Accidental Timeliness

I don’t watch reality TV so I don’t know who these people are, but my wife sent me a link to an article called “Is female-on-male violence on the rise?” which is discussing the following clip from some MTV show called Teen Mom. (Wait. MTV still exists? Weird.) Warning: this clip is really sad.

As with most online articles, the discussion occurring in the comments section is as/if-not-more interesting than the article itself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 09:46 PM ET

Honestly. I’m a liberal and a feminist and this article is an embarrassment.

It really is a terrible take on this issue written with such extreme bias, I am embarrassed by it.

Domestic violence is wrong. Period. Any man who hits a woman whether it be a slapnor punch and any woman who hits a man whether it be out of frustration or not, is wrong.

Acknowledging that there is female to male domestic violence in no way diminishes the work feminists have done to address the real issue of male to female domestic violence. And to pretend that such an acknowledgement threatens the womens movement is ridiculous.

We cannot make excuses for women who hit. We cannot make excuses for men who hit. And it doesn’t matter the motivation or who ends up in the hospital. Couples who beat on each other feed violence to each other. We need to be honest about it so we can address the issues and try to fix them.

It’s time to stop with the bias. Time to stop. Let’s be honest and let’s get to work.

—MaddieP

There are a number of comments like this, which is heartening. At my first workshop with Just Theatre on the play I’m writing about a battered husband, I found myself defending the topic even though no one even questioned its legitimacy, “Not to diminish the horrible violence happening towards women, but there are men out there that are suffering abuse, and they can’t go to the police because they will get arrested and, in some cases, lose custody of their kids.” Maybe I was feeling the same insecurities the battered men feel—that no one will take their troubles seriously. Good to know people do.

Cower, photo by JoeBenjamin

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