You knew it wouldn’t be long before I stirred things up a bit.
Penelope Trunk, a career blogger and a participant of my Beautiful Project, is almost live blogging her abusive relationship with her husband. Last week she posted a shocking image of her with bruises (warning: it may be more than you want to see of her nether regions).
It’s her follow up post that I’m calling my “great thought” moment of the day, but not really because of the content. Whether or not you agree with her decision on this hot button topic, you can agree that unkindness never helps anyone. Reading the post really changed my day and made me want to be better. Penelope talks about the comments that she got from the first post. It is eye-opening how harsh people let themselves be. People, we have got to treat each other better.
I’ve spent days reading the 500 comments on my blog and the comments about my situation on other blogs, and I’m absolutely shocked by the collective hatred and disdain for women who are in violent relationships.
Here’s what someone said on my blog: “Victims of domestic abuse suck at pressing charges.”
For some reason, people feel it is honorable to rip a woman to shreds if she is living with domestic violence. Here’s an example from the comments section on James Altucher’s blog:
“[Penelope Trunk is] out of her mind to think that her children are not being abused. She, in fact, is as guilty of that abuse as the farmer that beats her.”
The high-and-mightiness that emanates from the public discussion of domestic violence is breathtaking. Everyone is an expert. Everyone knows what’s right.
There are excellent awareness blogs out there, like Violence Unsilenced. And yes, Penelope might be known as being a bit unstable… and certainly when you are in a situation like she is in, you can’t think clearly. Penelope is reaching a different audience than the awareness blogs, one that is likely full of higher education and oriented toward career success. Perhaps it is the us versus them orientation — people don’t want to acknowledge that domestic abuse happens just about anywhere. It isn’t something for the other side of the tracks.
This post caused me to really think. It was painful to read the side that isn’t often vocalized. That’s why I’m sharing it.
“It’s not your fault” completely limits a woman’s choices, because you are saying that she is powerless to control the situation. And if you tell every woman “it’s not your fault” then they can’t improve. How do women get better at not creating a violent household? Probably by changing their behavior. This doesn’t mean “always tiptoe around your spouse and become a mouse”. But it can mean a wide range of positive changes.
It just jumped out at me how mean people were to someone who was clearly in need of compassion. People, we are so mean to one another and we end up hurting when we mean to protect. We need not be harsh when one is struggling, especially when it is evident that they are hurting.
I might be totally off though. What do you think? Are we right in trying to give people a wake up call?