This isn’t funny — stop it.

I had surgery on Friday to correct a deviated septum, turbinate hypertrophy, and collapsed nasal valves. I’ve been posting pictures of myself in the recovery process, because I think medicine is neat.

But you — you decided that it would be funny to make a joke that I had black eyes because my husband hit me. Or the milder form, that people would think he’d hit me.┬áThis is more than one of you. Some of you know me. Some of you are strangers. I want you to stop and think about thatThe bump remains intact! Huzzah. Also, food had flavor! And I'm not weeping blood anymore! “joke.”

  • Why did you think it was funny?
  • Why did a picture of a woman with black eyes immediately make you think of domestic violence?
  • Why did you think domestic violence would be a good subject for a joke?
  • Because clearly my husband would never do it, so it’s obviously meant to be funny, right?
  • Why the hell did you think domestic violence was funny?
  • And why did I laugh the first time I heard it?

That’s the thing that really kills me. I was laughing because Rob would so obviously not hit me that the juxtaposition was funny. But… but, that juxtaposition exists because of how common domestic violence is that we all have the image in our head of the battered woman. I’ve internalized domestic violence as such a part of our culture, that it didn’t even occur to me that I was laughing at something horrible until I’d already done it.

I want you to think about that.

I want you to think about what context the picture of a woman with black eyes is linked to in our society.

It’s not funny.

Stop it.

Not just the jokes. We need to stop the context that sets the jokes up.

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10 Responses

  1. Jim Bond

    Our society has become sick. Filled with hatred and the desire to retaliate against their own sick fears and hatred.

  2. Julia Thorne

    Today just keeps getting worse, it seems. Started it with dog pee in my shoe, then I learned my community was terrorized, and spent the rest of the day alternately sobbing with relief due to the support and sobbing with rage at those who are doing anything but support.

    And now I see this. Just…what is so hard about love, people? LOVE.

    It’s a lot funnier when Mary, being the owner of the face in question, talks about rhino rockets and other actually funny observations. Or says “I have sorbet!” when what she clearly has is a cat on her neck.

    I just want to pull a lever and rain an entire bucket of glitter onto whoever makes more jokes like this. Because…yeah. Glitter. Glitter and love and we ain’t gonna take it.

    I have more sobbing to go do. I’ll stop ranting.

  3. Jeffrey Cuscutis

    My wife had been in a car accident and broke her collar bone before our honeymoon.
    During our honeymoon we got a few hilarious ‘jokes’ that I was keeping her in line.
    What is wrong with people?

  4. Amy

    I have more than one family member that has been a victim of domestic violence. I have multiple friends who have also been victims. It’s not funny, and it never will be.

    Thank you for posting this. I hope people take note.

  5. Ayman

    You are absolutely right. It is not funny at all, and the subject of violence is using it against humans (regardless, man or woman) is disgusting.

    It shows we as humans still have a long way to progress from our ‘caveman’ roots.

    Sorry that you had to go through this. The world is full with insensitive people, and it is also full of those who are kind and warm.

    It is great you are posting awareness-related material! I wish you a speedy recovery.

  6. Nancy

    A most excellent commentary! There are so many “jokes” like this in our culture that rely on hidden acceptance of something weird and awful .

  7. Deborah J. Ross

    I had the same surgery back in 2000 or so (still thrilled with the results) but didn’t get any of those horrible comments. I wonder how much of the difference is a change in awareness. Or a lamentable deterioration in manners.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery and easy breathing!

  8. Alma Alexander

    JEEBUS. I… got nothing. I can’t even. I am so far from being able to even that I can’t even be coherent. But here, I’ll try. Two possible scenarios for woman-with-black-eye-because-violence-posting-selfie: one, she’s just got away from her abuser and has the courage to show her wounds – which also means showing her face, which means that the abuser can come find her and inflict worse; two, she’s still INSIDE that situation and the abuser doesn’t have to go looking, she’s right there for him to continue his work in progress. Either way, the woman in the picture is in danger of having that black eye become… something broken… or worse. And this is FUNNY to people…?

  9. Varun

    Geez!! I am so sorry that you have to go through this trouble. Yes Domestic violence is not acceptable and I wonder when will humanity come peace with it. People know to just crack “jokes” just because they are insecure of themselves. Just ignore the comments and be strong. Wish you quick recovery.