The answer, apparently to some, is as obvious as it is sad: When it involves a man allegedly being attacked by a woman.
From The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz:
So Tiger’s wife either rescued him w a golf club or bashed him? What’s her handicap?
From Gawker’s Foster Kamer:
Whoops! Last night, everyone was pretty sure Tiger Woods‘ “Operation: Lovetap” accident was followed by his wife smashing his car’s back window to save him. Looks now like she was doing it to bludgeon him. Scorned lovers, coming up. FORE!
Ha. No, not really.
And despite Kamer’s attempt to excuse himself and his site’s coverage, it’s clear that alleged male-on-female domestic violence is treated — even on a gossip site like Gawker — as the serious allegation it is.
Making a joke of any female-on-male domestic violence is the ultimate, wholly inappropriate example of anti-woman, anti-gay sexism. The underlying effectiveness of the “humor,” such as it attempts to be, is that a man is being treated “like a woman.” The premise of “the joke” makes assumptions about the attacker’s “manliness,” which imply the attacked man to be acting “like a woman” by having been attacked by a woman.
The entire “joke” thus diminishes male-on-female domestic violence by assuming that there is a time — when the roles are reversed — to laugh at such violence.
This “men being treated like women is funny” meme obviously plays into a lot of sexist and homophobic humor and can be seen in the way in which issues like prison rape and same-sex domestic violence are diminished (or mocked or ignored) in popular media.
Kamer and Kurtz and anyone else should think about whether they’d consider their humor acceptable if the sex roles were reversed.
RELATED WEBSITE: National Domestic Violence Hotline
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