So, Egalia’s daughter’s boyfriend beat Egalia’s daughter up, Egalia posted pictures of the results, and in the post said, “men are utter scum until proven otherwise.” (Well, actually, she said that the lesson her daughter had learned as a result of this beating was that men are utter scum until proven otherwise, which is slightly different, but not what was quoted around the local blogs. One could write a very interesting post on the importance of that slight distinction, but I am not that person.)
As you can imagine, many people got hung up on the “men are utter scum until proven otherwise” portion of the post. Kleinheider mentioned it. Say Uncle mentioned it. And the commenters at Nashville is Talking mentioned it.
Say Uncle says, “Misandry is as deplorable as misogyny,” which, I will, in general, agree with. And Les Jones says something in the comments at Nashville is Talking I want to dwell on for just a second:
“Men are scum unless proven otherwise” is a pretty shitty lesson to teach your daughter.
Like the dude said, when battling monsters you have to make sure you don’t become one.
My quibble with this is that I think you can read Egalia’s post as her daughter having been taught that lesson not by Egalia, but by the daughter’s experience with this boyfriend.
But the second part is reasonable, right on target, and stands out like a sore thumb in the comments, because of how the comments drip with disdain for Egalia and funny enough (in that funny-yuck way), how they drip with disdain for men.
Shoot, boys, with defenders like that, who needs enemies?
Let’s look at the facts:
1. People who abuse other people are fuckers. Regardless of gender, if you are violent towards people who love you and have made themselves open and vulnerable to you, you no longer deserve to have contact with those people.
2. People can and do choose every day to not beat up the people they love. In fact, many, many men go their whole lives without ever intentionally physically injuring their wives, girlfriends, or children. It can be done. It’s done all the time by people of all racial and socio-economic backgrounds.
To reiterate those facts: Punching your loved one in the face is wrong and most people go their whole lives without ever doing it, so, in fact, you can help but punch your loved one in the face. Therefore, if you DO punch your loved one in the face, YOU alone are responsible for having punched your loved on in the face.
But not in the bizarro world of the Nashville is Talking thread, where Brittney posts the picture of Egalia’s daughter, the commenters see a victim, and the hunt for who victimized her is on!
Most folks rightly recognize that the victimizer is the man who punched her in the face.
But, oddly enough, some folks don’t. They see other perpetrators:
“It distresses me terribly that this woman has chosen to objectify her daughter in this way (and that you, Brittney, have chosen to propagate the objectification). ”
“Being Egalia’s daughter, I’d think she’d have been schooled on how to properly sniff out ratdogs such as this, and would know to avoid them. What happened here?”
Yes, Egalia’s daughter got beat up by her boyfriend, not her mom, not Brittney, and yet when Egalia complains publicly she’s victimizing her daughter.
Why are folks critiquing Egalia’s behavior? Or Brittney’s behavior?
I posit that it’s because folks assume that Egalia and Brittney can change (yes, I think even Smantix believes that if Egalia would pull her head out of her ass, she would see things his way), but that the boyfriend cannot–that he’s an abusive asshole who cannot help but be a monster. Why criticize him? It’s not going to do any good. He’s irredeemable. So, we must search for victimizers who can be rehabilitated, because the man who did this to her cannot.
And that’s what I mean, folks, with friends like that, who needs enemies?
If Egalia has the wrong idea about men, so do some of the commenters in that thread. Men are human beings who can be held accountable for their actions. They’re not monsters incapable of being anything but violent. If something bad happens to someone, it’s not a waste of time to assign blame to the person who deserves it. And it’s not asking the impossible to insist that he change his ways.
If you love men, you will give them credit for being fully human and stop assuming that they’re monsters who can’t help themselves.
Update on Friday, September 8, 2006 at 09:56AM
Oh, hey, Les Jones has a blog. I should have linked to it.