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. This is more than one of you. Some of you know me. Some of you are strangers. I want you to stop and think about that “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.
Not just the jokes. We need to stop the context that sets the jokes up.