Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Attention Seeking Women Just Need to Shut Up

The Telegraph is not a newspaper I read. It is pure misogyny and, in that, is pretty much the same as the rest of the British media and their policy of victim blaming. This particular article is no different.

Rupert Christiansen, who is apparently an opera critic, has merely joined in with the rest of the Telegraph in their current series: “women whine too much”. The target of Christiansen’s offensive tirade is opera singer Angela Gheorghiu. The real target should have been her ex-husband Roberto Alagna.

Christiansen knows nothing about domestic violence. I’d be tempted to say he knows nothing about basic human relations. According to Christiansen, a man giving his wife “a clap on the face” is not “violence". He actually puts the word violence in quotation marks. You see, hitting your wife across the face isn't real violence; not like, say, hitting a man across the face. That would be real violence.

Christiansen follows it up with this gem:

“So far it’s hard to imagine that anything more sinister than explosive exasperation of a standard matrimonial kind is involved – unpleasant and upsetting for all parties concerned, but scarcely a matter for the courts or the headlines.”

Yep, Christiansen actually thinks that slapping your wife across the face is “standard matrimonial” behaviour. I’m so glad he included the words “unpleasant and upsetting”. What with all the minimizing of male violence, I thought Christiansen was going to suggest that Gheorghiu should write Alagna a thank you letter for hitting her. Clearly, Hallmark is missing out on a greeting card.

Christiansen wasn’t quite satisfied with blaming Gheorghiu for being a victim of domestic violence or using that utterly disgusting term “volatile”, a term only ever used to minimize men’s responsibility for the violence they commit. No, Christiansen had to say that both have a “terrible reputation in business for being chronic exhibitionists”, because using the media efficiently as a celebrity means that Gheorghiu is just a whiny woman who needs to learn to shut up.

Christiansen doesn’t just imply that Gheorghiu needs to shut up but he actually states that we should ignore a woman’s story of domestic violence because it’s ‘attention-seeking’.

Women who speak out publicly about their personal experiences of violence are "attention-seeking". And, the Telegraph saw fit to publish this piece of victim-blaming bullshit.

The article is available here.

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