Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The minimalization of abuse

Waneta Dawn has another important post on Fireproof. She points out how the movie, and John Piper, minimalize abuse. She writes,
    The writers of Fireproof did a good job of showing a textbook abuser in action. However, their choice of an abusive character, their minimization of Caleb’s abusive behavior together with their statement at the end that a wife can implement the Love Dare and save the (abusive) marriage, suggests to abused wives who view the movie, that they, too, should deny and minimize their husband’s abusive behavior, and if they use the Love Dare, their abusive husbands will start treating them right. As stated in Part 1, this is extremely dangerous. By using an abusive character, it suggests that divorce for abuse is totally unnecessary (possibly sinful) and that the failure of the marriage is the abused wife's fault because she refused to love and sacrifice enough.

    Additionally, this movie tells anyone an abused wife goes to for help, that if she would just do the Love Dare and stick with it, no matter how long it takes, her whole problem would go away. Even worse, they may PRESSURE her to do the love dare and stick with it. If she refuses, they are likely to hold her at arms length, shun her, or even drive her out of their church.
How can someone hold someone else's life in so much disrespect? That is what I feel when conversing with some other bloggers. This is what I hear. "Oh, it is just your health and safety at risk - no problem, I am all right jack."

1 comment:

Kate Johnson said...

I remember being told by a pastor that I just needed to love him (my abusive husband) more, that I should go home and tell him I am not being the kind of wife he deserves and that I will try harder, "no man can resist that... he will change" he said. I took his advice as I did not know better and was looking for anything that would make the abuse stop. He did change. It was one of the most abusive and worse weekends of my life.

Before telling a woman what she should do, you need to walk in her shoes and understand the dynamics of the abusive personality. Abusive people TAKE advantage of every kindness and see it as weakness and permission to be even more abusive. God help us all.