Why We Need To Talk About Christy Mack And Victim Blaming
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For those of you who are unaware, Christy Mack is an “adult entertainment” star who is the former girlfriend of MMA fighter Jon Koppenhaver, otherwise known as “War Machine.”
This past Friday morning around 2:00am, Jon showed up at Christy’s Las Vegas home, after having left her and moved back to San Diego in May. The following is an account of the experience from Christy’s perspective (Source – also contains photos of Christy), and may be disturbing for some to read.
‘About 2 a.m. Friday morning, Jon Koppenhaver arrived unannounced to my home in Las Vegas, NV, after he broke up with me in May he moved out of my house and back to San Diego,’ Mack wrote on Twitter. ‘When he arrived, he found myself and one other fully clothed and unarmed in the house. Without a single word spoken, he began beating my friend; once he was finished, he sent my friend away and turned his attention to me.
‘He made me undress and shower in front of him, then dragged me out and beat my face. I have no recollection of how many times I was hit, I just know my injuries that resulted from my beating. My injuries include 18 broken bones around my eyes, my nose is broken in 2 places, I am missing teeth and several more are broken.’
The abuse present in this relationship is no secret, as Koppenhaver has spent time in jail before for assault, as well as multiple other incidents, including being publicly accused of being physically violent towards Christy before from her Twitter account (Tweets which she deleted shortly after, and Koppenhaver said she was “just kidding.”)
Needless to say, Koppenhaver has been released from promotional contracts because of his behavior. He also claims he was “fighting for his life” against the man he found in her apartment. While anything is possible, I think we can all agree this seems highly unlikely, especially given his history and profession. Furthermore, even if the other man was violent towards him, there is no possible excuse for what he did to Christy.
Even if she was cheating – she is a small woman and he is an MMA fighter with a history of violence. There is no excuse.
Now, to the point.
One of the major reasons I bring this up is because of a comment I saw on Facebook earlier. The comment read:
Those type of guy’s are not mentally fine and they need to see a therapist. But certain women do know how to pick them and love to be mistreated.
Hold on, what? Can you name one single woman who has ever actually enjoyed being mistreated, abused, or hospitalized with injuries sustained at the hands of her own boyfriend? What kind of nonsense is this?
It’s called victim-blaming. To say “Oh, she should’ve known better.” Or that she should have left him before things escalated to this point, is entirely missing the reality of domestic violence. Not to mention from what we understand in this case, the two weren’t even a couple anymore anyway.
The fact of the matter is that there are many signs of abuse that some people may miss until it’s too late, and there are also mental and emotional attachments that keep someone with an abuser that most of us will never understand.
But one thing we can understand is – nobody actually wants to be abused. To make comments like this is more than just a harmless statement on Facebook, it is perpetuating the idea that some people enjoy the situation they are in and are choosing it for themselves. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did say something to him.
Say what you want about Christy’s career choice or the character of Koppenhaver, but one fact remains: She didn’t want this, and she certainly didn’t deserve it. Nobody does.
If you, or someone you know, has been or is an ongoing victim of any kind of abuse, but especially physical please immediately take action to get help. We need to all stand together against these cowardly acts – especially us as men.
Men are the ones perpetuating the problem, and men will play a vital role in stopping it. Do not feel nervous about standing up and speaking out. Feel nervous about what will happen if you don’t.
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I have to say that I applaud this post. Though I would like to respond to comments made in regards to the WHY’s a victim (be it man or woman) would stay with an abuser –well there are several reasons from what someone experienced as a child as a norm in relational behaviors to how even an animal will return to the master that abused it because that is what the animal has been trained to know. Its easier to deal with what you already have become accustomed to than it is to be courageous and find the strength to not only take your control back but to thrive and live free. People can become accustomed to living in captivity with an abuser. What they need is NOT to be victimized further by the critical judgements of others but to be encouraged and supported in their journey to freedom.
I usually love your articles, but this one irks me a bit. I can agree that she didn’t deserve this, of course she didn’t deserve this, but the fact that she sucks dick for money leads me to believe that she makes poor life choices including decisions relative to her mate(s). She’s a pornstar, what type of people does she expect to be in relationships with? I mean, come on, you can’t tell me this is a surprise? Sure, she didn’t deserve this, or any abuse for that matter, but she clearly makes terrible decisions and sometimes life has a way of telling you that you are NOT on the right track. I just want to put it all on the table. On the one hand, she’s a victim, but on the other hand she makes a living being subordinate to men sexually and professionally, why wouldn’t she do the same in her personal life? Again I’m not saying she was looking for this abuse, but I do think she could have avoided it entirely through her choices. Just something to think about.
P.S. This guy Jon Koppenhaver is an enormous piece of shit. He deserves much worse than what he dished out. I just want to be clear that I am not victim-blaming here, but want to shed some light on the idea that this could have been avoided by her if she surrounded herself with good people as opposed to deviants and the morally deficit.
Why are you talking down on porn stars or sex workers? How is deciding to be a porn star a bad decision? It’s not, get over your conservative mind. Sex work is easy money and it’s a job just like any other job in the world. “She makes a living being subordinate to men sexually and professionally, why wouldn’t she do the same in her personal life?” Are you kidding about that? Because I hope you are. Do you act the same in your office as you act in your personal life? I hope not. Sex work is not being subordinate to man although it comes off that way and that’s how sex workers are portrayed. Porn is not only for men. Porn is for money. You are no one to judge a sex worker for her ‘poor decision’, because the fact you just slut-shamed and shamed sex work, shows whose side you’re really on.
Jason brings up some good thinking points and someone needs to rag on it with “sex work is easy money…you just slut-shamed.” Oh 21st-century world, how much longer must this backwards thinking go on?
Have you ever seen her ‘work’? She literally takes a beating in every video she is in!
You said “she makes poor life choices.” Who are you to say that being in the sex industry means making a poor decision? Just because you don’t agree with her choices doesn’t make them bad ones. This is the attitude victim blaming stems from. If you really believed she holds no fault in her assault (which she ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT), then you wouldn’t bring up her career.
Jason obviously has never had good sex. Or is a conplete virgin still afraid of real women. girl’s who have an open mind towards sex usually are the best in bed. Conservative girls who think licking your balls is a huge deal will just make men want to cheat. That’s why porn is a billion dollar industry.
Jason… stop being a fucking grandpa. We know your wife or gf is ugly and you wish you dated a hot slutty girl and could keep her.
OMG!! I can’t decide if I’m appalled or if I’m going to fall down laughing hysterically. WOW!! And for the record open minded men are the best in bed too!
You can’t say you’re not victim blaming and then follow it up with ‘but her choices partially led to this happening’. That IS victim-blaming! You’re saying her choices are partly at fault.
First off Christy Mack did not deserve to be beaten. Her chosen profession has no bearing on this opinion. Her 5 foot 10 inch tall, 170 pound trained martial arts trained ex-boyfriend came in and beat one person, then her and is now in hiding.
And let’s not forget, he is also a porn star himself.
How would you feel if instead of being “just” a porn star she was your daughter, or your sister; or your mother. Would you still blame her as responsible for getting beaten?
Anyone remember Jeremy Meeks, or Aaron Hernandez, or Chris Brown.
Jeremy Meeks is the POS scumbag whose mug shot received many comments from women on how they would love to be in a kidnapped by him.
Aaron Hernandez is currently accused of murdering Odin Lloyd.
Chris Brown abused Rihanna.
How does this relate to Christy Mack? Some people are attracted to the “bad boy” / “bad girl” image. Then the “bad” becomes bad and sometimes it is life threatening bad, people do tend to blame the victim. Hang out with a “bad” persona and you may be setting yourself up for big trouble later. I can see that linkage, but it still is not an excuse.
My parents instilled in me that men don’t hit women, EVER. Even in anger, and I have lived by this creed. I respect my wife, and hopefully she respects me.
What did Christy’s ex accomplish? Well, his name is in the news and he now has a certain notoriety. He may even think that the time he will spend in jail is worth it; he can keep training, get three square meals a day and a bed to sleep in at night without having to worry about making any money to cover his expenses.
Cynical, you bet. But Christy is the victim, let us remember that she is someone’s family member and show some empathy.
I disagree with you. Abuse falls across all levels of social classes. Her choice of profession has nothing to do with being abused. Teachers, doctors, pastors, and even CEOs are not exempt from being the abuse victim/ abuser.
Another great article, I also applaud your stance…
and it should matter little the type of work someone does for a living, abuse is abuse plain and simple.
Also, if you label someone it makes it easier the discount them, I think history proves that out.
I am a firm believer in the 1st time a man hits a woman, shame on him; the 2nd time, shame on her. I was married for 3 months when I received my 1st physical abuse….shame on him! I called the police as I wanted an official report, but was afraid to press charges. No worries….after giving my report, the nice police man told me that it was ok, the state would press charges. That is when the real fear set in! When “He” received notification that the state was pressing charges, “He” bombarded me with threats. There is no truly safe way out of an abusive relationship. I consider myself lucky….there was no 2nd time. It is easy for those on the outside to place judgement.
Be careful how you phrase your beliefs because it feels like you’re passing judgment on women who don’t leave after the first time. In some cases, many actually, the relationship has been psychologically twisted long before the physical abuse begins. When a victim is manipulated emotionally with her feelings and longings played against her, it nears impossible to leave for good.
I think you need to rephrase it to “1st time: shame on him. 2nd time: shame on him. 3rd time: shame on him… ad infinitum.”
I think your own story shows how hard it can be for women to even take steps to prevent a second occurrence of abuse. Actually getting help and taking steps to try and guarantee your safety could end up in another assault. Add to that the general fear of repercussions, the social stigma some attach to it, or possibly unhelpful officers, and you can see how much courage it really takes to come forward and make a stand against an abuser. Make no mistake, the shame is always on the perpetrator of physical abuse.
You bring up some excellent points, but you got one thing very wrong: women abuse, too. In this case the man did, but women can be just as bad, though I do believe we tend to be psychological bullies rather than physical ones. It is still very not okay, though, and the man in that situation will need the help of friends to get out. Male rape victims are still waaay too underreported, and they especially hear that it was their own fault that they were attacked when they do report in. The whole thing – male or female victims – pisses me off. Rawr!
Thanks for your comment! Though I do wonder why you say I got “one thing very wrong” when I didn’t say that abuse is only man -> woman? That’s what this particular article is about so that is the topic I wrote on, but I certainly did not say ALL DV victims are women.
I agree with what you said. In addition to this(on a separate page, so people don’t mistake it for changing the subject) it needs to be added to the abuse discussion long term emotional abuse perpetrated by women against men in relationships. I’m not referring to these individuals in this article, but it goes completely unnoticed when violence is preceded by long term emotional abuse. Violence is never the right response, but even the most mild mannered person has a breaking point when it comes to being emotionally abused. And when someone is pushed beyond their breaking point they are by definition not thinking clearly. And because our society raises boys with statements like “suck it up” and “be a man”, many boys grow to be adults with no good emotional coping mechanisms. That, in my opinion, is the root of most abuse. We need to raise boys with sympathy and empathy, and treat men who speak out about being emotionally abused with the same. Give boys better options growing up, and far fewer men will chose the wrong option when pushed past their emotional breaking point.
So I’m a grandpa because I believe people should have more respect for their own bodies? Geez…
And yes, her decision to become a porn actress is wrong. She’s a glorified whore which is by definition someone who takes money for sex. She’s simply one of the lucky ones who got on camera as opposed to the bleak alternative of whoring around town.
Porn enables some of the worst sex crimes in the world. Period. Instead of thinking with your dicks and vaginas wake up and do a little research.
Thanks for mediating the convo, James, and thanks to the commenters who instead of trying to have some dialect with me just talked shit. Pot calling the kettle black on this whole ‘open-mindedness’ thing.
Sorry I had an opinion that wasn’t inline with yours.
…and to reiterate what I’ve already said, I don’t think she deserves ANY abuse, I was just making a correlation with her line of work and the fact that it’s much more common for a hooker, whore, sex-slave, etc. to get abused than a school teacher. Not saying it’s right, but it’s a fact.
I don’t think you fully understand what the concept of victim-blaming is, because you keep trying to distance yourself from it directly before doubling down on it. Just because your particular form of victim-blaming is slightly less direct than saying “she shouldn’t have worn those clothes if she didn’t want it”, does not make it something else entirely.
Surely you can see the parallels. Using clothing choice as a parallel: what a woman chooses to wear should not be used to explain an assault, why should her choice of occupation? Instead of thinking about the choices the woman has made, concentrate on the man’s. Violence like this is never appropriate and abuse is never excusable, independent of the woman’s choices. We need to strive for a world where men have enough empathy, respect, and strength to not resort to violence – or even worse think that abuse is justifiable – for any reason.
Ask yourself: if you met a porn star, would you suddenly find it acceptable to hit her? Reflect on the reasons you think of for the actions/inaction you would take in that situation. You seem to be a decent, thoughtful man (just slightly misguided), so I am going to hope that your immediate reaction is repulsion at the thought. That you instead would treat her with respect and kindness (at least as much as any other stranger) despite your opinions or judgement of her past choices.
So I ask you: why do you not hold other men to the same standard that you hold yourself? If you would not be able to justify striking a woman by telling yourself she deserved it or her decisions somehow led you to do it, why let anyone else?
Stats backing that fact up? http://psychcentral.com/lib/who-are-the-victims-of-domestic-violence/
I’m pretty sure there is no argument to support why any human being, male or female, deserves to be beat on by another person. Nobody should give a rat’s ass what line of work the abused one does either. At the end of the day they are still a human being and this “Abuse Machine” clown hopefully will spend some years in prison soon. It’s awful the choices he made and how much he hurt this woman.
[…] he hopes “she recovers and takes time to reevaluate her career.” Male dating expert and blogger James Sama spoke out against the victim-blaming that Mack is being subjected to on social media, only to be […]
“Those type of guy’s are not mentally fine and they need to see a therapist. But certain women do know how to pick them and love to be mistreated.”
I could not agree with this more. Sorry James you’ve made it very clear you know very little about this stuff. You’re argument is simple minded. There is a much deeper issue here that some of us are not understanding. A half decent Therapist/Psychologist can break it down for you quite easily.
Women that enter into multiple abusive relationships or stay in an abusive relationship (where there is no marriage or children) should be asking themselves… “What’s wrong with me?” No the women don’t deserve to be beaten. That’s not what I mean. What I mean is…women that do this are doing it for a reason they don’t even understand themselves. Although, on the surface, you wouldn’t think someone would intentionally choose to be with a person that will abuse them, subconsciously some do.
believe it or not some women have such low self esteem they feel like this is all they deserve.
That relationship was doomed from the beginning. You have 2 dysfunctional people with major emotional issues feeding off of each other. That’s was a recipe for disaster!
JAMES MICHAEL SAMA, I want to send this post to my brother-in-law who is not on facebook. He currently only has email at work so it’s too long to send to him at work. Is there a link I can send him.? Otherwise I’ll have to print it off and mail it to him. Please help. Marleneahibbard@gmail.com
Wow all these negative comments! I don’t get it. James is stating no woman deserves to be abused. Period, England of story. Justifying it by victim blaming or saying her lun of work caused it to happen is bull. Plain and simple. Real men don’t hit women. Real men don’t bully women. Real men don’t shame women. Now flip all those to say real women. We are all human beings, and we all deserve respect as such, regardless of life choices, or career choices, or clothing choices.
End of story. My phone is extremely stupid. Kinda ruined my statement but the meaning is still clear.
You call it victim shaming or “blaming the victim”, but let’s just be honest about the real world… You make bad choices, and bad things happen.
If you choose to go find “the bad boy” and be with “the bad boy”, how are you shocked when he does “bad things”?
Now let’s be clear here… I’m not saying she deserved a beating like that… No one does. However, are you not being disingenuous when you say imply that it’s absolutely positively NONE of her responsibility here?
We all make choices and those choices have consequences… Perhaps you don’t agree and that’s fine, it’s your right, but I can’t help but look at numerous times when people make poor choices and it bites them in the ass.
War Machine is without a doubt a huge bag of crap for doing what he did, of this we can all agree, but if you’re going to try to tell me that she has ZERO culpability for this, then you’re just lying to yourself.
The longer I spend in this world – the more I let go to the fact that there is much more than just right and wrong. Like everyone here, I need to say – of course Christy did not deserve the abuse.
But just to sign off the argument with that above statement is unproductive, it doesn’t let us dissect the situation to find out how things got to this stage for her. If we were all to say Christy had completely nothing to do with this outcome, then we would all be ok with her getting romantically involved with another MMA fighter with a long history of domestic and public violence. And if it happens again, we would probably feel like she should have made a better choice. Right? Wrong?
At the risk of oversimplifying, if my daughter walked through a yard and was bitten by a large dog, would I continue to let her walk through that same yard because ‘it had nothing to do with her actions’…..or would I acknowledge the fact that it would be more responsible to tell her not to walk that same path again?
We’re not blaming her, but she needs to exercise more common sense.
I hope she heals quickly and completely.
Morgan, I agree in part to that. Although ‘common sense’ in this case is probably more about having experience to see where her situation was leading to. She is young, and less likely to have seen this as perhaps you and I might with more time on this earth. However, I think you make a strong point. It’s not her fault, but her actions did increase the likelihood of this happening. That is the uncomfortable truth.
I too hope she heals quickly.
I’m going to stick to my use of ‘common sense’. Common sense could be derived from the fact that he had previously committed assaults on a ex-partner (it was publicised). This fact would have been known to Christy. He had also abused christy to a lessor extent prior to the last assault on her too. Common sense is her putting those pieces of the puzzle together to realize it could end badly for her.
I would also like to state that I profoundly understand that I do not know the physiological traps that occur in an abusive relationship, however, to completely exonerate her choices from the outcome would be a mark against our common sense too.
Thanks for the input Selene, it’s only constructive when people like you (and the others in this thread) are able to be flexible from the ‘good vs evil’ stance that inevitably subjects like this bring out in the comments sections.
I think you are spot on morgan. Having an automatic ‘good and evil’ stance on this would not let us learn from this incident. I too am in the life-long process of understanding the ‘grey area’. It takes a uncomfortable inward journey to realise that we need to face facts, and sometimes facing the hard facts will be seen as the unpolitical option.
Yes, he is a piece of s##t.
She was putting herself in an environment that had higher odds of this happening.
He should not have done it. But he did.
You nailed it morgan. You can’t find out what killed something without getting your hands dirty in an autopsy. Domestic violence is unacceptable, but it will always be here, the realistic ways of dealing with it is how we make choices to minimize the chances of it happening to us and others. I’m dearly sorry what happened to christy mack, but like morgan said (and TuHolmes) we need to stop disregarding poor choices on the road to terrible outcomes like this.
I don’t normally comment on the internet. But I will tonight. I’m glad that Morgan Whitley had the ability to get across what I think a lot of us are thinking but don’t have the ability to express. I’m ‘old’ in most peoples minds, and the one thing I know for certain is there is no such thing as ‘black and white’. Only grey. I have 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters. I hope they grow up understanding that the world has imperfections, and that they need to think about choices that will help them navigate through it safely. As Mr/mrs Whitley mentioned ….I hope my girls understand that a dog might bite, so don’t walk through it’s yard.
Ryan…loved what you said!! You rock!!
Doesn’t common sense go out the window when it comes to matters of the heart? Addictions?Maybe something is missing there. That is my experience anyway, unless you are a robot not everything you do is so calculated…And she is 23!!! She got a lifetime of experience in that traumatic experience, she will never be the same. I bet each and every one here that is judging her choices has done something that you may or may not do now at 23, probably even done it a couple times. So quit all the holier than thou mumbo jumbo and get off your high horses! I call bullshit on your perfect life with your perfect choices. Each and every one of you all just got lucky you didn’t have this guy around to personally remind you that there are dangerous people in the world. They were sleeping for Christ’s sake ,which has a Richard Ramirez feel to me he is just a yoked up version. It always makes people feel better to distance themselves from traumatic events and find blame somewhere when bad things happen, but guess what.. sometimes bad things happen that were unprovoked and can’t always be prevented. I am sorry this happened to her and telling her shoulda coulda woulda advice is b.s. I wish you a speedy recovery, Christy and know you are not alone, there are many women out there that know exactly what you are going through and they got through it, and so will you.
[…] athlete? Why is this woman being shamed into publicly admitting some sort of a mistake? Similar victim blaming took place when Christy Mack was hospitalized by her ex-MMA fighter ex-boyfriend, but at least he is now […]
[…] athlete? Why is this woman being shamed into publicly admitting some sort of a mistake? Similar victim blaming took place when Christy Mack was hospitalized by her ex-MMA fighter ex-boyfriend, but at least he is now […]
[…] What you may or may not know about him is that he finds himself among the ranks of Ray Rice, Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, and other professional athletes who have been brutally abusive towards […]
[…] You do not have the right to victim blame a woman for being hospitalized by her professional fighter boyfriend simply because her chosen profession falls outside of your moral code. Your choices are yours. Her choices are hers. […]