This is a photograph taken recently of television star Heather Morris (Brittany from “Glee”) engaged in mock domestic violence with a male model.
In a series of fashion photos, Tyler Shields shows a black-eyed Morris dressed as Barbie, staring seductively into the camera, and later merrily pressing a hot iron to her partner’s crotch. The photos depict a getting-what-he-deserves storyline that reinforces serious misconceptions about domestic violence. Men are stereotyped as abusers, and Barbie supposedly strikes a blow for victims everywhere.
The truth is that men are just as likely to be the victims of domestic violence as women (although they are much less likely to report the crime) and most of the time, domestic disputes result in mutual violence. Predictably, reactions to the photos have focused only on the abuse to Barbie: her assault of Ken has been ignored, even though it is the more serious crime.
Rita Smith, director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), was asked about the photos, but it was as if she had seen a different set of photos. “I don’t know if Tyler is aware but I’m quite sure there are plenty of women who have been abused by these kinds of household appliances and children as well being hit with electrical cords,” she told E! News, disregarding male victims everywhere.
Even worse, nothing has been said about the photographer’s donation to an advocacy group that disregards male victims of domestic violence. Shields told the Daily Mail that he would donate the proceeds to Glamour magazine’s Tell Somebody campaign, which focuses exclusively on violence perpetrated against women.
We want you to ask Shields, politely, to select a different beneficiary-one that serves all victims, whether they are female or male, gay or straight-so that proceeds from the sale of a photo making light of domestic violence victims will not go to a project that stereotypes men as the only abusers.
Write to Tyler Shields: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Abusive and Violent Environments