Sunday, December 6, 2009

Is There a Double Standard About Domestic Violence?

Many assume, without a shred of evidence, that Elin Woods took a nine iron to her husband's head. Perhaps reflecting on how their own wives would react if it came to light that they had been cheated on, men make somewhat nervous jokes about it. Women tend to comment that they would have swung a little bit lower.

Fausta rightfully notes that nobody would be making jokes had Tiger swung upside Elin's face. Violence is violence and the neither the sex of the hitter nor the sex of the hittee makes any difference. And while we're at it, don't forget that there is a child in the Woods household. In very real terms, domestic violence is not a joke.

Cassandra at Villainous Company doesn't shed any tears for Tiger. She points out that by being a serial cheater, Tiger not only degraded himself, his wife and his marriage, he exposed his wife to grave danger if he engaged in unprotected sex with these women. We have no reason to believe he did but by the same standard, we have no reason to believe that Elin hit him with a golf club.

Somewhere in between is Little Miss Attila who makes the point that if anyone in this world can piss you off it is your spouse. Amen to that. I've been divorced for twenty-seven years and that man still pisses me off. However, as LMA says, we should handle those situations in a adult manner that avoids escalating disagreements to the point of no return.

Fausta, Cassandra and LMA all agree that domestic violence is abhorrent although they take different approaches towards the Tiger Woods situation. The problems is, none us knows what happened inside Tiger's house that night or if there was a pattern of violence between Tiger and his wife. If there was violence at the Wood's house that night and if it was a one time thing brought one by the shock of learning that her husband had been unfaithful I would lean towards cutting Elin a break. That is not the same as excusing her actions but I would be a bit more understanding. Honestly, I wouldn't cut Tiger a break if the situation were reversed. So yes, up to a point I do have a double standard.

Tiger and his wife appear poised to stay together. Definitely wouldn't be my choice. It takes a lot to heal a marriage that has been spectacularly, publicly broken. I wish them the best of luck.


belinda geiger said...

What are you talking about? Domestic Violence is violence. Women who have been subjected to violence would not be laughing and making jokes.
Get Real!

Carol said...

Belinda, you are right. I reread what I wrote and I can see that I did a very clumsy (at best) job of expressing myself.

However, while there is never any excuse for violence in a relationship, I do distinguish between one time behavior and ongoing behavior. People should not be defined by a one time bad act.

I am just being honest when I say that I have A BIT of a double standard. I do not believe and did not mean to imply, that I think it is okey dokey for women to become violent when angry.

I'm not sure if I just clarified myself or dug my hole deeper.