Last night I saw some pictures of a woman whose name I know as a celebrity chef and writer, the pictures showed her collector husband with his hands round her throat in a restaurant, another showed him pushing her nose back in a way designed to humiliate and subdue, during a conversation which was clearly heated. The lack of surprise in her expression I recognised even though the lens of a camera was hidden from her, and today we were all outraged and the twitter public face of the newspaper that published those photos appeared to believe the Sunday People had done her a service.
It was revealed to the nation that this woman we believe we know from TV appearances and books is in a relationship which is abusive, and the predictable outrage ensued. The only thing different in this woman’s life today is that she had to log onto twitter to show she was ‘fine’, and has been placed in a fishbowl where from now on all her actions will be judged in the context of the intrusive pictures we saw.
I don’t read the Sunday People, I don’t read the tabloids, not unless they are on a train and I want to see how far they have descended. Is it Tulisa, who has been set up with the promise of movie careers to be humiliated as a gullible ‘drug dealer’, or Kerry Katona filling our quota for women to be attacked. Is it Rihanna being blamed for abuse of women everywhere this week…
I don’t think Domestic Violence Organisations are going to be changing their procedures, to include putting a woman in a fishbowl for public judgment and condemnation, as a way of dealing with domestic abuse, and I feel sick because I understood those pictures and the expression within them as the thing that the tabloids uphold.
Even though NOTHING has changed in her life for the better, she will from now on be judged as choosing her abuse if she does not leave and the villifaction will begin soon. She now has to satisfy OUR needs. She is now the one who will face the private consequences and public.
You don’t empower women by intruding on their privacy, taking pictures without their consent and handing them over to the judgment of the mob.
Perhaps the tabloids should start addressing their abuse of women, instead of exploiting those who are abused in the culture they uphold. Like they need to address their encouragement and masking of paedophilia, while demanding Children’s Services were stripped back, and using the subject to create profitable noisy witch hunts which consolidate their power…
I won’t be naming the woman I saw in this blog post, because right now I am guessing Google is a really unpleasant place for her, and I don’t want to be one of those who adds to what has been done with her life. I saw those pictures and my perception of her changed, her life is not altered in any way but for the worse by their publication. What is in the public interest and what the public are interested in are different. If our tabloids insist on us having this vapid cruel celebrity culture, I wish they would concentrate on the dimples in this womans thighs, or their opinions of her cooking shows.