I’m sure you may have come across this news about Hollywood actor Liam Neeson’s comment on a movie junket about this deep revenge urge.
Basically, a friend of his who was raped about 40 years ago had confided in him and Liam talked about his reaction to the news.
And his reaction had 3 major points:
1-The urge to lash out
2-The need to defend her honor
3-The desire for revenge
Before we go ballistic on him criticizing him, calling him a racist, let’s focus on the fact that Liam was not ‘caught’ being racist. He in fact admitted to having this hatred that he felt. There are 3 things to note:
1- Admitting the fact that this happened
2- Willingness to change and learn (still continues)
3- Sought help after
Trevor Noah has the most logical take on this issue which summed up to: people have taken it more seriously than they should because it’s Liam Neeson. Also, Liam going around saying he’s not a racist is just making it worst.
Of course, it was racism, hatred against the entire community for the crime of one.
Muslims would secretly be muttering “been there, felt that”!
But the point here is that aside from the race aspect, the most important thing is absolutely undiscussed.
What help did he offer to that friend?
Did she visit the doctor?
Did she get the appropriate help from the police if she reported?
Could she report it?
What was it /would have been the consequences of openly admitting to being a rape victim?
How did his Catholic community treat rape victims and what help was provided?
Just like this incident, a million movies are made where the rape of a woman is used merely as a plot point that unleashed the wrath of the powerful male protagonist and women are reduced to mere props and eye candy.
What men need to learn from this incident is that this is NOT ABOUT THEIR REVENGE THEIR FEELINGS, THEIR HONOR OR THEIR WOMEN.
It’s about the woman in question and for once in your lifetime just please take the backseat and ask what does she want. How she feels. What could you do to help?
Don’t make it impossible for her to share her pain with you because she may already be feeling guilty (as society does a very good job of blaming women for rape) , upon that when you lay the burden of a revenge murder or revenge rape on her, she may take her secret to the grave but never share it with you as she may fear you going to prison and that would also be somehow upon her.
Does that make any sense at all, guys?
What Liam did well was:
Admitting his act
Talking about bigotry
Urging to have difficult discussions on race and toxic masculinity
Willing to learn and look for the teachable moment
The 3 things you should thus learn from this incident are:
1- When a woman confesses her pain to you, keep your savior/knight in shining armor cape aside and just be there for her, empathize with her.
2- After listening, ask what she wants, what is her wish, how does she want to deal with it. Don’t force her to tell the police or family and neither force her to hide. Let her take the wheel of her life and let her decide what she feels is best for her.
3- Don’t lash out to hurt other people in order to take some sort of ‘revenge’. Not against the people of that race/religion and not against the women of the rapists family either.
I had a friend who once confessed to her husband about her rape incident and the husband was insistent that he will have revenge by raping the sister of the rapist.
Ultimately, it is an innocent woman who will suffer the consequences of a man’s actions. Please don’t fulfill your rape fantasies and justify them as ‘revenge’ for the pain caused to your wife/girlfriend.
Yes, it is awful to see your friend or wife as a victim of rape, traumatic even.
But remember you are not the primary victim here. Try to be there for the rape victim who actually suffered that trauma instead of acting out in a way that is the opposite of helpful.