Guest posted by Kristen Abell. Originally posted at http://kristendomrules.blogspot.com
Recently a couple items in the news have caught my eye, and my thoughts/feelings about these particular items have been such that I wanted to write a little something about them. Pardon my rant.
About a week ago, the Kansas City Chiefs released one of their better players, Larry Johnson, from the team for a number of statements made on Twitter (if you can call his tweets “statements” – they read more like gibberish – but that’s for another post) and his behavior with the media. After a petition from several Kansas City fans made its way to the Chiefs decrying his behavior and saying that his values did not represent those of Kansas City, Johnson was waived. Most notably, his “behavior” and “values” were anti-gay – he used several slurs when speaking with the media and also on Twitter. Many people considered this a great move by an NFL team (even if they are the crappiest team in the NFL) and a huge step forward for the LGBT community.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do think this is fantastic news for the LGBT community, and I’m very proud of the Kansas City Chiefs for making this move. Here’s what I have a problem with: Larry Johnson has been arrested four times for assaulting women. Not only did he not get fired after doing this once, he wasn’t fired after doing it four times. My partner says to me, “Do you not think it might be the culmination of those things that led to his being fired? Not just the slurs against the LGBT community?” My response? Why did there have to be a culmination when we’re talking about assault? Why is it acceptable for a man of this stature to go around beating up and threatening women? More importantly, how can I continue to be proud of a football team that takes this threat against women so lightly? (Oh, and can I just add that after I argued back with this, my partner totally agreed with me? Just wanted to make sure I gave him due credit).
In other news, a man from Oklahoma was arrested on Monday for killing his 9-year-old son. I find this story absolutely tragic and depressing. I also find the language in this story slightly disturbing:
“It was obvious there had been some type of altercation” when police arrived, Mask said.
Can it really be considered an “altercation” when it’s between a fully-grown man and a 9-year-old child? Just curious.
What I also found curious was the fact that 911 was called three times; the third just as the police were arriving. Perhaps these calls occurred one right after the other, but how long did it take for the police to get there?
Beyond these surface questions, another one rose in my mind – again, I find this absolutely tragic, don’t get me wrong – but why did this case make the headline on CNN? I have to admit, underneath my sympathy for this little boy, there was a gnawing frustration that the thousands of women killed by their spouses go unremarked and this one little boy was making the front page.
Based on statistics from the Department of Justice report “Violence by Intimates” from March 1998, 31,260 women were murdered by an intimate partner between 1976 and 1996. That’s over 1500 women per year. Why is there no uproar over this?
Yes, I’m a feminist, and yes, I probably am more aware of this than your average woman, but how are all people not horrified that women are often treated as less than human in today’s society? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be offended when someone uses a slur against the LGBT community, or appalled when a little boy is killed by a grown man. What I’m saying is that we should be every bit as offended and appalled when the victim in these instances is a woman.
I believe there are lots of people out there who feel the same way I do. It’s time to make our voices heard on this. It’s time to woman up.