Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why do women stay in abusive relationships?

Crazy Love, Crazy Choices

Earlier this spring, when pop singer Rihanna went back to the man who allegedly beat her, the blogs were full of objections to blaming the "victim." It just makes women feel bad to say, "Why doesn't she leave?" feminist commentator Amanda Marcotte wrote in her blog. Indeed, she continues, "every time we ask that, we are engaging in batterer assistance ourselves." Shouldn't we be focusing on the abusers? Well, not exactly. Old-style feminism would say "the personal is the political," as long-time columnist Katha Pollitt put it in her own tale of personal sexual betrayal, Learning To Drive: And Other Life Stories. A social movement that passed political judgment on a subject as intimate as domestic violence may be tough on the victim, but, as Pollitt concluded, "at least it offered a perspective." The alternative, she warned, is that "These days anything is feminist as long as you 'choose' it … no matter how dangerous or silly or servile or self-destructive it is."

read more of it at http://www.slate.com/id/2215693

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