On Emma Roberts: Domestic Violence Isn’t Funny, Ever


Working on the Internet can make you feel really jaded at times. I’ll spend hours on the computer and walk away feeling like I need to soak in some sanitizer because people are disgusting. Fueled by the anonymity that the internet provides, people feel open to sharing every and all of their opinions — whether thought out carefully or not.

This week was especially gross for the Internet, and everyone slapping away at a keyboard should keep a little ashamed — myself included. I’m not going to address the Zimmerman trial or Texas (because the south is just being plain rude) and I’m still trying to process all the racist comments my fresh eyes had to witness. What also grossed me out on the internet this week was the reaction to Emma Roberts’ arrest for domestic violence against American Horror Story actor Evan Peters, her current beau.

Reportedly, on July 7th, Roberts and Peters were staying in a Montreal hotel when neighbors reported to the police of noise issuing from the couple’s room. When police showed up, Peters had suffered from a bloody nose and allegedly had a bite mark on him. Roberts was taken into custody and later released after Evans declined to press charges. We will never know exactly what happened between these two and I’m not here to speculate about what happened. All I can say is that I hope they both look out for their own personal health and happiness, whatever that may mean for them as a couple.

However, the internet, as always, quickly took to commentating on the incident. As always, the internet came up with some shining gems of stupidity. These are from TMZ and Twitter:

For those so unfortunate as to think that domestic violence is gender specific, let me clarify. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, “Between 100,000 and 6 million men are victims of domestic violence depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.”

Unfortunately, there isn’t a heap of research done on domestic violence against men because it is an area of study that is grossly underfunded. A large portion of domestic violence against both men and women goes largely unreported.

However, due to cultural norms, it’s even less likely for a male to report domestic violence committed against them. To put it in perspective, my male peers used to constantly tease me when I would get beaten up by a girl, which happened quite frequently. Instead of being decent human beings and just being concerned that I was beaten up, they found humor in the fact that it was a girl who was the one committing the bullying. It no longer became an issue because I was a boy and therefore it was seen as a sign of “weakness” to undergo an attack by the opposite sex.

I would come home from school, covered in dirt, to tell my mother that I simply “fell.” I was ashamed to tell my parents that I was being bullied, especially because my peers made me feel less like a boy because it wasn’t another boy bullying me. (Kids suck, though. You just can’t win.) Men are taught to try and be tough when facing aggression, which anyone who knows me understands that likely be the first one to cry if pinched.

This isn’t to say that men are being actively oppressed by women. I’m simply stating that domestic violence is a serious issue that does not abide by antique ideas only women can be victimized. Certain individuals will look down on Peters as being less of a “man” because he was beaten by his girlfriend, and those individuals are completely absurd. There are also people who will easily forgive Roberts or exonerate her by stating, “You go, girl!”

By adhering to the idea that a man is less masculine because he is abused, or that a woman should be forgiven for beating up a man, is genuinely so far detached from reality I wonder if the people who believe this are on one long, continuous acid trip. Domestic violence knows no rules. It’s never acceptable for anyone to aggressively lay a hand on someone else, ever, and it’s not funny. Domestic violence will never be funny.

It’s about time we started taking abuse seriously, or no one’s hands will be clean.