Ladies, We’re Running Out Of Excuses For Tolerating Abuse

FKA Twigs’s story demonstrates the uselessness of #MeToo if we refuse to learn from it, and act more intelligently

By Bobo Boom on Wikimedia Commons — FKA Twigs, CC BY 2.0

Singer, songwriter, dancer, and this week’s #MeToo cover girl FKA Twigs, the woman whose initials don’t stand for anything, who ‘just wanted a selection of letters that sounded quite kind of masculine and strong,’ filed a lawsuit against career violent bad boy Shia LaBoeuf for sexual assault, battery, and emotional distress.

She met him in 2018 on a movie set, years after he became more famous for his execrable behavior than for his acting, and got involved in a relationship with him.


Cue the tired Greek chorus of female voices asking the same damn question over and over:

Image by Patricio Hurtado from Pixabay

We all know the words! Come on everybody, let’s sing along!

“Because men keep doing this! Because they think it’s okay to treat women this way! Because entitlement and privilege and patriarchy and stuff!”

The wall separating feminist brains from self-awareness and emotional intelligence slams down like a rushed scenic drop in a stage play.

No one acknowledges the other reason this keeps happening.

What will it take to force women to acknowledge the female agency, the female decisions, the choices our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for us to make, and to finally ask ourselves and each other, “Why do we allow this to happen?”

I mean, it’s not like Black Lives Matter was birthed by a bunch of white people who decided it’s time to end police brutality against blacks.

Are we going to learn anything from Twigs’s story, a woman lacking many of the typical excuses women have to get into and stay in abusive relationships, or will we wipe her tears and say, ‘Great #MeToo story. Smash The Patriarchy. Who’s next?’

Maybe we’ll simply add it to the archive and move along. That’s what a lot of patriarchy-smooshers are best at.

The female chorus of ‘silencing’

The age of #MeToo raised a veritable cacophony of women shouting about how they’re silenced, or were silenced, or will no longer be silenced, with endless public tales of abuse and misogyny. I welcome the female thunder.

But clearly, if anyone’s ‘silencing’ women anymore it’s themselves.

I’m losing patience with the relentless willful cluelessness of women like FKA Twigs. She’s 32 years old, for Goddess’s sake, she’s not a rank ingenue. She’s in show business, she lives in the #MeToo age, she lives in London. How the hell do even young women claim ignorance anymore about dealing with abusive men?

She’s filed a lawsuit against LaBoeuf. Good for her, I’m glad she did and I hope she holds him accountable for what he did to her. Even though she let him, it doesn’t excuse him in the slightest. Someone needs to call him to account.

Please, please, Twigs, just don’t marry the sonofabitch! Don’t reward misogyny like that moron Rihanna did.

“I’d like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency,” Twigs says in the gentle language of the personally disempowered. Her story is standard fare: How these abusive relationships start, why they stayed (minus, for her, the economic reasons), why she let him treat her this way.

Don’t waste your breath, girlfriend. We’ve heard it all before.

We girlies just don’t learn, do we?

You know what I’d like to raise awareness of?

Feminists who insist on enabling women like Twigs and countless others to never examine their own role in allowing abuse. He was Shia LaBoeuf, for pete’s sake; what made her think, Yeah, I want me a piece of this?

Feminist excuses of ignorance and victim socialization have worn so thin you can read your mobile through it.

How are we all failing women?

What are we missing? What are we not teaching them? I’m speaking to all women, but especially those of us who are much older than Twigs, who have even less claim to blithe ignorance in the #MeToo era than she’s got. We’ve been around a lot longer. What’s our excuse?

“Why does this keep happening?” we ask, reciting to ourselves the holy mantra of blaming everything on men.

Never, ever, should we ask why women allow this to happen. Why they refuse to acknowledge their own role in complicit victimhood the same way abusive men deny their role in abuse, or even deny they’re abusers.

We make endless excuses for women to avoid having to ask them — and to acknowledge to ourselves — that physical abuse happens today because women allow it while swimming in an ocean of stories and information and sisterhood. Our excuses ring more and more pathetic with each #MeToo cycle.

It’s not only ‘The Patriarchy’ that infantilizes women. We’re guilty, too, of refusing to challenge women to be the adults we righteously claim women are when men try to deny us the power of choice.

You simply can’t get involved with a guy like Shia LaBoeuf and not know it’s going to end badly. If Twigs really did believe that, then we older women are failing the younger generations.

Twigs says “It can happen to anybody.”

No it can’t. Not to women who don’t allow it and learn from their own and other’s mistakes. Not when some of us actually pay attention to #MeToo stories, take an active role in identifying the dynamics of abusive relationships, and the mistakes women make dancing down that wilted primrose path.

When you see the tiger from a safe distance, you stay away.

Even if your mother didn’t teach you how to be a grownup, even if your father was a poor excuse of a man, an Internet connection and a few social media accounts will show you a world outside your family. The mass media, Internet, and social media revolutions raised awareness of oppression and how to fight and stop it in so many different ways. No one has the right of ‘ignorance’ anymore. We have to challenge each other to do more, be more, stand up more, stand together more.

We have to Just Say No to abuse.

Have you got the labia for that, girlfriends?

The feminist infantilization of women

Young women still seem incapable of learning from others. What’s the point of #MeToo if we don’t learn anything from the deluge of horror stories?

If we’re going to infantilize women, then, fine — no more treating them like grown-ass women.

Maybe we need to chaperone young people again. As I understand the fragile feminist mystique, men are overpowering predatory beasts and women are helpless, fragile little victims-in-waiting. Maybe we shouldn’t allow young people to date without a grownup in the backseat making sure hands don’t touch anything except other hands, monitoring every interaction that happens. It would simply be the next step logical forward for a relentlessly infantilizing consent culture which requires verbal permission for every move you make.

Maybe we should legally enforce remaining a virgin until marriage, since it’s not at all clear women can ever truly consent to sex anyway.

Maybe we should reinstate curfews for women, for their own safety.

Maybe she should have to get her parents’ permission to marry, regardless of her age, a