September 16, 2014

What Janay Rice and Jill Scott Have in Common

If you are thinking, Erin isn't this a blog for feminists about women's issues? What in the world took you so long to write about what a monster Ray Rice is? The truth is, I didn't want to write about Ray Rice or the NFL. I did not want to write about how a man who was indicted by a grand jury for aggravated assault, was only punished after a video of him knocking out his now-wife emerged- 6 months later. The story makes me furious. However, the conversations have been even worse.

Oh, so we only need protection from police?

Comments blaming the victim, jokes about taking the stairs, arguments of who hit who first are maddening. I am also sick of hearing what a scandal this is for the NFL! They will be alright. I assure you. What is not right and what is not fair, is that over and over again women of color are left to fend for ourselves when the pot gets hot.

Two weeks ago I cannot explain how excited I was to see Jill Scott trending on Twitter. After having a really rough morning at work, I thought I would get to see a trailer or hear a new song that would help me hit reset on the morning. Instead I saw breasts. I saw a lightly robed Jilly from Philly in her bathroom. Thinking it was a Photoshop joke I scrolled down to see the constant RTs and jokes about "Jill Scott built like." Why?! I was angry and I was shocked.

How is it that one of the founders of Twitter can stand for Mike Brown, but miss a nude celebrity? What is it that gives the world permission to mock us and kick us when we're down? It's baffling and tiresome. Of course Jill Scott responded with the Grace of thousand queens because that is who she is. However, that does not excuse the fact that she was left vulnerable and exposed in a way Jennifer Lawrence was not. (To this day, the breasts of J. Law are hardly anywhere to be found.)

Yasss!

I write this to simply say that I hope this is a wake up call. You don't get to be an ally when it's convenient; when you get to defend Nicki's butt or Beyonce's wigs. Show up when it really matters, show up when we need you. No one should get to pick and choose who deserves empathy in a clear case of abuse. I want to see the concern for Mrs. Rice and her child. I want every domestic abuse prevention and recovery organization to get shine. Who cares if Roger Goodell is fired? Our priorities need a realignment. If we're firing him, we need to fire congressmen, pastors, coaches, and anyone who is, or protects abusers everywhere, because its not OK!

For more information about domestic abuse and organizations, check out the amazing post by Afrobella, interviewing an expert in domestic abuse cases.

See also #whyistayed and the resources list here.

We ALL deserve protection, not to be belittled in the face of adversity. #YesAllWomen

What do you think Diamonds? Do you think it's time to change the conversation? Leave a comment or let me know on Twitter.

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