Youtube politics, cyber-bullying and domestic violence.

 

Yesterday I joined the panel of a podcast on Steve Wraith’s Youtube channel, alongside True Crime Podcaster Shaun Atwood, my co-host Jen from KazandJenTalks, and Youtuber Ann Drogyne.

The aim of the show was to discuss domestic violence as myself and Jen have experienced very dark and emotionally abusive relationships. We launched our channel several weeks back, following an event when Jen interviewed a cage fighter, (we’ll call Man X) and she was caught off guard when the cage fighter confessed his role in a violent relationship. I had tuned in to watch the show and was absolutely disgusted by Man X who seemed unable to take accountability for his actions, made excuses and indulged himself with blame-shifting and suggesting that the female is often to blame in the role of DV. I’ll be honest, I found it a hard watch and very triggering and had to switch it off.  Jen who was a co-host on the show did not have the luxury of being able to switch off, she had to endure it. In business, women are judged a great deal more than men and derogatory terms are often used to describe headstrong, assertive women, bossy, bitchy, hostile, aggressive. On the flip side, if you show any vulnerability, you are prey for the predators and seen as a pushover, so Jen was in a very compromising predicament. As a survivor, you put on a brave face, and will sometimes deal with hard situations with humour, anything but show vulnerability when you have been triggered by something so horrific.

After the show Jen and I were on the phone for two hours and Jen suggested we set up Kazandjentalks, a safe space for people to discuss their kinks, sexuality and talk about matters such as domestic violence and other sensitive topics.

Appearing on Steve’s show was to be a great opportunity to discuss domestic violence. Unfortunately, and while I bear no animosity towards Ann, I think she behaved inappropriately given the subject matter. It was supposed to be an open, honest chat about domestic violence, but Ann forced a political debate and used the show to opinion her own thoughts on Shaun and Jen. I could completely understand if Ann or anyone else said that they don’t agree with certain things they might have said or done, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but then close the door on that chapter and move on. What happened next was a vitriolic verbal assault on Jen, a domestic abuse survivor who had just poured her heart out about her history of abusive relationships. I was utterly appalled and very surprised at Ann. As a trans woman, I am sure she has encountered her share of bullying and negativity and would have hoped she would support a fellow woman.

This was supposed to be a safe space, where people could openly discuss sensitive issues. It was not a place to stick the knife in and twist it after someone had shown their vulnerable side. My heart went out to Jen who had been brave enough to express herself. Jen was accused of ‘damage limitation’ and was bereft that a positive talk had been ambushed.

If we are to make the greatly needed changes in our world, we need to stop victim shaming and blaming survivors. Trauma does strange things to you, it can make you defensive, close yourself off and put-up walls, or giggle at times when it’s not suitable for the occasion. It’s called a survival technique. We need to be supporting women who have suffered at the hands of abusive men and not blaming them for the ills of the world. If Ann had wanted to speak out against anyone, why did she focus on a victim, instead of the cage fighter who allegedly abused a woman? I am quite baffled by her logic. She is very welcome to explain her logic in the comments should she ever care to read this, but it strikes me as highly irrational to blame the victim and not the perpetrator. Ann also suggested that we dressed up in Nazi uniforms for a recent podcast. I refuted this as I chose the outfits myself and informed her that they were police costumes, outfits that were in theme with Shaun’s own channel, it being a true-crime podcast. In fact, the website Harmony describes the costume as ‘Leg Avenue Dirty Cop.’ and here is the link to it below, so I reject the suggestion that there are any negative connotations associated with the outfit.

https://www.harmonystore.co.uk/leg-avenue-dirty-cop?gclid=Cj0KCQiAk4aOBhCTARIsAFWFP9FvH5uWWdaFF-58DO6we4u7KYpS2PQbhmis40spFXtMTzydZ7VroqYaAgrYEALw_wcB#size=5334

Steve then asked me to talk about my history with abusive men. I had literally just seen my co-host and dear friend pour her heart out and then thrown to the lions, so I did not feel as if I was in a safe space where I could openly discuss these issues. It didn’t seem fair to not say anything at all, after Jen had just opened up, so I gave a brief statement and we moved on from the subject.

I have discussed many of these topics in my forthcoming biography which will be published with Gadfly publishing in 2022, so keep your eyes open for that if you are interested to hear more on the subjects, without it becoming lost in the shroud of Youtube politics.

Many of my subs and friends have poured out support for Jen and have asked us to return to the topic of domestic violence in the future, without the amateur dramatics. This is something we will do, because it’s not about us, it’s about all the people out there who are still experiencing domestic violence and could greatly benefit from global awareness and support. We may be a mere drop in the ocean when tackling a huge problem, but every single person on this planet can make a difference, however small.

After a verbal tirade aimed at Shaun, Ann decided to leave the show and disappeared in a puff of smoke, in the fashion of a classic pantomime villain. As an idealist, I would have hoped a resolution could be reached, but that proved impossible. I would like to appeal to Ann’s better nature and would hope she could take on board some of what I’ve said. I have seen some of her YouTube videos, and she strikes me as an articulate woman who puts many of her arguments across in a logical way. However, whatever she was going through that day seemed to taint her judgment. I simply cannot justify someone bullying a domestic abuse survivor and engaging in victim shaming. I wish Ann all the success in the world, but if there’s no chance of a peaceful resolution, it’s unlikely we will cross paths again or ever have the chance to openly discuss any future topics on the same panel, which is a real shame. Each and every person has interesting points to make, but we must not allow our personal feelings to cloud our judgment and persecute others. We are all human beings, struggling to survive in a world that has been particularly tough for many in the last couple of years. We can choose to work together in symbiosis, or we can focus on our own political narrative, but we cannot do both.

Some good came out of the show, which I will reveal later. I would like to thank Steve for having us on his show and I send love to Ann, who undoubtedly believes she had good reasons for her conduct, and I suspect her strong opinions were based on a personal experience she may have had in the past with regards to domestic violence.

Jen and I now have a very busy 2022 planned and are in talks, discussing ways we can support various communities and bring some light into people’s lives.

I would have liked to have talked more specifically about charities that support DV victims yesterday, so I will do that now. Refuge is a charity that helps DV survivors year-round. They have a 24-hour support phone line that women can call, and they will give them support. Refuge has published an excellent piece on tips for survivors during the Covid pandemic.

They are also currently running a wonderful campaign to help give ‘A Magical Christmas’ to women and children that have escaped abusive men. One option is buying a child a Christmas gift for as little as £15 to make their eyes light up on Christmas day. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? I don’t have any children or young nieces and nephews, but there are thousands of children across the UK who have experienced things more horrific than you, or I will ever know. What could be better than giving them a little magic in their lives? You can send them a gift and let them know that ‘Santa’ didn’t forget them.

If your pockets are a little deeper, you can also send a care package to abused women who will benefit from gifts such as an emergency accommodation parcel, a Christmas feast, or a baby parcel for their little l’uns. Let’s send a little love back into the world at a time of year, which is particularly hard for victims and survivors of abuse, violence and the aftermath that it brings.

Thanks to everyone who has been big supporters of our new channel. We would like to express our gratitude and send you love and warm wishes for 2022.

If you can be anything in this world, be kind. Merry Christmas everyone.

Love and hugs

Kaz B

Refuge: https://www.refuge.org.uk/

You can view our Podcast with Steve Wraith and follow his channel here: https://youtu.be/JtYixREHTCI

Kaz and Jen Talks https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX0WzakZWmOFiAeQMVY2hgQ

Shaun Attwood: https://www.youtube.com/user/derickatt

2 thoughts on “Youtube politics, cyber-bullying and domestic violence.”

  1. Dear Kaz & Jen

    As a victim of abuse I cannot imagine the horror of summoning up the courage to relive & voice that horror only to be abused once again, & on a live platform.

    No words, bar please don’t stop, in fact use it as energy! Your every tear & words will inspire others to get a bit stronger. All those small steps become strides in time but need inspiration from real people, victims, not plastic media wannabes.

    Bless ya both

    Tommie A

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