In less than a week after ESPN sportscaster Stephen A. Smith made alarming comments about women’s roles in their own abuse, we are bearing witness to another very public act of domestic violence. Just the other night, a woman was attacked, and no one seems to care.
At a party last week, Justin Bieber was having drinks with her friends, when she saw actor Orlando Bloom sitting at the bar near her. Never known to be coy, Bieber decided to pursue the actor by negging him with comments about his ex-girlfriend. While Bieber’s intentions were obviously flirtatious, Bloom was incensed, and he struck the poor woman with a closed fist, sending her delicate face to the ground, protected only by her soft dainty wrists and her shimmering coiffure; her vagina doing little to break her fall.
Orlando Bloom physically beat a young woman in public, just because she was trying to flirt with him. In the world of Stephen A. Smith, Bieber is entirely at fault for her own assault. In his world, Bieber should have thought to herself before she said anything. She should have remembered that this is a man’s world – and all women, even very successful and extremely feminine women like Justin Bieber are subject to men’s violence.
Luckily, the attack was quickly stopped, but despite her haircut, Justin Bieber is not a lesbian, and like all heterosexual women, she is incapable of adequately defending herself.
Just think about what would have happened if men weren’t there to protect her. She could have been seriously hurt, and do you think the media’s response would have been to treat the assault with reverence and shock? Of course not – it would be a big joke. Just like it is now, because people don’t care about women like Justin Bieber. People don’t care about women being hurt if they feel like they deserved it.
That’s why it’s not enough to “fire” Stephen A. Smith – we need to fire ourselves. We need to fire a culture that sees the abuse of a delicate, vaginal flower like Justin Bieber, and immediately dismisses it with a bunch of big hoots and guffaws.
Well I’m not guffawing, friends. I’m not going to join you in a raucous bout of knee slapping victim-blaming. The problem here isn’t that Justin wasn’t acting ladylike – she didn’t bring the assault on herself – the problem is Bloom. The problem is Smith. The problem is men. She, as a proud woman, should be able to go wherever she wants, and say whatever she wants, without fearing that her words (or her vagina) will cause men to act violently towards her.
Orlando Bloom is the man that hit this woman, and we should shame him accordingly, but we should also shame Stephen A. Smith, and all other men, for propagating a patriarchal system where beautiful young women like Justin Bieber can be struck down in public and the entire world laughs it off as if she were just a physically weak and powerless man.