Style & Then Some

ManKind’s #violenceisviolence campaign is even more poignant in the wake of the Jay Z and Solange incident

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 13.54.43

We talk a lot about women’s rights issues on Style & Then Some. It was only a few months back we posted Éléonore Pourriat’s genius ‘Oppressed Majority’ video, depicting what everyday sexism would be like for a man if female/male roles were reversed. One of the most effective ways campaigners at the moment can get their messages across is through the art of video, thanks to the viral world we live in. Keeping this in mind, this week we have picked up on a video created by DareLondon for ManKind’s #violenceisviolence campaign:

The video successfully highlights our overall sexism towards domestic violence, and thus leaves the viewer scratching their head as to why this is. On one hand, thankfully it captures the general public stepping in to protect the female actor at the first signs of trouble from her companion. However, when the roles are reversed, and her companion is the one being abused, the general public does not intervene, and at times the audience can be seen laughing at the situation unfolding in front of them.

Obviously, this is wrong. What we need is more education and to realise domestic violence is not always about a man attacking a woman. This campaign has been launched at a time where female-on-male violence is making headlines e.g. the now infamous Jay Z and Solange elevator episode. Despite the Internet going in to overdrive, there seems to be very little discussion about what would have happened if it the other way round? Surely Jay Z would have been cast out of society immediately and hated for all eternity a la Chris Brown? Yet the man did not fight back, or attempt to do anything but protect himself from Solange’s kicks. So why has Solange seemingly got away with this type of unacceptable behaviour and the incident being made in to some kind of internet comedy show, starring her as the heroine?

With Solange’s Wikipedia page now declaring her ‘Jay Z’ 100th problem’ would it have been as funny if, say, Chris Brown was ‘humorously’ declared ‘Rhianna’s worst nightmare’ all over the web? The Internet has tried to make Jay Z out to be less of a man over this incident, when surely he’s been more of a man for keeping his cool? Obviously we only have the video footage to go one, and there is no doubt a back story behind the whole incident which is being kept under lock and key, but it does stand as an interesting snapshot in to how the public judges the same type of violence differently between the sexes.

Having discussed this with a few people, and after reading numerous reports on the web, the general consensus seems to be that he ‘probably deserved it’ or he ‘must have provoked Solange’.  Phrases that very few people would dare to utter if the roles had been reversed.  With 40% of domestic violence suffered by men (a statistic I didn’t even know until this video went viral) it’s about time we educated ourselves as as individuals as and a collective society and accept that violence against another human is unacceptable, no matter who is committing it.





About Helen Coakley

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2014 by in And Then Some and tagged , , , , , .
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