If someone were personally abusing you in some way, but you knew for a fact that they came from a poor economic background with a terrible family dynamic, you might have some compassion for them and understand why they are prone to behave in undesirable ways. But before you started empathizing with them and perhaps trying to get them some support and assistance, you would first demand that they stop abusing you. It’s that simple.

Empathy and zero tolerance for anti-social behavior are not mutually exclusive but what you are advocating for is a classic abuser dynamic, where the battered woman sees how wounded the man who is punching her is and so excuses him in some manner for doing so. It’s high time for that shit to stop!

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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