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I’m sure many of you are reading the headline and rolling your eyes, wondering how in the hell someone can “thinkpiece” the calamity that was Nicki Minaj and Safaree arguing over hairlines, Tyga, Taz Angel debit card charges, and Meek Mill’s sex life. I get it. All of that was peak Twitter comedy that even a super serious intellectual of the highest order like myself got a kick out of. However, that wasn’t all that was said between the two ex-lovers, as Safaree made some pretty serious claims of domestic abuse in the midst of the back-and-forth:

That’s the tweet that should get the most attention, but that wasn’t the case. Safaree is alleging in that statement that he was a victim of domestic violence, plain and simple. And it’s not something anyone should take lightly. About one in every three men will experience physical domestic violence or psychological aggression from an intimate partner at some point in his life. But the stigma around masculinity and domestic violence make it hard for men to be able to address their abuse or seek legal rectification.

The reasons men find it hard to address being victims of domestic abuse are drenched in twisted ideas of masculinity…

The reasons men find it hard to address being victims of domestic abuse are drenched in twisted ideas of masculinity and long-standing, unwavering perpetuations of misogyny. If we continue to let misogyny rule our decisions about who we perceive as abusers and victims, then we all lose. Because we’ll only see women as people who are there to be abused and men as people who are to do the abusing. Nobody wins in these scenarios.

A man who is abused by a woman is seen as weak; how much can it hurt to get hit by a girl, right? Male victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially in the public eye, are comedic punching bags. Look at all the memes about Jay-Z getting attacked by Solange or 50 Cent’s Instagram trolling of Terry Cruz. And look at the mentions in this tweet I posted.

Jokes. Emojis. Claims that Safaree is lying. Overall, though, the most telling reaction is the silence. Just google any of the named parties and you’ll see stories about hairlines. Nobody is writing about the domestic violence claim. It’s simply not seen as a serious issue, even though Safaree is clearly outlining an instance in which a weapon was used and his life was in danger; as well as feeling the need to cover the whole incident up. That’s textbook domestic violence victim behavior and, at the very least, Nicki Minaj needs to be held accountable enough to answer tough questions about what exactly happened.

…the fact is, it’s rare for the general public to feel for any victims of domestic violence.

With that said, it’d be easy for me to make the very simple point of “imagine if the roles were reversed and Nicki had claimed Safaree had abused her.” If that were to happen, I’m sure that it would get more attention and outrage, with folks coming for Safaree’s head. But it’d be disingenuous to say that Safaree would immediately face any serious repercussions. Because the fact is, it’s rare for the general public to feel for any victims of domestic violence. Just look at Kelis, who said just a couple of months ago that Nas abused her during their marriage. Or how Fabolous’ career has gone unscathed after the scary allegations of him abusing his wife, Emily B.

A lot of the men who are coming out of the woodwork to scream “if Safaree were a woman…” are doing so to undermine when women call out men for domestic violence. How many of these sudden crusaders against domestic violence are the ones who demand “proof” or quote conspiracy theories about women lying to bring men down as a means to dispel claims women make against allegedly abusive men? Women who experience abuse are called liars looking for fame, and men are called weaklings who should either be made fun of or ignored. Yes, double standards exist in how we address domestic violence, but the underlying issue here is that as long as we are a culture that uses misogyny as a moral compass, all victims of abuse are going to find that their quests for justice are ultimately losing battles.

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