Domestic Violence is Never Funny

Brian Copeland
July 13, 2011

“She’s just livin’ the dream.”

That’s the text that I received from a woman friend this morning in regard to the grisly Catherine Kieu Becker story out of Garden Grove, California.

Ms. Becker allegedly served her estranged husband a drugged meal. When he passed out, she tied him to the bed and waited for him to regain consciousness. As he watched in horror, Becker allegedly cut off his penis with a knife and put it down the garbage disposal.

She is being held on $1 million bail on charges of “aggravated mayhem” that could land her in prison for life.

Her statement to law enforcement at the scene: “He deserved it.”

As I surf around cyberspace and listen to the comments of some of the
women I know, there are jokes and laughter. Of course, some women are appalled and shocked, but many more find the mutilation to be a source of amusement.

Personally, I am disgusted and furious by the double standard.

“Imagine,” I asked one female acquaintance, “If this situation were
reversed and it was a man who drugged a woman, tied her up, hacked off a breast and destroyed it. Would you find that to be the same ‘thigh slapper?'”

“No,” she said.

Of course she wouldn’t. There would be protests in the streets and
(justifiably) a lynch mob after the perpetrator.

“But,” she continued, “This is different because women are abused all the time.”

“Oh,” I countered, “So if women were only occasionally abused, then
cutting one into pieces while she’s tied to a bed watching would be funny then?”

I got the expected silence.

Abuse and domestic violence are not funny to me. If you’ve read my book Not a Genuine Black Man, or seen the play of the same name, you know that I grew up watching my father slam my mother’s head into walls and choke me and my siblings into unconsciousness.

In addition, I’ve seen male friends bruised and beaten bloody with kitchen implements and garden tools by violent female significant others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50 percent of the domestic violence victims in this country are men. Most are silent about their abuse because of the laughter, derision and justification that this society tolerates when a male is assaulted…particularly when the abuse is at the hands of a woman.

This kind of violence should not be tolerated no matter what the gender of those involved happens to be. If castration is “livin’ the dream,” then “the dream” is really a twisted nightmare.