Another thing I learned about when I returned from my vacation in the wilderness? Christy Mack was beaten nearly to death by her ex-boyfriend, War Machine. The MMA fighter found his adult star ex-girlfriend with another man at her own home when he arrived unannounced and unexpected in the middle of the night, and left her with 18 broken bones, stab wounds, numerous lost teeth, an injured liver, and many, many bruises after forcing her to undress and shower, threatening (but thankfully finding himself unable) to rape her, and cutting off her hair.
He has since been apprehended and is in police custody. Thank goodness.
And the news cycles on, with trails of comments blaming Mack for the assault in its wake.
I can’t even articulate my feelings of sorrow for her and outrage about what people have said about her. I’m so tired of it. So bone weary from hearing women getting blamed for being victimized in this world, from watching women of all kinds the world over being harassed, repressed, silenced, and assaulted. And knowing that it’s been going on so long that the idea of standing up to stop it doesn’t even occur to many. Knowing that when it does occur to some of us we become victims of a whole new kind of harassment from people who are more comfortable with the status quo than with trying to make a change.
I’m at a loss for words, but thankfully Samantha Allen at the Daily Beast is of the same mind and wrote about it in an extremely articulate and reader-friendly way:
“The fictional acts of violence that are sometimes depicted in pornography do not justify the real violence that an adult film star like Christy Mack might experience in her domestic life. We wouldn’t blame a stuntman, after all, for getting hit by a car in real life just because he sometimes gets hit by a car during work hours. But because Mack works as a visible icon in a sexualized industry that many perceive as inherently immoral, Mack will have to be defended in the coming weeks from those who would chalk up her abuse to ‘bad life choices.'”
I am grateful to Christy Mack for having the courage to speak up and bravely show photos of the results of her assault–so often these kinds of domestic attacks happen in the shadows. Women, and all victims of abuse, are often afraid to speak up or have been convinced by the world that it is somehow their fault. Her willingness to show her injuries and to talk to the world about what happened shines a light into an often-dark corner of the world that affects so many. The fact that she is an adult film actress whose ex was an MMA fighter has led far too many to say that she somehow brought this on herself, that she should have “known” better, that she left herself open to it, and so on and so forth. There are many who would like to minimize the horror of her experience by falling back on tired rhetoric, her openly airing what happened to her without fear or shame throws that minimization back in their faces. Christy Mack is a human being who was viciously attacked in a way that is never justified, no matter what supposedly “provoked” it, no matter who was the victim and no matter who was the perpetrator. Domestic violence is never ok, whether you are a porn star or an MMA fighter or a pet groomer or a taxi driver or an accountant. What happened to Christy Mack can not be justified under any circumstances whatsoever, and should not be excused. I think that Mack’s brave honesty helps us all remember that.
The outpouring of support from the porn industry in this case has been heartwarming to see, as has an offer for free facial reconstructive surgery from Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Harrsion H. Lee. You can help by donating to her medical expenses GiveForward account here. Please do help if you can. Medical bills, as we all know, can be crippling, and porn stars do not make nearly as much money as many people would like to believe–most are considered “independent contractors” and do not have employer-sponsored health insurance. I don’t know if Christy Mack has an insurance plan, but even if she does it’s likely that her bills will far exceed what it covers. If you can’t donate, please share the link, along with a reminder to your social media networks that Christy Mack is a person who was severely beaten and who needs help and support.