Probably never. But I do wonder whether somewhere there has been a shift where things like violence towards women has become somewhat a forbidden matter in our supposedly ‘Politically correct’ society that some immature people (males mainly) sees it as an act of transgression and ‘cool’ to shock by espousing that such action is ‘funny’.
I have been thinking about this after last night I saw two glaring examples in social media.
As I was checking my tweets I read one from the Member for Adelaide, Kate Ellis
Domestic violence “gags” on Twitter- the opportunity for strong men and women to stand up and make clear there is nothing funny in this scum
So I was intrigued by this and after some searching (wasn’t hard to find) tweets were made under the hashtag ‘#reasonstobeatyourgirlfriend’.
Not only only the idea of having a twitter thread on this was distasteful at the offset, but some of the tweets were even more demeaning and misogynist. But apparently there is a cohort of people (mainly males in this case) that think that inflicting physical damage and pain to another human being, and in this case a woman that is supposed to be a ‘partner’ was a source of fun and entertainment.
The other shock came as I was looking at the Melbourne Victory Fans Forum. As any forum it contains all sorts of members. From Socialists those at the right of Glenn Beck. Many have a much greater knowledge of football than I do and the football discussions are for me are great and a revelation. Many are much younger than me and predominantly male. This gives the forum a blokey feel. This opinion has been shared by some ex female forum members who have now given up participating in it. Members can insert a signature that can be text or a picture. Last night I saw a member have this as his signature (I won’t put it here). At first I thought it was some shady video circulating in the internet, but then I have since found out that it comes from a MTV show called ‘Jersey Shore’ and the incident occurred in 2009. As the news reports stated at that time the attacker was drunk and was told to lay off the drinks. The attacker tried to take Snookie’s (that’s the name of one of the ‘stars’ of the show) cocktail and after she confronted him, he sucker punched her.
After the incident, Ferro was arrested and was eventually found guilty of simple assault. He was also fined $500 and given a six-month suspended jail sentence.
(I also found out that ‘Jersey Shore stereotype Italians and used the name Guido as a label for stupid Italo-Americans…charming).
Some will argue that it was all in the spirit of the show and that this Snookie wanted the incident shown etc. but this is not the point. The issue here for me is that a violent act against a woman is somewhat used as a funny item. Snookie may be OK with it, but like the tweet has there seems to be a disturbing acceptance that joking about violence against women (or even violence full stop) is OK. People may say to ‘lighten up’ or that ‘it is not really serious’ and that they would never ever hit a woman themselves, but even in a small way this acceptance that violence against women can be subject of a joke strips away the seriousness of the issue and makes less grave and more in the norm. It seems that perhaps the backlash against ‘Political Correctness’ has caused this belief that being transgressive in certain areas is OK and those who are against it are enforcing a nanny state.
Call me an old fuddy daddy. But I think there are things that perhaps should not be funny or subjects of humor in this way.