TODAY - The Newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Published On: Tue, Mar 7th, 2017

Domestic violence

Ouch, our good friend Ras Bushman has hit a nerve with his observations about the root causes of domestic violence. His advice seems sound (walk away from arguments), but we wonder whether that will save the day for him.

When we read his opinion, as published on our front page today, we got a really weird feeling – like this is not the Bushman we thought we knew. But hey, maybe it’s all a big misunderstanding, you know?

Bushman speaks about “a woman who is not respecting you” and about “a woman who wants to compete with you” and, to top it off, about a woman “who wants to run around and come home late.”

That’s where domestic violence is coming from, he says.

Hello?

Today is an open platform, also, and maybe especially, for opinions we strongly disagree with. They are, after all, the salt of the earth and the seeds for a sturdy discussion. We would like to put Bushman in one room with Peridot-President Gracita Arrindell, lock the door and come back an hour later to see who ended up with most of the bruises – figuratively speaking, of course.

So where does domestic violence really come from? Male ego has a lot to do with it. The misconception that men are better, smarter, stronger and more important than women also plays a role.

Respect, my dear friend Bushman, is a two-way street. First of all, you don’t get it, you have to earn it. So if you feel that a woman – or anyone else for that matter – is not respecting you, you have to wonder first what that is all about before bringing out the baseball bats. (Oh, we don’t mean that you are actually using baseball bats against women – it’s another manner of speech; you get the picture, don’t you?).

What does it take to piss off a man so badly that he turns violent? Respect brother, respect. You’ve got that right. But the man who turns to violence to settle a score with a woman does not respect himself. That is the real problem.
When two people fight, there is usually more than one guilty party, so putting the blame on women who disrespect a man or who ‘run around’ does not make a lot of sense.

We once learned in a personal growth training given by a Vietnam vet one thing that has stuck: it is never about the other person.

If you remember that, you will soon realize that women are never, ever the root cause of domestic violence, unless they are the ones dealing the better blows. That happens, but it’s rare.

Once you realize that it is never about the other person, there is only one person in the world left to look at for an explanation: You.

Because too many people walk the face of this earth with the rather comical idea that they are perfect this is an exercise most men do not like to execute.

Looking for your own faults is never easy, but it is damn useful. Once you identify you own shortcomings – and we all have them – it becomes a lot easier to deal with what men perceive as the shortcomings in others – like their girlfriends and their wives.

We all make mistakes and that is okay because this is what is making us human. We are not machines.

And yeah, the black man who walks away because women make him weak, as Bushman says? Give us a break brother. Walking away from an argument is one thing, walking away from your responsibilities – for your family, for instance – and never coming back is quite something else. That’s weakness big time.
Because where are you walking to? To the next girlfriend? Come on now. Let’s call a spade a spade and put the responsibility for (most) domestic violence where it belongs. With men.