Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm gonna say my piece on the Ray Rice controversy, then I'm gonna sit down.

You don't have to agree with me; that's not why I'm saying this. As a young girl who witnessed the repetitive abuse of my own mother at the hands of a man--her husband--who claimed to love her, I will always say that domestic violence is NEVER okay. Whether the aggressor be male or female. Yes, female aggressors. By and large, domestic violence cases in which females are the aggressors go unreported. It is quite a shame. And because domestic violence cases that are reported (if reported at all) are largely male against female, there lies a double standard in our society. I completely agree there.

However, what I do find fault in is victim-blaming and victim-shaming. Janay Rice was a victim. I don't care what she did. He could have shaken the hell out of her, but laying her out like he's Mayweather or something is inexplicable. Nothing a woman can do to a man, outside of anything shy of threatening his life with a weapon, should garner such a response considering his stature and strength. I'm not a proponent of hitting men, because it's just not right...it's disrespectful and emasculating. What is also disrespectful and humiliating for a woman is to be knocked out cold and dragged (per the videos & reports). The truth of the matter is, the male is ultimately the stronger specimen. To physically react to a woman as though she maintains such strengths as his would be fool of a man.

Such generalizations that reinforce the notion "hit and be hit," specifically on the topic of domestic violence, support the perpetuation and damaging cycle of domestic violence. The whole "she started/deserved it" or "she provoked him" mentality is at best a futile argument considering the damage we see all too oft in the aftermath.

I think we, as a society, often take these domestic violence matters and prepare for aim and fire with our arguments about domestic violence in general. People's true colors come out, as well as ignorances, misunderstandings and other issues. The fact of the matter is, dude knocked her out cold then commenced to dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator. What happened before then, we don't know fully. The fact that he WALKED away (and she didn't) shows me her aggression did not comparably prove vicious. I will say, there are women who get smack happy with their male counterparts--something I think is not wise. But dumping the experiences of some couples or singular people in the laps of a victim (read: victim-shaming) does no one justice. Call a spade a spade. Dude was dead wrong.

Much of the commentary on this issue is a question of who is "wronger." This is subjective. Many arguments for one over the other insinuates that male and female clairvoyance are the same or similar and such a maintenance could not be further from the truth. But, that's for another blog post.

I keep hearing/reading many commentators and self-proclaimed lobbyists make the argument that "errbody need to keep they hands to theyself [sic]" but are not considering that the altercation does not appear out of the ordinary for the couple. Let's consider the Ray and Janay Rice situation outside of this incident alone. Perhaps this isn't the first time. Perhaps, many a time he's gone completely off while physically (or otherwise) unprovoked. Consider that this incident happened when they were engaged, and they are now married and she is defending and protecting him. That this very well may NOT be an isolated incident for them. That this happens more times than Mrs. Rice would like to count. Maybe she did provoke him in that elevator. Maybe it was a case of battered woman defense. These are all significances that point to battered person syndrome. Maybe their relationship encompasses much more than we're willing to recognize and/or acknowledge.

My prayer is that, since they are still together (as far as we know), while working out their marriage and family matters, that they are seeking counseling. Aggression like that doesn't just disappear in a few months.


till next time,

m

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Good Ground

There are times when I feel I'm brittle, dry, barren.

I wonder if the life I know was predestined will spring up from me.

Am I beyond reparation?

This soil of mine…cracked, thirsting for more…

Will it ever reveal new life?

It becomes a bit cumbersome for a bud with little hope

To wonder if it'll ever come into full bloom.

Seeds have been sown.

Weeds are being pulled.

Thorns are gradually being snipped away.

Intermittent sunshine and rain.

Just when there seemed to be no hope in this arid land

God breaks open the heavens, and pours out His blessings.

He is not withholding his greatness from His people.

Somebody prayed.

And I am reminded of a word whispered to me before one Sunday service…

"You are good ground."

While damp, muddy, and a bit messy…good ground, indeed.



If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave,and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified (set apart for holy use) this house, that My Name may be here forever, and My eyes and My heart will be here perpetually.
2 Chronicles 7:14-16 (AMP)

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for Mystrength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Glass Houses and a Sledgehammer

There's an overwhelming heaviness of heart I carry.

It is at times fleeting, and then I'm okay. Other times, it bores through me like a piercing gaze…not akin to that of a lover.

I feel I'm sitting in an empty glass house with no stones and a sledgehammer too heavy for me to swing and set myself free.

I'm left with my thoughts. I'm left with my own words, weaponized to be unkind to myself. And this heavy, heavy hammer.

It is far more than I can stand to lift. It is old. It is rugged. It is splintery and rusted. And while quite difficult and painful to manage, it is the only thing that will get me out of this place.

I try, many a time, to no avail to lift this aid of liberation. I grow weary. I cry. I fail. So I sit, with this hammer lightly grasped wondering how I will ever manage to get out of here. For I am too weak. I am not strong enough to do this in my own might…

If I were to escape, what about the shards of glass? What about the pain of actually climbing out? What about what lies on the other side of these walls? Can I handle it?

My thoughts…

My questions…

My doubts…

I am left with them and this heavy, heavy hammer--the only thing that can set me free.

Where do I find strength to use the only tool given me?

The tool…

I strengthen myself by carrying this tool. I bear its heaviness. I endure the splinters. I embrace the callouses. And with this comes renewal of the mind…a mental and spiritual Bearing, Endurance and Embrace like no other. I build the valor necessary to heave this tool as I will.

And break free…

Glass at my feet, limbs a bit scarred, hammer in hand, walking to the next glass house.

-m

And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.
Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Romans 5:2-5 (AMP)