‘Funny’ Facebook videos are normalising domestic abuse
If you’ve been anywhere near Facebook over the past year, you’ll have likely come across one of the new found social media ‘celebrities’ who get their cheap gags from harassing people.
Starting out, these videos tended to focus on unsuspecting members of the public being exposed to some form of outlandish comment or action whilst being filmed on a mobile phone.
Whether it was somebody singing awkwardly to themselves in a supermarket, going up to strangers and making inappropriate comments in the street or being overheard making double-entendres to a friend, the formula remained basically the same:
White male in his 20’s or 30’s films himself annoying people in public.
Although they all follow this same basic formula and borrow jokes that wouldn’t be out of place in a sitcom from the 1970’s, these videos have proven to be extremely popular in an era where attention spans are short and ‘lad’ culture is rife.
While these videos often seem to take joy in preying on vulnerable people and revel in causing a public nuisance, there was a certain sense of innocence to the majority and it is imagined that the subjects of the video would have had to consented.
But as more and more people hopped on to this formula to generate easy fame and income for themselves, the more popular ‘stars’ have shifted from harassing members of the public to bullying their own partners.
Now, many videos focus on recording the reactions of females to purposeful provocation from their male partners
One Facebook ‘celeb’ bases his most popular videos on the premise that his partner is not as intelligent as he is.
The creator of the above video, Brad Holmes, has garnered over 2 million Facebook fans off the back of repeatedly exposing his girlfriend Jen’s lack of knowledge on subjects such as Brexit, the World Cup, mathematics and cooking.
If the videos are bad, then the comments that they inspire are even worse.
“It doesn’t matter how good the sex is, it’s the other 23 hours a day”
“This girl is more retarded than people who think the world is flat”
“Why is it always British chicks in these videos? I know for a fact that American women are just as dumb”
“I wonder if this dumb c**t ever found it out”
Sexually objectifying ‘Jen’, calling her a retard, using the video as an excuse to label all American women as ‘dumb’ and calling her a c**t.
And those are just the first four examples that stood out from the ten or so I have casually scrolled through while writing this article- there are countless more like them that revel in sexism, objectifying women, discrimination and abuse.
Videos that rely on harassing, victimising and maltreating female partners risk normalising domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is rampant throughout society, with two women a week killed by their current or ex-partners in England and Wales alone. Whilst the creators of these videos may cry that they are for entertainment purposes and their partners have consented to broadcasting, the contents of the videos are sinister:
- Verbally abusing your partner and belittling her because she does not understand the intricacies of Brexit (something the UK Government has no grip on either I hasten to add)
Even the milder videos focus on low-level psychological harassment by making female partners believe they have received a text message or waiting to pounce on them by popping balloons.
Let’s just take a step back here and imagine these actions weren’t being recorded in the name of public entertainment and ask how we would react?
How would we feel if we knew a man was constantly calling his girlfriend ‘thick’ and was always goading her into situations where he could expose her lack of knowledge?
What would we do if we found out a man was making his partner walk around her own home on eggshells, fearing he would jump out and scare her at any minute?
How would we react if we knew a man was repeatedly waking up his sleeping girlfriend, sometimes giving her alcohol against her wishes?
What we do if our own daughter, sister or friend had a partner who gave her ‘wedgies’ and smeared lipstick all over her face in public?
Yeah… let’s not try and cover this up… it’s domestic abuse and we’d be appalled to learn that such things were happening to our friends or family members
It is not a coincidence that the creators of these videos are all male and their ‘victims’ are all female.
Facebook videos that rely on the victimisation of women to gain fame and attention are normalising domestic abuse and risk making it publicly acceptable to act like this.
We must challenge these videos and report them as abusive because, for every one of these partners that play along with male video creators for the sake of a quick buck, there are millions more whose lives are made a living hell through undocumented abuse.
Domestic abuse is not a form of entertainment.