Friday, May 7, 2010

Myths about Domestic Violence

This week I attended a domestic violence workshop at work. The presenter was a man, which I loved. He was fully aware that many people are surprised to see a man as a domestic violence counselor. But think about what an effective presenter he must be when he speaks to a room full of men? About what is mainly a women's issue? His point was that men are key to changing the culture of violence. That's why I love the picture above.
Here are some of the things people say about domestic violence that are just wrong:
  • She asks for it. She knows how he gets.

There is no reason anyone should ever harm someone they love. Ever.

  • He only gets that way because he's drunk/high/angry.

While substance abuse can make things worse, there are underlying problems that cause domestic violence. If it were just an anger management issue, wouldn't the abuser be beating everyone in his life that made him angry?

  • If she hasn't left him yet, it can't be that bad.

  • If she hasn't left him yet, she must be crazy, stupid or she must like it.

See below for the many reasons people don't leave abusive relationships, even when it is obvious they should.

  • If he's not crazy jealous, he's not in love. He beats her because he loves her.

It sound tired, but love shouldn't hurt.

  • He doesn't know what he's doing. He always says he's sorry afterwards.

Of course he knows.

  • It won't happen to me. I know how to choose a man. They just don't know how to find a good man.

  • Only women get hurt by the people they love.

Domestic violence can and does happen to both women and men.

  • Abusers are unlovable. There's no way someone who beats his wife could be a charming, respected, outgoing person on the outside.

Sometimes abusers are the person everyone loves the most, the life of the party. Abusers often have very charming public personas. They can be persuasive, manipulative people that can be very hard to untangle your life from.

Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships:

Shame, not wanting to have to explain why she had to leave

Threats of death

A desire to preserve her family or fulfill a religious vow

Financial insecurity

An unsupportive, non-understanding family


*Here is an interesting comment someone from the training made:

"Cheating is a form of violence." Her rationale was that cheating is lying, it is deception and it is control of information. If your partner is controlling information about his/her sex life, what else are they controling? And abuse is all about control. Cheating also opens up risk of STDs to the unknowing partner. The decision to use a condom or not must be made with all information on the table.

But what do you think? Is cheating violent? Have you heard any other domestic violence myths?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Offshore Drilling:There is No Safe Way to Do This

When the entire health of the Gulf Coast is at stake, it's not worth the gamble.

What's done is done in Louisiana. But we do not need this in Florida. We have nothing if we ruin our coast. We saw what happened after 9/11 and people didn't want to fly down to visit. What if there were nothing for them to fly down to see? This spill could already ruin the summer season along the Gulf Coast. It's not worth it.

10 Myths About Virginity

I loved this post at Feministing on virginity myths. Read the whole article with explanations for each myth here.

Myth #1: The hymen is THE definitive marker of virginity.
Because it's not like you could lose that riding a bicycle or anything.

Myth #2: Valuing virginity protects girls and women.
Child marriage, FGC, withholding information about sex...all done in the name of preserving virginity and protecting girls.

Myth #3: Queer sex doesn't "count".

Myth #4: You can only "lose it" once.

Myth #5: Sex within marriage is the "healthiest" kind.
Right, because there's no way you can be raped by your husband or catch an STI from the one you're married to.

Myth #6: There's one universal definition of sex.
I am aware of three different kinds. There may be more...

Myth #7: Slut-shaming plays an important social role by discouraging "risky" behavior.

Myth #8: Teens should learn that sex is dangerous so they won't put themselves at risk for unwanted pregnancy and/or STIs.

Myth #9: Teens don't want to talk about sex with their parents.

Myth #10: There is no such thing as sex-positive abstinence.
Yes, of course you can talk about abstinence and other forms of contraception/protection in the same lecture!

Are there anymore myths out there that you can think of?