When Tweets Go Violent


Graphic by Angelica Cruz.

Do you think the tweet above is funny? An acquaintance on Facebook sure thought it was. And I called him out on it.

This person sent me an inspirational quote yesterday because he thought I’d like it. He’s constantly commenting on my posts, however mundane, however lame, however outspoken. He’s asked me to go hiking. He made a joke about feeling left out of a post I made when I went to a Super Bowl party with my friends.

I have met this man once, on campus, when he was hanging out with a social advocacy group. ONCE. I won’t go into how weird I’ve felt with all of this extra attention from someone I have given absolutely no sexual or flirtatious attention to in the slightest. That’s besides the point…

The point is that he found this tweet funny. I did some research and this is apparently a tweet that has been copied and pasted by various Twitter accounts as far back as summer of 2017. (Want the proof? Go search the exact words on Twitter because I do not care to screenshot and paste all of the bullshit I just saw). Many of the responses to these tweets have been laughing emojis and emojis crying of laughter. I read the words “Hilarious,” “Omg I’m dead…” and other reactions indicating this tweet was somehow comedic and accurate.

Well, I have one question: Are men really this stupid and insensitive and low key abusive? Women were laughing at it too. Is it just our human nature to laugh at jokes that make women a punching bag when they’re not in a combat sport? Do people think females being hit by their intimate partners is funny? Do people see them as the worthy opponent of a man that has nothing better to do with his sorry ass life other than to put his hands on a female? Punch her in the face? Choke her almost to death? Smother her with a pillow?

Choking, punching, smothering, and grabbing to the point of cutting off circulation were some of my ex’s signature “moves” since all of you who think this is funny must also think of him as my opponent in the ring.

Someone very close to me told me last year that he/she/they have had enough of my domestic violence posts. “We get it. You were hit. Why do you have to shove it in our faces all of the time?”

I don’t want to go into detail of what transpired after that was said to my face. I will just say that I write about this trauma out of my own goddamned strength. For me, writing about domestic violence is growth, not dwelling. It’s positivity for the men and women who reached out to me when I wrote about my own violent marriage. Many of them had a traumatic past with a violent partner, or had gone through psychological, verbal, and emotional abuse and told me they “would never know how to put it into words.”

I keep talking about it for those who are still in the thick of physical abuse which, on average, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is nearly20 people per minute. To add to that, one in three women and one in three men have suffered physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Many of these individuals cannot speak out for a number of reasons, and for those who don’t know, read these tweets with the hashtag #WhyIStayed. Reasons include financial stability, a home, a partner’s psychological dominance over the victim, shame, threats with guns, and more reasons, some of which are named in this Huffington Post piece.

So back to anyone who think this is funny or who thinks I dwell. To laugh at a tweet that compares an abuser to some kind of sparring partner, prized fighter, warrior, etc., makes you almost as sociopathic as an abuser. Imagine your momma, your sister, your daughter. And if you don’t care about these females in your life, I feel bad for you, son. You’re just a waste of space.