Leaving gender out: the media's refusal to acknowledge that women actually matter.

Salon.com published a great article on Friday, about the way in which domestic violence is still considered a private matter; pointing to the recent events around psycho misogynist Mel Gibson, as well as to the abuse perpetrated by Chris Brown on girlfriend, Rihanna:

“Another domestic violence incident that was in the news recently was Chris Brown and Rihanna after their now infamous drive in a Los Angeles suburb the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards. After his emotional performance at the BET Awards, many people declared Chris Brown forgiven. Bygones. He cried and apologized so we must all take it easy on him and just get past the “situation with Rihanna.” Let me be clear: Domestic violence is not a “situation.”

While Whoopi will defend Gibson by saying he is not a racist (because he’s been INSIDE HER HOUSE! So it’s impossible!), she says nothing about the emotional and physical and abuse of his wife. Whereas we mostly seem to agree that, to attack an entire ethnicity or race is wrong, we continue to ignore attacks on approximately one half of our population. Women, that is. Who? Oh nobody.

We know that men who beat their partners are easily forgiven in the media, as demonstrated recently by Charlie Sheen. So now, with these undeniably awful allegations against Gibson, will we finally put our communal foot down? Somehow I doubt it. Polanski, Sheen, Gibson, the myriad of pro-athletes who have been accused of and then forgiven for rape and violence against women, have proved otherwise. When will our actions as a society show men that domestic abuse will not be ignored? Will not be accepted? At what point will we decide not to simply forgive and forget?

Hollywood threatened boycott over Gibson’s anti-semetic remarks, but where is the call to boycott this man based on the vile words and actions against women? When will we actually value women in this world?

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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