T.W. abuse, rape:
Who are you more likely to trust? A POC male dressed in blue overalls with dirty fingernails (maybe he lost his nail clippers) that desperately need trimming or the white, suited up man that’s dressed in a thousand-dollar suit, crisp white shirt who has regular manicures including a disarming smile that’s likely to make your knees weak before he even opens his mouth to converse?
I know who I would trust because I have been conditioned or socialized to trust the man who “looks” decent!
At least the white perception of decency!
I have lost count of the number of women I have met and a few men who have been abused by men with degrees behind their names. Let’s be perfectly frank and based on physical appearance alone, a good-looking charming abuser is likely to abuse you for longer because when looking at him, it’s hard to wrap your head around the gentle guy who has tears in his eyes whilst watching a sad documentary and the monster that he turns into when things don’t go his way. It’s even harder (if it’s physical abuse) to get people to believe you and trusted family members often reject the accusations and would rather have you estranged from them or committed to a psychiatric ward than admit there’s a monster in their midst.
For a while now I’ve been listening to how the minister would preach in church yet go home that very Sunday to abuse his wife and children.
The doctor that dedicates his life to fixing broken bones and healing you is sometimes the same man who breaks your arm or emotionally and mentally abuses you.
It’s so hard to separate the terrible actions of a man who dresses smartly yet abuses but this is in effect what’s happening in our society.
We are told to watch out for the big, black man and view him as a danger to us because that’s how we have been socialized.
We have been conditioned to let down our defenses when a “decent looking” white man approaches us and because our defenses are down when the man begins his abuse, we struggle mentally to put two and two together and often our minds reject what we have experienced or seen and therefore he continues.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every white man abuses his partner but I am saying that we aren’t prepared for that when it does happen because we are looking at his physical attributes. (Definitely not blaming the victims here)
Even with rapists how many of us are taught not to walk alone at night and be scared of who is going to jump out from the bush, yet how many women are sexually assaulted by the boy next door, the sweet innocent boy we grew up with, the “trusted” family member?
The more we continue to let racist thoughts guide our instincts, the more we are unlikely to see the danger lurking in our own backyard. We need only look at Harvey Weinstein, Trump and many others and in our own backyard people like Oscar Pistorius, who is a person with a disability.
When we run away from the big, black man often that leaves us vulnerable and open to abuse by the very people we were conditioned to trust.
Criminals come in all shapes and sizes and the only difference between a POC abuser and a genteel white abuser is often the suit that “fools” us into believing that they’re different.
In this patriarchal society we have to “arm” ourselves with truth and awareness and to discard what we were taught and follow what we feel rather than what we think we feel! Our instincts have to be honed in and listen to and never discarded.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf!