I have a confession.
It is something that I only just realized was wrong.
You guys may have heard of the whole Evelyn Lozada/Chad Ochocinco (8-5, NOT 85, which is Ochentaycinco, which has too many syllables and doesn’t rhyme and is therefore not remotely as catchy) headbutting thing?
Well in case you haven’t, let me back it up. Evelyn Lozada is the star of some loud-mouthed over-aggressive make-black-women-look-terrible reality show (pick one, there are like a zillion on TV right now) and Chad Ochocinco is her newlywed husband/a professional footballer. And apparently they got into some kind of domestic violence dispute that resulted in him headbutting her after a month of marriage. Now she’s filing for divorce and pressing charges. Because of this dispute, Vh1 dropped their soon-to-premiere reality show and the Miami Dolphins dropped Chad.
And this is where my confession comes in.
When I first heard about this story…
I didn’t care.
I mean seriously. I just didn’t care.
But as the ramifications of this incident began to unfold…namely those of Chad being arrested and losing his job,
I noticed within myself a very strange reaction.
I blamed her.
To be honest, the part of me that cares about this story at all still is resentful of Evelyn for ruining this man’s foreseeably bright future, rather than being mad at Chad for, you know, the violence.
My brain understands that this is wrong. Really really wrong. I have grown up surrounded by domestic violence–I am very familiar with it, and I resolved early within myself that I would never fall victim to it.
Because in my mind, domestic violence is a victimizing crime, whereby a man who is larger and stronger than a woman uses his physical advantage over her to remind her that she is the weaker sex. Now in the case of a professional footballer and his whatever-she-does-wife (model? socialite?”ye-ain bout dat life-er?”) this is especially true. He uses his brute strength to overpower people down a field for a living; she is professionally pretty.
So why do I blame her?
I look at this case and I think “damn. There goes another black man who let a woman ruin his career and arrest record.”
What is it in me that is allowing this thought?
If Evelyn Lozada was my friend, my relative, even my neighbor I’d be like “You wanna kill him? Fuck it let’s kill him.”
I’d be like “There is no excuse.” and “He deserves everything bad that’s coming as a result of this.”
I firmly believe that you never put your hands on a woman. As Peter Parker’s aunt says, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and as a man if you feel like it’s getting to that point it’s your responsibility to leave/diffuse the situation.
As a man, using your strength against a woman is never excusable and nigh-unforgivable. I should be thinking forget losing his job–he’s lucky Evelyn’s he’s not dead. And it is the responsibility of the NFL to send a message to the public and its other athletes that using the same strength they use to power 250-lb men down a 100-yard field is not tolerable to settle a dispute about where some condoms came from–kudos, NFL.
So what the fuck, emotions? Why don’t I feel sorry for this woman?
(although after writing this blog, I can say that I think my mindset has shifted from victim-blaming to aggressor-blaming. I guess I really just had to parse out the facts in my mind)