411 Focus

Like the one in DC., they see nothing wrong with abusing women

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

Who, too?

Something has gone viral this week. Women are being asked to write “#MeToo” if they have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted. This was just to show how extensive the abuse is, but some women countered that the onus should be placed on men. The numbers would be a lot lower because I daresay most men would not admit, not publicly anyway, that they had. Like the one in DC., they see nothing wrong with abusing women.

To change course just bit, if you go over to www.facebook.com/IKWomen/, you’ll see the cover photo proclaiming October as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month.” What response do you think you’d get for domestic violence survivors? Unlike the women in the first paragraph, these victims are less likely to write “#MeToo,” although they have a lot in common. Both victims carry a secret that sits between them and other people, but in the first case, the victim is not traveling with personal identifiable “baggage.”

We’ve become attached to many “stars.” One that comes to mind is Lou Rawls. I absolutely loved “Tobacco Road”; and “Lady Love” was sung, in my mind, just for me. I’d close my eyes and rock from side to side, soothed like an infant. James Brown’s antics onstage had people jumping, breaking out into a cold sweat. We adored them, emulated them, supported them with our money because they made us feel good.

But what about their mates? How did they feel, knowing who they were on the other side of the door? How miserable were, and are, the mates of the “darlings” who so easily won, and continue to win, the hearts of so many?

Sadly, this is the reality of so many people, especially women, even outside the entertainment field. If they dare speak the truth, they become ostracized. “The lady doth protest too much,” and who wants to share space with a miserable woman?

Victims though they are, they must keep quiet, hold their tongues; and the quiet withdrawal is often another “wall” erected… in others’ minds, more evidence of their unpleasant disposition. “Anybody can see that nobody can get along with her.” Of course, the partner is everybody’s buddy – a wide smile, a larger than life personality. Nobody can see what he wanted/wants in her.

Abusers are bullies. They recognize an advantage, and take it. That advantage is power, and anybody can readily see it: Men usually control more money, are physically stronger, and hold more substantial positions than women. They come out as “favored.” Throughout history, females have been subordinate to men.

As a result, they fall through the cracks more easily.Those in power have little tolerance for women who don’t “know their place,” making abuse easy, and dismissal of it commonplace. Sympathy doesn’t come easy. Even in the neighborhood, the conversation often is of his gregarious nature, and her aloofness, or some other term that sets her apart from him: His is the ready smile; hers a simple acknowledgment.

Most abuse doesn’t end in death, or with obvious signs. In fact, it’s “under the radar.” Yet the “soft” abuse is real.

My word to you is to “listen.” Though she won’t use #MeToo, your friend may be quietly telling you a story... Don’t wait until she can’t.

Story Posted:10/21/2017

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