Stop Silencing Women: Why Domestic Violence Is No Laughing Matter



Domestic violence has taken center stage yet again in the press thanks to D.L. Hughley’s major fail of a joke when he called Columbus Short’s wife Tanee McCall-Short “thirsty” on his morning radio show, because she accused her husband of being physically abusive.

Instead of treating it as a serious news story, Hughley decided to spew a rather sexist rant about how she was a “b*tch” who was going to “f*ck her money up” by causing Short to lose his job. There were many things problematic about Hughley’s scathing words. Other than the obvious misogyny and degradation of calling another woman out her name and reducing her to a checkbook, Hughley perpetuated the cultural offense of shaming women for being vocal about an alleged abuse.

Whether proven true or not, domestic violence should never become the brunt of a joke. What Hughley should have done was reported the news as just that: news. Whether an alleged story or one that was made up, Hughley had no way of knowing for sure…even if he happens to know Short personally.

But even Hughley’s “apology” came off sexist.

“I don’t condone violence. And I’ve never encouraged a woman to be silent deliberately about abuse. So if it came off that way I have to apologize,” he said. “I don’t know that you can encourage many women to be silent about much, but I want them to be silent in general, but just not about abuse.”

Women should never be encouraged or pressured into being silent. Whether it be about sexual assault, physical abuse or not getting equal pay, women – Black women especially – deserve to have their voices heard.

Another recent domestic violence story was Porsha Williams’ accusation that she was physically and emotionally abused by ex-husband Kordell Stewart.

In no time the blogosphere accused Williams of lying about the abuse for attention. Though Stewart has since denied all allegations, it gives no one the right to shame Williams for something that allegedly happened between her and her husband. No one has the authority to speak on something they have no first knowledge on. There’s Williams’ truth and then there’s Stewart’s truth.

When it comes to domestic violence, the public has to get out of the habit of feeling the need to place judgement on women who may very well be telling the truth. By doing so, it empowers everyday women who are living very real bouts with domestic abuse to stand up and speak out. It can literally be the difference between life and death. Women are not to be silenced; they are to be heard and taken just as seriously as the men who deny such allegations. Determining the truth, however, should be left to a higher power.

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