Alice Shaw

Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Endorsing Violence

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Recently Channel 7 have been promoting the television show, Amazing Race, by showing a young man screaming abuse at his girlfriend.  Why is he doing this?  Because she failed to follow his instructions.  And the young man in question absolutely expects his girlfriend to do as she is told.  He tells her that her father clearly did not “spank” her enough when she was a child.  Apparently this young man believes that if a girl is physically disciplined by her father, she will be sufficiently well trained by the time she is an adult, to do what her boyfriend/husband tells her to do.  If a girl is hit by her father, this will, according to this young man’s logic, ensure that she does not get out of line in adulthood.  She will accept that her man is her master and she will not do anything without his explicit consent.

 My first response is to ask what century this young man is living in, that he believes his girlfriend to be his property?  How can he, in 2011, truly think that his word is law when it comes to interacting with his girlfriend?  I would like to say I am surprised by this, but I can’t.  Why?  Because somewhere in the world this morning, a woman was punched in the face for not having the cereal her husband wants.  Another woman was told she was fat and useless and threatened with having her children taken.  Yet another woman had her husband or partner put his face just inches from hers, screaming at her as spit flew into her face and she held just still enough to ensure she wouldn’t have to make up yet another excuse for a black eye today.  This may sound extreme, but sadly, domestic violence happens every day in Australia and all over the world.  In 2011, there are men who believe that to abuse their wife or girlfriend is their absolute right.


Instead of pulling this appalling footage off the air, and directing the young man in question to a relevant perpetrator program, Channel 7 have chosen to use it as a promotional piece to pull in more viewers.  They use the word “shocking” when airing the footage, but the most shocking thing about this piece is the fact that a television channel thinks it is okay to air it.

 It is never acceptable to scream at your partner, except perhaps if you see a bus about to hit her and you are screaming at her to watch out.  Women are not property and are not owned by fathers to passed into the ownership of boyfriends and husbands who will rule with an iron fist.

 I am well aware that there are plenty of men of who are not violent.  So I would like to see prominent men, sports figures, media personalities, writers and journalists speak out about this disgusting display of domestic violence being used as entertainment.  I would like to see men stand up and say it is not okay to verbally abuse your wife or girlfriend.  I would like them to stand up and say, it is not okay to hit your wife and it is not okay to say your wife makes you angry, she made you hit her.  I want them to say that no matter what your wife says or does, you control your own behaviour.  No amount of what you claim to be provocative behaviour justifies an abusive response.

 I cannot help but wonder whether the young man in the Amazing Race, screams at his mates the way he does at his girlfriend.  Whether he expects obedience from the men in his life, or is it just the women?

 Domestic violence is a crime.  The more people who speak out against it, the more hope we have of stopping it.  Using footage of a perpetrator abusing his girlfriend, in order to boost viewing numbers is the same as endorsing violence against women as a perfectly acceptable form of entertainment.