Monday, May 30, 2011

So it looks like its not limited to Law and Order: SVU

If there is one thing that watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit will teach its that men are evil perpetrators and under no circumstances do women commit crimes against men for malicious reasons (its ALWAYS self defense, or some man made her do it, or some man in her past made her that way). Well it would seem that The Damned Olde Man has noticed similar behavior in the CBS show Criminal Minds.

Between letting women get away with vigilante justice (in form of the victims of a serial rapist castrating their rapist) in one episode ("Machisimo") and giving a mom a free pass on the behavior that led to her son becoming a killer ("Charm and Harm") its no wonder why people love these shows so much. Its lets them rest easy in the sexist stereotypes that men can do no right and women can do no wrong.

I've been addicted to SVU for a long time and really can't stop watching that show despite its treatment of men. But there may be a silver lining. It would seem that Christopher Meloni, the man that plays Detective Elliot Stabler, is not returning for the upcoming 13th season due to not being able to come to an agreement on his contract. Also Marisky Hargitay, the women that plays Detective Olivia Benson, will scale back her onscreen time on the show (which is going to be explained on the show with her character getting a promotion). Stabler and Benson are the main stars of that show and with one gone and the other leaning back this show may not last much longer. But truthfully I would like the show more if the writers would get it that "men = perps, women = victims" bullshit out of their heads.

11 comments:

April said...

I agree with you, mostly, but have to say... I love me some vigilante justice, and sometimes feel that it is more healthy for the victim to punish the perp, rather than the state. But I don't feel that way strongly enough to, say, vote that way or something.

The idea of a victim getting their own revenge just seems so... heartwarming. In that vicious sort of way.

elementary_watson said...

I understand the feeling. Been getting quite a bit of homophobia lately, and thought that I'd feel a bit pleased to read of an instance of someone getting violently assaulted after making homophobic verbal harassment.

Of course, if the assaulter were praised as a hero afterwards, I'd be disgusted and my mind would switch back to "civilized" in a heartbeat.

Danny said...

Believe me April I enjoy the idea of vengeance more than more people (as I mentioned here a while back, imagine being neglected by your mom for years and getting revenge by being able to infinitely kill and resurrect her).

But one thing that keeps that feeling in check is that vengeance is a never ending loop. Like in that episode where the victims castrate their rapist. What if a relative of that rapist (or if that rapist comes back) comes along and concludes that that was too extreme and takes vengeance on them? Personally I think castration was too extreme in that situation and I would honestly have a hard time trying to say that its okay for them to castrate their rapist while giving them immunity from retaliation. Because no the "but he started" argument doesn't fly with me on something that big. Maybe if they beat him down, maybe some sort of revenge rape (hint: you might think he would enjoy it but ask your husband what it would feel like to have someone forcefully stimulate the glans of the penis past orgasm/ejaculation), or just held him captive until the cops arrived. But I think castration was too extreme.

Paul said...

The only crime "drama" shows I watch with any regularity are Castle and Bones... and even they aren't totally immune. (although I can think of specific examples where they're better than most, the gravedigger on Bones for example)

On vigilante justice: It's a nice idea... in theory. It's interesting how quickly people's mind changes about the whole idea when the person getting revenged on is a woman though

Danny said...

Yeah I recall the Gravedigger episodes of Bones and they were pretty good. And if I remember correctly they didn't go all Law and Order when the evidence pointed to the killer being a woman (ever notice how almost every time the perp is a woman on Law and Order there's a few "OMG I can't believe its a woman" remarks?).

Yes that is interesting Paul.

Politicalguineapig said...

Personally, I'm with April on the vigilante justice thing. I'm all for it, mainly because there are certain crimes (rape, mostly) where there's no other way to get even partial justice. In most rape trials, the victim is the one on trial, not the perp. And in most cases, the perp'll go free, especially if they have money and the victim doesn't. So if some people want do it yourself justice, I'm all for it. I do think there can be excesses, but there's flaws in every legal system that's ever been set up.

Danny said...

Hey Politicalguineapig.

My problem with the concept of revenge is that it depends on the presumption that the person taking revenge has a legitimate grievance. Holding grudges is one of biggest flaws (which is why I'm glad no one has ever done anything to me that major because I really don't know if I could resist the urge for revenge) so I kinda know where you're coming from. However when you get a story about a person maiming someone because they say they attacked them how can you be certain its true? All the statistics in the world will only get you "well more than likely they were victimized".

And one other thing I've noticed when it comes to revenge. When these stories come up its usually a woman doing something to a man because he supposedly did something to her first. I really and truly wonder if people are working with a gender double standard. Like a short while ago I saw this story about two girls holding down and stripping a young boy out in public (the video is blurred out but its still pretty serious. Does your sense of revenge say it would be okay for him to hold them down and strip them in public in retaliation? If it does then I can at least say you are even handed in your desire for revenge, which while I don't think is ideal its at least fair.

Politicalguineapig said...

Well, I'm pretty sure the girls would get punished in short order, so unless they aren't punished, taking revenge on them would be petty. If they aren't punished, then something like starting a whispering campaign might be justified. Stripping would not, because it places the girls in real danger- they could actually get harmed, 'cause most men would take public nudity by women as an invitation. (A big reason why I'm not in favor of nude beaches- sure, they say it's harmless fun in the sun, but how many women would buy that?) A guy who's nude in public only gets his pride hurt.

Danny said...

Well, I'm pretty sure the girls would get punished in short order, so unless they aren't punished, taking revenge on them would be petty. If they aren't punished, then something like starting a whispering campaign might be justified
So just so I get where you're coming from if boy/man does something to a girl/woman then revenge is called for but if its the other way around it becomes time for a whispering campaign (and I find it particularly sad that you think it only "might" be justified).

Stripping would not, because it places the girls in real danger- they could actually get harmed, 'cause most men would take public nudity by women as an invitation.
No you're not hiding being the "girls have it worse" defense on this one. This was a gated community not out on an open street.

A guy who's nude in public only gets his pride hurt.
If this is what you think about a guy who gets stripped in public then frankly I'm bothered by your stance. This leads me to believe that you think you first presume physical threat if the target is a girl and then use that presumption to dismiss the feelings of boys under the guise of them not having it that bad. Its exactly that kind of thinking that perpetuates the very thinking and stereotypes that will allow these girls to more than likely get away with it. As the mom said if that had been the other way around this story would have gotten much more attention. And if I understand you correctly you think it should be that way because boys don't matter as much.

I really hope I'm misunderstanding you here.

Politicalguineapig said...

Er, what I'm saying is I think there needs to be a balanced revenge. He was humiliated, so he'd be justified in humiliating them. Telling lies about them to their friends, sabotaging their relationships would be more than fair. Or even painting 'slut' on their housedoors would work.
But even in a gated community, the girls would be in danger if they suffered a public stripping.
A boy is not exposed to danger if he's stripped, as he's not seen as 'fair game' for any predators that happen to be around. I'm not saying that 'boys don't matter as much,' I'm saying that you're comparing prickly pears to oranges here. The level of danger in public (involuntary) nudity is not the same for a boy as it is for a girl.

Danny said...

I'm still not buying what you're selling. You're trying to spare those girls under the notion that being stripped in public would somehow be worse for them. I thought in the concept of eye for an eye there was no room for, "Well about if we end up taking for than an eye?".

I recall a few years ago in the Middle East where a man had thrown acid in a woman's face and there was talk of punishing him by letting her to do the same to him. As far as I remember I don't recall a single person pondering would happen if her acid toss did more damage to him than his did to her. And this is bearing in mind that while he quickly tossed acid at her the "punishment" was to entail him being held/tied down so she could pour the acid on his face.

Or more recently that new Rihanna video "Man Down". Its been getting a lot of buzz but I don't recall any of that buzz being concern over the fact that her revenge for being raped may have upped the ante to death.

Look as much as I may not like revenge we can't be selective about it. So as far as "what about the girls" angle all I can say is that any predators that attack them (which I don't think is as likely to happen as you want to imply) would be punished accordingly. Why? Because I highly doubt those girls were concerning themselves with any hypothetical damages when they did that to him. So why should they get a consideration that was not extended to him?

A boy is not exposed to danger if he's stripped, as he's not seen as 'fair game' for any predators that happen to be around.
The only way that is true would if predators didn't target boys. And we all know that some do. You can argue the numbers over who is attacked more but trying to say that a boy is not exposed to danger dismisses the experiences of boys who have been attacked.



It just seems to me the people are suddenly awfully selective about when they care about who has it worse or if the revenge fits the crime.

-->