Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Female athletes want a part of that domestic violence "action" too

I’m not a fan of golf (since Tiger Woods left the stage) or tennis, but if you put a gun to my head, I’d rather watch an LPGA or women’s tennis event, the reasons for which I won’t explain here. But women’s basketball? If I had a choice between watching a WNBA game, or watching paint dry for three hours, I would pick the latter, easy. It is much less painful.

The WNBA also has another problem besides inducing headaches for fans with non-political agendas, like watching top quality athletic competition. It seems to have what gender victim advocates would call an “epidemic” if male athletes were involved:  players engaged in domestic violence—against their same-sex partners. Here are some recent “incidents” that CNN didn’t cover:

Deanna “Tweety” Nolan was arrested for beating her “wife” and pulling a gun on her. Apparently Nolan didn’t feel any contrition for having an affair with a Russian woman while she was playing basketball overseas, which was discovered by her wife (who is Hispanic) and mother of their two children back home in the States; this led to a one-sided “argument.” Nolan was also accused of beating her first “wife,” Elaine Powell—although it should be noted that Powell had a demonstrated propensity for violence as well, at least against other players on the basketball court. 

Chamique Holdsclaw was charged, convicted but sentenced to no jail time for following an ex-girlfriend’s car to her new “partner’s” house, wrecking the car with a baseball bat and firing a gun into the car while the ex was still inside.  

Malika Willoughby, apparently unhappy that her lady love Rosalind Ross was going to leave her for a coaching job in another state, shot her to death outside a restaurant. Willoughby was found guilty of murder, but sentenced to only 13 years in prison.

Brittney Griner—“famous” for punching out Jordan Barncastle on the court when she was playing for Baylor University—and fellow player and then domestic partner Glory Johnson, were involved in a lengthy domestic violence event during which objects were thrown and various physical markings were inflicted. Griner and Johnson later kissed and made-up, even marrying—at least for a few days before they realized they really weren’t made for each other, and the marriage was annulled. Griner is currently in Russia playing on a professional team, reportedly to get away from unwanted publicity. At least until she finds herself in another altercation event.

But women are not always the victims in these incidents. A restraining order was placed on the 6-4 Jantel Lavender after she threatened to kill her now ex-boyfriend, Adam Ashley. Ashley claimed that he had been in hiding for fear of his life after she had pulled a knife on him—after she had grabbed his head and slammed it against a wall. Before that, he claimed that she tried to choke him in one incident, and kneed him in the groin in another, causing a considerable “throbbing” pain in that particular area. 

Thus a National Violence Against Women survey, perhaps finding itself in pickle whether to record or ignore such incidents, somehow did record this factoid, at least according to its low standards: 21.5 percent of males in same-sex partnerships, and 35.4 percent of females in the same, experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives at the hands of their “intimate partner.”  This does not correlate well with their other finding, that 7.1 percent of males and 20.4 percent of females in heterosexual relationships experienced “intimate partner violence.” Frankly, I would take this study with a grain of salt; it is at odds with CDC report that showed nearly as many men claiming to be victims of domestic violence as women—and 25 percent more often in the previous 12-month survey period. Apparently the NVAW survey results had to be tampered with and toned down of the usual wide definitions in order to find a way to make women still seem more “victim” than perpetrator when being forced to include males. The “survey” is also questionable because it makes no sense that if lesbian women engaging in violence at nearly double the rate of gay men, then how did they come up with such a dissimilar result with hetero rates without skewing the data to fit the myth that the organization’s title perpetuates?

The updated CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey in 2013, again showed a close to equal number of heterosexual men and women claiming to be victims of domestic violence, but this time included those respondents claiming same-sex, and this survey even more “alarming” than the NVAW survey. It also showed that domestic violence was more prevalent in non-heterosexual relationships than of the hetero variety.  43.8 percent of lesbians (compared to  26 percent of gay men) claimed to be victims of intimate partner violence at some point in their relationships. 

There have been various ways of explaining the contradictory message in who is or isn’t the perpetrators of domestic violence, tending towards one’s acceptance or not of victim mythology. Some “contributor” to Wikipedia explained it all in not unexpectedly politically-correct fashion: 

The issue of domestic violence among lesbian couples is highly ignored due to the social construction of gender roles that women are expected to play in society. The social construction of women is characterized as passive, dependent, nurturing, and highly emotional. Due to forms of discrimination, homophobia, and heterosexism, and the belief that heterosexuality is normative within society, domestic violence has been characterized as being between the male perpetrator and the female victim. This contributes to the invisibility of the frequency of domestic violence that constantly takes place within lesbian relationships. Moreover, the fear of reinforcing negative stereotypes has led some community members, activists, and victims to deny the extent of violence among lesbians. Social service agencies are often unwilling to assist lesbian victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence in lesbian relationships are less likely to have the case prosecuted within a legal system.”

This little tidbit is rife with the usual hypocrisies.  It ignores the fact, for example, that the “social construction” is the construct of gender victim advocacy, and blames the perpetration of violence not on natural inclinations but on a bizarre claim of self-victimization. Who has been claiming that males are the sole perpetrators of domestic violence—males? Who is in denial about domestic violence perpetrated by females, straight or lesbian? Again, it is not males, unless, of course, you are Dr. Phil. Who has seen to it that females are much less accountable for their actions than males are? Again, female victim advocates are victims of their own myths when it comes to woman-to-woman intimate partner violence.

Someone named Beth Leventhal of some LGBQ/T support website tells us that “Abuse is not about violence; it’s about control. You can be just as controlling of someone if you are small — as if you’re large. It’s about using violence or any other means of gaining and maintaining control.” I couldn’t agree more, even though Leventhal is only trying to come to grips with the fact that it is kind of hard to blame a male of domestic violence in a female/female relationship. It is unfortunate, however, that the same understanding has no place in male/female interactions.

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