“How a female dresses is her advertisement. If a female shows half of her body, she’s asking to be disrespected. If she dresses classy, expect to be treated like a lady. How you’re addressed lies on your attire. Sexy is a spirit, not an outfit.”
Are these words enraging? How about these?
“Even though you can’t drive 10 cars at one time, you got people that got 10 cars. So you’re able to keep maintenance on 10 cars. So I feel that as far as it comes to females, that same thing should apply. If you’re able to take care of 20, then you should have 20.”
The owner of TMT (The Money Team), the face of boxing and the highest paid athlete in the world Floyd Mayweather has no qualms about comparing women as objects he can own and treating them like disposable pieces of property. If his quotes above don’t already prove that point, let’s take a look at his reprehensible history.
In the past 12 years, Mayweather has been responsible for at least seven different physical assaults on five different women that have resulted in either an arrest or citation. In September 2010, Mayweather entered the home of Josie Harris, a woman he had previously been romantically involved with. Due to a suspicion that she was now dating NBA guard C.J. Watson, Mayweather yanked her to the floor by her hair, punched, kicked and screamed cuss words at her in front of their children after she ‘admitted’ that she was indeed seeing Watson. Despite no longer being in a relationship with Mayweather, Josie Harris was severely beaten by him and sustained bruises, contusions and a concussion as a result. She later said she believed Mayweather would have killed her had her son, Koraun, not somehow slipped out and called the police.
Harris said Mayweather purposely punched her in the back of her head to avoid a visible bruise. This seems a likely explanation because when confronted on his history with Harris, Mayweather categorically denies all charges stating the lack of pictures and or video evidence as proof of his innocence.
“Like I’ve said in the past, no bumps, no bruises, no nothing,” he said. “With O.J. and Nicole, you seen pictures. With Chris Brown and Rihanna, you seen pictures. With [Chad] Ochocinco and Evelyn, you seen pictures. You guys have yet to see any pictures of a battered woman, a woman who says she was kicked and beaten [by me]. So I just live my life and try to stay positive and try to become a better person each and every day.”
In 2012, Mayweather was found guilty of the assault charges against Harris and eventually sentenced to 90 days in prison of which he served only 60 days and was subsequently released due to good behavior.
A man almost killed a woman and all he received in return was an incomplete 90-day sentencing; tell me, where we are failing as society?
When he assaulted Josie Harris, Mayweather was living with his girlfriend Shantel “Miss” Jackson. After being engaged in 2013, Jackson finally called it quits with the boxer when she was tired of his out of control infidelity. To humiliate her, Mayweather posted unflattering home pictures and asked for all the money he had spent on her back.
Both Josie Harris and Shantel Jackson are now suing Mayweather for making unsubstantial claims about their lives and torturing and abusing them during their time with him. Jackson has claimed that Mayweather imprisoned her in their home and would only permit her to leave in the company of his employees. She also claims to have been repeatedly assaulted and beaten up by him. Calling the bombastic, flamboyant and egomaniacal Mayweather a beater and serial assaulter of women would not be an overstatement. The boxer, who goes by the nickname of “Money” treats all his women as possessions and has no problem with putting them “in their place” if they dare to contradict him or live a life that is not according to his point of view.
Now consider this…
Earlier this year. we saw a societal backlash after Raven’s player Ray Rice was seen punching his partner Janay in a video that went viral. Not only was he let go by the Ravens but he faced criminal charges alongside a long jail sentence that was unfortunately and wrongly settled after Rice agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling.
This makes me beg the question- what is the difference between the two? Do we not take a woman’s word as truth? Must her bruises be visible or accurate or do we require video proof of her being beaten, punched and knocked out unconscious before we will finally believe that her partner is assaulting her? Why are we so coldhearted in our responses? Have we been made so numb and desensitized from all the violence that we need graphic proof before we can accept that a man she is claiming hurt her, indeed did? What is it about our collective conscience that lets these serial abusers go free and keep minting money and be worthy of our time and attention? When will we realize that our priorities should be to assert a woman’s rights and not praise the vile creature who violated and attacked her?
After the much anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao fight this past weekend, both fighters roped in huge amounts of cash. The purse, estimated to be at least $300 million, was set to be split 60-40 in Mayweather’s favor; Not to mention the additional $100 million that will be added to Mayweather’s kitty once Showtime completes processing all pay-per-view payments. In all, Mayweather’s net worth is expected to increase by 37 percent! A nice raise for someone who beats up women and forces his will on them for a past time.
Why are we allowing this misogynist to get away with his sustained pattern of behavior? I don’t understand. We engage in incessant idolizing until our heroes prove they do not deserve it – and then we still continue. We let the media and those who make the most money sway our attention and divert our priorities. It makes my blood boil to see when we collectively turn our heads away from the atrocities committed by these scum bags – Mayweather, Showtime and every single person who has stood by him – instead, letting them convolute our view through glistening dollar signs.
It disheartens me to see that we choose to not think for ourselves or ignore actions in celebrity’s personal lives precisely because we claim they are “personal”. The attitude that “it does not apply here”,“it wasn’t someone I know” or “it is not my business” is sickening. Until we change our point of view, we cannot expect these people to change their actions. We should have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence, personal or not. Instead of condoning their behavior, we should use their need for fame and publicity against them to make them realize the gravity of their actions.
To act responsibly, everyone has to be held accountable. If we let people like Mayweather get away with their behavior and let them believe in their own hype, what else can we expect other than a a complete normalization of black eyes for women in America?
This article first appeared on skirtcollective.com
I am womanist. I’m a writer passionate about women’s right and equality. My aim is to bring change in the way women and men are treated around the world and specially in India. I’m fighting for respect and to be treated as an equal. My blog, Liberating Realizations, on Tumblr talks about /documents the inequality – violence, abuse, rape, torture – that women face everyday all around the world, and, particularly in India. I was a victim of violence for many years and for the first time in my life am finding my “voice”. I want to use this voice to talk about equality and promulgate the belief that women are equal to men and deserve to be treated better. I occasionally write about other things as well – anything that might grab my fancy – but in the end I am a champion for women/girl rights. My Twitter handle is @rupandemehta.