Violence against women is serious. And it seems to be discussed everywhere lately. So why is all the talk about Charlie Sheen focused on the crazy things he’s been saying and not on the women he has abused and threatened. I missed the beginning, or the beginning of the end (it is coming to an end, right?), of the Charlie Sheen drama. I was paying attention to other things the last few months. I found out about his huge Twitter following and complained to my boyfriend. Who are these people following him? That is when I learned my boyfriend was one of the followers.
Before moving to DC I worked for a domestic violence agency. One of the reasons I loved the job so much was the because of the mission – it was something I was passionate about. I remember talking about domestic violence as a women’s issue, a feminist issue. But it isn’t. It’s an “everyone” issue – women AND men.
Reaction to Hollywood abuse of women is often downplayed. Sheen has been beating and threatening women for over 10 years. Yet, he is always forgiven, given more work, a new show, more attention. We need to stop supporting the behavior, comments and jokes. It should not be just with Charlie Sheen, but he seems like a good place to start.
Sheen’s alleged history of abuse:
- 1990 accidentally shoots then finance Kelly Preston in the arm
- 1994 hits UCLA student on head when she refused to have sex with him
- 1997 knocks adult film star Brittany Anderson down during a fight
- 2006 shoves and threatens to kill ex-wife Denise Richards (lead to a restraining order)
- 2009 held a knife to third wife Brooke Mueller’s throat(Sheen spent time in jail)
- 2010 threatened to kill adult film star Capri Anderson
- 2011 threatened to decapitate ex-wife Brook Mueller and send her head to her mother (led to restraining order and removal of his sons from his home
While women are certainly more likely to boycott, it is time for men to stand up with us! What kind of message does he send to young men and boys about how you treat women? What kind of message does it send that men (or anyone) are still following him?
The cycle will keep repeating itself until more men take a stand on abuse. This is the starting place, and this is how we begin. Stop watching re-runs of Two and Half Men. Stop talking about the “funny things” Sheen said recently or his tour. Mostly, stop following Charlie Sheen on Twitter.
I began this as a plea to get my boyfriend to stop following Sheen on Twitter. I’d like to see more men do it though. It is time for men to stand up to abuse and violence against women. Set an example to those who look up to you, to those you don’t know who look up to you, and to those who are witnessing it in their own homes. Let them know that domestic violence is not okay, and it should not be repeated.
Originally appeared on Fem2.0