I posted this response
(*some language at the link) to an advice column on our facebook page
, but wanted to highlight this response from the comments. While there was so much in the "advice" that was harmful and ignorant, this sentiment is something that comes up often, and is a classic example of how the way we talk about relationships generally can radically affect a victim's perception of her options (or lack thereof).
Most men are not abusive! And we don't want to believe that some men we know might be. Those that are think that their actions are normal an acceptable because we - in advice columns! - excuse and justify their behaviors for them. This not only perpetuates the abuse in that relationship, it sets a disrespectfully low bar for those many many men who are thoughtful and caring and treat other human beings with kindness and compassion. We need to stop allowing abuse to look like a normal behavior. We need to stop the idea that a bad relationship is better than no relationship. And we need to think about how our "advice" sets the tone for so much more than we may have intended. Dani, below, says it perfectly.