Cybrcast 116: Mad At The Remakes

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  • Featuring Clay (@CWDaly), Ty (@TY09), Dick (@Dick_Daly & DalyBeast.com), and Tosh Polak (@ToshPolak & his a cappella group Singer G)
  • Our 116th installment:
    • Cybrcast “life” update.
    • A quick discussion on “jabs”.
    • We very briefly discuss Olympics/World Cup.
    • Dick’s Facebook post on domestic violence
      • I want to publicly condemn domestic violence, especially when it involves men abusing women. To all the men that I know that might be guilty of this, I want you to understand that it is unacceptable and that I cannot embrace you as a true friend or respect you if this is how you move behind closed doors. If this applies to you, it is a callout to reflect on the severe consequences of your actions and a challenge to change and do better. I feel that it is important for men to speak up on these issues because we are the main (but not the only) violators in domestic violence situations.
        For context on why I’m making this statement now, continue reading, but I already know it will be a long post. I’ll do my best not to make it about me, but that’s the experience I’m drawing from, so forgive me in advance if I go there.
        Recently the subject of domestic violence reared its hideous head in my circle because a fraternity brother of mine took an absolutely wrong turn down that road and in the process violated one of the principles we are supposed to stand on; the protection of womanhood.
        The victim made the brave choice to make the incident public and my first reactions to the news were sadness and anger because I have very strong and personal feelings about this particular subject. I immediately showed my public support for the victim, whom I view as a sister, and ultimately condemned the behavior of the violator, whom I view as a brother, because right is right and wrong is wrong. I wholeheartedly feel that there is absolutely no reason for a man to put his hands on a woman out of anger. It is weak and I have personally put myself in some dangerous situations where I have demonstrated in real life where I stand on this issue, so it’s not just talk. I’m about that action for real. But I have also learned a great deal over the years and while this seems like a black and white issue, there can be grey areas.
        It’s very easy to say what a person should or should not do in a situation and this applies to both sides: A man should never hit a woman. A woman should always fight back. A man that beats women should be beaten or killed. A woman that doesn’t leave an abusive situation is stupid. This is where it goes from black and white to grey.
        Sadly, I’ve been involved in enough of these situations to know that they can be very complex. The reason why I have so much experience with this starts young, but as an adult, I’ve learned how to spot the signs of abuse and learned how to listen to people that may be asking for help. At one point I felt like a hero that was always ready to spring into action and meet violence with violence to solve these types of problems. I was bullied as a child and have witnessed abuse where I wasn’t able to help so I feel like I overcompensate for that and in turn have put myself in compromising situations in defense of women in bad situations.
        I’ve been in physical altercations, I’ve been threatened with weapons, I’ve hurt people, and I have been hurt in the process. Nothing substantial ever came from any of that. I’ve also seen myself get too invested in some cases only to have the victims turn around and put themselves right back into harm’s way. What I’ve learned from all of that is that it is not about me and all I can do is offer to help them find real help. Let the victim know you are there and let the abuser know that you see them. I no longer just react based on my emotions and how I feel it should be handled.
        There are no absolutes in any area. While I do feel that there should be consequences to these egregious actions, violence is usually not the answer to violence. It only addresses the surface level, but to get to the root of the problem more work needs to be done. Whether it is serving time, seeking therapy, or even losing opportunities or friends, feeling the shame of being seen as a lesser man, which hopefully makes them want to be and do better. I cannot really feel sorry for the repercussions that the violator has to endure and the pain it may cause them because they also inflicted pain on someone else that lasts much longer than it takes the physical wounds to heal. Abuse causes a lifetime of trauma, not only for the victims but the witnesses as well. Especially if they are children that want to help but cannot. It can fester if left untreated.
        Now let me get off of my high horse and get real with you all.
        I know that sometime in the future this post can be used against me. I have a very bad temper (that I am working on) and I’m a pretty big guy. Luckily I’ve always had an outlet like football, wrestling, rugby, BJJ/MMA to channel this energy and get aggression out of my system. But I do not know what causes a person to snap and make the decision to cross that line. I take that back, I can think of a number of things.
        While I have never fought a woman, my last two fights as an adult were with people that were much smaller than me and to those that didn’t see the whole thing, I was likely viewed as a bully or coward, but I simply was pushed too far and snapped. In hindsight, none of those guys were a real threat to me and I could’ve simply deescalated the situation, walked away, or made a number of far better choices than actually fighting. It has been almost 10 years since I’ve been in a fight so I know that I am getting better (and older). I also recognized in the past that some of my jokes and behavior made me a bully; teasing people to the point where they get upset and switching up and getting aggressive once they stood up for themselves. But I have made significant strides in going in the opposite direction once I became aware of this and have kept it in check since then. But I digress…
        I’m going to be a bit transparent here and talk about a relationship I was in where the woman resorted to violence when she was drunk and/or angry. Despite repeated conversations about it she just felt like she had the right to hit me because she was so small and I was so big. And while it may not necessarily hurt, it damn sure can provoke. Most people’s reactions to being hit are to hit back and when you have alcohol involved the chances of that happening go up significantly. I remember a time where it was so bad that I had to physically remove her from my place and I caught myself in the moment thinking that if an outsider saw that situation, it might look like I was the aggressor. I was just trying to protect her and myself from myself. Thankfully I have always managed to exercise restraint and eventually removed myself from the relationship, but a simple lapse of judgment and control could have branded me a “woman beater” for life. It only takes one time.
        I am human and I have flaws so I am not going to act like I cannot understand how these things can happen. Yes, there is no excuse once it does, but it’s important to allow people to move on and grow from their mistakes. Now, a repeated abuser is a different story, but even they need help. There is usually something more there that needs to be addressed. If this applies to you and if I can help in any way, feel free to reach out. I know it will be a tough conversation, but I will respect any man that knows they have a problem and decides to seek assistance. I know that I could have easily been in your shoes. I also know what it takes to do and be better than our worst selves.
        Moving on to consequences: Mob justice and social media shaming are usually not the solutions. It just makes us feel better to kick someone while they are probably already in a low place and I understand you wanting them to feel pain ( I get it), but I cannot imagine any man that abuses a woman that would feel good after the dust has settled. I’m sure there are some serial abusers to whom this does not apply, but I am referring to the majority. Let’s not forget that we are all human and most humans will fall short at some point in their lives. All you can do is hope that the people you hurt can fully heal and that you can prevent future damage.
        I’m not downplaying the severity of domestic violence and I am well aware that many times it can escalate to murder. I still live with guilt from years ago when I heard a co-worker of mine say “I’m gonna kill that bitch” while leaving work and stabbing his girlfriend to death that night in front of her son. I was sick. I’m not here to convince anyone how they should process their feelings on the subject, I’m just trying to offer perspective and I’m honestly just processing my feelings as I write this. These are just my thoughts on the matter at this moment. I hope it helps someone in some way.
        Thanks for coming to my Dick Talk!
        (I’m not editing this long-ass post so grammar/spelling/perspective police can scram)
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