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Lifetime Movie Rant

February 3, 2009

I have been at home.  Sick.  Since last week.  It is no fun at all.  In between my three hour naps, I have had time to watch TV.  I know now that there is nothing on daytime TV except soap operas, talk shows, and movies.  I also know now that all those things have something in common:  75% of the men are portrayed as evil.  The men on the soaps all cheat.  The men on the talk shows all have multiple kids by multiple women.  The movies mostly had men who either emotionally, mentally or physically abuse their wives or girlfriends.

I try to avoid those types of movies for two main reasons:

1.)  They bring back bad, painful memories

2.) There are so many fallacies in those movies

Fallacy One:  There are never any warning signs other than a bit of jealousy and lots of public displays of affection.  The guy is always perfectly under control (and super romantic) until he slaps his woman across the face.  Then it dawns on her that he is abusive, but she never ever saw any signs previously.

Fallacy Two:   All battered women want to leave their batterer.

Fallacy Three:  It is always possible to easily leave the batterer.

Fallacy Four:  A perfect man will appear (usually as a policeman, detective or lawyer) and will make her forget all about the abuse.

Fallacy Five:  Once she gets away from her batterer, she will live a happy and normal life.

OK So let’s tackle these fallacies.  Fallacy one.  There are ALWAYS signs.  Maybe he “over reacts” to things.  Maybe he has gotten into fist fights with  men.  Maybe he has a history of drug or alcohol use.  Maybe he has a short temper.  My BIG warning sign was when he threw my jewelery box over my shoulder and smashed it into the wall.  It was just close enough to my head for me to know that if he had wanted to he could have hit me.  And it was hard enough that the jewelery box shattered and the wall was damaged.    Sure there were more subtle signs earlier on, but if I didn’t catch those, I really should have caught this one.  But he was apologetic and promised that it would never happen again.  And I desperately wanted to believe him.

Which leads me to the second fallacy.  All battered women do NOT want to leave their abuser.   All battered women want the abuse to stop, but they really don’t want to have to leave.  Which is why they stay for so long.  They want to believe that he means it when he says that he is sorry.  They want to believe that they can help him change.  They want to have a perfect home.  And eventually they come to believe that if they were just better wives that the abuse wouldn’t happen.  They don’t know what true love is and probably never knew what love is and to the battered woman this is what comes with love.  I have never met a battered woman who wanted to leave as soon as the abuse started.  And I have met many women who stayed in abusive situations for years, wanting the abuse to stop, but not wanting to leave the abuser.  I know that to a woman who has not been abused, this makes no sense.  But please believe me, if a woman

Fallacy three.  There is never anything easy about leaving a batterer.  And often it isn’t something that is possible without a lot of planning.  “X” always seemed to know when I was close to leaving.  He would go to extremes to keep me.  He wouldn’t let me go to work.  He ripped the phone jacks out of the walls.  Would pin me under him while he slept.  But even if I could have left, I had no where to go.  If I went to my family, then I was just putting them into a violent situation.  I had to find some place that would allow me to bring my dog because “X” had threatened to kill him if I left.  I slept in my car for a few days, but I was shooed away by the police.  I had no where to go.  I was fairly nieve and didn’t know about battered women’s shelters, but even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have gone.  I had convinced myself that it wasn’t that bad after all.  Leaving is NEVER easy.

Fallacy Four:  The perfect man.  Well, first of all the perfect man doesn’t exist.  Second, if he did exist he wouldn’t be looking for a woman who is recently out of an abusive relationship.  It just doesn’t happen.  More likely, the only man she will find is one who will take advantage of her.  And she will tolerate it because either that is all she knows or she rationalizes that this guy is better because he isn’t hitting her (yet).

Fallacy Five.  Life…will…never…be…normal…again.  And that is what angers me the most.  These movies about battered women make it seem that they all live “happily ever after”, but it isn’t possible.  They have been mentally and emotionally scarred for life.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. screamofcontinuousness permalink
    February 6, 2009 7:32 pm

    oh honey.

    hug.

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