Thursday, May 8, 2008

Life Imitates "Art"

Last month we talked about Abortion Man , a "superhero" brought to you by Damon Wayans' WayOutTV. Abortion Man's evidently hilarious superpower was to, at the behest of hesitant fathers, beat up pregnant women until they miscarried. I said it then and I'll say it now, violence against women is not funny.

It's disgusting, and not just because I'm a humorless feminist, but because of tragedies like this .
A judge sentenced two teens to life in prison for a beating that injured a pregnant woman and killed her unborn child.

Alfonso Price, 16, and Jebrell Wright, 17, will be eligible for parole in 23 years for their convictions on murder, felonious assault and kidnapping charges in the July 2007 attack. Authorities said the pair attacked 18-year-old Kerria Anderson, who told Price she was pregnant at the time with his unborn child.

The teens stomped Anderson in the hallway of an Over-The-Rhine apartment building after she refused to get an abortion, investigators said, and the fetus suffered fatal injuries. [emphasis mine]

Alfonso Price was a child himself when this incident occurred. Teenagers shouldn't have to be parents, and he may have been feeling scared or desperate and no one could blame him. But that does not excuse his actions. Price could have chosen to wait for DNA testing, to push for adoption, to try to have further discussions about abortion, or he probably had the privilege of simply choosing to walk away. Instead, we live in a society that is so hostile towards women that a 16-year old and his friend can discuss the situation and agree that the best plan they can come up with is to "stomp" on a pregnant girl on the chance that she will miscarry or at least be scared enough to have an abortion.

It's my view that "humor" like Abortion Man is one of the reasons we live in a society where this type of thing can happen. We make light of violence against women everyday and this is where it gets us. Two teenagers' lives are ruined, and one will probably never be the same again and it isn't funny.

To Kerria Anderson, all I can say is that I don't understand and I don't know what you're going through, but I hope that you get the support you need to move forward and feel safe again.

DNA testing has since shown that Alfonso Price was in fact not the father.


GeekMommy said...

While I agree with you that violence against women isn't funny - and Abortion man was a very ill-conceived idea - I'd question the causality.

Honestly? I don't think it was the comedy skit that caused the societal issue, but the other way around. The fact that we live in a society that holds attitudes of underlying violence toward women is responsible for the Wayans thinking it would be funny - and the skit simply points out something that is a 'dark secret' for many.

I suspect if the Wayans were to read the article about the teens actually doing this? They'd be sobered with the attitude of 'damn, we didn't think anyone would really do that in real life!!'
To which my response would be - didn't you?

Rachel Faulk said...

To be clear, I don't think this particular skit caused this particular incident either. I agree with you that "we live in a society that holds attitudes of underlying violence toward women" but I think it is sort of a chicken and egg situation as far as does media create or simply reflect societal views. And I think it's a little bit of both, but I also think it's important to call something out.

Crissa said...

I always thought the Wayans' joke was that such a thing should be unthinkable... Instead of common.

Showing that it's a stupid idea should discourage this behavior.

But then again, I'm of the same view that it's behavior and attitudes not depictions and art that create scenarios like this.