Dec 112009

What happened to Tiger Woods isn’t being taken seriously by most of our society. This is no surprise. One example of this was a skit from the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live. (The skit can be viewed on Hulu, which may not work if you are outside the US, or on Youtube.)

The only reaction to this video has been how it was in “poor taste” because Rhianna was the musical guest for that episode. However, the sketch itself is very interesting for what it tells us about the societal view of female on male domestic violence. In the skit Elin is set off by very small things such as Tiger Woods’s cell phone ringing. Plus, we are supposed to accept explanations for what is happening to Tiger Woods that are more and more impossible such as Tiger Woods falling down a flight of stairs and throwing himself through a window to Tiger Woods driving a car that he ran himself over with, etc. There is also a throwaway line about not blaming Cadillac for what happened with the car. Since female on male domestic violence isn’t taken seriously someone else has to be blamed no matter how absurd, Tiger Woods, General Motors, etc. Throughout the skit Tiger Woods makes comments about how strong Elin is because she must be for any type of domestic violence to happen supposedly. This is not the case.

One reason that domestic violence against men is not taken seriously is that men on average are stronger than women. This has many problems. The most obvious is men being afraid to defend themselves against women because since they will be thrown in prison regardless of the actual circumstances. The advantage of strength can be nullified. One quick way of doing that is to pull out a gun. No matter how strong a man is, he isn’t going to stop a bullet. Knowledge of martial arts is another way. Recently, there was the story of a “Mr. Zhang” in China who was constantly battered by his wife. She battered “Mr. Zhang” using Kung Fu, the martial art that she had practiced since she was a child. Domestic violence against men isn’t taken seriously in China either. “Mr. Zhang” was only able to get a contract stating that his wife would only batter him once a week. This contract was enforced by his in laws. Such a thing is absurd (but what can be expected from a woman who says that “she can’t help herself”) and shouldn’t be necessary. I’m not familiar with the Chinese legal code, but I’m certain assault and battery is illegal in China. Thus, this proves that domestic violence against men is treated in a similar way there as it is in the West.

Another good example is Carolyn Brown of Louisiana who poured boiling grits on her boyfriend while he was sleeping. As he was asleep his strength advantage was nullified. There are other examples too such as Lorena Bobbit’s attack on her husband.

All the men I have talked about so far have one thing in common. They are still alive. Phil Hartman wasn’t so lucky. You may remember Phil Hartman from TV shows such as Saturday Night Live and Newsradio and movies such as Three Amigos. Hartman had many problems from the behavior of his third wife, Brynn. She had been addicted to drugs and in and out of rehab several times. Brynn was known for having trouble controlling her anger and losing her temper to gain attention. This came to a head in 1998 when Brynn, intoxicated and having recently taken cocaine, committed an act of domestic violence murdering Phil Hartman. With all of these problems why didn’t Phil Hartman leave? Only Phil Hartman knows that, but some possibilities are that despite the fact that Brynn had major substance abuse problems a divorce court would have sided with her in distribution of assets. Even if that was the case, wouldn’t that have been worth it for Phil Hartman? He would recover. Probably, except that they had two children. Given that women typically receive custody of children in divorce unless they’re eating the children, the children would have been stuck with Brynn and all of her problems. Phil Hartman wouldn’t have been there to protect his children. I would not be surprised if this is the reason that Phil Hartman never divorced Brynn leading to his tragic death.

These men I have written about are all well known. Many men are suffering in silence as victims of domestic violence. It is now known that women commit 50% of domestic violence. Given that men aren’t likely to report women committing domestic violence against them, its safe to say that women commit more domestic violence than is reported. This is a real issue for millions of men including several famous men.

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