This is a brief note on the emotional assassination of women.
I blog. A lot. And, I suppose I could write about knitting or cooking or fashion or derby car racing, for that matter, but, I opt to write about issues pertaining to women’s empowerment. Why women’s empowerment? To be honest, I do it because there are enough fear hustlers and shame peddlers in the world. I think it’s important for women read about life, love and relationships from a perspective that leaves them feeling good about themselves, their choices and their abilities to make their lives better. Women should get up from their computer after reading a blog and think “Yeah, totally, I can do this!” They shouldn’t finish an article feeling bewildered and beaten up. Lately, though, I’m the one who’s getting up from her computer feeling “bewildered and beaten up” after reading some of the comments I’ve gotten from my female readers.
I recently penned a post called “Leave the Lamars Alone,” where I applauded Khloe Kardashian for opting not to reconcile with her estranged husband Lamar Odom, because Lamar is a recovering drug addict. I received feedback from other women calling me “heartless,” “shameful,” and even “inhumane,” for encouraging a woman to leave her husband in his time of need. Can you believe that? Listen, he’s an addict; the drugs mean more to him than anything, including his wife. Can you imagine what it must feel like to be totally devoted to someone who’s more concerned with his next high than he is you? Why would I ever encourage a woman to stay in a situation like that? What, is she supposed to light herself on fire to keep him warm at night, too? I encouraged her to walk away, I put her well-being ahead of his and for some of my readers that was a very radical idea. But it was hardly my most controversial thought of 2015.
In August, I wrote another piece called “Domestic Violence and Selective Outrage.” In it, I basically argued that it isn’t fair for us to drag Ray Rice across the floor of public opinion for hitting his wife, while we collectively looked the other way when Dr. Dre beat up television personality Dee Barnes. While the article was pretty well-received, you would be surprised by the number of women who thought that I was unfair to Dr. Dre. They didn’t think I should re-hash “old stuff”; I shouldn’t make Dr. Dre relive something that happened to so long ago. Now, when I read those comments, I almost had to chuckle at the thought. Don’t you think Dee Barnes relives that whopping she took at the hands of Dr. Dre every single day? Do you honestly believe that she can go anywhere in the entertainment industry or say her name to anyone who’s a real fan of hip-hop (or Eminem) without being constantly reminded of that night? I’m pretty sure that every ache and pain in her body or any blank spot in her memory is yet another reminder of the night in question. But I should have been more sensitive to Dr. Dre…
Was I upset about getting this sort pushback from my female readers? Well, of course. But that type of criticism didn’t surprise me. It just goes to show the depths to which patriarchy has permeated the minds of our society. Women are basically encouraged to undergo an emotional assassination; they’re to let their desires, their needs and their interests die, in order to do what’s best for men. Or, in the words of relationship author G.L. Lambert “society has conditioned women to be selfless to the point of exploitation.” So I’m never shocked when a woman defends a wayward man– who could have (or dare I say, would have) just as easily taken advantage of her—before she’d empathize with another woman who’s been victimized.
Now, I’m not here to judge, I know there are thousands of memes, family & friends and relationship “experts” pushing this trash on women. I’m also not telling any woman what to do or how to think, (that would, after all, defeat the purpose of this post). I just want to push back against patriarchy a bit by saying selflessness is honorable and the Lord rewards thoughtfulness, but it’s okay to think about what’s best for you instead of him, on occasion. Instead of an assassination, give your emotional well-being a resurrection. With a new year on the horizon, take some time to think about whom you are, what you need and how others can adjust to make your life better.
And then, every once in a while, take some time out to actually see to it that some of those things happen.