"I got flowers today", the evolution of blame.(6 Posts)
I know this "poem" is old but it seems to be doing the rounds on social media again for some reason.
I have never seen it before but I was so fucking incensed when I read it I ended up Googling it and finding out a bit about it's history.
As far as I can tell the original is this -
I got flowers today. It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night. He said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know he was sorry and didn’t mean the things he said. Because I got flowers today
I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe it was real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry. Because he sent me flowers today
I got flowers today. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day or any other special day. Last night, he beat me up again. And it was much worse than all other times. If I leave him, what will I do? How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I’m afraid of him and scared to leave. But I know he must be sorry. Because he sent me flowers today
I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral. Last night he finally killed me. He beat me to death
Now to be fair I don't think it's without problems but fine for what it is. It acknowledges the power imbalance not just in physical terms but also in financial terms and position as a main carer for children.
But that's not what's doing the rounds on social media. There is an added line-
I got flowers today. Today was a very special day, it was the day of my funeral. Yesterday in the night, he finally killed me. He beat me to death. If only I had found enough courage to leave him, I wouldn't have received flowers today
Of course in this version the blame sits squarely with the murder victim. She didn't have courage.
Now people posting stupid inadvertently offensive shit on social media is hardly headline news but while I was researching this I came across a version with more added blame, after all simply having courage is a bit vague. It's not like there is a practical step...
If only I would have gathered the courage and strength to leave him. I could have received help from the Women’s Shelter, but I didn’t ask for their help
The silly cow moo have simply gone to the womans shelter instead she chose to be murdered! Women eh? This version has a little bit of extra kick as well with the addition of this line -
I’m too scared and dependent to leave him!
What the almighty fuck?
Where is this version from? THE UN WOMEN website, or more specifically the website for the UN commission on the status of women. And apparently it was read out by the director of the commission at the 58th session. It even acknowledges that they modified it.
I kind of understand what the though process behind this must have been. The message was too hopeless, there are no solutions, let's plug womens refuge while we are at it. Because victims of DV everywhere were unaware of womens refuge until they listened to a poem read at the UN.
I also found the shitty version on some feminist blogs and a feminist website called Femmepowered.
Like I said I know this is old new but I really needed to voice my fury somewhere were I could be understood and wouldn't have to explain things like implicit blame and structural oppression as a cause of DV.
So in summation-
Fuck them and fuck this poem.
60% of women applying for a shelter space are turned away for lack of room, and the most dangerous time for an abused woman is when she tries to leave, but there's nothing like a bit of sanctimonious victim blaming.
The Tories are dismantling the system of women's shelters. Women set these up and have funded them, we pay for them by fundraising, by our income tax and by paying the Tampon Tax.
Petition to save Womens shelters.
There are loads of recitations of it on YouTube - the ones I looked at all include the lines you are objecting to. The ones I looked at are from 2012 onwards.
It's not clear if they were in the original
Bizarrely the only version I found which didn't have them was one quoted in The Daily Mail.
Interesting Lass, they seem to have got it from the Fullstop Foundation but I can't find it on their website. I wonder if the Fullstop Foundation edited the blame out?
Okay since writing that I Googled again and I am pretty sure that the original version is the shitty version and it was edited by Fullstop. The earliest I found was 1999.
Some of the YouTube versions are even worse. There was one going on about I loved him but I didn't love myself enough.
60% of women applying for a shelter space are turned away for lack of room, and the most dangerous time for an abused woman is when she tries to leave, but there's nothing like
And it will get worse as TIMs exercise their rights to the shelter spaces....
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