I made a blog post a couple of days ago about Australian journalist Clementine Ford being deluged with hate mail for standing up to Channel Seven’s Sunrise program (when they engaged in “victim blaming” in response to news about women having their nude photos hacked and published without their permission).
I see today that one of the perpetrators (who threatened to bash and rape her and called her “lesbian scum”) who Ms Ford outed, has apologised and is feeling the heat of public disapproval. See here:
On reading his responses though I am left cold. This much is clear: this man still, does not understand why what he did was wrong. He is only apologising because he got caught and was embarrassed.
It brings into focus a common problem: some people are either unable, or unwilling to see that the way they treat other people is wrong. This is particularly bad when it’s men treating women badly in relationships.
So what’s the point? It is this: if you are in a relationship where you are being abused physically, or emotionally then you are not obliged to just accept or tolerate it. People like the man in this article may one day be able to see why what he did was wrong. But he clearly can’t yet. And the only way that he will learn this lesson is for women (like Clementine Ford) to state clearly and repeatedly that what he did was not ok and to walk away from him.
Not everyone is incapable of learning from their mistakes. I like to think that I am a better person for having my mistakes and errors pointed out to me and then trying to do better. But when someone has shown that they aren’t, or won’t, then it is the right thing to do to move on – for your own health and well-being.
It is no our job to rescue people from themselves. We can only do so much before the cost becomes too great.
I am not saying that we should throw away relationship at the first sign of trouble. Not at all. But it is important to know when to put yourself first and to stand up for your own needs.