"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no
small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"
This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, Dusted, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.
WHICH ABUSERS ARE MOST LIKELY TO CHANGE
His close friends and relatives recognize that he is abusive and tell him that he needs to deal with it. They support the abused woman instead of supporting him. I have a much more difficult time with the abuser whose friends and family back up his excuses and encourage his disrespect for the woman.
His partner gets the most unreserved, unequivocal support from her friends and relatives, her religious community, and from the legal system if she needs it. The more consistently she receives the message that the abuse is in no way her fault and that her community intends to stand behind her 100 percent, the stronger and safer she feels to settle for nothing less than fully respectful treatment from her partner or ex-partner.
Lundy Bancroft’s “Why Does He Do That”
When confronted with the fact that someone we’re friends with or admired is abusive, there’s a reluctance to support survivors even in leftist communities. But we want to maintain our credibility as an anti-violence advocate, while defending the admired person. You’ll see there’s a rush to defend the humanity of an abuser (not to reaffirm the humanity of the abused). But how do we pretend to be against violence ‘in our communities’ while still defending the abuser? We say that we can’t be too harsh on the abuser. That we can’t cut ties. That not welcoming the abuser into circles is itself an abusive and violent act. That by criticizing them too harshly we’re not going to change anything but we’ll hurt our community! How can we expect the abuser to change unless we let them know we support them as a human being.
And the abuser is counting on that. The abuser is counting on your neutrality or your unwillingness to ‘condemn’ them. Oh, they’ll make some heartfelt plea about changing. A Tumblr post where they says that they are holding themselves accountable. They’ll use socially conscious language, apologize to their victim (while emphasizing their own lack of control in the situation, while giving pages and pages about their tragic backstory and sparing maybe a paragraph talking about the humanity of the person who they hurt).
Few people could be involved in anti-violence movements unless we believed in the possibility of creating a world with less violence. But in a world that by default supports abusers and is questioning what their victim must’ve done to deserve abuse, it is far more radical for a person to unequivocally support an abused person than it is to muse about really the right thing to do is to invite an abuser to social circles, to parties, to protests, to meetings.
But doing that is not innocuous. It tells the abused person that you’d rather welcome the abuser into those spaces than make it comfortable for their victim. It tells the abused person that they’ve been forgiven - as if anyone but their victim has the right to do so.
To not tolerate abusive people in our spaces is not giving up on the idea that we can end violence. Not tolerating abusive people is a commitment to creating a culture where domestic and sexual violence is unacceptable.
wow this is funny because like SO MANY ~radical~ zines about abuse are focused on promoting doing literally the opposite of this advice. ”both parties need to have a support system” (like umm this horrible zine for instance)
A few years ago, the partner of one of my clients went through an ordeal where her twelve-year-old son (from a previous marriage) disappeared for more than forty-eight hours. For two days Mary Beth’s heart was beating faster and faster as she drove around town looking for her son, made panicked phone calls to everyone she knew, and dropped her son’s photograph at police departments, newspapers, and radio stations. She barely slept. Meanwhile her new husband, Ray, who was in one of my groups, was slowly building to a boil inside. Toward the end of the second day he finally burst out yelling at her, “I am so sick of being ignored by you! It’s like I don’t even exist! Go fuck yourself!”
When people conclude that anger causes abuse, they are confusing cause and effect. Ray was not abusive because he was angry; he was angry because he was abusive. Abusers carry attitudes that produce fury. A nonabusive man would not expect his wife to be taking emotional care of him during a crisis of this gravity. IN fact, he would be focused on what he could do for her and on trying to find the child. It would be futile to teach Ray to take a time-out to punch pillows, take a brisk walk, or concentrate on deep breathing, because his thinking process will soon get him enrage again.
just saw an anti violence campaign that said “real men don’t hit women” like???? yes. yes they do. those are real men doing those things, and that’s why i don’t trust them. stop appealing to men’s fragile masculinity in order to coerce them into being decent human beings 2k14.