Abuse exists...and it happens way too often (once is way too often). I am not writing about real abuse.
I am writing about those who cry "abuse" where there is no real abuse present or no abuse intended.
- A woman who has an employer that bases hiring and promotion on the cut of her blouse...bad
- A woman who sues a co-worker for telling her that she looked nice on a particular day...get a grip.
- You're stupid and not worth wasting time on...the person saying this should be disciplined by the "powers that be"
- I think that you are showing a lack of understanding on this issue...this is a reasonable statement and could very well be true (or not)...but it is not abuse.
- Real abuse is always sin.
- Not abuse: Having intercourse with a guy, then freaking out because you were unfaithful to your boyfriend and crying "rape".
I believe that a false accusation is a form of abuse. And "abuse" is an accusation from which there is little or no defense. Like "racism" - denying abuse may only confirm the accusation. In this political season, any disagreement with Barrack Obama may be seen as racism...likewise, a person who questions a woman in a debate-like conversation may be accused of "abuse".
Abuse is NOT a one-way street (meaning that male-on-female abuse is the only way the street runs).
On previous shows, "Primetime" has staged scenes of abuse in which the man is the aggressor, and the woman is the victim. And in these situations, passersby -- men and women -- often stepped up and intervened. So producers were curious. What would happen if the tables were turned, and the man was suddenly the victim? Would people be just as willing to come to his defense? (...)
"There are some data that suggest that women actually hit more than men do," says Keating. "Men create more damage, but women hit more than men do."
A report prepared for the Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year there are over 800,000 serious cases of men being physically abused by women. But the actual figures are believed to be much higher, since many men are often too embarrassed to admit being the victim of abuse by a woman.
One after another, passersby witnessed the abusive scene… and kept right on going.
Mathilda was one of those bystanders. She says she didn't think the man was in any physical danger, and could probably take care of himself. "I didn't immediately think to protect the man at all," she said. "It didn't look like any harm was being done."
The reaction of another woman, Lynda, was stunning. As our actress continued to heap abuse on her make-believe boyfriend, she walked by the scene and pumped her fist in a show of sisterly solidarity.
"Good for you. You Go, Girl!" is how Lynda recalls her reaction.
A pattern of false accusation, inattention and (one) actual support for a female abuser - all of this points to a problem of how we deal with abuse.
- Abuse is always wrong.
- False accusation is a form of abuse that has nothing to do with gender
- False accusation is also always wrong.
The more I read about false accusations in the news, the more likely I am to view any accusation with skepticism.
The more people cry "wolf", the less likely we are to hear when there is a real one around.