They are meant to be 'real men,' the
rough tough Mitchell brothers, but when actors Steve McFadden and Ross Kemp
found themselves victims of domestic abuse on the same night (in both cases the
police arrived and carted away their partners) the on-screen brothers found
themselves subject to public ridicule as well as domestic violence.
It's not simply that these are two
high profile, high earning soap stars but Ross Kemp's partner is
Rebekah Wade, editor of the Sun, a paper that has recently run a
campaign opposing, you guessed it, domestic violence.
Mirror's front page, for example, about the 'hilarious' domestic assaults on two
soap stars is extremely misjudged. They say time and again on numerous pages
(and a cartoon) that the attacks made "a mockery of their macho screen image"
because they were beaten up by women.
What are they saying these actors
should have done? Beaten their partners to a pulp to prove what men they are?
What do 'real men' do when they are attacked? Certainly not sit there and take
it. The tabloids are clearly not advocating any kind of talking solution, where
adults sort out their problems by means other than fists and bile.
Not only are they publicly
ridiculing the victims of domestic abuse, which in itself is bad enough, but
they seem to be advocating giving 'their birds' back some of their 'own
Ms Wade might be the editor of the
Sun and therefore beyond redemption but trivialising domestic violence, whether
done to a man or a woman simply is not on. The tone they've adopted attacking Mr
Kemp and McFadden is precisely why many male victims of domestic abuse never
reveal the terrible things that have happened to them - because no one takes it
seriously when a man is a attacked by his partner.
Perhaps instead we could use this
incident to highlight how vile domestic abuse is and try to put a stop to it
once and for all.