Re: Ray Rice

1

Have not read any actual reporting on this particular case but do believe a big factor influencing many women to stay with abusers is a well founded fear of greater violence or death if they leave.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:08 PM
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Bitch-ass OP I told you to stfu.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:09 PM
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Seems a more relevant motivation to ponder than lure of the "comfortably familiar".


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:11 PM
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it seems appropriate to criticize his then-girlfriend, now wife, for staying with him

I have no idea what "criticize" is supposed to mean here. "Ha ha you moron"? "In my humble opinion, based on information available to me, staying in a long term romantic relationship or marriage with Ray Rice does not seem like a particularly sensible idea -- thus, I criticize you."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:14 PM
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Talk on the bus today was that it was Rice who deserved the criticism, for marrying her.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:17 PM
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I'm worried by how right Halford has been about things lately (because I'm afraid I may accidentally stop eating bread or something drastic). But 4 seems very much on point. What would we criticize her for? Failing to protect herself from injury? I want to criticize people for hurting other people, not so much for being bad at protecting themselves from being hurt.

Sympathize with? Sure. To the extent that I'm in a position to offer personally useful advice, advise her? I certainly would. But what deserves criticism? Hurting his knuckles with her hard face-bones?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:23 PM
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I guess this is the point where I say again that nobody outside of a marriage/relationship has any real clue what the dynamics inside it really are.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:25 PM
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What would we criticize her for?

Criticize her for staying with him, after the elevator incident. Maybe "judge" is a better word.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:26 PM
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There's actual video of at least some of the dynamics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:26 PM
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7: this gets uncomfortably close to the hands off attitude of law enforcement and the courts leading to systemic failure to extend protections to women who DO leave, leading to violence / death, leading to staying ... ad truly naseum.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:28 PM
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I feel like there's a big difference between "hey it sure looks like staying with Ray Rice was a bad idea for you" (which, yes, no shit) and "judging" or especially "criticizing" her. Is it controversial that staying with Ray Rice is probably a mistake?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:29 PM
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And 9/10 underline how everyone's opinion has changed now that they saw the video. Which I haven't watched, only read accounts about how everyone was assuming she had more blame, and then were shocked by how black and white the video is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:30 PM
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And isn't the close relationship we don't know the exquisite inner dynamics of here that between the gigantic profiteering professional sports juggernaut and this woman? That between the man and woman is apparently all documented on tape, but what role did all the giant corps olay in her staying? That might be worth thinking about.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:31 PM
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I don't have any problem with suspending/banning/prosecuting/whatever Rice. Just that speculation about motives for why they subsequently stayed together or got married, or what that relationship is now like, isn't likely to produce much insight.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:32 PM
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11: Maybe I'll cut back on pasta, at least.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:32 PM
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between the man and woman is apparently all documented on tape

No, a few minutes is documented on tape.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:34 PM
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Anyhow, this isn't the stupidest thing that I've read about this today. That was someone going on about how hypocritical the league is because hey this might have just been a moment of rage but what Michael Vick did was premeditated and thus way way worse. Yes, truly, it is amazing and horrifying that the NFL would care more about women than it does about dogs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:34 PM
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what message are we sending to young women when we solicitously explain all the reasons someone abused might stay

Uhh... compassion? And the understanding that if they get in a bad situation they won't be shamed for seeking help if they didn't behave like a perfect victim 100% of the time?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:34 PM
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I don't say that as an excuse for punching anybody in the face. Just that there is an entire relationship outside of a few minutes of footage about which all of us combined know precisely nothing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:35 PM
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"hey it sure looks like staying with Ray Rice was a bad idea for you"

Hallmark passed on that, but it's a nice way to put it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:35 PM
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Ogged can speak for himself, but I'm guessing that he's thinking of this dynamic:

Nonliberal: "What Rice did was wrong, but why should the NFL ban him when the woman he hit married him?"

Liberal: "Which is a completely fair and reasonable choice on her part."

That is, a lot of the effort to minimize what Rice did hinges on her decision to stick with him, and I think ogged doesn't think that supporting that decision is a. honest ("Yeah, I think that's nuts") or b. rhetorically helpful ("Just because she did something stupid doesn't mean the NFL should turn a blind eye"). So he wants to say what he thinks, and not echo the lefty party line.

Because yeah, in what sense do our opinions of her decision matter?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:36 PM
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19: if all those nuances don't excuse the punching, how are they relevant?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:42 PM
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Completely fair and reasonable choice is a weird way of putting it. Yes, probably a bad idea (although once things went bad, maybe her safest choice considering that domestic-violence murders tend to happen when the victim tries to leave.) But there's a lot of space between saying staying was a good idea and saying she deserves condemnation for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 4:54 PM
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The message you are sending to other young women by criticizing Janay Rice is "You are stupid if you didn't leave sooner." "You are a fool for putting up with this." I think there's already enough shame in marrying someone abusive. I assume the women in a position to hear a message will hear a warped version like "You didn't take good care of yourself. You don't deserve help. You should have known what you were getting into, and now you're stuck."


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:01 PM
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Uhh... compassion? And the understanding that if they get in a bad situation they won't be shamed for seeking help if they didn't behave like a perfect victim 100% of the time?

Seriously. Also 24.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:04 PM
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How do you propose to convey the message: staying is a distant second to getting the fuck out. You may have reasons to stay, but you will be better off away from your abuser. If you are way the hell away from him, he can't hit you again.

Is that a totally different message that should happen at a different time?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:07 PM
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How do you propose to convey the message: staying is a distant second to getting the fuck out. You may have reasons to stay, but you will be better off away from your abuser. If you are way the hell away from him, he can't hit you again.

Possibly, by saying it. Not clear on what this has to do with either criticizing or judging Ms. Rice.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:21 PM
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21: a lot of the effort to minimize what Rice did hinges on her decision to stick with him

I didn't realize that. I haven't been reading much about this beyond the headlines, and assumed that Rice's initially quite lenient punishment would have been the same had she been just a passing fling. Didn't realize anyone was suggesting that it mustn't have been so bad since she's marrying him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:25 PM
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Because she is the current example in the news. If you use her as an illustrative example, the criticism is implicit. I mean, you could qualify to the heavens, but if the storyline is 'here is an example of what happens if you don't get the fuck out at the first sign of violence', then it sounds like criticism of Ms. Rice for not making the same connection.

I don't use her as an illustrative example, because who would I have that conversation with? But if you shouldn't even make an implicit criticism, you can't use this news to tell someone else that the first best step is to get out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:29 PM
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if the storyline is 'here is an example of what happens if you don't get the fuck out at the first sign of violence', then it sounds like criticism of Ms. Rice for not making the same connection.

It does?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:31 PM
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In any event, I think people who work in the trenches, as it were, with abused women, know how to tread the line between trying to assure women that they need not tolerate the abuse, while at the same time managing not to shame them if they do. But it has to be the woman's choice.

Janay Rice certainly isn't helped by any public criticism or judgment. My sense is that these messages must be forwarded privately, quietly, among fellow abuse victims, in support groups, and so on. Maybe I'm wrong: I don't have any training in this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:34 PM
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This was ogged's call to action: "we have to treat people as if they have agency in their lives, and, as a public matter, we have to affirm that no one should tolerate abuse."

So the proposal seems to be that the civic-minded response to the situation should include holding up this woman as a public example of "you're doing it wrong."

Seems an odd response to the facts as far as I know them. Is there really some massive upswell of public support for her having stayed that needs to be bucked?



Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:39 PM
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Ogged, you're a fucking idiot.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:43 PM
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This has similar principles to the consensus that emerged over the "do you accost a pedophile in the act" question back when. In theory, no one is calling the act "fair and reasonable", one might privately think of chickening out / staying with an abuser as a bad decision, but in any real-life situation the information deficit and the need to be compassionate (and in the case at hand but not the Penn State one, the fine line with victim-blaming) outweigh any minute public good there might be in calling it out. Think about it in guiding your own life, maybe, or in advising those close to you, but otherwise, the world at large will be fine if you keep silent on it.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:57 PM
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Not a subject for public criticism: Janay Rice's relationship choices.

Subject for public criticism: the NFL and its nurturing of the worst in human behavior. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the fathomless vulgarity of football, such as baseball.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:58 PM
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You're really on a roll with these, Ogged.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 5:59 PM
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Back online! I really do mean "criticize." I'm not having this conversation with anyone, or within earshot of anyone, but people talk, on the bus, on twitter, with their families, around their kids, and in those contexts, I think it's important to establish that our norm is "leave immediately if he lays a hand on you." That's implicitly or explicitly criticism of Janay Rice (or anyone who doesn't leave).

I take the point about compassion, and I think I tried to...wait for it...perform compassion in the post by acknowledging why leaving is so difficult, but the bedrock message has to be "get out."

(Just to be clear, I'm imagining something like having a 12-year-old daughter, the Rice story comes on the news, and I say something like, "People do crazy things when they feel like they're in love, and they have hope, and no one is bad all the time, but she's making a big mistake by staying with him, and you should get out of a relationship immediately, no second chances, no chance for an apology, if someone hits you.")

And I'm about to speculate freely here and maybe someone will have data to shut me up, but it seems to me that the "x% of people are killed after leaving" stat is a red herring or at best orthogonal to the advice that you should leave immediately at the first sign of physical violence because I would guess that while it does sometimes happen, nevertheless, very, very few people are killed if they leave a relationship then.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:10 PM
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I think it's important to establish that our norm is "leave immediately if he lays a hand on you." That's implicitly or explicitly criticism of Janay Rice (or anyone who doesn't leave)

No, it's not. It's possible to say "gee, objectively, it's a bad decision to stay in these kinds of situations" without it being a criticism.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:13 PM
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I'm not having this conversation with anyone, or within earshot of anyone

You're not? What are we, chopped liver?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:14 PM
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Maybe you meant that, in our post-modern world, any commentary about the nature of society whatsoever is itself a form of criticism? "No, Mrs. Rice -- I do not mean to criticize you. I mean to critique you."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:16 PM
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How do you propose to convey the message: staying is a distant second to getting the fuck out. You may have reasons to stay, but you will be better off away from your abuser. If you are way the hell away from him, he can't hit you again.

Talking out of my hat here, but I don't think abused women need a lecture on why not to stay. They need a meaningful argument (=reason to believe) that leaving will be better.

Ogged, I'm straining to see your point here:

(Just to be clear, I'm imagining something like having a 12-year-old daughter, the Rice story comes on the news, and I say something like, "People do crazy things when they feel like they're in love, and they have hope, and no one is bad all the time, but she's making a big mistake by staying with him, and you should get out of a relationship immediately, no second chances, no chance for an apology, if someone hits you.")

Not like I have the magic answers, here, but I'd imagine a 12-year-old might do better to hear a message like "I hope you are never in this situation, and I want you to know that if you ever are, you will have my wholehearted and complete economic and personal support in getting out. No matter what. No matter if you think your mom and I love the guy. No matter if he supports you financially. No matter if you have children with him and are scared of a custody battle. No matter if you are afraid he will become more violent if you leave. No matter what kinds of threats he has made against you, or us, or your kids. No matter if you were embarrassed and scared to tell us the first time it happened. Whenever you tell us, we will be there."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:23 PM
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Also, apropos of nothing, but I can't help wondering if the Rice video would ever have seen the light of day if the casino hadn't gone bankrupt, especially at a time when at least two and maybe three other of AC's 12 casinos are closing. An awful lot of people had a vested interest in keeping it under wraps, but when you're a low-level security guard and you have no prayer of getting another job any time soon....


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:27 PM
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Not that we know it was a security guard who leaked it. I'm just guessing.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:28 PM
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There's admittedly a tension between what it's best to say to someone (or about someone) who is already in an abusive relationship, and what we say when we try to establish norms for the community.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:30 PM
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So aside from your imaginary twelve-year-old daughter who, having lived under an imaginary rock, knows nothing of our corporeal ways, who exactly is unaware that the smart play is to get the fuck out? I mean, I think Halford's on board, so no worries about him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:32 PM
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who exactly is unaware that the smart play is to get the fuck out?

There's a difference between knowing that abusive relationship are bad, and knowing that a relationship is, in fact, abusive, and finally, feeling sure that you won't tolerate an abusive relationship at all. I'm quite sure that a lot of people haven't gotten all the way to that last part.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:36 PM
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Any words or actions from her since May, that anybody has seen?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:38 PM
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44: Well said, or acknowledged. Not a tension, really, but a distinction, right?

No argument about the norms we'd like to establish for our community. The problem, of course, is that criticizing Janay Rice doesn't necessarily accomplish what you'd like.

I think I've mentioned here before that the best advice I ever received in therapy, many years ago now, was this: Ask yourself:

1. What do you want to happen?
2. How likely is it that your proposed course of action will result in that outcome?

These are not rhetorical questions. If you want to establish norms for the community of women, that's one thing. If you want to help women who are currently in abusive relationships, however, your proposed course of action (which is publicly criticizing Mrs. Rice?) is not remotely optimal, indeed quite the reverse.

Not to belabor the point.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:41 PM
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I want to criticize people for hurting other people, not so much for being bad at protecting themselves from being hurt.

No, it's not. It's possible to say "gee, objectively, it's a bad decision to stay in these kinds of situations" without it being a criticism.

I feel like there's a big difference between "hey it sure looks like staying with Ray Rice was a bad idea for you" (which, yes, no shit) and "judging" or especially "criticizing" her. Is it controversial that staying with Ray Rice is probably a mistake?

What's the big difference? Honest question. I don't understand at all the "yes she made a mistake, should have done otherwise, things would be better if she had done otherwise, etc. but also she's not criticizable" position. The first part just sounds to me like it either is a criticism or very quickly leads to one. Is the point that you don't want to, like, make a big deal of it?

I won't pile onto the OP; as far as I can tell, minivet's 18 pretty much nails it.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:42 PM
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who exactly is unaware that the smart play is to get the fuck out?

Loads of people. I've made quite the number of repeat visits. Part of it is many people get to 46.1 easily, but not beyond.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:43 PM
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Sorry, Minivet, that is. Didn't mean to screw up your name.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:43 PM
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And, everyone listen to Apo.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:43 PM
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49 -- There's a difference between "Jews probably made a mistake in staying in Hitler's Germany, to the extent they had a chance to get out" and "I am criticizing the Jews for not being together enough to get out of Hitler's Germany." There are zillions of other examples. Maybe I should have made that "Iranian socialists" and "the Ayatollah's Iran" just to get maximally in Ogged's face.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:45 PM
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41: Deep wisdom from Witt. I've tried to tell my daughter (now age 23) something like this, but have never delivered the message with such eloquence. And Ogged, thanks for starting this discussion.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:46 PM
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"Women" in 48 and the like should be "people," because that's another dynamic that often gets overlooked.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 6:53 PM
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53: Okay, pasta, and maybe I don't need bagels.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:02 PM
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I may as well relate the heated argument right by me at work today. We work at very close quarters, I can touch both of the women in this exchange without getting out of my chair. Both women in their 30s, and lawyers. The black one was very upset and said "Where is her father, I'd like to know, that she should be marrying him after the whole world knows he hit her?"

Which threw things in a direction I wasn't expecting.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:03 PM
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56: No fair. Halford made an analogy, while the rest of us were highly disciplined in that regard.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:04 PM
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There's a difference between knowing that abusive relationship are bad, and knowing that a relationship is, in fact, abusive, and finally, feeling sure that you won't tolerate an abusive relationship at all.

Holding up "feeling sure you won't tolerate an abusive relationship at all" depends on having a very clear, brightline definition of 'abusive', in a way that I really don't think makes sense. That sounds to me as if at any plausible time anyone is likely to leave an abusive relationship, you're going to judge them for not having left it already. How strongly are you going to criticize someone who doesn't leave until the third time she gets hit? We had a presidentially anonymous commenter here in an old thread who had been abused by a girlfriend, and who had a hard time perceiving it as abuse at the time because he didn't feel endangered -- are you criticizing him, and if so are you criticizing him for the confusion, or for what exactly?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:08 PM
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53: I don't know what making a criticism is supposed to entail, above and beyond saying someone made a mistake. More examples is not really helpful. I just have the same reaction to those.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:09 PM
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*are


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:11 PM
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Also, everyone's talking as if it's obvious that a victim of domestic abuse is safer if she leaves. I'm too lazy to look up stats, but I thought it was a truism that attempts to leave tend to lead to an escalation of violence, and that that's when murders tend to happen. So, if she's not leaving because she's realistically afraid of the consequences, are we criticizing her for not being brave enough to risk greater injury or death to set a good, self-respecting example for her sisters? Because I'm not prepared to hold anyone to that kind of standard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:12 PM
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I'm going to give this post a B+, rather than the A it would otherwise get, because the technique it employs and even the content with which it's concerned are really rather similar to the previous own-blog-trolling post.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:20 PM
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Oh, I guess someone might make a mistake and have some sort of excuse and so not be criticizable. But that's not the idea here, is it?---that Janay has an excuse of some sort, for something (harming oneself needlessly?) that would otherwise be bad.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:20 PM
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64: We're not going to criticize her for not successfully protecting herself from being beaten if she has a good excuse? Jesus.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:21 PM
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62: Right, you need to have a support network in place in order to safely leave. See Witt's 41.final paragraph. And you need to be connected with third-party organizations as well as family (family may be of no help).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:22 PM
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And that kind of safety consideration is all dependent on the individual circumstances of the case, which are exactly the sort of thing we don't know anything about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:24 PM
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On one of the black sites, I think For Harriet, there was a nice piece by a relationship therapist that included the question of why people aren't asking why Rice married someone who'd triggered him to the point of dangerous violence and threat to his career rather than getting himself the help he needs. It was said a lot more eloquently than that, but flipped it in a way I don't usually see.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:30 PM
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65: I think I was pretty clear that the point is that while this is an instance of attributing a mistake and criticizing coming apart, I don't see how it is applicable to this case.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:31 PM
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the technique it employs and even the content with which it's concerned are really rather similar

Correct! I thought about making the connection explicit, but that would have muddled things even more. I do think that one effect of the fear of victim-blaming is to reinforce the story of women as essentially passive, but I feel a little bit like McManus when I say something like that, and it's always better, for the sake of discussion, to stick to specifics.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:36 PM
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Correct! I thought about making the connection explicit, but that would have muddled things even more.

Don't worry, the connection wasn't exactly obscure.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:39 PM
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Also, if we're worried about sending messages to people, I'm about 1000x more worried about the message that NCAA lifting the Penn State sanctions sends to the next Penn State whistleblower than I am about any decision Ms. Rice may or may not have made.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:45 PM
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And by "the next Penn State" I mean "the next university that is concealing sexual abuse" not PSU itself.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:46 PM
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I have no clue what Ogged or Nosflow are referring to, but apparently it's another instance in which Ogged was wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:47 PM
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http://www.unfogged.com/archives/week_2014_08_24.html#013994 unless I'm reallly misunderstanding


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:50 PM
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why Rice married someone who'd triggered him to the point of dangerous violence and threat to his career rather than getting himself the help he needs

If you set it free punch it and it comes back it was meant to be.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:50 PM
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Oh, yep. Another instance where Ogged was wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:51 PM
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72: I was aghast to see that. What's the point of the most severe sanctions ever if you're going to rescind them?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:53 PM
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78: Public relations.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:54 PM
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This is the stated reason for lifting some of the sanctions.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh made 119 recommendations to Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. The university has complied with at least 115 of those -- with three more in progress or on track.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 7:56 PM
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80: Wow, I wonder what the last one is!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:00 PM
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They have to dig up Paterno and put a stake through his shriveled heart. I hear they're getting a lot of resistance on campus to that one.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:03 PM
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I wonder what the last one is

A certain new employee has to run around the entire campus, three times, naked, shouting "I made a mistake!"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:04 PM
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Renaming the Jerry Sandusky Chair of Ethics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:04 PM
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So, on reflection, I think a better version of this post, or maybe this is a different post entirely, would be to say that "abusive relationship" is just vague enough that people don't always realize that they're in one, and the lesson we should impart/the norm we should uphold, is that the very first time you get hit*, it's abusive, and you should get out.

* Which is not to say that there aren't other kinds of abuse, but this one is a conveniently bright line.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:06 PM
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Also: partly understandable, partly laughable: people who act like seeing the second video really made a difference in how they perceive the case. Understandable because video is powerful and can make things explicit to the mind even when the mind in some sense "knows" them. Laughable because you should be a little ashamed that you didn't take the two seconds to think, "How the fuck did she wind up unconscious in that elevator? Dim Mak?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:11 PM
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Troll me twice, draw a bright line around me.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:11 PM
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They have to dig up Paterno and put a stake through his shriveled heart

Ever read the parts of Pepys Diary describing how Cromwell and "the regicides" were dug up and the bodies hanged and left hanging, eventually with the heads on poles, during the Restoration?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:11 PM
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hilzoy had a great piece years ago about the moment she discovered she was in an abusive relationship, and what stuck with me was the extent to which it completely upended her whole worldview -- like the relationship turning into an elephant, or something similar, was her phrase. (If it was her. Too tired to Google.) It's not as though the abusive relationships always come with a neat sign explaining that this guy who you thought was nice and who has been nice is actually now and going forward a jerk.

In any case, while I think there's value in trying to make oneself into a person that will get the fuck out, it probably matters far less than ensuring one's hypothetical daughter knows that you will help if she needs it, and matters much less, in ogged's specific case, than ensuring one's sons don't abuse anyone.

(I have no idea how to teach a boy this, because "If you abuse someone, let's be clear: I will get her out and your father will end you" probably sends a mixed message.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:12 PM
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Here's the hilzoy post, which is very relevant and which everyone should read. I'd forgotten it until you mentioned it.

On teaching children not to be abusive -- it's not really the same sort of problem as teaching them not to tolerate abuse. I think general raising kids to be good people is probably going to keep them pretty far from the likely to commit abuse line; committing abuse isn't something one stumbles into in the same way one stumbles into being abused.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:21 PM
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Also, for those of you on Twitter, #WhyIStayed and #WhenILeft are valuable hashtags to be reading right now.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:26 PM
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90: I hope so. I mean, abuse is pretty common. Some of their parents had to have thought they'd done an okay job.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:27 PM
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91: Yes. The professor who told me that even though I just lived down the road I was welcome to stay at her house while catsitting during her absence didn't necessarily know that or why I needed to get out because I wasn't telling anyone, but absent that opportunity I'm not sure whether or if or when I would have felt able to leave.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:30 PM
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"How the fuck did she wind up unconscious in that elevator? Dim Mak?"

Oooh, college freshman mindset list. "The class of 2018 has never seen Jean-Claude Van Damme demonstrate the death touch on a stack of bricks."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:30 PM
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Hilzoy's post is great. Just to be argumentative, I think it supports the case that we should emphasize a bright-line "get hit, get out" rule.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:31 PM
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I think it's worth emphasizing the rule, but what I take from hilzoy's post is that emphasizing the rule does jackshit if the woman isn't in a position to be confident that she can leave. hilzoy stayed at first even though she was working in a shelter for battered women.

Focus less on the rule and more on raising the kind of woman who is secure that if she reaches out for help she'll get it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:34 PM
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Focus less on the rule and more on raising the kind of woman who is secure that if she reaches out for help she'll get it.....and on building a society that actually provides meaningful help for abused people who do leave.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:36 PM
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Yeah, that too. I was thinking in terms of parenting.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:37 PM
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Why is it not permissible to suggest she stayed for money? Women like money. As do men. And I would assume he had a lot.


Posted by: caryatis | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:38 PM
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Why is it not permissible to suggest she stayed for money?

It might be true in some cases (or maybe this case), but given that so many people stay when money is not at issue, and because we have no way of knowing whether in this case it was "money" or the much more common, general reasons like shame, or stability, or despair, arguing that it was the money inevitably reinforces sexist stereotypes of gold digging women.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:45 PM
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I don't like money if the whole "revealed preferences" thing is true and I'm competent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:47 PM
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Some of their parents had to have thought they'd done an okay job.

Parents of shitheads invariably think they were great and something else is to blame. Doubtless this guy included. That was taken about a month ago on the same day I took his baby momma and her sister to jail on their robbery warrants. On the way to jail baby momma told me all about how just know him as a dirtbag gang member but that he's great with their kids. This, I shit you not, from the girl who on a prior occasion during one of their fights ran him over in a stolen car and shattered his leg. She didn't appreciate my point that maybe being a good father meant putting his kids ahead of drive by shootings, meth, and stolen cars. Maybe that baby will end up somewhere more wholesome, like with a family of racoons. Bonus, baby momma's sister was the passenger from this pursuit. Double bonus, the sisters had been renting a half of a duplex owned by my wife's cousin.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:49 PM
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Hilzoy piece particularly impressive to me in probing why the abuser is so controlling, out of fear of an abyss. And why the verbal abuse, all she received--is just as shocking and disorienting as a hit would be, and usually occurs together with it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:51 PM
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Maybe it's because I grew up in a liberal area where the agency of everyone was recognized, but I thought it was already the norm among people who believe that being in a relationship with someone who hits you is not ok to say that being in a relationship with someone who hits you is not ok.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:53 PM
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Well, of course it is. The troll nature of the post is that Ogged is suggesting that not blaming women for failing to leave abusive relationships at the first blow is tantamount to prohibiting people from saying that generally leaving abusive relationships is a good idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:57 PM
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So we should avoid talking about the likely explanation for this specific woman staying in order to talk about more generic explanations?

I don't think it's sexist to suggest that one particular woman is likely motivated by money. It would be sexist to suggest that all women are motivated by money and nothing else...


Posted by: caryatis | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:57 PM
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Well, of course it is. The troll nature of the post is that Ogged is suggesting that not blaming women for failing to leave abusive relationships at the first blow is tantamount to prohibiting people from saying that generally leaving abusive relationships is a good idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:57 PM
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106: Given that you don't know jack about the nature of the relationship other than that he hit her and he's rich, going straight to assuming that she probably stayed for the money is still kind of sexist. If you actually knew the people involved personally, that's the kind of motivation you might have some basis for guessing at, but here all you've got is that he had money.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 8:59 PM
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Now that I've finally clicked through the link

Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.

What the hell? I can't even...how is this something the ravens thought it was a good idea to tweet? Like, what was possibly going through their heads?


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:13 PM
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Juast read about Stan Collymore, footballer turned broadcaster:

"Collymore had a relationship with Ulrika Jonsson which ended after he punched her in a Parisian bar in 1998.[32][33] He later married Estelle Williams. The couple divorced in 2007 and Collymore was arrested after allegedly threatening to kill her and burn down her parents' house in 2007.[34] Charges were later dropped after Collymore agreed to be bound over to keep the peace.[35]"

Neither incident seems to've hurt his career too badly.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:19 PM
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Whereas some sort of dumb comments about the Falklands war did.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:23 PM
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Apparently he's diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:23 PM
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112: I knew he'd dealt with depression (he's been really vocal about it on Twitter) but not BPD, and didn't know about the domestic violence. But really, if we start listing athletes and sports personalities who've committed domestic violence and not suffered any career consequences for it, we'll be here a very long time.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:29 PM
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108: Wrong maybe, given that I don't know these people, but why sexist? I would say the same thing about a man who stayed in a dysfunctional relationship with a rich woman. And even at lower income levels, I've read abused women talking about how financial dependence was one of the reasons they stayed.


Posted by: caryatis | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:33 PM
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committing abuse isn't something one stumbles into in the same way one stumbles into being abused.

I think that, if this were true, there would be a whole lot less abuse in the world.

Thorn is right in 55; there was a thread quite a while back in which a remarkable number of guys showed up talking about how female partners had hit them or thrown things at them. Ogged, do you think you'll tell your sons to get out of a relationship if they get hit even once? It is not advice they're likely to hear, and it's at least as valuable as the advice to your fictional daughter.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:42 PM
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I'm hoping it will be subsumed under my "get out if your partner is depressed" advice. But seriously, it's a good point, and I'm not sure I would have included getting hit in the long list of reasons I'll give them to get out of a relationship.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 9:47 PM
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There's this ... something... can't quite put my finger on it ... between "she stayed because he's rich" and not leaving because of financial dependence. Oh I know! It's a LOOMING ABYSS! Caryatis, your shifting positions are looking more than a little bullshitty and kinda sexist.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 10:04 PM
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68, 89, 115; Does it seem plausible to tell your kids (or friends or grad students), male and female, first that if they're ever hit, you will take care of them while they get out, but also if they ever think they're going to hit, you'll do the same?

I have a (big strong) guy friend who's been abused by a girlfriend, and female acquaintance who has definitely been abused and pretty certainly also been an abuser. And there's same-sex violence. AFAIK ER evidence says men harm women a lot more, but I don't *think* that requires that we pretend all domestic violence is men-to-women. But that's only half of what makes me think about this, the other being, what would I do if someone I loved or owed duty to did something unforgivable? I think I'd have to turn them in and then stand by them in jail, but my imagination says absolutely everyone would loathe me for one or the other.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09- 8-14 10:45 PM
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It seems like the problem with "get out if you get hit" advice is the messy and gradual ramping-up of abuse that often gets described. What if the first hit is while they're very drunk, or after she has, in fact, done something which she knows will make him angry, or the first hit is him punching a wall (he's angry but trying to control himself!), or him shouting and breaking some dishes or something.

Get out the moment your partner is unreasonably angry isn't as easy a line. Get out the moment he hits you, but not a playful hit, an angry one, and if you know he means to hurt you, and you should forgive people who apologize except not in this case, and don't be too picky about relationships but of course leave.

The advice quickly muddies in the inherent messiness of human relationships. hilzoy's story explains this so much better, of course.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:32 AM
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On a different note, WTF NFL: Ray Rice gets a very brief suspension when the video emerges of him DRAGGING HIS UNCONSCIOUS WIFE (GF) OUT OF AN ELEVATOR? But now that we actually _see_ him punch her, he gets a much stronger response?

That is so many levels of wrong.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:33 AM
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Judging from the video they both seem inclined to violence.

Also, I thought an NFL athlete would be able to execute a decent fireman's carry.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:14 AM
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Neither incident seems to've hurt his career too badly.

That's not my recollection. He never played international football again and he basically drifted from second tier club to second/third tier club for a couple of years before retiring early. Perhaps not commensurate to what he did, but he went from being one of the hottest stars in English football to a nobody.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:49 AM
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123: he basically went from regular at Liverpool and England, to the Liverpool stiffs, quit Liverpool in search of game time, and was suddenly a participant in Bradford City's relegation.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:07 AM
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Why does all the discussion seem to be about what the NFL will do, not what a DA will do? Why is this not a pretty straightforward felony battery conviction? Have I missed something?


Posted by: Explain to me | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:11 AM
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I'd completely forgotten that he played for Leicester City. Or Fulham. Or Real Oviedo, where he played one match before getting ripped for being fat and quitting. Or that he applied for the manager's job at Bradford City - God knows what kind of cocaine-addled train wreck that would have been.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:13 AM
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120: The NFL decided it was ignorable then--and it looks like they were right, sadly.

124 also puzzles me. Wake up, lawyers!


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:19 AM
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124: I think there's already a plea bargain in place.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:21 AM
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"Rice was charged with felony assault in March, but his wife, Janay Palmer, declined to testify. The charges were dropped and court-supervised counseling was ordered."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:43 AM
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128 would have been my guess.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:46 AM
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Because I am the most easily trolled, I have more thoughts about the initial post, and it comes down to Halford's initial question: what do you mean by criticize?

There's a sense in which you can criticize anyone to whom almost anything bad happens as having failed to have the skill and knowledge and judgment to protect themselves. You have the flu? Should have washed your hands consistently and gotten a flu shot. You stepped wrong out hiking and broke your leg? If you were more careful, or stronger and nimbler, it wouldn't have happened. Your boss steals your wages by not recording your hours? If you'd made better choices in your education and so on, you'd have a different job where that kind of thing didn't happen. Some bad things are really out of the blue, and there was nothing the person affected could have done to avoid them, but not many.

So if that's what you're talking about, sure, if you see someone suffering you can probably legitimately criticize them for getting themselves into a position to be injured. Mostly, I disapprove of that kind of criticism because it's pointless and cruel, but if the idea is to identify particular mistakes in knowledge or judgment the suffering person made to keep future people out of trouble, sure. But that justification only works if the criticism is actually a way of generating useful good advice. If it isn't, you're just kicking people when they're down. And to avoid unnecessarily kicking people while they're down, if you're going to criticize someone for making this kind of mistake, you really should have a detailed understanding of exactly the circumstances they were in, what their other options were, and what the downsides were of those options.

Or you can criticize someone for bad character -- their revealed preferences show that their goals are wrong, and they want bad things. A thief, you criticize for taking things that aren't hers; people setting the political agenda of the coal industry, you criticize for destroying the planet for profit, and so on. This, I don't see how it applies -- a domestic violence victim is a bad person in X way, which is why she chose to do Y thing (probably, not fleeing at the first sign of violence) that was a partial cause of their being hit? The OP brings up 'self-respect', which sounds like an attack on the victim's character, but I'm not clear how it works: is the criticism that because the victim lacks self respect, she wants to be hit? Because I think most people don't, regardless of their self-respect status. Or if she'd had more self-respect, that would translate automatically into better skill and judgment in avoiding domestic violence, so by seeing that she failed to protect herself, you can infer from that failure that she's lacking in self-respect? Again, we seem to be drifting into pointless kicking people when they're down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:30 AM
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130 is sensible. It is easier to criticise someone's behaviour if you can point to harm that they've caused, or could cause, to someone else. You drove drunk: you could have knocked someone over! You didn't clear up that spill: someone could have slipped and fallen!

But in this case, unless you want to follow the "bad role model" argument (which sounds a bit shaky frankly), she isn't actually harming anyone else.

And she may not even be, overall, harming herself. Maybe she's a rational human being and she's decided that overall he's a good guy and she wants to stay with him, and the occasional injury is just a price she's willing to pay for being married to someone who's really nice to be with 99% of the time. Different people have different attitudes to physical violence and its severity compared to other forms of unpleasant behaviour: look at the change in attitude, even over our own lifetimes, with regard to beating children.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:50 AM
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Maybe I can put this in a nutshell: if "got hit, get out" becomes nothing more than a ubiquitous catchphrase, I think that, by itself--even without strong character or societal change--will serve as an important signal to people that their relationship has crossed a line and they should leave. To that end, when domestic violence is in the news, I think it should be ok to say, "she should leave," because the things we say in these situations are an important way that we establish norms and guide behavior.

I'll probably be a little scarce for arguing today. Apologies!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:51 AM
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I'd say someone choosing to tolerate being knocked unconscious because the rest of the relationship was good is probably making a disordered decision, and needs help getting mentally healthy enough to make different choices. I wouldn't characterize that as criticizing her, exactly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:53 AM
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132: Who are you arguing against, with your brave new slogan? Who are the leftists who say that being a domestic violence victim is the free choice of the person who's getting hit, and no one else should get involved? Your imaginary interlocutors don't exist, Ogged.

Sure, she should get out, if she can. And people mostly dislike being knocked unconscious, so she probably agrees with you in the abstract, but something's stopping her. Criticizing her doesn't clarify whatever her perceived constraints are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:59 AM
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120: Ogged's explanation of this was correct and complete:

NFL execs might be some craven, indifferent-to-sexism fucknuts, but if you give them a do-over on a public relations debacle, they can pretend to care.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:02 AM
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Sister Breath, what I'm reacting to (mostly, not exclusively, on the twitters) are people who respond to statements like "she should leave him!" with statements like #whyIstayed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:04 AM
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135: Pretty much, but also notable for its recapitulation of the widespread problem of none of America's drunk and stupid majority believing anything (except Obama conspiracies and cash-for-gold commercials) without video or DNA evidence.*

* Police science is America's only science.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:06 AM
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135, also see 86.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:06 AM
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I'd say someone choosing to tolerate being knocked unconscious because the rest of the relationship was good is probably making a disordered decision

I am being slightly devil's-advocate here, but: not necessarily. People do all kinds of things that involve the risk of being knocked unconscious or seriously injured because they think that overall the good bits outweigh the bad.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:07 AM
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Like, she's in a position where getting knocked unconscious in an elevator is insufficient incentive to leave, and you think "Oh, but if I don't leave, strangers will disapprove of my life choices" is going to swing her decisionmaking process? This seems like unclear thinking on your part to me.

If by 'get hit, get out' you mean to offer practical advice -- that a relationship where one partner hits the other in anger even once is too dangerous to stay in, so everyone should treat the first angry hit as irrefutable evidence that the relationship is irretrivably fucked up and they need to flee -- that's not unreasonable. But I don't think it requires criticizing people who didn't follow it, unless you feel the need to follow around everyone with a crushing student loan burden saying "I bet you wished you'd majored in petroleum geology."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:08 AM
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136: You mean people explaining the actual constraints they were faced with in similar situations? Right, heaven forbid anyone should bring realistic information about the sort of thing she might be dealing with into the discussion. Much more important to condemn her on the basis of an abstract claim that she could have done better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:10 AM
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I'm not offering advice to Janay Palmer. I'm not about to send he a letter. I'm just discussing the parameters of what we feel allowed to say about her situation when she's in the news.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:13 AM
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Who are you arguing against, with your brave new slogan?

Much more important to condemn her on the basis of an abstract claim that she could have done better.

This is precisely what I'm not following in this discussion. Everyone piling on Ogged says that it's absurd to think that anyone would object to the statement that one shouldn't stay in an abusive relationship, and also says that it's obvious that O's only goal is to shame this woman into a spiral of self-blame.

Is he opposed by only straw men, or must he be opposed by all right-thinking people? I can't tell which it is from comment to comment, or really from sentence to sentence.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:17 AM
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In what sense do you feel prohibited from saying no one should be in a relationship where they're being hit? This does not seem like anything that anyone would object to. You might get #whyIstayed type responses, trying to explain why leaving is hard and doesn't happen immediately, but no one (short of maybe some fundamentalist nutcase who thinks domestic violence is appropriate, and possibly Ajay in devils advocate mode above) is going to say "No, don't judge relationships that incorporate domestic violence, you shouldn't have said that."

A response of "it's not always that easy" is not a prohibition on your saying what you think should happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:17 AM
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Janay Rice has released a statement. That seems like a more interesting thing to discuss than my thoughts on domestic violence.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:22 AM
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144 to 142.

To 143: Ogged has now clarified that he's arguing with people who explain that there are reasons why people find it hard to leave abusive relationships immediately, because they stifle his ability to boldly say that abusive relationships are bad and should be left immediately. Everybody sane is with him on "abusive relationships are bad, and ideally you get out when you find yourself in one".

That he needs to troll about it suggests that he thinks it's important to avoid knowledge about the real constraints that keep people in abusive relationships, because it might build empathy for their situations and get in the way of maintaining the social pressure that will be the final nudge that will incentivize them to get out. I kind of think this is psychotic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:22 AM
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Who's trolling now?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:26 AM
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I don't know, we know a couple (lesbian) who ended up with police involvement. It was the night of one's close relative's funeral after a tragic and unexpected death and she'd gotten really drunk and ended up assaulting her partner and eventually the police officer who showed up. She's never been violent before. Her partner didn't leave. I am deeply uncomfortable about it, but I can see why the partner would think this was a one-off mistake and that the consequences will be severe enough to prevent a repeat. I hope she's right and actually am led to believe they'll break up soon for unrelated reasons, but once you start saying that okay, maybe that one was understandable, are you destroying the bright line or victim-blaming or what? It seems murky.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:26 AM
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147: Still you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:28 AM
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But seriously, you identified #WhyIStayed as what you're pushing back against. #WhyIStayed has nothing to do with saying "Staying is a reasonable legitimate choice", or prohibiting people from saying "Victims of domestic violence should leave", it's people saying "This is why leaving was hard, and I didn't or couldn't do it immediately." What makes you think that's a harmful thing to say?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:32 AM
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Not at all a harmful thing to say, but I don't like it as a response to "she should leave." Both are important parts of the conversation. You're treating it like a truism that people should leave such a relationship, and think I'm being ridiculous in pretending that anyone disagrees, but what I'm reading is that people think saying "she should leave" is itself somehow out of bounds.

But really, her statement is much more interesting than what we're arguing about!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:36 AM
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I hate to agree with ogged when he's in trolling mode, but he's obviously right here. None of us know Janay Rice -- she will never know what we say about her. What purpose do our shows of compassion serve? If you look at comments anywhere outside the fantasy world that Sifu VPNs into to read the Internet, domestic violence is just a normal thing that women have to put up with. The discourse of understanding why she stayed is only a tiny bit removed from that.

"Bad character" is a weird way to put it, but surely there's more to life than not directly hurting anyone else. When Palmer married Rice, she made every single person who raised the issue of domestic violence in the wake of the elevator video look like an idiot. If this second video had never emerged, the incident would just something that sexist assholes could write off as a bogus issue ginned up by Internet feminists trying to ruin life for men. It's not a consequence-free act.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:39 AM
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what I'm reading is that people think saying "she should leave" is itself somehow out of bounds

I can't tell what you're reading. But there's a difference between "She should leave and there's no excuse for her not to" and "She should leave if she can, and I hope she has the help and resources necessary to make it practically and psychologically possible for her, because it's often not an easy thing to do." Is it possible that you're reading people reacting to the first as cruel, which it is, but who would be perfectly happy with the second?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:40 AM
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The nuance of twitter conversations, let me not show you it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:42 AM
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152: Rice won't ever read this, probably. But people who have been domestically abused in the past do read this, and who are being abused in the present might, and both get to hear you saying that by failing to protect themselves from being hurt, they're bad people who are responsible for letting the side down. I really don't think they need that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:42 AM
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Rice won't ever read this, probably.

That's what I thought about violin-lady and that was wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:43 AM
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I'm pretty sure I haven't said or even implied that someone is a "bad person." U R Trolng Me.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:45 AM
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Her statement is actually a really good example of why a chorus of "she should leave! Why hasn't she left already!" from strangers can (will, even) backfire; she has many thousands of people she doesn't know trying to tell her what to do, which is to abandon one of the people who knows her best and who she -- at least at one point -- believed herself to have a powerful, unique bond with. Of course she's going to tune out the strangers. They have no idea what's going on with her. And more generally, any statement to somebody in an abusive relationship of the form "you should just leave!" without prepending the compassionate "I know that it is incredibly hard for a lot of reasons and seems like a leap into the unknown but..." is completely counter-productive. Telling people who are not currently in abusive relationships that, should they find themselves in one, they should get the fuck out immediately? Sure, fine great. But if you do it by contrast with the ready example of somebody who is currently in an abusive relationship why would you expect any response from that person other than "hey, fuck you too for using me as your example. At least my partner sees me as a person."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:47 AM
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144: I'm happy with judging the bloke. My point is just that maybe we shouldn't assume that anyone not leaving that sort of situation is either not thinking clearly or terrorised into staying.

All of us here (except gswift, for professional reasons) live in an environment in which physical violence is completely out of the question and unacceptable in a way that's really weirdly different from the way that most people in the world live their lives. Remember Britta's story about her Chinese friend smashing her five-year-old daughter in the face over and over with a dictionary for not doing well in her reading classes: Britta wasn't telling that story as a terrible story of how cruel her friend was to a tiny child, she was telling it approvingly as an inspirational story about how the Chinese appreciate the importance of education, and probably that's how most of Britta's acquaintances in China would see it too.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:47 AM
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Wow, that statement by Janay Rice is so very sad. This is not a woman who is going to call the police if he beats her up again...
That poor woman.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:48 AM
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152.last: Or maybe she views it as her own adult decision about her private life and doesn't view validating strangers' internet discussions (however earnest or well-intentioned) or being a poster child of victimization as her job.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:49 AM
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Palmer showily repudiated the idea she was abused in the public eye. She's a long way away from the generic abuse victim.

Imagine someone was abused and was called to testify in court, but perjured themselves to protect their abusive partner. They're not hurting anybody, right? But you mean to tell me that they should be entirely immune from judgement?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:50 AM
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Pwned.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:51 AM
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162: No one on God's green earth should be entirely immune from judgment -- I'm judging you all right now, for example. But if you're judging her without any personal, detailed, specific knowledge of what she's dealing with and what her resources are, you're doing something stupid and cruel.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:52 AM
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Something stupid and cruel to who, exactly? Let's assume that unlike the violin-lady she's not checking her IP logs.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:53 AM
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Well, hang on, perjury is actually a crime. And not a victimless one.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:53 AM
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If you stay with an abuser, you risk being beaten to death. Some escalation is normal, and because the jekyll and hyde nature of abusers, it's hard to predict which abusers will become killers, and especially hard if you're in love with them.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:54 AM
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166: She didn't perjure herself. She declined to testify against her spouse, which is a long-established right under the American legal system.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:55 AM
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158, see 44. No real disagreement between us. I have nothing to say to Janay Rice, OBVIOUSLY.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:55 AM
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165: To people in comparable situations who are listening to you. If you shout your judgment down a well and no one hears you, that's fine with me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:56 AM
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168: 166 was to 162.2.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:56 AM
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Ah, right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:57 AM
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165: well, for one thing, Walt, anybody currently reading unfogged who is in an abusive relationship is sure as shit not going to ever seek out our advice on what to do to get out. A significant portion of the commentariat has made perfectly clear that they think that (hopefully hypothetical) person is an idiot already, so why would they seek further help?

I mean, that's a weird example because actually I don't think anybody should seek my help or the help of random, oft-crabby strangers on the internet. But for sure if there's anybody reading this who has ever been in a relationship where there was physical violence who didn't leave immediately, they either feel like an asshole or think you're an asshole or both.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:58 AM
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Pwnedy pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:58 AM
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How is perjury in this case not a victimless crime? Does it hurt the God that you took an oath too?

170: Who's in a comparable situation? Are there other celebrity abuse-victims reading here?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:59 AM
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Since I already outed myself here as having been, I just want to say I'm not taking any of the judgment personally and haven't been hurt by anything that's been said. Not speaking for anyone else, OBVIOUSLY.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:00 AM
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162.2 is extremely common, which is why it's so hard to prosecute these cases and why diversionary programs often make sense. If you prosecute and the victim recanted and says "I was lying when I spoke to the cops!" it destroys her credibility forever and makes it harder to prosecute the next time.

Still, phrasing it as "it is important that we criticize women for failing to testify against their abusive boyfriends" as opposed to "we should feel sad about/compassionate towards women in that situation" is just deeply weird. Again, we don't usually say we're "criticizing" victims for making probably retrospectively unwise choices that are caused by their victimization. "Why didn't you go for the serial killer's gun, murder victim! I criticize and judge you!"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:03 AM
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173: Since the only person agreed with ogged is me, and everyone else has vigorously disagreed, why would they feel unsafe? They think, probably correctly, that ogged and I are assholes, but the rest of you come across as pretty good.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:04 AM
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How is perjury in this case not a victimless crime? Does it hurt the God that you took an oath too?

Deliberately wastes the time of the police and court system. Wasting police time is an offence, and it's harming everyone because the police are a public service.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:07 AM
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173 is quite well said. I've been largely lucky, but I'm not going to chalk it up to smarts or savvy. I've overstayed in relationships that I suspect were pretty much on that brink of going irredeemably wrong. Some people don't get that kind of luck.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:09 AM
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A close friend of mine was battered and left, but got stalked, harassed, and eventually he started doing things like draining the oil from her car in the middle of the night. Fortunately she's been able to move to another city, and he hasn't pursued her. One interesting thing about the whole mess is that in Oregon, where this occurred, the law does not permit the victim to just recant her story. My friend was deep in the sort of shitty mental space Janay Rice is no doubt in, making excuses for her batterer and so forth.

Once the cops got involved (after a particularly bitter fight that involved him slamming her to the floor and pursuing her around the house, going to far as to kick down a door) he was given a restraining order despite her protestations. She told me initially that she had fallen down, but as time passed without him in her life (she saw him occasionally and tried to keep the relationship going, but he did not live with her anymore and he had to be very careful about coming over to her house because of the restraining order) the true story gradually emerged, and she came out of the fucked-up headspace that made her feel like she needed him.

Without Oregon's strict domestic violence laws she might still be with him. She certainly tried initially to get the restraining order lifted, changed her story to make the injuries seem like an accident, and defied the restraining order. Getting the distance that was forced on her by the law was key to breaking his hold on her. She's not a weak person by any means, but the relationship had evolved in a way that let him burrow under her skin and become very controlling. I think Janay Rice is likely in a very similar situation.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:09 AM
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Sometimes I feel that in America there is a great class divide, and that somehow I've ended up on the wrong side of it. The side I'm actually from is the stupid motherfuckers who post on newspaper comment sections, while the rest of you are posting from your private compounds in Martha's Vineyard or something.

"You are a stupid idiot for staying with your abusive boyfriend" is not the dominant message that abused women get out here in newspaper-comment-section land. "Stand by your man" is the message. "Ask yourself what you did wrong" is the message. Stephan A. Smith is the mainstream view here, not ogged. That's why it took the video for people to decisively turn against Rice. When feminists' secret coup finally happens, then we'll have the problem of blaming the victims for not leaving sooner, rather than the problem of blaming the victims for giving their abuses a reason to hit them. But not now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:18 AM
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Not weighing in on ogged's desire for a #gethitgetout hash tag, but don't forget the versions of Christianity where the woman is supposed to stand by her man to save him, no matter what. He's a drunk who cheats on you and hits you? Pray more.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:25 AM
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compounds in Martha's Vineyard

I think the pressures are the same on both sides. There's tremendous pressure, some external, some internal, to stay.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:25 AM
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182 -- OK, Eagles fan, but why does the only alternative to "stand by your man" have to be "we need to call out people who stay as idiots." I feel like you and Ogged are agitating for a PSA campaign that is the least effective PSA campaign ever. "Women who stay: We criticize you."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:34 AM
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Ray Rice will be signed by the Eagles when his suspension is lifted. He will be a fan favorite.

If ogged is proposing such a PSA, I would not be in favor of it. But a PSA saying "The fact that you can't be forced to testify against your spouse is not a good reason to marry your abuser" might not be amiss.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:42 AM
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Hilzoy's observation that a man falling head over heels in love very rapidly was a danger sign was interesting to me, also how that worked in situations where the woman might be coming off a too-cool relationship, so that she might distrust what would be her normal instincts and danger sensors--"Am I impossible?"

Seems we were talking about this just a couple of days ago, I forget which thread. I mean the woman's tendency to adjust herself to expectations, and second guess herself.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:44 AM
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I just saw a presentation about a project helping abused, low-income suicidal African-American women in Georgia, specifically developed for that culture.

One of the women straight-up said, "Why should I take my kids, live on the street and risk having ym children taken away from me? I'd rather have a roof over my head 30 days a month and get the crap beaten out of me 4 days a month."

She knew it was bad, but her choices were genuinely shitty and messy.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:49 AM
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My girlfriend was abused/raped by her previous boyfriend (relevantly, her first serious boyfriend) and stayed with him for a year after the first time it happened. She's smart, self-actualized, and successful, and even reads Jezebel. Didn't help her leave. I think the fact that her father hit her played a big role in making her think that physical violence is just something men do, even men who genuinely love you. And frankly, if the two male figures in your life in whom you've placed the most trust both end up hitting you, that seems like a reasonable conclusion to draw.

Like LB and others, I'm not a fan of "criticism" as a way to react to these situations. But I *do* think a #gethitgetout message, repeated early and often, would help some people get out earlier, particularly those who grew up in abusive homes and don't have a great frame of reference for "normal".


Posted by: Barack Adama | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:50 AM
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186 last reminds me of Arrested Development -- "they can't convict a husband and a wife for the same crime!" "Yeah, that's not true. At all."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:53 AM
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The grand jury indicted Rice for aggravated assault on March 27th. They got married on March 28th.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:56 AM
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182: This makes sense and I can sympathize with where you're coming from. (Still not Ogged, who wasn't reacting against Middle America #standbyyourman but against "leftist" discourse.)

My reaction, though, is that criticizing the victims is still not helpful -- you want to aim your pushback at the bystanders pressuring victims to stay. Combat #standbyyourman with #helphergetout, or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:05 AM
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That someone makes a mistake doesn't make them a bad person or an idiot. This is super easy to see. We all make mistakes occasionally , but we're not all bad idiots. Proof complete! Good thing no one has made that claim.

If your point is that it would be inappropriate to go up to Ms Rice and ritually denounce her, fine, that's obviously right. But the reason isn't that she didn't do anything wrong. It's that, as 130 reasonably says, it would be pointless and cruel.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:07 AM
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Was to 173, 183 and similar.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:13 AM
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isn't that she didn't do anything wrong.

This is still a weird thing to say unless you're distinguishing between immoral and ill-advised. If you're saying immoral, I don't see on what basis. If you're saying ill-advised, I'd probably agree with you, with the caveat that I don't know the specifics of what's making her stay.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:15 AM
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You can be ethically negligent about your own well-being, as you can be about another's. "Do no harm" includes to oneself. I don't really have any hope of convincing you of that, but I'm also not really sure why people want to make an exception for hurting oneself.

To be sure, we might rightly focus on other- harm or even in our practices of actually verbally bothering to condemn people, but that's a different point.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:32 AM
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Uh, bothering to verbally condemn, I mean. I blame difficulty of phone typing.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:34 AM
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Oh, and in the same presentation I watched I heard that there are actually some preachers in black churches saying that domestic violence is ok. There is also a book for Christian women which contextualizes the passages. So, this intervention program which found that churches were often an important place of support for these women had to work with some of the pastors.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:34 AM
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If you're saying immoral, I don't see on what basis

That rhetoric like "back off, you don't understand our love, and your need to insert your opinions about what a healthy relationship looks like is the real problem" might be damaging to women in the aggregate.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:38 AM
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I'm also not really sure why people want to make an exception for hurting oneself.

Because someone who's hurting someone else (illegitimately) is, if they're acting voluntarily and rationally, doing a wrong thing -- they get some benefit out of the hurting, and are weighing the benefit to themselves as more important than the injury to the person they're hurting. The wrong is the selfishness and the lack of consideration of other people's interests.

If they're hurting themselves, it gets complicated. If the benefit to themselves outweighs the injury -- as in, pulling a splinter out of my foot hurts while I'm doing it, but the immediate pain is justified by the future benefit -- it's not wrong at all, as far as I can tell. If there's no countervailing benefit at all, I would almost take that as definitionally either irrational or involuntary, stop morally judging, and look for ways to return the person to the capacity to make rational decisions in their own best interest (to the extent that I can be of any help in that regard). There isn't a moral wrong that I can easily comprehend in that situation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:43 AM
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Is anyone here knowledgeable about the etiology or epidemiology of domestic violence? I imagine that the stereotypes about what kind of a person beats their domestic partner are a poor guide to the reality. But are there any robust predictive variables?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:44 AM
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This is pop-advice bullshit, and I don't have any direct experience, but what I've read is a red flag is immediate sweep-you-off-your-feet romantic intensity.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:46 AM
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Relatedly, is the propensity to abuse one's domestic partner considered a treatable condition? Like, can an abuser motivated to reform succeed in therapy or counseling? Or are they condemned to a life of loneliness?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:49 AM
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Probably there isn't a general answer. There may be a flavor of abuser who suffers from fatally weakened impulse control, who genuinely regrets the abusive outbursts he feels powerless to control, versus the psychopathic abuser who relishes the manipulation and control of another human being.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:52 AM
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202: I've heard that too. I do remember one guy who ultimately became an accountant but got rejected by Notre Dame for their undergraduate program for aspiring priests (probably a good call on their part in that I think he was too young to commit to celibacy). He wouldn't hurt a fly, but he had agonizing thoughts about his potential capacity to hurt people. He was a gentle , quiet, shy person, and I could easily have seen him--once he fell for someone, falling quite hard and quite quickly.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:52 AM
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All of us here (except gswift, for professional reasons) live in an environment in which physical violence is completely out of the question and unacceptable in a way that's really weirdly different from the way that most people in the world live their lives.

....or an environment in which physical violence is a near-constant occurrence, but the muscles delivering it are still basically puny and weak.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:54 AM
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Or an environment where physical violence is a daily occurrence, but all meant playfully, except that the muscles delivering it are no longer puny and weak.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:57 AM
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Having articulated 199, let me add that I don't believe it. It feels like a form of respectability politics: "if it weren't for these women who love their abusers, it'd be easier for me to get a restraining order".

Rather than worry about "norms", as per the OP, I would focus energy on changing material and institutional factors that can keep women from being able to leave if they want to (e.g., financial dependence, lack of protection from violence if they leave), while accepting that people are still going to be attracted to relationships of all kinds that don't accord with genteel liberal norms.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:58 AM
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I also think there are cultures / subcultures where suppression of one's temper is not considered an especially important virtue, and where angry outbursts are just something that happens in every social setting, including the domestic one. That these outbursts will sometimes spill over into violence, and that women are generally going to get the worst of such exchanges, is not surprising.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:00 AM
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Kids are basically abusive to their parents. I'm never quite sure how to get my head around that.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:00 AM
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Shorter 209: genteel liberal norms 4EVAH.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:01 AM
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To 200: Yes, by "do no harm" I didn't mean to count harms instrumental to greater goods, like pulling out a splinter or whatever. The case where someone is acting against their own long-term interests is what I had in mind.

Here's a quick argument to that effect. A world with more happy people in it is better, to that extent. So everyone has a prima facie (ethical) reason to not do something, if doing that thing decreases overall welfare, in the interests of bringing about the better world . Harming yourself decreases overall welfare. And so....

It's not hard to come up with types of cases where the prima facie reason gets defeated, but I don't see a type that systematically covers self -harm.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:02 AM
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209: like which cultures? Not a challenge, I'm curious what you're thinking of.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:05 AM
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Kids are basically abusive to their parents. I'm never quite sure how to get my head around that.

Sometimes I marvel "How did I find myself in a life where someone is trying to provoke me to anger on a daily basis?" I used to go months without feeling personal anger at another person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:06 AM
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Where I break down on that argument is that to identify an action as wrong, I want a wrongful motive. If someone does something that causes a harmful result, but their motives were good, I want to call that a mistake rather than wrongdoing.

Someone hurts themselves, I can't identify the wrongful motive (I'm not saying that it's impossible there could be one, I just generally don't see it). Mostly that's either going to look like either a mistake of fact, i.e. a false belief that the harmful action isn't harmful on net, or a failure of cognition where the person is for some reason incapable of evaluating the results of the action.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:07 AM
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cultures / subcultures where suppression of one's temper is not considered an especially important virtue, and where angry outbursts are just something that happens in every social setting, including the domestic one. That these outbursts will sometimes spill over into violence, and that women are generally going to get the worst of such exchanges, is not surprising.

At least as far as my culture of Iranians is concerned, first sentence true, second sentence false. That is, yes, outbursts are common, but there's still a clear line between putting a hole in the wall and hitting your wife. Now, there are also Iranian subcultures where wives get hit, but that's not an extension of "Mehdi is a hothead," it's an extension of "the wife obeys the man."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:12 AM
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like which cultures?

Professional sports?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:13 AM
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I have been reading this thread, but not commenting. But I can think of a wide range of experiences of domestic violence among very close friends and family members, and I don't think any of them really conform to the psychopathic abuser model. That's not to say those people don't exist, just that a lot of people's lived experience doesn't conform to that model, and it's much easier to see why the subject of violence chose to stay.

In two instances, I know of people whose partners had hit them [in one case, there were a couple of instances over a period of a few months] and then never hit them again. In one case there was clear provocation [she hit him first, basically] but in the other, he was really struggling with depression and other issues, and an argument spilled over into an outburst of rage.

What advice do you give in that situation? Leave now? Both relationships did eventually end, but they didn't end because of escalating violence. If either person had told a friend that 'He won't do it again.' they'd have been right.

In the case of two other close friends/family, where the violence was much more ongoing, I think both people felt there was something that mitigated their partners behaviour and something worth trying to save.

In the case of one person, very close to me, who was in a much more abusive relationship, again the situation was much more understandable in the early stages of his pattern of behaviour. Firstly, she also had a problem with violence and their first few physical fights were pretty much 50/50 affairs where she gave as good as she got. He left her, at one time, because she had quite badly beaten him. In between, they got in great. He wasn't emotionally abusive, and when they eventually had kids, he was a good and loving father, and there were things in his background [violence he'd experienced, etc] that made her inclined to forgive, or at least give him second and third chances. However, after a serious accident, and a long period of chronic pain, alcohol consumption, and unemployment, his violence got much worse. She was hospitalised twice. She did eventually leave -- and go to refuge -- because she was convinced he was going to kill her.*

There's clearly a point at which the only sensible choice for her was going to be to leave, but when? Similarly, a male friend eventually left a violent partner, because he was fairly sure she might kill him. She'd stabbed him in his sleep, once. But he stuck around for years because she was clearly suffering with mental illness (severe depression, and anxiety), and she was getting treatment. And, when she wasn't having an episode, she was a really fun person, and they loved each other. I don't think he thought, 'she is abusing me', I think he thought, 'I need to help her.'

I think it's much harder for people, who may well sincerely love their partner, and hope for them to change, to know when and how to exit, than it can seem to outsiders. Even after the person was hospitalised, her partner did try to get help, he did stop drinking for quite a long time, there wasn't a recurrence of violent behaviour for a long time [I can't remember exactly, but it may have been a year or even two].

* he died, in pretty sad circumstances, soon after she left him.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:13 AM
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210: Well, a large part of parenting is about teaching them to be civilized. So they're only abusive until you do your job right. (I do kid around about the level of pouncing/wrestling/general sneak attacks in my household. No one, including me, is actually getting abused. The level of playfighting is just pretty muscular.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:13 AM
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211: damn right. There is definitely a cultural bias, in my wonderful multicultural area, to whether you have the argument with your boyfriend at 40 db inside your flat, or at 90 db in the middle of the street.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:13 AM
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201:
As I tried to say already in 187 and before, the Hilzoy piece is good on this.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:14 AM
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Not specifically responding to things said here, but the horrors of 50's/60's Ladies Home Journal marital advice. A secular context, but still full of "partially responsible" and "it's on her to make things better".

Also, wives need to learn to take it as an apology when their husbands have sex with them!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:14 AM
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215: This makes me wonder about your answer to the hypothetical I raised earlier. Suppose that Palmer had been called to testify about the aggravated assault charge before she could manage to marry Rice, and she chose to perjure herself. Is that wrong? And if so, why?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:15 AM
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215: You've never visited anyone on a psych unit, have you? Self-harm is weird and varied. Some people use it to discharge emotions.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:16 AM
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Remy, I say this with Buddha-like compassion, but you may want to consider the possibility that your quasi-philosophic arguments are really, really dumb.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:17 AM
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like which cultures? Not a challenge, I'm curious what you're thinking of.

A strain of it exists in parts of Greater Appalachia (see Jim Webb's discussion of honor culture and quasi-celebration of the angry temperament). I was also thinking of a Sicilian-American family I know (in which, to be sure, I have no suspicion of DV) where there seems to be more license for furious outbursts than genteel WASPS are comfortable with.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:18 AM
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That's not to say those people don't exist, just that a lot of people's lived experience doesn't conform to that model

Right. Every person is different, and every relationship is (different x different).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:19 AM
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224: I was including that sort of thing (in a very oversimplified way) under mistake of fact -- someone engaging in self-harm for psychiatric reasons is generally doing it because it makes them feel better in some way. Or, possibly, not even mistake of fact, but that given their mental state at the time of the self-injury, that it does successfully make them feel better: they need psychiatric care to change that mental state, but given the mental state they're in, it's like pulling out a splinter, where the pain of the injury is outweighed by the mental relief.

But you're absolutely right that I have no first or close secondhand knowledge here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:20 AM
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221: followed by the horrors of 2010s internet commenting. The poor menz.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:22 AM
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wives need to learn to take it as an apology when their husbands have sex with them!

Geez, I'm trying to show you how sorry I am that I had sex with your sister.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:23 AM
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Now, there are also Iranian subcultures where wives get hit, but that's not an extension of "Mehdi is a hothead," it's an extension of "the wife obeys the man."

Interesting. In the one case of spousal abuse I am personally aware of* in our genteel liberal UMC suburb), the abusive husband had utterly retrograde views on the wife's duty of obedience. He did not fit any stereotype of an abuser, and could be quite charming when he wasn't slinging a can of tuna across the room at his wife.

*I don't doubt that there are many more well-concealed cases


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:27 AM
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218: Mmm. Yeah, something about the suggested Ogged public service campaign is that it does take as an axiom that one incident of violence irrefutably establishes that the relationship is irrecoverably abusive, and there's nothing to do but run. I really don't know much about this, but I'm not sure that's always reliably true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:28 AM
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re: 232

Yeah. It might be, or it might not.

I'm sure the person who eventually got several beaten by her partner and ended up in a refuge didn't think that was the pattern that was going to happen. There would have been some early stage, especially when she had initiated violence herself, when it would have seemed just the same as the 'isolated and much regretted outburst' case(s). But that wasn't how it eventually turned out, sadly. I don't know what the advice should be, it I'm just in favour of being more empathic and sympathetic towards the person who (initially) stays.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:35 AM
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219: Right, by the time kids are teenagers it's certainly possible to have a healthy non-abusive relationship (for one thing, they don't require constant supervision). It's mostly little kids where the relationship would be obviously completely unhealthy if it were any other kind of relationship.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:41 AM
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Much of this resonates as a description of my brother's and his wife's relationship, which is not violent as far as I know. Over the past fifteen years of their marriage, she has mellowed quite a lot - she used to scream for days, keeping him up all night long in anger, and now the outbursts are much more quickly resolved.

It sounds like she's mellowed into a pattern where she ruminates for days/months on end, and generally demands unending attention and fascination while she does. So it's much calmer, but still an incredibly unhappy situation.


Posted by: LadyBird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:41 AM
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Remy, I say this with Buddha-like compassion, but you may want to consider the possibility that your quasi-philosophic arguments are really, really dumb.

Teach me, O Wise One. Seriously, if you see where I've gone wrong, I'd be happy to hear about it. In a kinder way would be nice, but I guess I'll take what I can get.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:42 AM
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233: For a real life acquaintance, I'd be giving the one-hit, get out advice. I'm just not dead sure that's always right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:44 AM
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235: You're the LadyBird who has coded ways of getting around your sister-in-law reading your brother's email? That's a relationship that sounded abusive to me the last time you talked about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:45 AM
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238: That's me.

Another thing that occurs to me is how little narrative and guidance there is for men finding themselves in these situations. I think my brother, in his early 20s, found it somewhat exciting and somewhat "I can save this person/she'll die without me" and somewhat "there are really good parts in between the bad parts". (Now the first of those reasons no longer exists, I think.)


Posted by: LadyBird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:52 AM
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I'm just not dead sure that's always right.

Yeah, but honestly, so what? Chuck the nuance; almost every time, getting out is the right call.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:52 AM
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What the hell? I can't even...how is this something the ravens thought it was a good idea to tweet? Like, what was possibly going through their heads?

They were live-tweeting a press conference where she was speaking.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:53 AM
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201/4: Oh, sure, ask interesting, easily researched questions when I'm doing less engaging research. To 204, if it were a simple impulse control problem, they'd have been arrested for brawling, fired from their job for insubordination (or hell, assault), and basically any tense situation could erupt into a violent fight. There are certainly folks like that (hi, teenagers), but there aren't all that many adults who have such poor impulse control that they'd haul off and punch someone who cut them in line at the grocery store.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:53 AM
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(Now the first of those reasons no longer exists, I think.)

By this I mean the "somewhat exciting". It's mostly the second reason and a whole lot of "I made my bed, I must lie in it."


Posted by: LadyBird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:55 AM
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240: Depending on social group, I'm not even dead sure it's almost always right. People I know don't hit anyone ever, so one hit is a giant transgressive event. In a community with a higher level of background violence, like people were talking about above? The odds that one hit means something irreparable might be lower.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:01 AM
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And then there are weird bits of violence that go with mental illness which might be amenable to treatment. Kay Redfield Jamison talked about some of her own violence in a "going for the throat" sort of way when she was first grappling with her bipolar disorder. Medicated and with lots of therapy, she's probably safe now. Her early relationship with her late husband was probably tumultuous. She threw a small china piece at the wall (not at him), and he joked that her aim was off. He also kept IM haldol around in case she ever got really manic and out of control.

That sounds totally terrifying, and yet, by all accounts they had a wonderful marriage.

I had clients in the past who had hit cops when out of control (a young 20 year-old girl comes to mind) but once medicated she never did anything like that again.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:01 AM
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I'm not getting how the worldly Apo/gswift/ttaM "suspend judgment" advice applies to the Rice case. I can't imagine any possible relationship where being knocked unconscious and then dragged around on the floor doesn't mean that both parties will be better off if the relationship ends immediately. Even if one party is depressed, even if the other party is literally Hitler, they'll still be better off away from each other.

I strongly believe that a bright-line "get hit, get out" message is the right one to send. I can believe that there are exceptions, but I think they're rare enough, and people are already biased enough toward staying when they shouldn't, that false positives are not something to worry about.


Posted by: Barack Adama | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:02 AM
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215: Where I break down on that argument is that to identify an action as wrong, I want a wrongful motive. If someone does something that causes a harmful result, but their motives were good, I want to call that a mistake rather than wrongdoing.

Someone hurts themselves, I can't identify the wrongful motive (I'm not saying that it's impossible there could be one, I just generally don't see it). Mostly that's either going to look like either a mistake of fact, i.e. a false belief that the harmful action isn't harmful on net, or a failure of cognition where the person is for some reason incapable of evaluating the results of the action.

I need to think more about 215. I guess my off-the-cuff reaction is, tentatively, that failures of cognition and holding false beliefs can be blameworthy, or can lead to acts which are still morally blameworthy, i.e., not excused by the failure or false belief.

So for example, and to the first paragraph: someone who has the best motive in an act but didn't do due diligence in getting the facts on the ground right will be responsible if their act does more harm to others than good---although it's got to be right that the person who did the act knowing what would happen, out of vicious malice, is much worse. This doesn't seem to be irrelevant since in both this post and the "Maybe" post we're discussing people who perhaps were negligent with their own well-being, not, like deliberately hurting themselves out of self-malice (let's assume, I guess). And you might think, assuming you don't think that Ms. Rice* is being rational, that she's willfully blinding herself or something like that.

(I think that I shouldn't need to say this, but in the interest of heading off misunderstanding: obviously saying someone is culpable by being negligent is -not- the same as saying they are responsible, even partially responsible, for the bad thing that happens. That's on the person who did the bad thing.)

This view also seems to have the weird result that someone -is- morally blameworthy if they are hurting themselves deliberately, out of self-malice or whatever, but not otherwise. (I realize you haven't said that, but it seems like the way to flesh out what you have said.) Or maybe that just seems weird to me.

*I've started to feel kind of uncomfortable about calling her Janay before; we're not on a first name basis.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:02 AM
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I guess, I think you're right in terms of rule-of-thumb advice. But secondguessing after the fact, I wouldn't judge people like the ones ttaM describes for not taking it immediately.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:04 AM
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248 to 247.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:04 AM
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The LBJ anecdote is really interesting. Also, it'd be interesting to get Will's take on this thread.

I guess this is just re-making LBJ's point, but, in addition to all the other complications, a fuck-the-nuance, "if he's abusive, run!" standard gets into immediate problems of what "abusive" means -- particularly when we're not talking about physical violence. "Scream for days, keeping him up all night long in anger" can mean a lot of different things to different people in different situations (either clearly "abusive" or not).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:06 AM
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Abusive or not, it certainly doesn't sound pleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:09 AM
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It's funny, Ogged's use of 'self-respect' in the OP made me bristle. But I do kind of want to apply it as a useful concept for LBJ's brother, that he should be in some sort of therapy encouraging him to value himself more highly than as an audience for someone's screaming.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:12 AM
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You could also pay a therapist to listen to LBJ's sister-in-law scream. That might be cheaper than a divorce if there are kids involved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:13 AM
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"if he's abusive, run!" standard gets into immediate problems of what "abusive" means

Of course, as I noted in 85. But if you have a bright-line situation, you can treat it like one.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:14 AM
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Oh, sure. I'm fine with "if you get hit, get out" as good advice. With that said I'm going to spend exactly zero time *blaming* someone who doesn't do that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:15 AM
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Interestingly, the Hilzoy story is also about non-physical abuse.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:17 AM
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Clearly, given the way the thread has gone, "criticize" was the wrong word to use. What I mean is that in talking about cases like this publicly, it should be ok to say that the choice to stay is wrong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:18 AM
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I do kind of want to apply it as a useful concept for LBJ's brother, that he should be in some sort of therapy encouraging him to value himself more highly

I'd certainly think this would be a good option for Ms. Rice, as well.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:19 AM
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He did two short stints in therapy, and obviously I wasn't there, but his experience in therapy sounded vastly different than my own. Since I'm a hammer, I attributed some of this to sexism. In other words, a woman in her 20s goes in to therapy, and the therapist is primed to tell her to start validating her own experiences, start listening to her inner voice, and so on. My brother's first therapist did not appear to think there was anything wrong with his wife. The second therapist taught him techniques like "scream back" and "walk off and spend the night in a hotel" which I assume is not exactly what the therapist said, but what my brother got out of it. Which was more helpful than the first, but did nothing to address his own feeling of deserving this lot in life.


Posted by: LadyBird Johnson | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:19 AM
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I easily ducked the things she threw at me. A hundred pounds bigger, with a much longer reach, I had nothing to fear when she came at me. But I was emotionally shattered. The violence--the fact of it, not the danger--and the verbal abuse were the worst experiences of my life.

And I seemed to have reacted in stereotyped ways: I wanted to make up, I felt I must have done something terrible, unforgivable, even if I didn't know exactly what. It made it much harder to just have nothing to do with her. I was constantly afraid, and trying desperately to stay away, and at the same time hoping to be able to put things right.

And the implausibility of me being afraid of her, and of course gender norms, meant support was hard to find and seemed always to go off track.

It probably wasn't the only thing that wrecked my graduate school career, but it was a big part of it, because I wasn't able to do much of anything at the exact wrong time.

I took a sheaf of incompletes, in the U of C way, and when I completed them several years later the work was very well received. My MA final was explicitly praised by the senior professors who read it, but my performance had just been too erratic, although apparently the whole episode was discussed in PhD program admissions committee, and the social position of the woman was apparently a factor.

Probably the worst overall episode I've ever experienced.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:19 AM
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As with the other ogged post, the trolling mileage comes from the confusion over who we're addressing. Criticizing Palmer to your daughter, "She should have run far away. And you'll run away if you're ever in that situation." = probably good. Criticizing Palmer directly = unhelpful and blind to her reality. Criticizing Palmer in mass media = less clear, but probably unhelpful most of the time.


Posted by: Barack Adama | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:20 AM
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it should be ok to say that the choice to stay is wrong

Sure, we all agree there (at least, as a general rule). I think the pushback there is that there aren't meaningful forces pushing in the other direction, or at least from "the left," as the OP presumes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:21 AM
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260: That sounds terrible. Have you mentioned it before here? I'm not remembering knowing about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:25 AM
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Since I'm a hammer, I attributed some of this to sexism. In other words, a woman in her 20s goes in to therapy, and the therapist is primed to tell her to start validating her own experiences, start listening to her inner voice, and so on. My brother's first therapist did not appear to think there was anything wrong with his wife.

This has been my experience. Of course, there's a legitimate (and from the outside, or one's position as a patient, probably unanswerable) question of whether or not my therapist was objectively correct to take that approach, but I do believe, without hopefully descending into mens rights nonsense, that most therapists would have treated a woman in a similar situation very differently.


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:28 AM
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Ogged's use of 'self-respect' in the OP made me bristle.

But self-respect is the exact missing element.

After the first hit, the abused person has notice. If we assume he or she has some agency and means (of some sort, at least, and if he or she looks mostly presentable, he or she appears to have both), then the decision to stay is a decision to accept a greater than population level risk of getting abused again. At that point, what you're left with is a failure to value the self.

A community call to set the boundary for self-respect at 'don't tolerate getting hit' does let people know what the communal norm is. From there, we wish it for individuals (as well as means).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:29 AM
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Remy and cary something, go fuck yourselves.

This thread has ruined my day.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:33 AM
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Have you mentioned it before here?

No. Reading the thread this morning, on top of the Hilzoy piece last night, the fact that my experience fit this pattern suddenly occurred to me. It's dredged up and ordered things I haven't thought about consecutively in years; you wouldn't believe my pulse right now.

I learn the strangest things here, like how to eat a banana, and the meaning of the most significant events in my life.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:43 AM
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266: Yuck. I didn't mean to ruin anyone's day, am surprised to hear I did, and I'm sorry about that. If I've been offensive count me as clueless, please, not ill-intending.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:44 AM
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At that point, what you're left with is a failure to value the self.

That's rather glib.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:47 AM
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Responding to Knecht's question way upthread, in the AA-type meetings I've been going to there is a certain subset of addicts who self-report as abusers who deeply regret the abuse. I think as long as they stay sober, the impulse control stays in place and the abuse doesn't happen. I can certainly understand a spouse staying in that situation as long as the abuser stays sober.


Posted by: OG Ronnie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:48 AM
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A battered person is (generally) under a spell, broken. I think it can happen to all of us, certainly to a normal healthy person.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:51 AM
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269: My reaction as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:56 AM
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269, 270 -- right, I think that's what's been driving the reaction of people who have been reacting strongly. You don't blame someone (or even criticize them for "negligence," whatever that means in this context) when their objectively not-great choice is itself the result of being victimized and part of the victimization is precisely that one loses the ability to make great choices.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:59 AM
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s/b 269, 271, nttaww comment 270.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:00 AM
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idp, I'm sorry you went through that and sorry so much of it is completely familiar. Thank you for talking about it. I'd be happy to talk privately if you ever think it would help.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:05 AM
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But you cannot dispute that the stayer has valued her physical integrity less than whatever she perceives to be lost by leaving: the emotional connection, the economic security, the familiarity of the established life. Whatever it is that she is putting on the scales, the side with her physical well-being came out less. That's what staying (when agency and means are there) means.

(Could be that she's denying the risk, so her understanding of the expected value of getting hit again is artificially low.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:09 AM
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I think you mean the expected value of the probability of getting hit again.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:27 AM
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Whatever it is that she is putting on the scales, the side with her physical well-being came out less.

Sure. I understand you ride your bike in traffic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:29 AM
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Broke your arm doing it once, didn't you? What is it that you value about bikeriding more than your bodily integrity?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:31 AM
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275:

I'd like that. I'll write you tonight from my gmail, to which I'm not recalling the password, rather than putting my whole family on notice by using my regular email.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:33 AM
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280: Sure, motherissue via google mail or real first.real last if you know that. They all go to the same place.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:37 AM
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Yep.


Posted by: Opinionated NSA | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:39 AM
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Reading #WhyIStayed is making me realize that a universal basic income would probably have a huge impact on domestic violence. (Although for maximum effect we'd want to discourage it from going into joint accounts.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:01 PM
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I'm hoping it will be subsumed under my "get out if your partner is depressed" advice

Seriously? I never expected to say this and it's not really my style, but I have to say - and I do it with love in my heart - but I just have to say, fuck you, ogged.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:07 PM
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273: On the flip side, someone might think there's something not so nice about thinking anyone at all who has found themselves stuck, or feeling stuck, in such a situation is, due to prior victimization, just a broken, broken person, and so shouldn't be held accountable for their own actions. I don't think this view is as much a service to people who find themselves in shitty situations, whether or not they did anything that causally contributed to being in the shitty situation, as you seem to think. As people have pointed out repeatedly, it's not like abusive relationships always come with big flashing signs and clear bright lines and all that. People find themselves in these situations! People you know! People who aren't like, children who aren't capable of making decisions! Those people might need help, and not to be treated like a fragile object instead of a person.

Anyway, when reasonable people start telling you to fuck yourself, it's probably time to take a break. If I were more self-restrained I wouldn't need to respond here either, but... I'm not.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:10 PM
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Off to swim, I think is what I was supposed to say.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:11 PM
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Seconding 283.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:11 PM
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285: I have no idea how any of this responds to anything anyone has said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:16 PM
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Apparently I only comment 1) on crime and 2) in response to knecht. Domestic violence varies tremendously across time and place, and is highly correlated with beliefs about gender roles/female subservience. Also correlated with alcohol/substance abuse. The WHO does good work on this, here's a recent writeup: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/11/109

DV does not respond well to the most common treatment models (ie, 'anger management') but there are some exceptions, which involve much more intense therapeutic work and directly tackle models of masculinity. As ydnew stated upthread, in the North American context, domestic violence is notable for the specificity of violence - DV perpertrators are more likely to commit other forms of violence, but not as much as you'd expect.

For those recounting experiences, perhaps it will be validating to know that in studies of the psychological impact of being in an abusive relationship, victims of verbal/emotional abuse report trauma that is as bad as or worse than victims who experienced physical violence.

Finally, I want to underline the point that leaving is dangerous. I have no idea if fear is why Janay Rice is still with Ray Rice, but it is a big, big reason that women in general stay in physically violent relationships. This is why the DV shelter I worked in was in an undisclosed location, and why we coached people through how to safely leave. Sometimes people stay because they are trying not to die.


Posted by: Sarabeth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:19 PM
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anyone at all who has found themselves stuck, or feeling stuck, in such a situation is, due to prior victimization, just a broken, broken person, and so shouldn't be held accountable for their own actions

Who's doing this? There's an obvious difference between "I'm not going to blame or criticize someone who is being victimized in precisely a way that makes their ability to make optimal choices difficult" and "by my failing to blame and criticize them, I am stating that they are broken person who cannot be presumed to be anything other than a fragile object." There is a huge fucking middle ground there. I can't actually believe you live your actually-existing personal life at this level of max asshole all the time ("I blame you, because I must, to treat you as a person"*)?

Also, who's "holding them accountable"? You? Judge Dredd? What the fuck does that even mean? Sorry for all the rhetorical questions but I just got on a roll.

*(cf., Judge Smales' "I've sentenced many young men to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it, but I felt I owed it to them.")


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:22 PM
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And there go English muffins. Jesus, Halford, at this rate I'm going to starve.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:25 PM
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284: That made me kind of angry too. I'm just pretending that he didn't really mean it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:25 PM
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Feeling good about never eating potatoes again! Happy to share a delicious paleo granola recipe, LB.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:31 PM
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Expected value = (probability of event)(result of event)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:32 PM
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That sounds inconceivable. What is it, a pile of nuts? I mean, nothing wrong with a pile of nuts, but granola is basically grain glued together with honey.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:33 PM
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Ten points to Vox -- they dug up that Hilzoy post and had her republish it on their site.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:37 PM
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DiGiorno Pizza apologizes after tweeting "#WhyIStayed You had pizza."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:38 PM
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This is on point:

http://m.thefrisky.com/2014-09-09/why-i-married-my-abuser/

Re: paleo granola, yes, nuts and cacaoa nibs and oil, delicious with fruit for breakfast. Breakfast like a bear is my motto! Recipe originally by a French person, so included honey as French healthily unclear on whole paleo concept.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:39 PM
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||

Good lord, what is it in my Google search history that caused their algorithm to serve up this ad?

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Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:39 PM
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So if she is denying some of the probability of getting hit next time, it would also lower the expected value of how much getting hit will matter to her in the future.

For bike riding, I get short daily douses of awesome-feeling. I rate those very high, and a broken arm fairly low. i am not making a decision that prioritizes bodily integrity above everything. But that is a different set of scales.

For people who do agree that getting out of an abusive relationship is the first best move, you'd want to put more on the leaving side of the scales. An identity that doesn't tolerate getting hit is a heavy thing to put on the "leave" side.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:39 PM
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297 Fucking interns strike again!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:40 PM
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292. Glad to find someone else felt that way. I delayed posting about it because debating whether I really want to know. I think I'll opt to pretend as well.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:43 PM
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300: Mostly, I just wanted to point out that talking about 'valuing your physical integrity' isn't a simple thing in your head. A voluntary acceptance of risk of injury from causes other than domestic violence doesn't say the same thing about self-respect, to you, as a voluntary acceptance of risk of injury through domestic violence. Which is fine, but leaves you with a tautology: not leaving immediately after the first violent incident means "a failure to value the self" because it does, not because of anything generalizable about physical integrity.

I agree with you about the rule-of-thumb advice, and it's what I'd tell my own kids. But I'm not diagnosing anyone's emotional pathology unless I have a lot of specific, detailed knowledge about that particular person's situation and actions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:47 PM
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I delayed posting about it because debating whether I really want to know

It's sorta kinda a joke about the list I made long ago about the people I wouldn't date, and I think I had people who suffer from depression on it. The truth behind the joke is that my first serious girlfriend was hella depressed and would likely count as verbally abusive and threatened to kill herself if I left etc etc and I promised myself: never again!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:55 PM
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304 All is forgiven!

And I can well understand wanting to avoid repeating that experience.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:59 PM
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304: You could have fixed her if you'd just tried harder.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:23 PM
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306 -- and/or had a penis full of Zoloft.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:28 PM
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I wonder how Natilo is doing.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:30 PM
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[redacted]


Posted by: [poof!] | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:30 PM
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Yeah, I don't think anyone's questioning that this woman would almost certainly (and that's the weakest of possibly almosts) be better off not with this man. All the arguing has been about what it means to criticize her, or hold her accountable, for not having left him yet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:37 PM
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possible, not possibly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:37 PM
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messing around in someone else's marriage is over rated as a pastime

Sure, if you're trying to help them. Otherwise, it's great entertainment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:42 PM
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I kind of used to have what amounted to a small amateur social work practice among the bohemian bourgeois of a corner of south east England.

This is still kind of astonishing to me. The English are a powerfully masochistic people. "Who shall we ask to nurture us through the hard times in our marriage? I know, let's find a strong contender for the most abrasive man on the internet!" I mean, tough love and all, but wow.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:47 PM
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[redacted]


Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:52 PM
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That reminds me of what Townes Van Zandt (alcoholic) said to Steve Earle (junkie) when Earle tried to talk to him about his drinking: I must be in bad shape if they sent you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:53 PM
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So, I was skimming news and put together that the Rices have a daughter who's about two. Makes it harder to leave, for sure.

260: I'm sorry that happened to you. As I guess you can see, it's a sadly common situation. Lots of people get stuck, and I'm glad you managed to escape. 260.5 is just awful.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:53 PM
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304: I thought it was funny, particularly the thought that your sons would scrupulously tell the hot depressed chicks that you'd nixed them all.

I'd like to say that I'll tell my daughter why and how to avoid abusing her partners as well as warning her about being a victim. But for the parents of older/grown children: do these "talks" do anything at all? I'm trying to remember whether my parents gave me messages about relationships that I usefully followed. I remember my mom spontaneously telling me that "you can talk a relationship to death," which I always remembered. Not much else, though.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:54 PM
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And idp, not that it's in any way your fault, but I myself have lost an hour or so of work time feeling outraged and sad on your behalf. Christ. You can drop me a line too, if you want, not that I'm any kind of ministering angel.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 1:58 PM
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Never got any relationship advice (my parents don't really verbally acknowledge the possibility of forming relationships with other human beings); I'm trying to sort of inconspicuously slip that sort of advice into the background of conversation with mine now, and am probably hilariously obvious about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:00 PM
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314 reminds me of my friend from law school who signed up to do Temporary Restraining Orders for women as a pro bono project. He was really mad when he found out that this didn't mean he got to literally go to the boyfriends' houses, personally serve them with TROs, and give them a talking-to (while subtly flexing his biceps, of course).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:03 PM
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Oh, this? It's called "Silent Killing Techniques." It's very informative. What were we talking about?


Posted by: OPINIONATED HALFORD'S FRIEND STEVEN SEAGAL | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:07 PM
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Talks from my parents generally conveyed their message. They weren't emotional, but my Dad had a very consistent message that all his daughters (and his wife) would always have tech careers so they would make enough money to walk on an instant's notice. He would say, in so many words, 'you started with too many benefits to [tolerate bullshit or perform poorly].'

I may have mentioned that the sole discussion I have had with my father about my parents' divorce came when we were standing at a grocery store checkout. Out of nowhere, he said "You'll notice that when your mother decided to leave, she had the financial wherewithal to do so." I agreed and we were done talking about the divorce. I do think parental talks can convey priorities.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:10 PM
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[redacted]


Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:10 PM
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Is that one of your amateur social work techniques? I actually wasn't trying to be unpleasant, it just did remind me of that dude.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:11 PM
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I don't think Halford was mocking you. He wasn't even around when you confessed to mortal fear of Jude Law.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:12 PM
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323: I realize you don't lurk here consistently, but have you read any of the rest of Halford's comments? Strong candidate though he is for my favorite commenter, why he's being abrasive in any given comment hardly requires explanation. (coughpot/kettlecough).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:12 PM
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[redacted]


Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:16 PM
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Strong candidate though he is for my favorite commenter

I feel confident that, if you do stop eating bagels as an expression of solidarity with Halford, you will rapidly decide that he is not, in fact, your favorite commenter. . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:16 PM
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Brother Squared, you're misreading the tone of these comments.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:17 PM
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[redacted]


Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:18 PM
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Dude, I will delete them as you wish, but trust me on this: LB's comment was made in admiration, and Halford wasn't mocking. It's been fun having you back on your vacation; it would be a shame if you left over a misunderstanding.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:21 PM
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Oh come on. I'm totally admiring of your time spent helping people, and it seems to me that you're way misreading both tone and content.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:21 PM
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Don't go D2!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:23 PM
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320 is unpleasant?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:24 PM
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Perhaps deleted 330: Dude, everyone here loves you. When you were a regular, you were one of the most popular commenters. People are bantering with you because this is a pretty banter-heavy place, and because back when you were a more regular commenter you were as bantery as anybody.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:24 PM
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I'm really hating you all for the fact that I don't feel like I can tell D2 how gay he's being right now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:25 PM
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I let 313 slide, but I'm now rather wishing I hadn't.

[Crosses fingers] Please, please, please say "My haters are my motivators" in a British accent.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:25 PM
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And Halford's usually the first to admit that he's being an asshole and relishes playing one on the internet even though I don't think he intended it that way.

I'll reiterate, don't go DD. Seeing you reappear with some regularity here while on your extended family adventure has been an unexpected added pleasure of this blog.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:26 PM
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Anyway, I'm deleting. It takes a minute.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:28 PM
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I'm really hating you all for the fact that I don't feel like I can tell D2 how gay what a pussy he's being right now.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:29 PM
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Right -- It would totally have been in character for me to make actually dickish, mocking comment (for which I probably would have apologized, unless drunk, and to be clear I don't actually think what you did deserves mockery) but that wasn't even intended as one.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:29 PM
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Dude, let D2 go if he wants to sulk off. He's an asshole who dishes but can't take. Halford at least dishes and takes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:29 PM
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Halford is an emotionless automaton. His simulated performance of masculinity is a mirror held up to our own society, like Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:33 PM
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293: I'll take the paleo granola recipe even if LB doesn't want it!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:34 PM
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340: I think we decided "prissy" was the acceptable euphemism.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:35 PM
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Er, only don't mail it to the e-mail in my name. That one doesn't actually work.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:35 PM
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I'm going to use the line in 323 first chance I get.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:37 PM
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I think we decided "prissy" was the acceptable euphemism.

Not quite le mot juste, though.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:38 PM
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347 is just going to drive latecomers batty, isn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:38 PM
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I was thinking of using it at home with my son more than here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:42 PM
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BTW, Halford, you may appreciate some aspects of this Gene Simmons interview (conducted by his kid). A lot of offmylawnism, but also a strong defense of IP and contempt for downloaders.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:43 PM
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Well this is just a shitty thread all round.

[I had to fire up Chrome because I can't reload the page is Firefox after the redaction.]


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:43 PM
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349: Serves them right for not obsessively refreshing during the workday.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:45 PM
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I forgot it already. Stupid brain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:47 PM
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Yeah, me too.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:49 PM
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353 Or saving it as soon as seeing the request for redaction. C'mon people, it's like some of you don't even read the blog.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:52 PM
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D2 is just demonstrating the principle: the first time Halford throws a punch, get the fuck out of Unfogged.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:07 PM
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I would criticize him if he hadn't.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:07 PM
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Speaking of crazy assholes, and the problems with abuse. "I was murdering him to spare him from abuse!" is not a top 5 most plausible defense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:15 PM
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Well whatever that was must have been exciting. My bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:17 PM
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We all blame you, Tweety.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:19 PM
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I came in sadly late as well, but redacting the commenter's name seems a bit futile given what people are saying in response.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:31 PM
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It wasn't really super exciting. Honestly you can get it all from context and the redactions make it seem about 80x more exciting than it was.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:39 PM
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There was a book in the elementary school library that seems like it might be appropriate here. "Daddy Left Because You're a Bad Kid."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:40 PM
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It's a pop up book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:42 PM
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Mad that I missed this. Someone e-mailed me a redacted thread once. Moby's comment in 347 is driving me nuts.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:47 PM
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Also, I too want the recipe for paleo granola.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:49 PM
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I read 323 and I have no idea what 347 means either.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:49 PM
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Will post recipe when home!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:51 PM
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I too am intrigued by paleo granola. Josh, can you hook me up? (Also, is Greek yogurt Halford-approved?)


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:52 PM
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Too bad about derauqsd
But it sure seems Megan at 342 is right


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:57 PM
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Unlike the famously redacted thread, this one wasn't particularly interesting. I read the deleted comment, and it was certainly a more interesting than average comment, but not a "best in thread" let alone "best in show."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 4:52 PM
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347 is just going to drive latecomers batty, isn't it.

Yes! Goldurnit.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:09 PM
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I don't think it violates the sanctity of anything to give the content of that comment, which was (not exact phrasing, but close) "You had a choice in [commment] 320 to not be hostile. I am interested in learning why you didn't take it." See! Not that interesting. Honestly, I'd like the obvious mystery man in question to comment here, if he wants to, but the request to have these particular comments redacted was ridiculous.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:17 PM
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And the fight was, basically, that mystery commenter thought that comment 320 was making fun of various good works he had described on this thread. Then, there was a claim that given the seriousness of the subject matter of the thread it was inappropriate to appear to be bantering about these issues and comments should be redacted. That's it. Feel free to redact this comment if you think it appropriate but this is like the most ridiculous use of redactions ever. No personal or private or harmful information about anyone was revealed.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:34 PM
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I actually read it as mocking in tone, but not inordinately so. The usual amount of mockery of good works.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:40 PM
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I just hate the word "banter" these days. Bantz is ok, but only just, and only because you to acknowledge your wankerness as you say it.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:48 PM
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Bantz is ok

Oh, surely not. Surely not!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:52 PM
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It's only ok because you have to hate yourself as you utter the word. No illusions possible.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:54 PM
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We do not banter at unfogged. We airily persiflate.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:56 PM
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On the contrary. Persifleurs engage in badinage and repartee with flaneuses.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:03 PM
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(Except for LB.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:06 PM
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? I feel excluded. Am I not a flaneuse?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:36 PM
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Now let's talk about the soon-to-be-redacted 369.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:51 PM
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Oh dear. So dsquared has become upset and left -- one hopes temporarily -- and idp, well, has related some things, and ogged has been obnoxious about depressed people. Quite a thread so far. If the race card is deployed in some way in connection with Ray Rice, maybe TTBC, aka Castock, can be lured out of hiding.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:04 PM
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TTBC?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:13 PM
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He was just here yesterday. Maybe the day before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:13 PM
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387: Yeah? I don't always read all the threads. Good to hear.

TTBC was the token black commenter. I think that was the acronym.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:19 PM
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Google isn't showing that acronym as having been used here before, and it seems kind of fucked up to me. I'd prefer you didn't use it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:23 PM
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TOBC.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:23 PM
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... was what he used on new pseud day, anyhow. I don't know that it's true, but it was funny in the moment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:24 PM
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Also maybe not so much with "race card".


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:25 PM
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383: NINA. Or have you forgotten already?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:26 PM
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389: I'd prefer you didn't use it.

I misremembered it, that's all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:30 PM
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Late to the thread. Anything going on? I assume its pretty much 300+ comments full of inappropriate cock jokes and stupid puns


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:36 PM
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I can't take you people anywhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:40 PM
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I always miss the redactions.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:42 PM
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Aim between the 'a' and the 'c'.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:44 PM
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Possibly stupid question: on Google Maps I used to be able to type something like "restaurants near hotel xyz, city, state" and it would turn up, well, restaurants near Hotel XYZ. Now it just turns up the hotel. When did it stop being able to understand this kind of search? Also, it used to be that if you searched for a location, there would be a "search nearby" option, but now that has vanished too. What gives?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:44 PM
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It still works for me in the old Google Maps, which I switched to by clicking the question mark at the bottom.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:48 PM
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Oh, wait. The "restaurants near" thing just mysteriously started working again. Not sure what was going on when I tried it earlier.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:48 PM
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I don't mind the absence of "search nearby" if I can do the "A near B" thing, but when neither one was giving me what I wanted I was getting really exasperated.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:49 PM
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Why are there always like four As but the nearest B is three miles away, is what I want to know. You'd think they could coordinate. A is A, I guess. Just how they roll.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:51 PM
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Why are there always like four As but the nearest B is three miles away, is what I want to know.

Grade inflation started because of the war in Vietnam.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:53 PM
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The new Google Maps interface is one of the hardest to understand interfaces I've encountered in a commonly used application. I've switched everything I can switch to the old interface.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:12 PM
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I have answers to rhetorical questions in 288 and 290, but I can't imagine anyone actually cares (including, at this point, me). In my defense I'll just say that I'm sorry about 285, where I got carried away and regret it; that I apologize if I offended you, as I obviously did at least a few of you; that I rather regret asking for clarification in the first place; and that I do in fact try to live my actually-existing personal life at a level short of max asshole, though I certainly feel like one now. Partly in the interests of that last aim I will show myself the door now, I think. Bye.


Posted by: remy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:17 PM
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remy, it's hardly worth leaving if you're not going to ask to be redacted. This is a hard thing to talk about lucidly (she says, having spent 4 hours talking to prospective foster parents tonight) and it's easy for people to overstate their cases and then remember that there are actual people involved. Or fake internet people, at least.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:20 PM
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Damn, now I'm the one at max asshole and first-shift unfogged has gone to bed and/or I killed the blog. Oops!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:28 PM
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I got tired enough of performing the mouse clicks to get to Google Maps Classic, that I looked for a workaround and found that maps.google.com/local gets you there by default.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:28 PM
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408: The technical vocabulary of blog commenting grows ever more baroque.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:29 PM
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Tonight on Unfogged Up All Night! Max assholing the puppy mill.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:39 PM
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406 -- don't leave needlessly; I'm permanently at max asshole but you don't need to be.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:40 PM
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Second-shift is here!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:41 PM
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411: You first.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:41 PM
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Maxhole?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:41 PM
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Oh, thank goodness! My work here is done.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:41 PM
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Now that other people have been welcoming and forbearing in response to 406, I feel free to point out that there are no rhetorical questions in 288.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:46 PM
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It's too much work to scroll back far on this small phone screen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:52 PM
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Rhetoricalizing the ekranoplan.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:53 PM
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Max Hole, most apt name for a music executive? Or most apt name for a music executive ever?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:54 PM
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There was supposed to be a link.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:55 PM
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When threads get nasty I try to imagine everyone posting their comments naked.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:59 PM
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I was just coming to share the hilarious DiGiornio Pizza story but I'm a trillion comments too late.

Hi teochka.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:11 PM
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Oh yeah, that's the stuff.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:14 PM
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"#WhyIStayed You had pizza."

#WhyILeft You had DiGiornio Pizza.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:16 PM
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Should we just roll the old Little Rascals shorts?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:16 PM
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I'm not actually gone either. Selah is coughing and having some sort of cold that means I have to sleep in her room in case it turns into the dread enterovirus or something, and so instead of sleeping I'm online.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:31 PM
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Hi Smearcase.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:32 PM
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Hi Thorn.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:32 PM
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Hi JP.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:32 PM
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Hi, teochka. The One Where Teo Gets a Diminutive is my favorite episode so far, but only for the diminutive part. (So far.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:33 PM
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Let's put on a play!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:33 PM
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431: I'm not that diminutive ...laydeez.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:35 PM
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Let's put on a play!

I'll be the guy who's about to go to bed.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:36 PM
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In honor of Piketty and because "teochka" maybe an adaptation of "The Cherry Orchard."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:38 PM
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Hi Stanley.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:38 PM
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Bye Stanley.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:38 PM
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Oh I love plays.

I just read about a loose adaptation of The Seagull where the famous opening exchange is updated to

Medvedenko: Why do you always wear black?
Masha: Because it's SLIMMING!

I find this very funny.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:38 PM
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I prefer the Russian classics:

Sergeant: And now we're going to see a little hygiene play.
Woman in hygiene class: Goodbye. I hope you had a good time!
Soldier: Oh yes, I had a good time. Oh, what's this sore on my lip. I'd better get that checked. Doctor, I have this sore on my lip.
Doctor: You have a social disease! If you don't treat it you'll go blind! Or insane!
[Thunderous applause]
Sergeant: Have a good furlough everyone, and look after yourselves!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:42 PM
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I have a friend who's an attorney by day and does community theater in his spare time. I've sometimes wondered idly if this would be fun. My fears are

1) I am probably a terrible actor
2) I might take on the personality traits of actors

I bet I'd be a good Vanya though! I would basically just imitate Wallace Shawn as much as possible.


Posted by: Smirkeis Smirkeisovich | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:44 PM
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I do too, Smearcase, though I'm hearing it in the voice of Little My explaining why she likes to bite, which you presumably are not. Did they go with the more traditional explanation of the black the second time around?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:45 PM
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439: Sometimes I'm curious how much of that movie has been quoted in comments here.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:45 PM
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409: You should get a choice on the screen right after going back to the old Google Maps where you can set it to start (in that browser) in the old Google Maps the next time you visit. You have to go through that process for every browser on every computer you use, and I think it resets if you clear your cookies, but I've found I don't have to go through the steps that often.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:46 PM
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I have only the vaguest notion who Little My is! I wonder if one could write a decent loose translation of The Seagull set in a high school, since Masha and Konstantin are such drama club drama queens.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:49 PM
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Review of 408 et seq:

I was never interested, though teochka delivered his lines with gusto, and Thorn had a delightful Cameo Role. A drole satire of contemporary morays! A puckish spoof aimed more at the heart than the head!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:52 PM
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Little My is a bit of a vague notion herself, but fierce. The Mymble's youngest daughter and I'm clearly much more like that sour drudge the eldest, who doesn't even get a proper name. Honestly, I'm not sure whether Moomin books would be up your alley or the wrong sort of prickly and gloomy.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:56 PM
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I sometimes think I would have been good at acting, but I never had any interest in trying it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:57 PM
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Stormcrow apparently wants a loose translation of The Seagull set among eels. I have kind of a thing about eels, so that one's all yours.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:58 PM
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It'll be set on a hovercraft.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:59 PM
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The problem with acting and everything else is one imagines how fun it would be to be good at it, but being a beginner at things is way less fun.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:00 PM
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450: Right, that's one reason I was never interested in trying it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:01 PM
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Medvedev: Dude, wear black much?
Masha: Welcome to my fucking funeral.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:03 PM
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Just be like an eel. Does an eel worry about whether or not he's a good actor? Fuck no. Doesnt stop him from dancing. Just get out there and shake it like a Moray.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:03 PM
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I would have gotten the part of Stage Manager in Our Town in high school except that there was administrative opposition to having me play a cross-gender role again after having been the Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof the year before, since we did plays with the boys school and had actual boys for such things or such things that didn't involve any violin skills. The guy who got it ended up getting a PhD in queer Catholic theology and is now working as some sort of secretary in the office of our adoption attorney, so when I stop being lazy and actually go out with him for drinks I can bring up this dull anecdote.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:03 PM
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442: I missed an opportunity to use one a while back. I think in reference to something LB said? Ah yes, here it is as a play:

Mister Smearcase: I dated someone who did...eh, what to call it...the voice you'd use to talk to a sulking toddler or a puppy, I guess, once during sex. The sex ended very, very, very rapidly.

LizardBreath: Really, it sounds as if fleeing the scene was the only reasonable option

JP Stormcrow [edited in much later well after any chance at actual humor has fled]: Smearcase is very good at that. He was the men's freestyle fleeing champion two years in a row.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:04 PM
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eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:04 PM
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Shrieking eels.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:06 PM
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This is just to say
I have worn
the the black clothes
that were in
the closet

and which
you were probably
saving
for after Labor Day when you can't wear white

Forgive me
they were mournful
and so...sartorial.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:07 PM
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||

Meanwhile in Canada.

|>


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:08 PM
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Speaking of Canada, Calgary didn't get the message of not wearing white after Labour Day.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:09 PM
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459 is actually topical, isn't it? I can't remember for sure whether Ron Ford has officially been abusive to his wife but it's hard to believe he wouldn't have been, and I'm too young to recall whether any outrage about Tyson was as much about his persona and race as the actual abuse. I think the recent-ish documentary is supposed to deal with it well, but I'm running out of things I half-remember at this point.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:19 PM
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Huh, I suppose it is pretty topical.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:21 PM
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Because it sort of came up, I am re-reading the Single Bind thread, which was before my time. I wonder who everyone is!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:26 PM
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Also somewhat topical: Florida Man strikes again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:34 PM
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The reference from earlier, since I'm feeling generous.

Hello teochka, Smearkya, Thorenka.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:36 PM
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I have really been enjoying this song and others by Blitzstein lately, in case you're curious.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:36 PM
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I can't remember for sure whether Ron Ford has officially been abusive to his wife but it's hard to believe he wouldn't have been

Wait, dudes who smoke a lot of crack might be inclined to some outbreaks of violence? What kind of crazy talk is this?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:38 PM
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LOC did Blitzstein's Regina my last year in Chicago. Were you there?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:41 PM
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comma, Nosflyusha?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:42 PM
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464: Bristol Palin didn't shoot an intruder? Where's her gun godamnit? This is some bullshit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:42 PM
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Hi neb.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:42 PM
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470: He was apparently at the house when she pulled up, so she may not have had it handy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:43 PM
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The excuse he gave to the cops is priceless:

Ferrero said he knew Palin lived in the area but intended to stay at a bed and breakfast nearby, the affidavit says. He told the officer he "got hot" looking for the place and threw a gray sweatshirt onto the balcony, then knocked on the front door to get help retrieving it. He got no answer, but looked through the window and saw photos of Palin's son so he knew she lived there.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:45 PM
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468: no, that was before I knew who Blitzstein was (I learned who he was this year) and also before I paid any attention to the opera. Kyle Gann seems to think Regina is not unproblematic but ("but"?) I really want to see The Cradle Will Rock, which I understand was put on in NYC as recently as last year. (Though I really really want to see, or at least hear, a recording of the 1964 production, because these are great (apparently Jerry Orbach had a career before Law & Order!).

I found a recording of the first number from a student production at Northwestern which in addition to being badly recorded and not very well sung also loses all the nice vaudevilley bits from the way the first part (before Mrs. Mister enters) is done.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:48 PM
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Why would someone not concealed carry in the meth capital of Alaska? Arm yourselves, bitches.

I bet teo hasn't armed himself and he's already had at least one tweeker show up at his door unannounced. The next one might not be so friendly. And let's not forget fall is at hand along with the rut. Teo could get his shit ruined by an angry/horny elk or moose at any time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:51 PM
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Hm, good point. I am indeed unarmed, although I don't live in Wasilla. Come on, Palins! Live up to your reputations!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:53 PM
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How I do not like the combination of tired and jittery.

I am staying up a bit and watching Guess Who's Coming to Dinner because it's on Netflix but it seems like not really the most relaxing movie.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:07 PM
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Huh, that was a pretty enjoyable movie.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 12:58 AM
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Living in a timezone halfway around the world means that not only do I miss the redactions, I miss the banter about missing the redactions.

Life can be so lonely.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 1:17 AM
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I'm here for you, parodie. I'm not so good with the banter, but if you'd like to say something redactable I'll bear witness.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 1:34 AM
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I'm pretty sure that Kier is going to make us redact the word "banter", which will make this thread even more confusing to anyone who missed it. Also, dirtier sounding.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 1:37 AM
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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is hilariously dated. (The main driver of the plot is that Poitier's character won't marry the daughter until he has her parents permission, after all.) The scene near the end where Tracy's character realized that he's acting crazy is pretty great, though.

When they remade the movie as a comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac, I was ready to believe racism was over. The Republicans soon demonstrated otherwise.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 1:47 AM
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Yay, company! Apparently I'm not so good with the banter either. I suppose that's why things are more active on pacific time.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 2:03 AM
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Imagine how future generations will wonder when 483 reads "Apparently I'm not so good with the [redacted] either."


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 2:08 AM
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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is hilariously dated. (The main driver of the plot is that Poitier's character won't marry the daughter until he has her parents' permission, after all.)

Well, but see 57.



Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 2:09 AM
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Yes. I think it's interesting how social change can be such a slow process, and the ways in which it gets held up - thinking of wedding specifically, there is often a desire to do things "right" (for younger couples, this is often the first big decision they are truly making on their own) which means leaning on tradition as they have inherited it/absorbed it from pop culture.

This leads to some weird choices, like liberal-minded feminist kids being touched when their boyfriend asks her father for permission ("How sweet!"), or couples thinking it's not a "real" wedding if the father doesn't "give the bride away". Even with pressure from the liturgical expert to consider alternatives... (Most public example: William & Kate's old-school BCP marriage ceremony. Why use something updated when you could use something outdated? *sigh*)


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 2:26 AM
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486: it's hardly fair to criticise the British monarchy for being too attached to tradition. Anyway, the old school BCP sounds better. I bet you read the New International Version as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 2:31 AM
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No, NIV is not the most accurate translation (and has bad gender politics). NRSV for public stuff, generally (french translations are much more all over the map).

"Sounds better" is not a good reason to reintroduce male headship or belonging to one's father/husband or any of that nonsense that we rightly threw out (only Kate got a ring!!). There are some good modern translations which are suitably solemn (the CoE has done a particularly good job in offering a wide variety of choices).

But I think this is the logical result of liturgy becoming a "special occasion" thing: no one is really used to it, it doesn't actually mean much, we're just using it as the setting - like the pretty church which will make for such lovely pictures.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 2:36 AM
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Can I get "banter" redacted? I so would.

|| Also, simply to vent, just saw this gem on twitter: '' "The British PM has urged Scotland not to rip apart the U.K."...which they forcibly occupied, colonised and violently assimilated.''

I mean like what? When was the forcible occupation of Scotland? When did "they" colonise? I mean argh. Hippy liberal New Zealanders discovering the horrors of Scottish history (invented version) are so fucking annoying.

Anyway.

|>


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 3:23 AM
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489: referent error. Clearly "which" = "the UK"; "they" = "the Scots".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 3:28 AM
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Speaking as part of the Scottish Raj, I would say that's spot on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 3:29 AM
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Hah! Tartan also appears, but not as "dread uniform of imperial shock troops", but rather "cuddly oppressed national costume".


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 3:40 AM
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492: I'm pretty unhappy about this. Dames d'Enfer and proud of it!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 4:01 AM
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It really is hard to frighten people with tartan these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 4:04 AM
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re: 494

That'll all change, post-independence, mark my words.

Freeeedduuummm!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 4:08 AM
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494: You're not joking.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:00 AM
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After the first hit, the abused person has notice. If we assume he or she has some agency and means (of some sort, at least, and if he or she looks mostly presentable, he or she appears to have both), then the decision to stay is a decision to accept a greater than population level risk of getting abused again. At that point, what you're left with is a failure to value the self.

This seems a fairly uncontroversial analysis. I'm just puzzled by the idea that "a failure to value the self" is something anyone would think productive. Even if it is not "geez, moron, what a dummy you are for not having self worth." Even if it's some uselessly mushy prescription that "let's have a norm so people know they are expected to have self worth." Letting people who lack self worth know they fall short of our norms: not generally a good way to make them feel better about themselves. If we need a new norm, how about "hit someone once, get out and get therapy." How about, "know someone who got hit, consistently and persistently demonstrate your availability for support."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:14 AM
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"... would think productive ++to criticize++"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:15 AM
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That sounds right. The idea that it's important to set norms to people who are being hit know that they're norm-violators if they tolerate it? Just seems like a really ineffective way to motivate them to protect themselves better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:20 AM
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488: I was trying to figure out if I could sort of update the old version without promising to obey. "With my body I thee worship" sounds like it would be so much fun to say in church. So earthy!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:55 AM
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only Kate got a ring!!

A class marker in Teabagland, no?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:03 AM
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497: I don't think it's uncontroversially *necessarily* true. In saying this, I'm only remaking a point others have made, but people's motivations are wide ranging. You could believe the problem is going to get better in the future, you could love the abuser and feel committed to the relationship, you could imagine that you could heal the abuser, you could believe that "men are like that", or you could have some model of love that is violent and possessive, all while valuing the self. Accepting a greater than population level risk for getting hit again does mark you as not very risk averse, but not necessarily self-hating. Some of #whyIstayed is about thinking you didn't deserve better, but not all of it.

Yes to your more general point. I just think it's a mistake to say people who do Y are motivated X way. Many paths lead to the same place, and the same path leads many places.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:11 AM
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As I've said a few times, this advice isn't all that helpful for people who are already in an abusive relationship--it's aimed at setting norms.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:25 AM
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503: What does that even mean, though? It's not helpful advice for people already in abusive relationships, so it's either for people who aren't and never will be in them who will never have to use it or for people who will be, at which point they're in an abusive relationship and won't find it helpful advice. What am I missing? Maybe that you're not trying to argue the norms with us here but with the larger culture.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:28 AM
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It's helpful for people who find themselves hit for the first time in a relationship.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:41 AM
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500 - it's true, there are some really lovely phrases in the older versions. :) And the danger of updating is of course that one might throw out stuff that's important, e.g. get too intellectual and miss the embodied/earthy bits.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:42 AM
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501: I think so, yes.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:44 AM
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501: I have no idea, but something can be a class marker and still be idiotically sexist.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:45 AM
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And of course the royal family are in a perfect position to set a trend rather than follow one.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:45 AM
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503: Imagine a compartmentalized world of discourse where people in specific situations aren't subject to general inoculatory prescriptions. It's easy impossible if you try.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:46 AM
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We shouldn't tell people to avoid bad situations, because people in bad situations will feel bad about not having avoided their bad situation? I guess Madeleine Albright and I think the price is worth it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:49 AM
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Anyway, gotta go for a while. Sadly, we were unable to save the world in this thread.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:50 AM
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William will get a ring later. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Jewels_of_the_United_Kingdom#Other_items


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:51 AM
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But we got to use big words.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:51 AM
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514 -> 512


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:52 AM
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511: I agree that there is a complicated an important general issue of how societal norms are arrived at and reinforced. However,

1) This particular instance is a crap context in which to have it, and you are history's greatest monster for choosing to do so,
and
2) It is generally associated with a metric fuckton of victim-blaming and self-righteousness of the self-appointed authoritarians.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:01 AM
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Back on the veldt social norms were enforced by genes the way Old Nick intended it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:03 AM
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Yeah, I guess I just don't understand why the cultural norm that has to be changed is the victim's appropriate tolerance level and not, say, don't fucking hit your intimate partner even once.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:07 AM
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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is hilariously dated.

Well sure but you know that going in. It does actually have some interesting moments outside of the whole "Hollywood congratulates itself" narrative and some lovely in-for-a-penny performances.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 10:25 AM
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Ogged, I really strongly encourage you to read this:

"The reason why I am speaking up now is simple. I believe that violent relationships flourish under those conditions, when women are made to feel ashamed for having "imperfect" stories of abuse. We are made to feel that if we admit a problem, we are then branded with it--that it is a reflection upon us. We are made to feel that scrutiny of our actions in these situations will lead to public scorn and private danger. What we need most from our friends and family is social support that will not further isolate us when we stay, and that can be ready quickly when we choose or are forced to leave. In the moment, that rarely feels possible."

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/09/10/stayed-abusive-marriage-two-years/#sthash.ZFZXh1PQ.dpuf


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 11:26 AM
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Well sure but you know that going in. It does actually have some interesting moments outside of the whole "Hollywood congratulates itself" narrative and some lovely in-for-a-penny performances.

Funnily, you could apply the same comment, with a geographical tweak, to "The Man Who Came to Dinner is hilariously dated."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 11:32 AM
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516 suddenly clarified some things for me: ogged is certainly right that societal norms regarding the unacceptability of domestic abuse need to be shored up and reinforced. He's not the first one to notice.

The answers to the problem are far, far more wide-ranging than simply exhorting abuse victims to leave. Assuming that most abuse victims are women (while acknowledging that not all are), we need first and foremost to provide women with the means to greater financial independence. That means equal pay for equal work, affordable access to birth control and abortion, family leave and flex-time in the workplace, daycare provisions, and related things. That's a good start.

Obviously, we need a robustly funded social service network to support women who find themselves in desperate circumstances, so that they may see their way clear to a way out. Too many women aren't aware of their options; the options that do exist aren't funded nearly well enough.

I won't go on about the culture of masculinity that supports violence. Putting it solely on women to fight against that would be absurd, and I don't imagine ogged intends to be doing that, but see every other comment upthread about the extent to which men need to be held accountable, and should have a conversation amongst themselves.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 11:51 AM
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I don't mean all men, of course. Obviously not all men are wife-beaters.

Perhaps the conversation to had is something like: don't be that kind of man. Don't be that kind of woman. Seems pretty straightforward.

In any event, since there are too many men who are that kind of man; and since our institutional structures are still at this point set up in such a way that women are disempowered; I would insist that legislative measures to correct that disempowerment are an important order of business.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 11:58 AM
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should have a conversation amongst themselves

Isn't that kinda the rub though? I can't imagine anyone in my social circle speaking approvingly of domestic violence. At most you might hear, from the most conservative people I know, some mealy mouthed defensiveness, but if you come right out and say, explicitly "Do you think domestic violence is a problem that needs to be corrected in our society" pretty much everyone I'd feel comfortable talking about that with is going to give the right answer. So, I guess, that's where there need to be radical changes, in terms of when it's appropriate to say "domestic violence is a problem, too much of it exists, and a lot is committed by men, and we need to hold each other accountable for that." When I was at the ER the other day with my kidney stone, the intake included a couple of questions along the lines of "is your living situation safe?" "is anyone abusing you?" etc. So, thankfully, I was able to say that my house was a safe place, but what if it wasn't? Where else are even women asked that, to say nothing of men? At church? At the model railroad club? At the school spelling bee?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 12:04 PM
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"is your living situation safe?"

"No, someone keeps stocking the fridge with soda, which is why I'm here with a godamn kidney stone."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 12:17 PM
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524 is good, a good reflection.

Natilo, does this mean by the way that you're clear of your kidney stone? You may have mentioned it elsewhere, but I didn't see. How are you, are you okay?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 12:40 PM
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523: I agree that correcting disempowerment of women is important. I've got to say, though, that it's not clear that the Oregon solution that toglosh mentioned in 181 is the right way to go. Given the guy's subsequent actions, it does seem that she ultimately benefited from being forced to live apart from him, but forcing that on someone who has made it clear that she doesn't want a restraining order and does want to get back together seems pretty disrespectful of her agency. Giving her a few days to establish an independent life and decide what she wants to do next is one thing, so that she isn't responding to an immediate physical threat. Forcing her to live that way for months until she comes around to our way of thinking is pretty coercive, even if its in what we think of as a good cause.

I'm thinking about the discussion about the man behind the yellow door a few weeks ago. We, as a society, are far more respectful of the agency of someone who is clearly mentally ill and apparently unable to think rationally about his situation, than Oregon is about the agency of a fully competent woman who disagrees with them about the level of risk she is undertaking and what she should desire to do about it.

I'm also reminded of the Ross Mirkarimi case in San Francisco, in which his wife, Eliana Lopez, was repeatedly begging the court to dissolve the mutual restraining order to allow her to talk with and reconcile with her husband. It took six months for the court to do so. One of the issues at stake there was that if he got fired, he was going to lose his public pension, which was going to damage her retirement income as well, particularly if they reconciled, as they have.

That case involved less serious violence than the Rice case (Mirkarimi had grabbed Lopez's arm during an argument hard enough to leave bruises, and an ex-girlfriend came forward to say that he had done the same to her), and I think Lopez is less likely to face a repetition or escalation of the violence (both because the violence was less serious to begin with, and because Mirkarimi must realize that any repetition would mean his career is toast if it got out). But I remember thinking at the time that the way this was handled means that if there were to be a repetition, heaven forbid, she would make damn sure not to tell anyone unless she was either ready to leave him for good, or was in mortal fear for her life. It would be nice if we had a process that could let a victim get help without having to fear the potential consequences of the legal system's action more than the consequences of staying.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 09-12-14 6:34 PM
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