When Victims Become the Attacker: Evelyn, Fix Your Own Life

[dc]I[/dc]’ve spent the past two nights watching Evelyn Lozada’s interview with life coach guru Iyanla Vanzant. Going into the two-part premiere of Iyanla, Fix My Life I gave it a bit of side-eye. Before Evelyn and Chad Johnson aka Ocho Cinco butted heads—literally—a few weeks ago I’m sure this would have just been a one-day airing. But given the drama, it makes sense for OWN to milk the drama for all it’s worth.

Needless to say I was skeptical about what I would see and if it would change my perception of Ms. Johnson Lozada, who has made her bread and butter as a reality TV bully. The jury is still out on that one but I definitely gained appreciation for Vanzant and her brand of tough love. But that’s a subject for another time.

While I’m all for Evelyn (or any person like her) getting right within, I’m always a bit skeptical when the path to righteousness comes with a camera crew. Since allegations came out of Chad’s domestic abuse came out we’ve primarily only heard Evelyn’s side of the story. To the best of knowledge, Chad has remained out of the papers. Sure he’s tweeted and gotten tattoos but his public relations movements have been minimal.

I can’t say the same for Evelyn. She’s told her side, positioned herself as a domestic violence advocate/survivor and recorded a new interview with Vanzant for her show’s debut.

Now let me be 100% clear so this isn’t misconstrued in any way, shape or form: I’m not saying that any of the above diminishes Evelyn’s claims of abuse. Because there’s no excuse for a man putting his hands (or head) on a woman outside of restraining someone for both of their physical safety. On the flip side, there should be no passes given to a woman for hitting a man either. But I’ve seen a familiar pattern when it comes to cases like this. It becomes her word versus his and hers tends to be the loudest.

We’ve seen it with Rihanna and Chris Brown. K. Michelle and MempHitz. And now with Evelyn and Chad. The women tell their story, while the men, for the most part, remain silent. At the end of the day, I get it. What can a guy that’s accused of domestic violence really say? “Oh, I only hit her a little bit.” “She started it.” “I didn’t mean to whoop her ass.” Whatever the “excuse” for laying hands on a woman it never sounds cool. Even in a case where the woman may have truly been the aggressor, it’s not an excuse that’ll fly in the court of public opinion.

At the end of the day, you’re a man and she’s a woman, end of story. It’s not a case of an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. It’s more like you have to turn the other cheek and just grin and bear it.

I’m going to go out on a limb and just say that something that we, the general public, will never know happened that night when Chris Brown and Rihanna got into their scuffle. I’ll call it the Mike Tyson theory in that you don’t bite someone unless you’re losing a fight. Again, I’m not saying that what Chris did to Rihanna was right in any way, but there’s something in the chain of events of that night that just doesn’t add up. Yeah, Chris has proven himself to be a hothead but I feel like there was some unknown trigger that caused him to blackout. Now what that was is something that only the occupants of that car will likely ever know as Rihanna continues to tell her side of the story, while Chris remains silent. That’s not to say he’s innocent or absolved from fault for his actions that night, but I feel like there’s some blood (metaphorically speaking) on Rihanna’s hands too.

Now as for Evelyn and Chad, I see a similar scenario. We’ve all seen Evelyn’s bullying on Basketball Wives and while that doesn’t mean she deserves to get assaulted by a man or woman, it does make people question her role in the domestic dispute. In her interview with Vanzant, though, she adamantly denies ever raising a finger to Chad and actually admitted that the fact that people look to her public persona as a sign of guilt hurt her feelings.

Still, as Vanzant pointed out several times, Evelyn’s violent behavior is all we see so it’s what we expect and what has dominated her life. Again, that doesn’t mean she deserves what happened to her but there’s some blood (metaphorically speaking) on her hands, too.

There’s a big difference between being a victim and simply playing one. I’m not at liberty to make an informed decision on where Evelyn (Rihanna or K. Michelle) stands in that scenario. All I can go on is what I’ve seen and heard, but it’s hard to get a clear picture when you only hear one side of the story. It leaves me to wonder what happens when victims become attackers through the media.

Speak your piece…

About NWSO

NWSO is the brains behind the award-winning site, Naked With Socks On [NWSO.net]. Prior to launching the site in 2008, he spent a decade as a professional journalist penning feature articles for numerous mainstream publications and websites and editor at such notable magazines as The Source, XXL and The Ave. Based on his professional background and personal relationship experiences, NWSO is able to provide fair and honest perspective on the interactions between men and women, as well as the world as a whole. Thousands of readers log on daily to discuss everything from sex and relationships to music and entertainment to current events and hot topics, as well as the site's weekly erotica series Wet Wednesdays, which was dubbed “Best Blog Series” in the 2009 Black Weblog Awards. As for the name, Naked With Socks On is symbolic of how NWSO writes: He reveals everything while still leaving something to the imagination. “Like” the NWSO FaceBook Fan Page Follow NWSO’s rants on Twitter @NakedWithSocks Ask NWSO anything on FormSpring