If you’re even half-aware of what’s going on in the Anglican blogosphere, you’ve already heard about the damnfool hooharaw over at Stand Firm*.
Elizabeth+ has a nice roundup of people who talk prettier than me. She also points out a distinct increase in the rhetoric’s violent undertones, to the point where subtext has just pretty much become text.
To which my first thought was, “Um, duh?”
Check out this Power and Control Wheel (PDF).
Now, WordPress tells me exactly how many of you click on links, and I know for every link I put up, about ONE of you click on it, so here’s a text summary of the Power and Control Wheel:
Using Coercion and Threats- Making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her. Threatening to leave her, to commit suicide, to report her to welfare. Making her drop charges. Making her do illegal things.
Minimizing, Denying, and Blaming– Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns seriously. Saying the abuse didn’t happen. Shifting responsiblity for abusive behavior. Saying she caused it.
Using Male Privilege- Treating her like a servant. Making all the big decisions. Acting like the “master of the castle”. Being the one to define men’s and women’s roles.
Using Intimidation- Making her afraid by using looks, actions, gestures. Smashing things. Destroying her property. Abusing pets. Displaying weapons.
Using Emotional Abuse- Putting her down. Making her feel bad about herself. Calling her names. Making her think she is crazy. Playing mind games. Humiliating her. Making her feel guilty.
Using Isolation- Controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, where she goes. Limiting her outside involvement. Using jealousy to justify actions.
Using Children- Making her feel guilty about the children. Using the children to relay messages. Using visitation to harass her. Threatening to take the children away.
Using Economic Abuse- Preventing her from getting or keeping a job. Making her ask for money. Giving her an allowance. Taking her money. Not letting her know about or have access to family income.
Anyone who’s gone through this horror knows that the 100% guaranteed way to increase the violence is to attempt to regain some measure of power, from ‘talking back’ to walking out. Statistically, a victim is more likely to be killed when they take control of their lives back, regain their power. Why do you think so many women’s shelters don’t list their address in the phone book?
Living in that fear sucks the royal donkey balls. It’s our individual choice, though, whether we’re going to live the rule of fear, or live the rule of Love handed down by Jesus Christ.
Which ain’t always easy, lemme tell ya. Living by the rule of fear gives you a nice, easy, neat life. A life where the street signs clearly state which path is heading towards the safety of the light and which one leads to the outer darkness. Living the rule of Love is living in a grey, shadowy world, with no guarantee of safe passage.
Living the rule of Love means living in a world where you are the light that drives off the darkness, that lets you set your feet safely on whatever path you tread.
This little light of mine, well… I’m going to let it shine.
*Which has always sounded to me like a tag line for male enhancement pills.