This topic is so multifaceted. A couple of thoughts have been running through my mind these past few days due to the media’s attention on a casino elevator surveillance video of an incident that happens all too often. Not so much in the specifics, but in the fact that the physical abuse of women occurs daily.
Almost 20 years ago I was hanging out with my best friend. A very emotionally stable guy, who would be described at the time, and most likely still is described as a gentle man.
What thoughts and attitudes lie within a person who is widely regarded as a good citizen are never known, until moments of truth uncover those deep beliefs, biases, and prejudices.
A male celebrity had recently been arrested for domestic violence against his wife. When I mentioned this to my friend, I dont remember what reaction I was expecting. My friend had been recently married (6 months or so) and looking back, I think I was measuring how marriage was affecting and effecting his perspective. His response shocked me, to say the least.
“Did she deserve it?”
I stared at my friend for a long moment, waiting for a smile or a laugh because I initially thought he was joking. Although that would have been a terrible sense of humor, it was a lesser evil than what soon became a reality. He wasn’t kidding.
I stared longer, speechless, trying to read what was happening in this moment. The friend that I had known for so long, a person I thought I knew so very well suddenly was someone miles apart from me, emotionally, in that moment.
He stared back at me, unblinking, expressionless, without any hint of emotion…
Our conversation up to that point had been light, jovial, very typical of our usual conversations. The sudden change in his demeanor and affect was startling.
“Wow!”, was the only response I was able to muster. He continued staring at me in silence and finally I made some remark about the effect marriage was having on him. He then went on and resonded with I don’t know what it’s like to be married, blah, blah, blah…
As unsettling as that memory remains for me, as disturbing as that recent graphic video depicted what happens to many women, mostly in private, the present public discussion is missing, so far, one of the most troubling aspect about violence against women.
Violence against women has been and continues to be a part of American entertainment culture; DAILY!
Three examples come quickly to mind: I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, Smoky and the Bandit
How many times did Ethel tell Lucy after Lucy was in middle of some shenanigans that Ricky was going to “let her have it.” Not explict, but understood and accepted that should a wife/woman cause her husband/man grief, she would “get it.” How many arguments did Ralph and Alice have with Ralph exclaiming, “To the moon, Alice!”, and she wasn’t going by a rocket ship. These two shows run in syndication every day across the U.S.
Sherrif Buford T. Justice doesn’t grace the TV screen every day, but quite frequently. Classic quote, addressing his son in regards to his son’s ineptitude, “There is no way you came from my loins. Soon as I get home,first thing I’m do is punch yo mama in da mouth!”
The disease of violence against women has roots deep in American culture. I don’t know if a cure can be found. The treatments to address this disease, so far, have been woefully underfunded.
So much more to say about this. To be continued…