Feb 2, 2010

Festive Perspective


I haven't really been following the whole Polanski thing recently, because there are only so many articles I can read about the moral ambiguity of ass-fucking a thirteen-year old, without my actual head actually explding; but it seems he's had a pretty good Christmas, no? Skimming the headlines, he's had Johnny Depp come out in his defense[1], he's won damages for violation of his privacy (becuase let's not forget that he's the real victim here), and, while those silly American lawyers are still getting hot under the collar about all that childlish "justice" stuff, got to spend the holidays in his sumptuous home with his loving family. Plus his most recent film was included in the program of the prestigious Berlin Film Festival.

Not bad going for someone who can throw a little girl on her face - twice - and proceed to force himself into her body - twice - while she cries and begs to go home. Hey, Berlin Festival jury: nice going on the whole progressivism thang! We don't want anyone to get the crazy idea that raping young girls is, like, wrong or anything.

Then you've got Charlie Sheen, who celebrated Christmas Day by holding a knife to his wife's throat and threatening to have her killed. As is the case with Polanski and his pubescent girl fetish, this was by no means an isolated incident for ole' Charlie. Mary Elizabeth Williams writes in Broadsheet:

Mueller's statements are remarkably consistent with Sheen's ex-wife Denise Richards' accounts of the actor's behavior, including an incident where he told her "I hope you fucking die, bitch. You are fucking with the wrong guy," and threatened to have her killed. Sheen also served two years' probation for a 1996 assault on then-girlfriend Brittany Ashland. In 1995, he settled a case out of court with a woman who claimed he'd hit her when she refused to have sex with him. And in 1990, in an incident deemed an accident, he shot his fiance Kelly Preston in the arm.

So this dude has a history of hitting women and threatening to kill them. Phew, nasty. You'd think people would find it a little harder to see the funny side in Sheen's onscreen bad-boy character in Two and a Half Men, right?

Wrong! Two days after the alleged assault, ratings for the show skyrocketed. Well done, American Public! Keep up the good work, sending out the message that beating up on women is a fun and rebellious thing to do, not to mention aspirational - punch your own wife once or twice, and who knows? You too could become the highest paid actor on TV!

But then, there was poor Tiger Woods[2]. Oh, poor poor Tiger. While the child raping, wife beating shenannigans were being allowed to go on undisturbed, Tiger suffered a rapid and dramatic decline in his fortunes for the heinous crime of having uncoerced sex with consenting adults. Because duh, how dare he! How dare he get caught doing something that did not physically hurt or frighten women! How dare he confine his indiscretions to nonviolent encounters with women who might actually have enjoyed it??

Never fear, oh great right-thinking, woman-hating citizens of the West. The wonderful world of computer gaming is here to set all to rights. You can now do your bit for restoring the right woman-bashing balance by personally delivering the physical smackdown to the women that Tiger so shamelessly neglected to assault or threaten:

Take, for example, Tiger's Transgressions, wherein the object is to help Tiger knock out blabbermouth "hos" with "well-timed" drives before they reach a news van. As its creator Dominic A. Tocci explains, it's the "most fun and greatest mistress assaulting golf simulator of 2010." There are two levels of play, depending on how "easy" you like your hos. Oh, look, there's one sauntering outside the Sex Addiction Clinic. Take a swing! Miss the shot? That's a "ho hitting fail." So popular is the chick-blitzing game that it's clocked in over 4,600,000 plays since its debut in mid-December, garnering a 91 percent approval rating on Atom.

Read the rest for the unfortunately obligatory disclaimer about how yes feminists can take a joke (when it's funny), blah blah blah. The point I want to make by pointing out the contrast between media/public response to adultery vs. its response to assault and battery is that I'm not imagining it when I say that violence against women is encouraged and glamourised in this society. Other feminists are not pranoid when they talk about the rape culture, or say that rape is practically legal (especially in the UK, where these days you deserve it for merely having sexual fantasies).

Raping a teenager or threatening your wife with a switch blade knife is better for your career than having affairs is. Just you remember that next time you feel like explaining to me that it's feminists with their "all men are rapists" propaganda that are the real villains here.

[1] Oh, Johnny. Oh, oh, Johnny. Words cannot describe how my fantasy life is going to suffer from this news.

[2] On a slightly more serious note, here's why the Tiger Woods thing realy is a bigger deal than the Charlie Sheen/Roman Polanski thing - at least if you are properly committed to the American dream: what Woods did was a direct strike at the heart of capitalism, because it undermined the image of marriage as the stable bedrock of a well ordered society. As everyone from Marx down has acknowledged, the subjugation of women within marriage is not only ideological but also economic: their unpaid labour in the home is the externality that keeps the capitalist fantasy going. So cheating on your wife and having her chase after you with a golf club when you make your money off of feeding this illusion of a perfect marriage is a very naughty thing to do. As against which merely raping or beating women is frankly peanuts, since our bodies don't really count for anything - other than incubation and domestic drudgery - in the eyes of the sort of real capitalists paying Woods's wages.

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