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Why Is Killing Women Entertainment?


I rejoined a gym recently. I hadn't been to one since the early post-covid days, which because of recurring waves of covid, I didn't return to for long. It's taken me a while to get motivated to move my body again. Since the beginning of this year, for the first time ever, I've stay committed to yoga classes for more than a few weeks. I'm quite amazed actually, that I've been doing almost daily 20-30 minute yoga sessions in my own home with no one telling me to. I also joined an hour-long weekly class that I've been getting myself to pretty consistently. I'm not into hot yoga or fast flow vinyasa, yoga for me is stretching, slowing down, being present, breathing, but I wanted the cardio part too, that was missing.


Try as I might, I just couldn't take myself on daily walks or runs. Hence, rejoining a gym. The only thing I do there is put on my earbuds and some music or a podcast and get on that elliptical and move for an hour. It's perfect for me, as boring as that might be for others. I've been going regularly for the past two weeks now. It feels good to commit to myself again in this way. I'm finally in a place where I want to be dedicated to feeling good moving my body. Pats shoulder, way to go, you're doing it, good job!


Now, of course, there are multiple TV's at the gym. Where can you go in America where there AREN'T multiple TV's? I don't watch TV at home. I subscribe to no streaming service - even though I love watching movies. What do I do with myself instead? I spend my evenings when I'm home reading, making art, studying Spanish, watch the occasional movie, and try my best to avoid the addiction of never-ending scrolling (it's a struggle to be honest, I'm human after all). So at the gym I don't pay much attention to the TV's, but the screens are huge these days, it's hard to ignore them completely. But I'd rather tune them out and focus on something else.


This past week or so I've been catching up on episodes of the podcast 'Wiser Than Me" by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She interviews some amazing older women who have lead incredible lives. Today it was Bonnie Raitt. Just as she started introducing her guest I happened to glance up at the TV in front of me.


And I watched a women be strangled to death.


As entertainment.


It wasn't a news report.


It wasn't a documentary.


It was a TV show.


Made to entertain people.


A cop show.


One of so many cop shows I couldn't tell you - and don't care - which one.


I was so overwhelmed by emotions. I never even saw them coming.


I had to stop on the elliptical. Take a deep breath. And just mourn so much that is this world we live in.


Of course I totally missed whatever Julia was saying about Bonnie.


What amazes me the most though? Is that so many people don't even bat an eyelash at this kind of entertainment. They ignore it. Are numb to it. Don't care. Don't take it personally. And for some, they actually seek it out.

But for me, personally? I don't want to be entertained by watching women be killed. Ever. Not in books. Not on TV. Not in movies. It's traumatic to me. I am not someone who can turn off that part of themselves to not FEEL. I am sensitive. TOO sensitive in many people's eyes. I've lost count of the times people in my life have told me to stop being so sensitive. To not take things so seriously. To be tougher, have thicker skin.


But guess what? That is a FUCKING GIFT. To feel deeply, to empathize with what someone else is experiencing, to feel love, loss, pain, disappointment, joy, anger right along side someone. This is what it is to be human. To be in our bodies and experience and express our emotions. And other's emotions. To feel the connection between us. I have zero interest in numbing that part of me.


However, this world also offers a fuck ton of traumatic experiences for us as humans to go through. So numbing those feelings? I also totally get it. I have immense compassion for anyone who is not able to feel the pain of being human, who is overburdened with trauma that was or is way out of proportion for their age or where they happen to land in life, or who was not surrounded by love and nurturing to help them either avoid or process that trauma in a safe way. It's because of my "over" sensitive nature that I can feel deeply when I see someone suffering. I do not judge them, I FEEL for them. I feel WITH them.


And I can't shout it out loud enough, I so want to live in a world that we as humans don't have to numb our pain. Where we can be compassionate and caring and help each other to heal from the horrible experiences we've had or are continuing to have. I want to live in a world that doesn't perpetuate systems, institutions, and societies that actually CAUSE that trauma as well.


I feel like not enough people are on board with this perspective. I understand why that is. It's extremely difficult to face the pain of our lives and to try to heal on some level from it. Especially if it's ongoing. Or when we're surrounded by others that tell us it's not okay to FEEL whatever it is we're feeling. It's also hard to take an honest look at ourselves and see where WE might actually be perpetuating some kind of pain towards someone else. We don't seem to have enough spaces that allow for this kind of introspection to happen. Why not? Well, "don't be so sensitive."


Sigh.


The question of this post? Why is killing women entertainment? It's a rhetorical question of course. I don't need anyone to explain to me why we don't have more healing and safe spaces, why violence against women is accepted so broadly without question. I understand all too well the systems of patriarchy, oppression, and colonialism. But I wish others would too. I wish so much that many, many more people would question the way that our society functions the way it does. It is SO broken. On SO many levels. It serves SO few. I wish that numbing ourselves was not such a well-accepted solution. I wish that hurting others was not entertainment.

That's why I do what I do. As an artist. In the workshops I create. Writing this blog. I want to invite others to reflect, to become aware, to have a safe space to heal, to embrace and create a very different way of doing this thing called being human. I know I'm not alone. But I wish there were many more that wanted to join me. I appreciate each and every one of you that are already doing this. Those of you that have inspired me to do this. Those of you who have been doing this on your own and have felt as isolated as I have. Those of you who are dipping your toes in and are trying it out for the first time. Thank you!


So. Back at the gym, I was eventually able to go back to my podcast and focus on the gorgeous interview between Julia and Bonnie. At one point towards the end they both became tearful and overwhelmed with emotions just by connecting with each other on such a deep soulful level. It was the most beautiful thing to witness. And of course I teared up too. Right there. On the elliptical. In the middle of the gym in front of everyone. Tears welling up in my eyes and trickling down my cheeks. It was the best way ever to celebrate and honor being "too" sensitive.


You can find the 'Wiser Than Me 'podcast HERE.


 

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