Break the silence – Take back the power

Guys I promise that the world (and Allegiance) is going to stop talking about the Chrihanna situation…

That said, we cannot however, stop talking about domestic violence. Silence gives power to societal and cultural maladaptations. Soooo ironically, I cannot even begin to tell you how disturbed I was to stumble across a video while satisfying my celeb juice craving… you know what I’m talking about. That dirty little place that you go to fill up your dirty little desire for all things celebrity (I hope that you are adequately feeling the guilt that one should feel for indulging in the fodder). But I digress…

I want you to access the video so that you can see what I saw. (Hopefully the video is still there when you click… but, on second thought, hopefully not). I don’t want to misrepresent or violate the ideals that PledgeAllegiance upholds. I don’t want to objectify and dehumanize the seriousness of the situation, because these are real people in this video. Do not feel compelled at all to watch the video as it is something that I, as a Caribbean woman, found very difficult to watch. . . but I did anyway for pseudo-journalistic purposes.

For those of you who would rather not contribute to the trivialization of the domestic violence issue, I will summarize-ish and get thru the meat so that we can pick this bone. This video disturbed me because:

  • It was 8 minutes and 3 seconds of domestic violence
  • It was 8 minutes too long of domestic violence being documented
  • It was 8 minutes too long of domestic violence being documented by a third party and witnessed by others who chose not to intervene … until the last 45 seconds(like bad reality tv)
  • It was 8 minutes too long of Caribbean stereotypes, double standards, and no one choosing to rise above the social norms that are “culture”
  • It was 8 minutes too long of a woman making me feel disappointed to share the same woman parts/reproductive organs
  • Simply put it was 8 minutes too long of a man getting his ass beat.

But there is nothing simple about the complexities evolving in the video. A woman beating a man outside a night club (that was my real summary :- S) in Trinidad (insert any other C’bean island name there). Lets pause on that for a while. If you didn’t watch, picture it. There is nothing simple about the psychological and social phenomena occurring in this video: Why noone intervenes; Why this man responds in the way that he does. Why this woman is acting this way. why the police .. . well we already know about them……

But the fact that it can even be entertaining is disturbing. It obviously was for the camera man. I am ashamed to admit that I couldn’t stop watching . But it was like a fatal accident, I couldn’t look away. And I found myself doing that laugh thing…you know the one you do when you really don’t know how to process or react to what you’re seeing. I call it the Comfort-zone-denied laugh. Because there is nothing comfortable about watching another human being abuse another(outside a ring?). But when you grow up in a male dominant culture . . . in a very “traditional” Caribbean society based on certain unspoken precepts, watching a woman abuse a man and “get away with it” almost defies the laws of “existence”. For some very strongly rooted in certain beliefs it is the equivalent of getting away with talking back to your mother- – – should never happen!!! For some, victim does not equal man – not at the hands of a woman. . . Actually victim does not equal man who lives to speak about it.

But the only good thing if at all about this video, is that it makes reverse abuse real to those who don’t believe in its existence. The truth is that it has to break the prototypes, stereotypes and preconceived notions that one has about domestic violence and abuse.  And that is just about the saddest statement I have made in a while. Because to say that would imply that the only way that it can exist is if it is seen, and that sets a dangerous precedent when dealing with all the other ills that are debilitating our society and have been doing so for a long time.

But I want to know how it makes you feel.

What would be different if the roles were reversed?

What about the spectators? Can we really ignore their role in this problem?

How do you think the situation would have played out if the Police had actually showed up.

Transplant the situation to a non-caribbean nation… does anything really change?

Because I’ll tell you what didn’t change – what was the saddest thing that could have happened . . . At the 8 minute mark he hopped right in the car and went home . . . with her.

Our Silence takes Our Power

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3 responses to “Break the silence – Take back the power

  • bajediva

    Girl, wen i saw this video, i freaked. some guys sent it to me as we were talking about the rihanna situation, kind of as the flip side of this domestic violence thing. and i was appalled. what kind of friends videotape this ish? and the security guards/police did NOTHING. and that idiot just took it, and then proceeded to drive her home! look, that wud’v been one time he wud’v been authorized to slap her hands away, kick her out the car, and drive off. domestic violence is NOT ok, no matter which direction the blows are flying.

  • bajeflava

    While all you are saying is true, I wouldn’t call him an idiot. He is the victim here. And it really shines a bright ass light on the indiscriminate psychological nature of being a victim… whether one would like to admit it or not.

  • shanette

    Someone sent me that video.

    However, unlike you, I was able to stop watching. I don’t think I watched more than a minute of it so didn’t even see the violent part.

    The way it started off, I could tell it wasn’t anything that would interest me.

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