Opinion: Why America Fake-Cares About Domestic Violence & Embraces Authentic Hypocrisy

unequalA man should never hit a woman.  I find it critical to immediately ensure that such a divine rule is made clear — before this editorial carries on — as it has been illustrated over the last several days that comprehension is a severe struggle for most.

One could argue that domestic violence in America is an epidemic. A general definition of domestic violence is aggressive behavior that typically involves violent abuse of a romantic partner or spouse. However, it seems we in America have chosen to ignore the fact that not only women are victims of domestic violence.

I believe that one would have to be living beneath the sea to be unaware of controversial matters that have taken place recently in response to domestic violence. Most notably, ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, last week, made statements in regards to the recently announced suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice — who will be suspended for two games in the upcoming NFL season for allegedly striking his wife.

The term allegedly is selected because no one actually witnessed that particular act take place. Be that as it may, while discussing domestic violence on national television, Smith alluded to ‘elements of provocation’ and that was where America lost all sanity.

There is no other manner to state it except that one would have to be an imbecile to believe Smith was claiming that women are to blame when they are victims of domestic violence for simply being. The elements of provocation Smith — who has since been placed on hiatus — attempted to allude to were, ironically, the side of domestic violence no one ever seems to want to acknowledge — the violence against men. Nevertheless, there were scores of “reputable” national media pundits who took to their keyboards and decided that logic wouldn’t be their friend that day.

I’ll start with television columnist Brian Lowry who earlier this week authored a column for Variety in regards to Smith’s commentary. Within it, Lowry stated that “Smith awkwardly suggested that women can play a role in provoking situations of domestic violence.” I found Lowry’s statement intriguing, as I didn’t understand what was so difficult to comprehend about Smith’s comments. Smith had spoken with a if you catch my drift tone when he mentioned provocation, and without hesitation I did catch it. Simply put: women beating men.

Domestic Violence Awareness stickerBut Lowry wasn’t alone in his crucification of Smith, as Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post also chimed in. In a July 28 column, Jenkins hammered away at Smith’s commentary. Although unfortunately — and most importantly — she was almost entirely off base. So much so, that I began to wonder if her and I had actually watched the same Stephen A. Smith segment. The main issue with Jenkins’ column was that it was based on interpreting the meaning of Smith’s comments, when she didn’t even understand the meaning herself.

Despite that, I happened to find the conclusion of Jenkins’ column somewhat fascinating. After stating that “We all know some men in the NFL are criminals” — which I actually didn’t know — Jenkins brought up an instance in 2012 where Stephen A. Smith elaborated on an incident between former NFL receiver Chad Johnson and his then-wife Evelyn Lozada. Johnson had head-butt his wife, and in the aftermath Smith again referred to provocation. Only then, there wasn’t as much of an uproar because many people had knowledge that the woman in that equation possessed a violent personality that had repeatedly been displayed on national television. So was it farfetched to believe that she’d displayed that same behavior behind closed doors? Absolutely not.

But this is where the conversation becomes uncomfortable for society. Everyone wants to advocate for domestic violence, though no one wants to talk about a woman beating a man. I believe they call that hypocrisy. Now I’m not saying the defense of women is wrong, I’m just saying to check your fraudulence at the door. If you’re going to advocate for a cause, advocate for all of it. American society frowns upon domestic violence, although beating your significant other seems to be quite tolerable when the victim is a man. Hell, according to societal reactions there actually isn’t a victim in that scenario.

That is what berths hypocrisy as it pertains to this issue. One gender preaches equality, yet it seems to be only when it’s beneficial. An asterisk equality, if you ask me. “Let’s be equal when it’s convenient.” There may be some, now, that say well this is a man’s point of view — but what happens when a woman shares it?

Earlier this week, The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg vehemently publicized her support for Stephen A. Smith’s comments; which was followed up by Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe stating that Goldberg’s defense of Smith ‘had value’. Brzezinski later furthered her stance by stating that although Smith’s original point could have been better articulated, it was ‘absolutely valid’.

Whoopi GoldbergHowever, interestingly enough, when I searched the Web for other reactions to Goldberg’s comments, I couldn’t find any. Not one of those major credible outlets — which had so much to say about Stephen A. Smith’s original comments — publicized anything about women who were defending those comments. Hmm. Wonder why? There’s a dangerous precedent that we seem to be setting: It’s only domestic violence when the victim is a woman, and that women can beat men without any repercussions.

But am I really saying anything wrong, or simply addressing an uncomfortable truth? The problem in America, though, is that society doesn’t like being uncomfortable — in terms of being slapped with its own hypocrisy. And that’s where political correctness comes in. Although I like to refer to it as pacifier correctness, because all it truly does is enable pacification, yet it’s near-biblical for those “I’d like to speak to a manager” type people.

Domestic violence is a societal plague that needs to be addressed all-around. And at the conclusion of this passage, if what you have taken away from it is that I’m advocating for domestic violence — or even making an excuse for abusers — then this editorial was tailored specifically for you.

About Sirelle Carter

"The words you speak become the house you live in."
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