Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DV and Double Standards

I was reading this over at Glenn Sack's place and I was reminded of something. The post is about a little social experiment.
ABC News did an informative little experiment. It hired a couple of actors, a young man and a young woman, and sent them out into an urban park. They had the woman verbally and physically abuse the man; she hit him repeatedly, screamed insults in his ear, slapped him grabbed him by the hair, etc. ABC had cameras stationed nearby to surreptitiously record the responses of passersby. What the cameras show is nothing less than astonishing.
This reminded me of a similar experiment that was done on the Tyra Banks show a few years ago.

Tyra ran an experiment in which she would plant two people acting out interpersonal scenarios out in public and gauge the reaction of passersby. They would start out arguing and then one would begin to get violent. Each scenario was run several times in several different spots.

First she ran a scenario of a male/male couple with one getting increasingly hostile with the other before getting into full on violence. No one interfered, tried to break up the fight, or call for help. Oh there were people who looked, stopped and looked, and even a few that took pictures. But no one got involved.

Next she ran a scenario of a female/female couple. The reactions of passersby was pretty much the same as that of the male/male couple.

The third one she ran was of a male/female coupe with the male escalating. Oh this is when people decided to step up. In one run of it a firefighter interfered and stopped the guy from hurting her. This firefighter was brought onto the show and was asked about why he got involved. But the one that took the cake was when during one of the runnings of this scenario in which Tyra and her producers had to come out and stop the guy from getting arrested. Yes two actual NYPD cops responded to several calls of a guy attacking a woman. Odd thing is that the cops (who were brought onto the show as well) said they got several calls about this one run of the scenario with one caller reporting that the man had a knife. Weird because none of the actors/actresses in any of the scenarios had weapons.

So despite what some may say there are people who do take at least male against female violence very seriously and are willing to do quite a bit to do something about it, even lie. Domestic violence is a major problem that needs to be dealt with. We could use more people like that firefighter and those people who called in (well except for the one the lied).

But honestly while I agree that its serious business there was one thing that really pissed me off about the experiment that Tyra ran. Notice what it is?