By the Sexy G.
I looked at the picture of two college students, Yeardley Love and George Huguely. The two look like clean-cut, all American types, gifted in academics and athletics and both played lacrosse. He also excelled in football before heading to college, having come from an economically comfortable background. Nothing about the very good-looking pair spoke of the brutality behind the sweet-faced, innocent appearing senior students at University of Virginia.
Not long ago, Huguely was arrested for allegedly murdering Love, an ex-girlfriend. Supposedly, court documents state that he kicked her door in and shook her as her head repeatedly hit the wall. A short time before Love’s body was found, the pair had an altercation at a bar and Hugely had to be physically separated from her.
We are all aware of the sense of entitlement some talented male athletes have about what is due them and that decent behavior or having boundaries doesn’t exist for them. This public acceptance and even applause of rude, uncivil actions has been accorded male celebrities, male athletes and the male population in general. My impression is that society and the media treat celebrity women who misbehave as flaky, trivial, and dumb.
For instance, when Rihanna was allegedly beaten by Chris Brown not that long ago, a man I know said that he had no doubt that the woman making that claim was probably a nobody looking to make some money. Obviously, he had no idea that Rihanna was a star in her own right. The person who made the statement was bright, generally well-informed and not known as a macho man. He seemed to respect his wife. But what he gave was an instantaneous opinion without knowing anything about the case that might well have come from a deep-rooted, deeply-embedded societal induced belief about women. From the beginning, Eve was responsible for Adam’s irresponsibility. That core belief never seems to have gone away.
I believe that an underground prejudice toward women is woven into the fabric of our lives that is very hard to detect but is insidious and shows itself in many way. For the most part, men and women tell me that there is equality out there. I believe that is a fallacy.
What are we missing here? What part of the puzzle allows a man to believe he owns a woman like real estate and that it is all right to abuse, maim or rape her because she’s asking for it? It wasn’t that long ago that the authorities considered battering a woman a domestic dispute, not a police matter, leaving the woman open for more beatings and in some instances death. I believe, that attitude not only still persists openly but for many others exists quietly in the deepest recesses of male sensibilities. How many times have we heard the statement that if a woman is raped she must have asked for it? How many ways does it take to tell someone no? No means NO! Women are asked to behave responsibly by society and are castigated if they don’t while men are just acting the way they “are supposed to.”
It seems that society generally allows men a wide swath in which to be naughty. I’ve heard many men and women say boys will be boys, and we have to pander to their immaturities because it’s in their nature – in the genes. Hogwash. I find this a very dangerous belief system. It suggests men don’t need to grow up. This kind of thinking has encouraged women, too often, to forgive outrageous behavior in men to the point where they have sometimes wound up maimed or dead.
Let’s talk about Roman Polanski. Here’s a man who allegedly raped a 13 year old child anally and vaginally after plying her with liquor and drugs. It is reported that the child begged him to stop. He went on the run before his sentencing and has been living what appears to be a very good life in Europe making movies.
Many years have passed and the US wants to extradite him so the courts can complete the legal portion of a man who admitted raping the child. But now we have many celebrities making appeals to free Roman Polanski such as Woody Allen (no surprise there), Tilda Swinton, Martin Scorsese and many others.
Yet, teachers who have inappropriate sex with younger students do jail time. A Burbank teacher, Amy Beck, who confessed to having sex with a fourteen year-old male student turned herself in and was given a two year sentence. She didn’t go on the run and live a luxurious life and then have celebrities asking for her exoneration.
In my opinion there is much disdain for women, and it isn’t in the genes because even women fall into the trap. And if I’m mistaken and it is wired into men’s brains, it is strongly reinforced by society telling men that conquests and money are the most important issues. It’s sissy to give a woman the tiniest sliver of power. For the most part, this kind of thinking just makes for bad relationships. Taken to extremes, this sense of entitlement can cause a woman to be beaten, raped or killed. It might be a huge leap from naughty to murder, but it happens all too often. Entitlement can slip into an overwhelming need for control or an intense sense that women are property.
According to UCSC Rape Prevention Education http://www2.ucsc.edu/rape-prevention/statistics.html, : “Around the world at least 1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family. (John Hopkins School of Public Health 2000)
“77% of rapes are committed by someone known to the person raped. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1997)
“According to the National Victim Center, 683,000 women are raped each year. (1992)
There were many red flags where Huguely was concerned beside public altercations with Love. According to reports, he’s had difficulties in the past with explosive anger and a sense he could behave as badly as he wanted and still not be accountable.
Supposedly, he had run-ins with over-intoxication, resisting arrest, attacking a male student for allegedly kissing Love, cursing and aggressive behavior. Although the responsibility was on Huguely to rein in his anger, I can’t help but think that one or two teammates or adults who were privy to these outbursts should have reported it. As far as I can determine this didn’t happen. Huguely appears to have been protected by those around him and perhaps he came to believe he answered to no one but himself.
Many times the woman knows her rapist, but might be prone to thinking she deserves being abused, or did something to bring it on. From an early age women are given the notion that if a marriage/relationship fails, they are responsible. The burden of making it work is on a woman who must work hard to keep the relationship together. Even today women tell me that men dangle the fear of abandonment. If they are not good girls and do what they are told, he’s out of there. It might be a milder form of abuse, but is abusive nonetheless.
“Only 2% of rapists are convicted and imprisoned. (US Senate Judiciary Committee 1993). That last statistic is alarming. There is also a tendency for many women to not report being raped. FBI estimates that only 37% of rapes are reported to the police while US Justice Department approximates that only 26% are reported. The US Justice Department also estimates that in the US a woman is raped every 2 minutes.
We must ask ourselves some important questions. Our society gives unconditional adoration to male celebrities and athletes — college and professional- Are we giving them leeway to think they can have whatever it is they want when they want it? We pay exorbitant prices for tickets to their games whether we can afford it or not. Our TV’s are often tuned in to them. We cheer them on, venerate them. Then do we have the right to be shocked when they act outrageously or dangerously toward women? We must ask these men to control their urges just like anyone else. Despite the scary joke about male brains existing in their private parts we must demand that the population of loose cannons act responsibly. Most men do. Why can’t we demand the same for all?
The Sexy G
Image provided by Dr. Paul Gordon and can be viewed and purchased on his site, Mr. Mozart.
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