So. I have some housekeeping to do here.
I was having a coffee with a semi-old friend of mine who has just got back from living OS. Turns out, her old boyfriend had been so abusive some time ago that she felt she had to go and live in another country just to get away from him and, later, to recover.
I realised, to my chagrin, that he was one of my Facebook friends.
Violence against women and abuse of them is not neutral. Lots of people think they “musn’t intervene”, or “shouldn’t take sides” or that it’s none of their business etc. They feel terrible when they find out that someone they like has done something really wrong.
They say nothing, because what they want to say is yell at them , or ask them why they did it, or why they lied about it. But they pull back because they think the best thing is to say nothing. They think saying nothing but remaining friends with that person will send them the message that they support them but not their behaviour. Or that saying something might make that not nice person suddenly not like them anymore.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. An abusive man is abusive because he thinks deep down it’s okay and the only reason people talk about it being bad is to make everything sound nice. They think that underneath it all, other people also think men have greater rights than women and that they just need to get better at placating women.
So when a nice person stays silent to the abusive man, the abusive man gets the message that in fact, they’re correct – they messed up, and they weren’t good enough at placating the nagging bitch. Or whatever. They don’t know that most men want to be sick if they think about violence against women. They don’t know that many men have arguments with their wives all the time without threatening them or hurting them. They think everyone’s doing it, but they need to get better at covering it up, or come up with better excuses.
So, this acquaintance, and another friend who has supported him by staying silent, have to go. That is two less people on my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. And the world will be better for it. I urge you all to do the same. Get the turds out of your network. Not worth the smell.