In the debate over a leaked police photo of Rihanna, her face badly beaten, feminist bloggers and pundits are revealing their archaic attitudes toward domestic violence, Rebecca Traister writes in Salon. One asked whether Rihanna will carry the "domestic violence victim" stigma; another questioned whether she was partly to blame for being attacked. The prejudices behind such questions "need to be shaken loose, quickly," writes Traister.
For starters, there is no "shame or weakness involved in having experienced abuse," Traister notes. Nearly 5 million women, and 2.9 million men, endure it every year. And there is nothing "dirty or embarrassing about having had a partner angry enough to hit you." The key is not to cast blame, but to talk about it, and educate people about "the grave physical and psychological realities of physical violence."