Yeah, some of you may have seen this already on my Facebook or Tumblr. I’m reposting it here because A) I’m still pissed and B) I’ve added a little bit to it. And C) I’m still really pissed.
I also note that since posting it on Facebook I’ve heard privately from a couple of men who were abused in previous relationships saying how hard it was to get out of it and how people acted like it was no big deal or they were just pussies, which is another reason I’m reposting it here.
Earlier I was reading headlines and happened to see one about some celebrity’s “Extreme,” “Passionate” Relationship. I normally don’t give much of a shit about celebrities, as you all know, but eh, I was bored.
Turns out, this actress (Emma Roberts, who it seems is Julia Roberts’s niece) got into a fight with her boyfriend, and in the course of that fight bloodied his nose and left several bite marks on him. The police were called and she was arrested.
And according to US Weekly, this is just soooo indicative of a really passionate relationship in which the two people are “crazy in love,” and she is “very dramatic” so it’s totes fine that she bloodied and bit her boyfriend. See, it’s cool, guys, because SHE ONLY DOES IT BECAUSE SHE LOVES HIM SO MUCH.
This is emphasized again in a later article. Here we see a brief interview with Ms. Roberts where she says, “I can’t say I’m never going to mess up, but if I do, I’ll definitely be sorry.” Of course! Lots of abusers feel that way. See, it’s cool, because SHE WAS REALLY SORRY AFTERWARD.
THIS paragraph has to be read in its entirety to be believed:
“In fact, Roberts is something of a romantic. Musing about love in her Nylon interview, she said she still believes in “happily ever after,” despite what she’s seen and experienced. “I’ve been with people in the past who lie about what they’re doing or whom they’re with, and you always find out about it…I’ve grown up in a business where we’re taught to think that relationships don’t last, and that people are supposed to be married a bunch of times. But I come from the school of getting married once,” she said. “Every relationship should be important. Everyone kind of rolls their eyes at me, but I still believe in the romantic movie outcome.””
She believes in the romantic movie outcome…as long as he doesn’t give her any lip, I guess. Once again, abuse is awesome because IT’S ONLY BECAUSE SHE IS SO PASSIONATE AND ROMANTIC. HE JUST MAKES HER CRAZY BECAUSE OF ALL THE PASSIONATE LOVE AND SHE CAN’T HELP IT.
(Note the “I’ve been with people who lie about what they’re doing or who they’re with and you always find out about it,” line, which sounds to me like BITCHES BE LYIN AND DESERVE A SLAP/I LIKE TO STALK PEOPLE, but I could be wrong there. I do know, though, that an abusive person–sorry, a “dramatic, passionate,” person who becomes “crazy” in love and is so “romantic”–who feels the need to tell you how their past relationships were all with “liars,” is perhaps not to be entirely trusted on that. And really…they lie about what they’re doing? You know, I know there are times when lies like that are harmful and I’m not saying you should never know what your SO is doing or that you should lie to them either, but…maybe they lied because it’s none of your business and you’re being creepily possessive and insisting they tell you where they are every minute. Or maybe they’re lying because if they tell the truth you’ll get angry and, you know, break their noses and bite them hard enough to leave marks. Just a thought.)
Now, yes, some of these things are quotes from Roberts or “sources close to her,” which means they’re going to be ridiculous crap designed to make her look good.
But US did not have to print those quotes, unchallenged. US did not have to follow up the first article with the one that says, flat-out, in exposition, “In fact, Roberts is something of a romantic.” They did not have to print those quotes in such an approving tone, with a wink and a nudge, like it’s just really sweet or we should all be awed by this great great passion taking place before our very eyes.
The timing of these articles, btw, is NOT a coincidence. That second article was posted the day after the first. Us Weekly deliberately chose to publish the article after Ms. Roberts beat and bit her boyfriend badly enough that she was arrested. They deliberately chose to smile about how “romantic” she is, and encourage others to do the same, the day after news of her abuse got out. They deliberately chose to downplay her abuse and encourage us all to just see it as a passionate girl who overreacted a little, isn’t that sweet, ah, impetuous youth.
BTW, I don’t care if the abuse is girl-on-boy or boy-on-girl, though I know I’m not the only one who thought that were the situation reversed, no way would US be writing glowing articles about how Evan is just “dramatic” and “passionate,” and “something of a romantic,” and how they’re just “crazy in love.” Can you imagine the outrage that would (rightly) follow such a thing? (For that matter, can you imagine being Evan Peters, or one of his friends or family members, seeing his bloodied face and then watching a national magazine smile about how “passionate” his abuser is and how she’s really just a romantic?) But abuse is no less wrong when it’s the man being abused.
When US Weekly chose to print these articles with their sympathetic, approving, even slightly envious-sounding depictions of an abusive relationship in which blood was spilled and skin was broken, here’s the message they reinforced to every impressionable young girl or boy out there, to every abused person, and to every abuser:
1. If s/he didn’t love you so much, this wouldn’t happen. The abuse is proof of that love.
2. It’s because s/he just feels things so much more deeply than other people. The abuse is proof of his/her sensitivity and passionate nature.
3. It’s because your love is so much greater and more dramatic and deep than other people’s. The abuse is proof of the grand scale of your love and devotion.
4. You know how passionate and/or dramatic and/or deeply emotional your partner is, so why are you BAITING him/her like that and making him/her mad when you know how s/he gets?
5. It’s okay that s/he hit you because s/he is really sorry afterward.
6. It’s okay to be an abuser and physically hurt your partner, because US Weekly will still just smile and run articles about you full of glowing comments from people who condone your abuse, which means really you’re not that bad and probably everybody does it.
7. The fact that articles like that run proves that you aren’t really being abused and what’s happening to you isn’t really wrong, you’re just being oversensitive. Can’t you see that the rest of the world acknowledges how it’s proof of love and you being meant for each other?
8. Celebrities are abusive and it’s cool, so why don’t you go ahead and be abusive, too? All the hotties are doing it!
Aren’t those great messages to send? Do we need to send yet another “Abuse is proof of love” message? Do we really want to just wink and nod at abuse because a woman committed it?
Fuck you, US Weekly. You make me sick.