Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Humor and Homocide?

ETA: possible trigger material, though not particularly explicit, and hopefully helpful.

In the Irish Examiner that is spread out across my in-laws' kitchen table is an article by Suzanne Harrington, "Killer Males Lack a Sense of Humour." I've had a lot of trouble finding it online, which escapes me because it's an excellent piece. I'll do some old-school summarising and quotations. Basically, she says that apparently (according to surveys?) men's greatest fear when it comes to women is that they will be laughed at, whereas women's greatest fear is that men will kill them. Who can blame us? The media is loaded with terrifying incidents for us to draw from. Harrington's problem is that the media offers validating explanations for men who murder women.

"Oh so THAT'S why he locked her in the basement and ate her-- his mummy was mean to him. It's all her fault."

She refers to the incident of a 48 year old man in Pittsburgh who opened fire on an aerobics class, killing three women and injuring nine others because he couldn't get a girlfriend. Not because he's a psycho, but because none of the girls like him any more. What? He said he was frustrated because he wanted a younger girlfriend.

"He raged in blogs that 30 million women-- his estimate of available, desirable women-- rejected him. Not personally, you understand-- he just felt rejected by womankind in general, hence the randomness of his murders. He hadn't had sex in years, or a girlfriend in decades, yet he described himself as not bad looking and not a weirdo. (Apart from the bit when he sprayed a roomful of women with bullets. That's definitely weird, as in insanely homicidally weird."

Harrington goes on to say that, in general, women don't mind if a guy is a bit ugly as long as he has a winning personality. What we really don't like are psychopaths. So what pisses both Harrington and me off is, "his justification (and its faithful reproduction in the media) about how he had so much to offer if only we ungrateful hussies had been more receptive."

What is with this justification? This man did something sick. Not being able to bag a younger woman is no excuse. I think psychology is an important part of the sciences, important in this particular sense because it examines the "motivation" (and I use that word to mean excuse) that a sociopath creates in order to rationalise an otherwise forbidden action, but by no means should it be offered as a reason all neatly wrapped with a Freudian bow by the media. These women died for NO reason. Their deaths defy reason.

It's the same nonsense we hear about all kinds of violence. I was sexually abused repeatedly and consistently for 11 years since the age of 5. My parents and extended family did nothing about it, even though they knew what was happening and I begged them to help me, even though I was molested by my two cousins, Andrew and Amelia Feigenbaum, just feet away from my father, and he did nothing to stop it. Even though it got so bad that the state of NH intervened (incompetently, I might add). When I asked my mother why she let that (and so many other gruesome things that I'll save for the memoir) happen to me, something that nearly ended my life, she said, "I guess it was because I was abused." My father still hasn't given me a real explanation. It took me a long time to admit how bad my family was to me because I was brainwashed into thinking I had no human rights. And I'm not the only one who has been brainwashed. As long as the media is offering up these psychopathic "reasons" as if they are anything more than the ichor leaking from a cruel brain, there is a serious problem.

Human rights come first. There are NO reasons for violence. Having been abused by both men and woman, and knowing that people, are well, people and not particularly different on the basis of gender alone, I would not say that women are not violent. That is simply untrue. But these shooting outbursts are, so far, a male phenomena. Harrington suggests it has to do with the way that women deal with things and men let things stagnate and fester. Festering is ok (not ideal), unless, as Harrington points out, it's a murderous nutjob who is festering. I spoke with a licensed social worker who I greatly respect about the subject of gender and depression, and she told me that women tend to express depression as sadness, whereas men express it through anger. Anger is ok. It's killing that's not ok. I've been angry before and I've never killed anyone, never even considered it. Hell, I was abused and I still haven't killed anyone, and according to some journalists, that gives me plenty of "reasons." And guess what, I never will! Stubbing your toe is not a reason for punching your partner in the face, just like not having a date in 10 years is no reason for opening fire on a class of innocent women.

There is a difference between the subtle workings of the mind and all its seemingly relevant detritus and actual reasons. I'm hungry and I need to eat to nurture my body, so I am going to eat a banana because it will satisfy my hunger, it is a food source, and it has essential vitamins that my body needs in order to thrive. That's a reason for action.

Harrington ends her article with this, "...have you ever heard of a woman murdering random men because she couldn't get a date? No? It's because we don't. We have a laugh about it instead."

1 comment:

  1. Hai friend how r u? i would like to discuss some yoga pose with u, u r welcome to my blog, thk