Things that might seem outdated for popular feminism may actually be points of pride for women who have historically been denied access to a certain mode of femininity. If you are a member of a group of women that has been constantly caricatured as mammies and welfare queens, sexually pathologized, and whose inequity has been attributed to broken, abnormal, and matriarchal family structures, then bearing the title of Mrs. and taking your husband’s last name can actually be displays of resistance. If you have grown up seeing constant media reports on the fatherlessness of Black children and the unmarriageability of Black women, then having your father walk you down the aisle and flashing your ring can both be points of pride.
[tw: domestic violence/abuse]
The other question everybody asks is, why doesn’t she just leave? Why didn’t I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don’t: It’s incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she’s gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries; denial of financial resources; and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn’t she just leave?