s our duty to accept the “not so great parts”. That as long as they are kept happy, they aren’t terrible people. Well, if this shitty person has to rely on others to keep them happy and not lose their shit like a toddler, they aren’t good people. Plain and simple.
And much like a small child who doesn’t know better; if you can’t use your words to express yourself properly, you get a time out.
I’m still angry at those who don’t notice or excuse it for whatever reason. Because the idea is “Yeah, that kinda shit happens, what are you gonna do about it?”
Be vocal, stop silencing, stop treating it like it’s okay. Stop treating it like it’s a “private matter” It’s that kind of shit that causes women to never seek help. By keeping this up, we keep accepting it. Being quiet and bystanders to abuse, we accept it. By inaction, we are automatically siding with abusers.
Even worse, by not stopping this and changing our handling of violence towards women (or anyone) we are telling the next generation of women that it’s acceptable to be treated so. That your discomfort to change the status quo, is more important than making sure our daughters don’t have to go through this. That they should accept mediocrity. And there’s never a good reason to accept mediocrity.
So, Yes to all women. Yes to all humans to not make violence acceptable. It’s not.
If you or someone you know is being abused, here is some numbers for help. Please do not hesitate to call. Remember, it is never your fault.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project