Sunday Morning ESPN and Changing Paradigms

domestic violence awareness2

I woke up this morning to discussion on ESPN (not my favorite channel, but my son watches it)….and there was no talk of football but all the discussion was about Ray Rice and the domestic violence issue. They were also talking about the Commissioner of the NFL,  Roger Goodell, and his failure to disclose what he knew about the situation when it occurred.

It seems to me like Goodell is part of the good-ole-boys club where the guys stand together and stay silent and protect each other, especially if it’s in their financial best interests….or someone’s best financial interests….to do so. My stomach does a little turn when I think of it. The National Organization of Women has called for his resignation. I agree. What does the NFL represent? What image does it portray to our youth? Do you think boys of all ages are not hearing this? Our kids are much more aware of everything than we EVER give them credit for. I promise you this.  I guess “lying” is not a crime, having no ethics is not a crime, but I’d like to see Goodell GONE. Because his attitude is about as ethical as a …..well…..I can’t even think of a good comparison…….  but it SUCKS. Big time.

I was actually excited to hear this discussion……they weren’t talking about football at all…..or today’s games….. because what this means is that domestic violence has become a national topic, it is raising awareness. THINGS ARE CHANGING.

I have heard women scoff (as well as men) about why Janay stayed with him. Some suggest it was for the money. Which cracks me up. So, then, why do poor women stay with poor men?  It sure ain’t for his money, is it? This is a whole new debate and I’m not going to get into it here. It’s deep and it’s not simple.  I’ll just say this:  Until you have walked in the shoes of a woman (or man) who is living in a domestically violent environment, shut your mouth and suspend your judgement because you have no earthly idea what it’s like or what motivates anyone to do what they do. Their survival is at stake.

domestic violence awareness1

Listening to all of this on ESPN this morning was a good thing because it made me realize that we are, indeed, beginning a change in paradigm. It’s truly happening.  Many people are speaking out to say how unacceptable domestic violence is. For millenia, women have been subjugated to men. Women have been made to submit, been beaten, been humiliated, treated like second class citizens just because of gender. In other countries, it still openly exists. Women are beaten for being raped. It made me sick to hear the people trying to place the blame on Janay. IT DOESN’T MATTER. Whatever anyone could possibly do, unless they’re trying to kill you and you act in self defense, does not equal getting knocked unconscious and dragged. IT DOES NOT MATTER if a woman cheats, lies, steals ……….there is NOTHING that justifies beating her. NOTHING. Unless, like I said, you are acting in your own self defense. If someone steals from you, you press charges. If someone lies, cheats or otherwise mistreats you, you end your association with them. Simple. End of story. You don’t beat them.

Mike Ditka, I think, said it best. I’m going to paraphrase but he said it starts with teaching our children. We need to teach our boys how to treat women.And we need to teach our girls that they never, ever have to accept violent behavior.  We need to teach our children that violence is never an answer. Sadly, I think for grown men who beat women (or anyone), it’s probably too late. Studies have shown that domestic violence abusers have the same brain imaging as sociopaths. It is also scientifically proven that sociopathy is a brain dysfunction and there is NO CURE (no psychological counseling nor drug therapy) for it. In other studies, it has been shown that in the East where Buddhism is one of the main influences (and the interconnectedness  of all and sacredness of life is taught and widely accepted) that sociopaths DO exist but because of their cultural conditioning, they do not behave in the same ways that people in the west who are sociopaths behave. In the West, we seem to have a mentality that it’s all about “me” and there isn’t much thought or consideration for other people.

So, as discouraging as everything looks, things are very slowly changing. Just the fact that on Sunday morning, ESPN is having discussion about domestic violence being unacceptable is showing me that we’re not just sweeping it under the rug anymore. And for people who have been unaware…..well, they’re waking up. This is what the “Return of the Divine Feminine” means. It doesn’t mean that we will return to a matriarchal society… means EQUALITY. It means that the energies of compassion and empathy are coming back to counter balance the energies of greed and cruelty. It means that the less fortunate human beings (including men, women and children) are having their voices finally heard. It means that people everywhere are starting to speak out about injustice and inequality…….many people are rising up and saying “NO MORE.” It means that people who have been silent forever are finally recognizing their worth as members of the human family ….and that we are all family…….and we are all connected…….and that it isn’t just about people in power  who have wealth.

As always,  I encourage you to walk your truth….don’t be afraid of what people will say…..some won’t like you…..(I’m living proof of that)… doesn’t matter…..SHINE……speak out…….there is someone out there who needs to hear what you have to say. Someone needs that word of encouragement. Someone needs your kindness. Someone needs your understanding. Work towards justice, equality, compassion, sympathy and empathy. I was going to say “fight”…..but “fight” implies violence and that didn’t feel like the right word. Work towards what’s right.

Simply put: Take the time to care.

Kathy Lee 9/14/2014   


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