The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Public Violence

What do you do?

Tony Mateus came upon this rough encounter in the streets of downtown Springfield recently.

The video raises an interesting question - What do you do when confronted with violence in public, especially against a woman? Mateus humorously raises the issue in his post, suggesting that "I was just about to get out and intervene, but not sure how; probably with a squeaky "Hey! Cut that out!" from the safety of the half opened car door...with the engine running..."

Fortunately in this case the violence stopped before action was necessary, but there really is no right or wrong to whether you should intervene. Context is everything, and it accomplishes nothing for you to try to stop violence on your own if the only result is that you become a victim too. Lame as it sounds, the best policy is usually to call the police.

I'm proud to say that I've never hit a woman with my fist, although I did once try to hit one with a shoe while she was in the bathtub. The bathroom was right off the kitchen, where I was seated at the table consuming the bad half of a bottle of Irish whisky. She had the door open and was saying some mean things to me, until I became so enraged that I took off my shoe and hurled it at her. I just missed her head, which was pretty good aim considering the distance.

Of course I consider even drunkenness and sharp-tongued provocation insufficient excuse to get violent. According to government statistics, violence in the home is depressingly common.

Around the world at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family.

Physical violence is estimated to occur in 4 to 6 million intimate relationships each year in the United States.

Nearly one in every three adult women experiences at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood. Approximately four million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner during a 12-month period.

It is estimated that 2 million to 4 million US women are assaulted by a domestic partner every year. Twelve million women (25% of the female population) will be abused in their lifetime. Up to 35% of women and 22% of men presenting to the emergency department have experienced domestic violence.

It is interesting the number of men who have been exposed to domestic violence. Society looks differently at men who get attacked by their wives, and has much less sympathy. According to this website, the reason we seldom hear of male victims of domestic abuse is because they are ashamed:

What will my friends, family, colleagues and neighbors think?
What will people think if they knew I let a woman beat up on me?
It's a private matter--belongs in the family
If I say anything, she'll tell everyone I'm the abusive one, and shame me in public
I'm ashamed I'm not strong enough to defend myself.
Everyone knows it's men that are the violent ones (shame of male for being male).

But whatever the sex or situation (and gay relationships can be abusive as well) the thing to do is to put a stop to it immediately. How do you know if you're in an abusive relationship? Here are the telltale signs:

Are You Abused? Does the person you love:

• "Track" all of your time?
• Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
• Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
• Prevent you from working or attending school?
• Criticize you for little things?
• Anger easily when drinking or on drugs?
• Control all finances and force you to account in detail for what you spend?
• Humiliate you in front of others?
• Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
• Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or the children?
• Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
• Threaten to hurt you or the children?
• Force you to have sex against your will?

If you find yourself saying yes, it's time to get help by calling the National Domestic Abuse Hotline serving all 50 states. CLICK HERE.

Bill Dusty reports that in last week's election 712 Springfield voters wrote in someone's name against the otherwise unopposed Congressman Richard Neal (above with Hillary). I would love to see a list of the names that were written down! I'm sure many of them would be cause for laughter.

The National Enquirer is reporting it has photographs of John McCain's wife Cindy passionately kissing another man. The McCain camp declines to comment and of course the Enquirer used to be famous for its daffy claims, but all that changed earlier this year when the Enquirer forced John Edwards to confess that he had an extramarital affair, although Edwards vehemently denied the Enquirer's accusation that he was the father of the woman's mysterious love child. Gawker had this to say about the McCain revelations:

This is shocking news for those who thought the marriage between cruel, borderline-emotionally abusive absentee husband and serial-cheater John McCain and lonely, DC-hating, solitary, formerly drug-addicted Cindy McCain was a strong, healthy bond.

Classes at UMass were cancelled yesterday due to Veteran's Day. Today students were collecting donations for local veteran groups.

The UMass Fine Arts Center is a hulking mass of poured concrete.

The Fine Arts building is also too small for current needs, so a new building has been erected across the street to supplement it. I took a picture of it last year when it was under construction.

Here is how it looks completed.

Notice how they didn't copy the concrete style of the original, but went instead with the brick decor that has served the older UMass buildings so well. Here's a video I made walking around inside.

In the front window is this student sculpture.
Is it Pan or Satan?

Only the artist knows for sure.


Tony said...

Comedian Bill Burr has a good bit on helping others:

Tommy said...

That is funny, I'll put it up.

Caty said...

Lost all respect for Mccain (& before his presidential bid, he was the only repub. I respected) when he was for torture legislation--I almost wished him back in that POW camp. But this is the first I've heard about him serially cheating--where'd you hear that?