Tag Archive: relationships


“The Boyfriend Trainer” app: Teaching Youth To Abuse

by a Mumbai-based company Games2win India

boyfriend-trainer-top630useWe all love games.  But there is a degree of tolerance that we all have for say nudity and violence.  Even Apple has banned apps due to nudity and violence against women.  So, WHY is this app being allowed in the Apple itunes store and the Android app store for downloading?!?!  Is Intimate Partner Violence only men hurting women??  Of course not!!  There are many, many women who are violent to their boyfriends.  And yes, this is also Intimate Partner Violence.  So why are these companies allowing this as though it is okay?  They will not comment.  At least not yet.

The description of the game is “Crack that whip and teach your guy a thing or two about being the Perfect Boyfriend!  When scolding doesn’t work, just zap him, whack him and train him to be your ideal man!”   Each level has a lesson that the girlfriend will teach the boyfriend through violence.  This will in turn change him to be the way that she wants him to be.  What does this teach our youth?  It teaches them that through violence you can change your partner, or at least try to.  This is not a healthy relationship.  If it were, they would respect each others differences and accept and love them for who they are.

It begins that you are instructed to slap the boyfriend every time he looks at another girl, leaving a big red welt on his face every time she slaps it.  You have to abuse the boyfriend in order to move on to the next level.bfappcafe

bfapplesson1

Lesson two is not only abusive but sexist as well.bfapplesson2  It insinuates that females are supposed to clean up after males.  However, if this boyfriend doesn’t clean up after himself, he will get tasered.bfapplivingroom  It goes on to teach the boyfriend not to drink your drink, turn up the radio, flex his muscles with girls around, ignore you, fall asleep at a movie, speed, play around when they should be doing chores and to stay with and near you when you shop for clothes.  All of these are punishable by physical abuse: getting hit on the head with a tennis racket,bfapptv getting a shovel of sand in the face, having weights dropped on his foot, getting maced at the Prom with friends looking on and laughing, and getting strangled by a leash in the car, at which one point he struggles back!bfappcar  After each level, you receive encouragement.   bfappbullseyeAt the end of ten horrifying scenes of violence, you are finally “rewarded’ with the “Perfect Boyfriend”, the “Ideal Mate”, who is not really himself at all!

Personally, I am surprised that we are just now hearing about this since it has been out there for at least a few months now.  Then again, I am not so surprised, because violence against men aren’t taken as seriously as against women.  We need to strip away our gender stereotypes and realize that we are all just people and ANYONE can get hurt and controlled…BY ANYONE!!  They don’t have to be six foot five and three hundred pounds to be considered a believable abuser!  People are savvy in the way in which they gain their control.  So, whether it’s men against women, women against men, men against men or women against women… Intimate Partner Violence is all about violence between people who are intimate, no matter what their gender.

So, let’s click onto Games2win or their supporters out there, Apple and Android, and let them know what we really think of this app!  It’s abusive, demeaning and a terrible game for their target audience (or any audience)…ages 4 and up!!!  What kind of example would this be for a four year old!  Their little personalities are still forming!

And remember…

In real life, she would have been arrested in lesson 1.

Go out and make a difference!

This is a video of sexism that has happened in 2012.

By ads…NO!

By the news.

By the the officials of our country.

By the senators/congress/leaders.

By the news.

By the media!

The sexism and attack on women and women’s bodies this year was appalling!

This is a call to action to stop this nonsense!

30 sexiest ads of 2012 as done by adrants.com   

(Caution!!!!  These are ads that are deemed “sexy” therefore you will see gratuitous focus on women’s bodies. Click at your own risk.  However, all of these ads were on TV at one point or another during 2012.  )

There is a very good reason I put this link here. We experience the world through our senses. Eyes and ears play a very big role in this experience. Through the eyes and the ears we get over 60% of all stimuli needed to experience our reality. Feelings can be created with a combination of using our eyes, ears, and brain – the brain will then create a visceral feeling we can actually feel on our skin. Taste and smell are so interrelated that they are often left off this spectrum, but that’s ok because in many experiences they are only 30% of our sensations – and the brain does wonders filling that part in too.

But wait…if we are experiencing our lives through these mediums, that means TV and ads actually create and develop the way we see the world. BINGO!!!

(BTW – Scent is intricate in creating a relationship…but we are being taught to bypass that for visual. It has been found that if we bypass our sense of smell when it comes to a relationship – we have very little basis for that relationship other than physical.)

Since this is true – The advertising agencies are selling us a “reality” that is simply not a reality. However, they are engaging our entire brain to make sure we see it as reality. This is fine and dandy when you know it….

BUT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IT!

Therefore, you have people looking at these ads, porn, and TV shows that all show women as mindless bodies walking around wanting only us. Then men are taught that these mindless bodies is what they are suppose to want. They go out in search of these mindless bodies (hence the cat calling, and street harassment – see it’s ok, because women aren’t real people, (yep you guessed it) they are just mindless bodies) and then are disappointed when these mindless bodies speak.

However, when the speaking happens…advertisement, TV, and movies are here to save the day again. They have taught men that it’s ok not to listen, just as long as you say the right thing to be able to touch more of the bodies you’ve been taught to lust after.

In the end, it becomes very frustrating that everything we see says we should be able to have and should want the mindless bodies….but they all have minds.

However, male privileged has taught us that we don’t have to listen to this nonsense…we can use power and control to create fear, and then the mindless bodies will act right.

Then we have domestic violence!

Is this jump too radical…not according to the brain science that we are unearthing on a daily basis. This is a culmination of data from the likes of great speakers such as Jean Kilbourne – creator of the Killing Us softly videos, and her multiple books about the perception of women and how that perception creates violence.  There is also the Media Literacy Campaign that shows time and time again how the media creates views and ideas of our own reality that is often not a reality it all.

So what do we do?  Contact each and every one of these businesses that ok’d these advertisements and say…NO!  This is not ok!

When we speak in one voice, we end the problems and the violence!

 

love2I was visiting a friend of mine in an “Assisted Living Facility”.  She is an able-bodied woman who can do a lot of things, but she is forgetful and her 2 strokes have left her footing not what it use to be. After the 6th fall – she decided she needed some help.

well, as I was there she was showing me all the awesome things that were around the complex. She also showed me the bus schedule to EVERY cool place anyone of the 70+ age range would want to go. We eventually ended up at the shuffle boards, it seems the whole place eventually gravitates to this area during sundown. It also helps that the shuffle board area looks out at the Gulf of Mexico…a great place to hang out and watch the sun go down over the water.

One of her friends, Glady, asked me what I did for a living. I explained that I educated people about preventing domestic violence.

ge1Her eyes grew twice their size, then slowly dropped to their normal volume. She sighed and went back to watching the sun. A few minutes later, she touched my arm again and asked what the statistics were now.  I explained they were 1 in 4 women would be a victim and 1 in 9 of men would be a victim. She sighed again.

Just as the sun peeped out of existence and people started to wander home, she patted me on the shoulder. She smiled and told me this story written down the best I can remember:

purple3When I was a young gal I helped battered women…my mom as the first person I helped. I told my grandpa what was happening. Grandpa came over with a shotgun, there was a struggle and the next day mom and I patched three holes in the hallway. However, dad was never seen again and mom smiled a lot more. When I was 19 i got a job as a secretary for a hospital. A woman came in with a split lip that needed 5 stitches from a fly ball.  This was 1951, there weren’t many women out playing ball those days. She sat down and told me her tale of abuse – I was flabbergasted this happened to more people than just my mom. I told her to call her dad…he’d do something. But she was fatherless. The nurse sewed her up, and she left.

In 1961 I became the first victim advocate, and I opened my house to any woman who needed help. My husband helped, and we built an add on that looked like barracks for people to live. He and I got weapons permits and weapons to match…those men didn’t come around after some buckshot went over their head. Then I got on the women’s lib bandwagon…I even have some of my old buttons. That was the day…we were really doing something.

animal abuseNow, I hear that this is still going on and the stats are even worse. How sad is that!  Then she raised her voice: How long do we have to fight this________  ________ ____________ abuse? (You can fill in the cuss words) I worked to end abuse and maintain women’s rights for decades, and my husband died still at his desk at a women’s shelter as I did an intake form. Up and had a heart attack right then and there.

How long does this have to go on?

When I got done listening to her, I was amazed! her question was very heart-felt and a question I have to ask many many times.

love3In Pinellas County,  there are two women who are directors of Domestic Violence centers. they have both spent their years fighting for the rights of women and fighting to keep their centers open. They have held victims hands as the blood ran from their face. they have stood next to victims as their abuser yells and glares at them in a court room. they have lobbied congress, the senate, and the state. They have enacted laws, legislation, and movements that are remembered and used to this day.  They, like Glady, were on the lines when women’s rights and VAWA were being decided and discussed. they have made money, they have given money, they have given their voice, and their lives to end domestic violence once and for all.

Both of these ladies began their career working to help victims, create gender equality, and end domestic violence. Now, both of them are close to retirement age, and we are still working towards the same end that Glady was working towards so many years before them.

How long does this have to go on?

How many children have to be taught to act like this?

How many homes must be destroyed?

The real question – How will we, the next generation, change this status quo?

 

 

 

 

 

The power and control wheel was created to explain domestic violence.

We can say that domestic violence is caused by power and control all we want, but the reality is…most of us don’t know what power and control looks like.  That’s where the power and control wheel fits in…it helps us understand all the ways someone is able to exert this onto us.

The equality wheel was the logical antithesis tot he power and control wheel. However, when we are talking about equality we should also be talking about nonviolence.

Nonviolence is simply the absence of violence. However, it’s also the absence of violent words, images, and displays. Unfortunately, we don’t often pay attention tot he rest of the violence that is around us all the time. this violence WILL influence us, change us, and recreate ideas in our mind that our society seems to think are acceptable.

A perfect example of when violence seeps into our normal speech is seen here:

wrong p and c

No doubt the creators of this equality wheel were good people and meant the very best. No doubt they would never ever hurt a single person. BUT…the normalized violence in our world influenced them to add words to the bottom that promotes domestic violence.

The word beat…unless used in a musical way…is VIOLENT!  There is no other way to see it. Even the phrase “can’t be beat” has violent origins. It’s is a statement that explains that a person can’t be “beat” because they are immune to pain or “beating”.

If we are striving to make this world a better and less violent place, we must start with our language and ourselves!

This is a Christmas Song?

Before we speak about the song…let us look at a scenario:

man: Want to stay the night?

woman: No.

Man: Well you can’t leave because it’s cold.

Woman: That’s ok. I need to leave.baby2

Man: But it’s warm here, and cold out there. Stay.

Woman: No, I need to leave.

Man: no you don’t, you need to stay here. It’s too cold for you to go out.

Woman: No, I really need to leave.

Man: No you don’t.

Woman: Yes, I do….

This could go on and on with the man constantly asking her to stay and breaking her down till she finally gives up (gives in) and stays. This is a perfect example of not respecting a woman’s “no”…sounds a lot liek rape to me.

Sounds a lot like disrespecting women.

Sounds a lot like sexual harassment.

However, this is exactly what this song represents. She keeps explaining that she needs to leave, and he won’t let her leave. If we add another element…what if he’s her only ride home?  Then she’s really stuck and she can only plead with him.  As this song goes on, you can almost see him pulling on her arm to get her into the bedroom, as she says NO!

What part of no means no does this guy not get?

Here are the actual lyrics:

Back here=Bing Crosby
Indented=Doris Day

I really can’t stay baby3
Baby it’s cold outside
I gotta go away
Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been
Been hoping that youd drop by
So very nice
I’ll hold your hands their just like ice
My mother will start to worry
Beautiful what’s your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I better scurry
Beautiful please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more
Put some records on while I pour

The neighbors might think
Baby it’s bad out there
Say.. what’s in this drink?
No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how to break the spell
Your eyes are like starlight now
I’ll take your hat your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no sir
Mind if move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried
What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?
I really can’t stay
Baby don’t hold out
(Both) Ahh but its cold outside!

I simply must go
But baby it’s cold outside
The answer is no
But baby it’s cold outside
This welcome has been so nice and warm
Look out the window at that storm
My sister will be suspicious
Gosh your lips look delicious!
My brother will be there at the door
Waves upon a tropical shore
My maiden aunts mind is vicious
Gosh your lips are delicious!
Well maybe just a cigarette more
Never such a blizzard before

I’ve got to get home
But baby you’ll freeze out there
Say lend me a coat?
It’s up to your knees out there!
You’ve really been grand
I feel when you touch my hand
But don’t you see?
How can you do this to me? no rape 1
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
Think of my life long sorrow!
At least there’ll be plenty of invised
If you caught pnemounia and died!
I really can’t stay
Get over that old out
Ooooooooh!
(Both) Ahhh but it’s cold…….Outside

It’s quite scary to think how a young man listening to this song might think this is how a man should act. It’s even more scary to think that a young girl would learn this is how she should respond.

use this song as a teaching point for your kids and students…we need to eradicate this way of thinking out of our minds and lives.

baby

When I was a kid I would come home and tell my parents someone beat me up and I was asked…what did you do wrong.

I’m an adult…and my child comes home (knowing my child has mental disabilities) and says he got hit by another boy. Being a boy, and knowing how boy socialization works, I ask him what did he do wrong.

One sounds careless to the victims feelings. One sounds intelligent sounding…yet also careless to the victims feelings. Even though I know that when a boy walks up to another boy and the 2nd boy doesn’t move, the next thing is going to be, “what’s your problem?”, a push, a hit, and a fight. Is this the correct way of acting…NO!  Is this ok…NO!  However, every boy will tell you it’s normal.  The problem is how it is handled – the victim is made to be the person who is in the wrong.

The victim is never the person in the wrong!!!  This is very hard to understand to our world where we constantly ask the victim: What did you do to make this happen.

This is even worse when it is a DV victim. They asked the person to love them, and the person decided to hurt them.

Just like my son asked to be able to be on the sidewalk at that moment and the other boy decided to hurt him.

Just like I only asked to be left alone to humm while I did my work, and another boy decided to punch me.

All three the victim was blamed!!

Where are we taught these ideas?  Here’s a good idea where:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3RNsZvdYZQ&feature=share&list=PLDE0B5BCF65686CA5

How do we stop this victim blaming?

Boobs for boots and a dog.

 

All I can ask is WHY?  WHY? WHY? WHY?

I go and speak to students all the time and explain that we CAN NOT see women as just body parts, we have to see them as whole thinking individuals. (As i just typed that I realized how ridiculous it is that we don’t see women like that!)

We can’t just look at their breasts.

We can’t just look at their butt.

A woman’s body parts are not what is the most important part of them.

Then there are 1000’s of commercials just like this.

Boots….boots…really?  that’s what this commercial is for?  I would have thought it was for a breast augmentation company or a bra company…both companies would make sense.

But boots?  Really?

Start writing e-mails to these companies that portray women like this, and then write the actress who thought this was ok. The more we make our voice heard, the more we can influence and change the way things are.

 

A friend of mine called me and said she was taking the day off.  I congratulated her, as I often do when people say these things to me, and then she sighed.

Turns out that the reason she was taking the day off was because she hadn’t slept since 2am. At 2 am she was awoken by large amounts of liquid hitting the ground. after a minute of getting out of the groggy sleep, sher heard it again plus the retching…her son was throwing up.  She woke her husband and told him what was going on. He told her she should go see what was going on. She arrived to a messy scene…when she told her husband he said he had to work in the morning and went back to sleep.

I was appalled…and my friend asked why.  Because men and women should be working and raising the kids together…plus she had to get up and work in the morning too.

2 am turned in 3 am turned in 4 am. The throwing up turned into a fever, coughing, sore throat and a lot of crying. So much crying in fact that it work up her husband around 3. He got up, looked into the room , patted the boy on the head, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed. At this moment the boy was dripping from every mucus producing orifice in his face and he was crying. (My opinion…Really!!! That’s all he did?)

Sun rose and the alarm went off at 7 am, mom had no sleep and little boy was just drifting off after a lot fo medicine, a lot of tissues, and A LOT of crying.  He got up and asked why coffee wasn’t made, since she was up.

She called in and slept on the floor of her sons room, while he got angry, dressed and got ready as noisily as he could, and left.

Now, if you’re a man reading this…you might not see this as you.

Also…

If you’re a man reading this…you might not see this as bad.

after hearing this story, I went out and asked every woman I met about this situation. I asked if this type of thing happened in their house. I asked if this was normal in their house. I asked if this was normal in a marriage. I asked if this is normal “guy” behavior.

The answers were almost unanimous and I have asked over 100 women.

This scenario is normal!

WHAT!!!!????

No it is not! No it can’t be.

This is not gender equality…and we must must must do something to end this inequality!  But what?

How do we end this inequality?  What do you think?

Again…I have to make the comment of objectifying females.

This does not just show women as objects (which is bad in itself and a problem for women the world wide and promotes abuse…because when you see people as things, you can treat them however you feel those “things” need to be treated. This was seen in the slave trade in America and world wide currently towards many races and genders.)

But more over…it also produces a view of women that obstructs the real view of women for men.

When a man sees representations of women constantly (since we are “plugged in 24/7 now) they stop seeing what a real women looks like.

When we have a robot that looks, moves, acts, and anatomically resembles a woman it begins to be seen as the real thing, and machines are always a lot more “perfect” than we real people are.

Not only that, this does horrible things for the LGBTQ community (the gay world for the lay person).

When we depict what women are suppose to be like, it sets a gender role rigidity that does not let this community in. Not only that, if a male begins to identify their world to mechanical…they are fashioning themselves after a non reality in order to fit the gender role that our world forces them into.

Commercials like these are ripping the acceptance of the natural, normal, human being into shreds.   But many will say this is simply not true –

This is why adding plastic, pig enzymes, and various other products into our body is growing at such an alarming rate that many of the plastic surgery procedures are either an outpatient surgery, or something you can do on your lunch break.

Write letters, speak out, repost…do something to end the multiple ramifications this commercial and commercials like these can have on our youth and out world..

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