One Husband Learns That ‘Abusers Come In All Sizes And Genders’
Most of the time, we B.S. here on 8BitDad, and talk about daily news for fathers, or let you know about some father that’s done something good or bad. Well, this one’s important.
And before we even cover this, I’ll tell you right now – the rest of this man’s blog is incredibly NSFW. As in, click the sauce below, but do not go roaming around his site.
So – “this man” as I’m calling him, since I can’t find his name anywhere, tells a story on his website called “Damage” – and if you haven’t yet been tipped off by the title, the theme is abuse.
This man and his wife are “separated,” though they’ve lived in the same house in Boston, Massachusetts for a year for monetary reasons – and probably more importantly, so they can both raise their son. The man says that the story he’s telling is a typical example of why they’re separated and he’s divorcing her.
The timeline goes like this: wife is drinking, husband wants to talk about why she’s tense, she tells him to leave, he does. He goes upstairs to the bathroom, and after hearing things being thrown around downstairs, the wife charges up the stairs and confronts the husband in the bathroom. They argue, and the wife then throws her wine in his face and smashes the glass against his chest. The man stood, bleeding, and asked that the wife let him leave. She, while waving a now-broken stem of a glass, asks who is stopping him from leaving. The husband tells his wife he feels threatened and that she’s standing between him and the door. She questions how he can feel threatened by someone of her size. The husband is very wary of not pushing by her or being aggressive at all, as to not give her a reason to feel threatened as well. Eventually, she lets him leave.
As the man then says, he posted his story “to help those who may think that size and gender make a difference when abuse is concerned. People who, like my estranged, think some have permission to feel threatened and some don’t.”
When he and his wife would go to marriage therapists, the therapists all opened their initial sessions by asking this man’s wife if she felt safe. None ever asked him.
His lesson? “Abusers come in all sizes and genders.”
This story is, as it stands, evidence of the kind of thing that typifies an abused man. There are a couple of important points to glean from it. First, size is not the determiner in being or feeling threatened. Small people can threaten big people. Big people can feel threatened by small people. There is no bias in violence and fear. Second, and this one’s tough to prove, but I feel like women learn somewhere along the way in life, that if they do in fact want to hit a man, there’s two avenues:
1) Slapping/hitting with a bare fist: women are told by society that because they’re “smaller,” this won’t do any damage, and thus, is not really “violence.” I briefly talked about this before, and even mentioned “Saved by the Bell,” in case you need any more reasons to queue it up in another browser tab.
2) Using a weapon: because women “know” that hitting bare-handed “doesn’t hurt,” if they want to do actual damage, they use a weapon. I have no evidence of this other than watching television shows like Oxygen’s “Snapped.” It seems like, (and if anyone’s got the facts on this, feel free to legitimize this in the comments), that when a woman wants to hurt a man, they hit him with something, or push him out a window.
So, there’s that.
Now, while we’re here, let’s address the NSFW content on this man’s site. When I mentioned to my wife that “OMG, there’s like nudity everywhere on the other posts,” my wife – maybe joking, maybe not – said something to the effect of “oh well, he’s a pervert. He deserves it.” This is a dangerous opinion – probably held by many, that somehow, someone that has been physically abused “deserves” it by something else. Let’s make this clear (apologies that I’m usually not this serious): unless you’re hitting someone else, you do not deserve to be hit. Period. We’ve got no evidence that this guy was abusive physically to his wife/ex-wife – so even though we’re reading one side of the story, we can’t conclude that he deserves anything but attention and some good legal counsel. Even if he says in his own “about me” section that he’s got a girlfriend (who lives with her other boyfriend). So – it doesn’t matter if a man or woman has pictures of dicks and pussy-wussies all over his/her website – or if they’re dating others while they’re still married. They don’t “deserve” to be physically abused.
Abusers come in all sizes and genders. We all need to hear it and think about it. It’s important for everyone to know it and acknowledge it. And if you’re a marriage therapist – you’d better remember it in your sessions. Don’t be part of the problem when trying to diagnose a solution.
And finally, remember this man’s site is NSFW, so if you’re at the W portion of that acronym, don’t click through.