Well, hasn’t it been a time for the dashing of feminist hopes. With years of opportunity and growing financial independence, women imagined that by now they would have eliminated the need to cling to men who would make their lives worse instead of better.
Enter domestic violence victim Rihanna, seen recently making out with her attacker and former boyfriend Chris Brown in a club (although if the report actually came from the factually challenged TMZ, one of those celebrity “journalists” might want to fact-check the story for us).
If I could sit with her, I would have plenty to say. Even though I suppose they have a lot in common with the music and fame and all, there must be some other eager young man she could take up with more safely, like she could climb into a car with without worrying if she will get pounded.
I would say here’s a hint from the experience of others who preceded you: Ask around before you take up again with an abuser. Figure out what makes you ignore the facts in favor of a fantasy. In the real world, when violence starts, it doesn’t evaporate, it escalates.
I would tell her about the familiar cycle. First, comes the emotional abuse, then the physical; next a cooling off period that often includes an apology and a pledge never to do it again. Then the wooing starts up. And gradual escalation until the violence is back. Here’s the truth: when a man beats you, he’s showing you that he’s not good enough for you. Believe him.
And if she didn’t believe that, the news is full of additional proof, women dead by the hand of an alleged loved one, leaving children with one dead parent and the other in prison. Don’t leave to uphold my high-minded hopes. Do it to save your skin.