Why Stephen A. Smith Was Right… Sort Of
Recently, ESPN2’s “First Take” sportscaster- Stephen A. Smith was suspended for comments regarded as some to mean that abused women can be to blame by provoking men to violence. His colleague, Michelle Beadle took to Twitter to display her disgust and dismay by comparing Smith’s comments to someone getting sexually assaulted for wearing a skirt. As a survivor and advocate, I find Beadle’s comment emotion baiting and in extremely poor taste.
There is a difference between a woman, minding her business, walking down the street who gets accosted by a man and a woman, who decides she wants to put her hands on a man.
It is no surprise, however, that so many are outraged by Smith’s comment which was taken completely out of context. At no time did he blame a domestic violence victim for being abused. Maybe he could have chosen better wording, maybe not. The point he made, however, cannot rationally be disputed- people need to keep their hands to themselves or bad things could happen. Unfortunately, in this day and age, the BB Movement (BBM) has taken over and some believe that the “BBs” bad behavior is acceptable because of their sex.
When matters such as abuse arise, many want to end the conversation with, “Men shouldn’t hit women- period.” Where there is a period in that sentence, however, there should be a comma. The reality is that men should not hit women and women should not hit men. Domestic violence is domestic violence whether it’s the man or the woman who is the abuser. We have been sucked into the “BBM” when we teach our girls and young women that it is okay for them to behave in any unruly manner they want because of their gender. Not only is this problematic, but it is dangerous, because getting physical with the wrong person could end the girl’s life.
“Stephen A. Smith versus Michelle Beadle and Domestic Violence in Sports”
All people need to learn not to hit others. Self-control is not just for men. The only issue I take with Smith is that provocation becomes a moot point when each person decides to control his or her own actions. As a believer in Christ, one of the major lessons I was taught was to pursue peace as much as it is up to me and to not be a stumbling block for my brother. Any person who puts their hands on another- be it man-on-woman, woman-on-man, man-on-man, or woman-on-woman, he or she has violated this principle and may face the consequences of doing so. This does not mean that abuse is right; it just means that it is a very real possibility when you act violently. Being a “bad b” can get you killed.
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