When a man gets a bump or a bruise or a cut or a scar he’s generally regarded as being more of a man.
It’s assumed he must have been playing a rough sport or maybe he was in a fight.
Women with bruises draw altogether different assumptions. The sight of a woman with a black eye will lead 99 people out of 100 to guess she’s been the victim of domestic violence.
For this reason I’m not too keen on Karen leaving the house for the next few days.
She’s been given an absolute shiner by Ben, who thought it would be great fun to deliver a flying headbutt to her while she was dozing on Sunday morning.
I know what happened, Ben knows what happened and anyone who’ll listen knows what happened. But that doesn’t stop the silent masses from judging.
We were out together on Sunday afternoon and despite Karen’s jovial mood I could hear people’s cogs at work.
I could hear them thinking, ‘I don’t know what’s worse, the fact her husband beats her or the fact she’s acting like nothing happened.’
I realise domestic violence is a serious issue and anyone who suffers it should not do so in silence. But I’d like to categorically state that I’ve never deliberately injured my wife.
You see, even that sentence does nothing to help the cause of the network of husband’s with accidentally bruised wives.
This is the difficulty I have when writing a weekly column. It’s a real case of writing about what you know and what I know is being a husband and father-of-two.
I apologise for writing about such mundane things as family life week in, week out, but I’m not the sort of columnist who finds it easy to present a reasoned debate on global issues.
I much prefer to recount the things that I encounter at a very local level. In other words, random stuff that happens to myself or people who I know that I think might make a good anecdote.
Although lots of interesting things happen through the course of my work, I don’t see a lot of point writing about them, as I’d effectively be regurgitating the contents of the paper as a highlights package.
It’s been a quiet week in terms of ‘home’ news with the three points of note being Karen’s black eye, our Goddaughter’s Frozen-themed birthday party, and watching a new DVD release with all the lights off.
The Equalizer wasn’t a bad film but I think I’d have got the same pleasure out of watching Les Ferdinand and Craig Revel Horwood battle to the death in B&Q.
As you already know my wife’s black eye made the grade for this week’s column.
The problem is, by writing about what I know and allowing ideas and connections to be made organically, I often end up in situations such as this, where I’m on the cusp of writing a column about something very serious like domestic violence.
It doesn’t help that I wrote two weeks ago about how I made a threat to my wife warning her I know how to remove blood stains.
If you see my wife sporting a shiner this week, please bear in mind Ben’s to blame.
By the same token, because I’ve incurred the wrath of ‘er indoors by revealing so many home truths recently, should you see me in A&E in the near future don’t jump to conclusions. Fingers crossed I’m just researching a story on the effects of health cuts.