Ray Rice, Lee Westwood, nail varnish, the Tube, Leaving Here and a fanciful hope.

I’ve seen both Ray Rice videos. I’ve seen the now deleted tweet by Lee Westwood, seen the NFL backtracking, seen Floyd Mayweather say the original ban was enough. Mind you Floyd did do time for battery against an ex girlfriend so no surprise there really. And I’m left so sad, so very angry.

If you haven’t seen the videos I’d say don’t. Brutal and callous are the words I’d use for the attack and aftermath. Rice would have got away with knocking his fiancée out cold if he hadn’t been caught on camera. Quite what the NFL have been doing I’m not sure but the full truth isn’t out I’m sure.

What concerns me is domestic violence again seems to be less about the women than men needing to be protected. Maybe I’m wrong but there seems to be a culture of cover up across the board. It’s almost as if there’s an unconscious belief that if this gets taken really seriously the fall out would be men not being ‘men’. And domestic violence isn’t taken seriously enough for me, how else do you explain Lee Westwood tweeting that Rice is a free agent, sign him for the 49ers? It’s not taken seriously in the NFL as the initial ban was TWO games, yet smoking a joint gets you a year ban.

And I’ve been reading recently how prevalent sexual harassment on the Tube and Subway are. Some stories I’ve read left me feeling ill at the violation.

And yet it mostly seems that the responsibility falls on the woman. She was wearing a low top, shouldn’t have been drinking, walked in the wrong place, walking late at night, wear nail polish that changes colours if your drink is spiked, why is she with him?

BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT.

If ANYONE gets assaulted it’s the doer’s responsibility. If I get mugged it’s not my fault.

Yet if a woman gets assaulted its somehow laid at her feet in an awful lot of cases.

My dad hit my mum. Once that I know of because I head the screams and came down, saw the bruises on my mum and tried to beat my dad up. I was around 10. Maybe once, but in reality how many times? He hit my stepmother, again only the once I know of. He broke her ribs in self defence he says. I did see scratches on his face another time. Hear of her attacking him with a tennis racket. But what else happened? Where is the truth?

The truth is in this age of information we have access to real news from all over the world. We see so much and hopefully our awareness grows, our desire to be courageous and do something grows. But does it? I see funding in rape crisis cut and cut. I see cover ups and lack of successful prosecutions.

A fanciful hope is that the NFL stands up and are true men. My hope is that they quit the crap that’s going on now and do something positive. They are a billion dollar business. They have huge influence. They could support DV organisations with funding, raise campaigns of awareness, bring in a culture of telling the truth. I know, fanciful. But I can hope. Without hope what’s the point?

And Leaving Here…a great cover Pearl Jam does. About domestic abuse. Makes me so sad hearing it at the same time as loving the song. I hope I’m not alone in understanding what it’s about. I hope as well as rocking out and dancing some men are moved to take a stand for women.

I’ll be painting ’em up again. This time realising my bright red polish is anti-rape, anti DV, anti harassment. And in honour of the women I know who have been raped, the women I know who have suffered domestic violence and those I know who have been harassed and assaulted on trains and busses.

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