Sunday, April 29, 2012

SOC Sunday: Of Domestic Violence and Islam-Bashing

Ruh-roh, Raggy - I feel a rant coming on. On Sundays I typically link up with Stream of Consciousness Sunday at All Things Fadra, but rather than waiting for the prompt this time, I'm going to brain-dump on what's been on my mind this weekend.
Friday night I fell asleep in front of the TV watching the local news. When I woke up, Mel Gibson was talking to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. Who let Mel Gibson on the Tonight Show? Who lets Mel Gibson around decent people?

Recap: Mel Gibson was working with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who apparently has not yet produced the screenplay Gibson was hoping for. Gibson called Eszerthas to rant about it in a profane tirade; the conversation was recorded by Eszerthas' son. Joe Eszterhas released the tape.

Ranting at a screenwriter? Not so bad. No worse than the Christian Bale meltdown, perhaps. Reminiscent, however, of earlier, and uglier, incidents, including 2010 recordings of Gibson verbally abusing Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his youngest child, the beautifully-named Lucia.

In 2011, he was convicted of domestic violence against Grigorieva and sentenced to 36 months of probation.

If I were a producer of The Tonight Show, I would have a strict policy that no one with a domestic violence conviction would be a guest, period. I would want to message sent that we don't explicitly or implicitly condone relationship violence. The men who don't have the sense to walk away from stressful situations, but instead choose to use violence against the people they supposedly love, don't deserve public adulation. They deserve to be personally and professionally shunned. It's a decision that we as a society can make to show that we don't tolerate unacceptable relationship behavior. It's a decision we can make to show that we value the lives and rights of women and children.

I use a legal conviction and/or a guilty or no-contest plea as the standard for who belongs on my permanent shit list. Charlie Sheen, Chris Brown, and Eric Roberts are some of the men I include with Gibson. Do you have a different standard? Let me know.

The son of Joe Eszterhas violated your privacy? Boo hoo. It's perfectly within your rights to sue him, but don't expect me to feel sympathy.

Yes, I am still upset about Gibson's past antiSemitic remarks. Recently I've read more and more anti-Muslim posts in social media. Let me be clear: prejudice against a group of people because of their Middle Eastern ethnicity or cultural identity is antiSemitism, whether those people are Jews, Arabs or non-Arab Muslims. We (I do have the one Eastern European Jewish grandmother) have a common cultural ancestry, which our folklore traces to Abraham. Abraham settled what is now Israel/Palestine after leaving Mesopotamia. Ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, is modern Iraq.

I was galled yesterday (before I fell asleep and woke up to Gibson) to read an article titled "The Immorality of Sexuality" by an author who goes by "The 5 Elements Quest." According to this blog, the author's name is Abdoulaye N'Gom. He states, "Any diversity of sexuality beside one male and one female is immoral, period." In the same paragraph, he writes, "Take Islam for example, where men are permitted to have multiple wives. When you trace the roots of this religious polygamy, with a spiritual understanding you will see that evil was the cause."

Sure, blame Islam for polygamy! Never mind that it was a common Middle Eastern practice that included the ancient Hebrews. Never mind that Biblical patriarchs like Jacob had multiple wives. Solomon was said to have 700 wives and 300 concubines! Clearly, the ancient Hebrews were comfortable with non-monogamy - at least male heterosexual non-monogamy.

I'm no big fan of polygamy for the non-religious reason N'Gom mentions - that it can be a way for women to be exploited and treated as property. But I don't condemn people for non-monogamy; as adults, we all make our choices.

I do have a problem with Islam-bashing. It's antiSemitism, plain and simple. Don't be afraid of us because are roots are non-European. So we're Asiatics - most of the world's people are Asians. Embrace it.

It's like this: hold all the world's cultures, religious and otherwise, to the same standards. That, and recognize that all the world's cultures are interconnected, both by our cultural artifacts and by our DNA. People are like the ocean. We call the oceans Atlantic, Pacific, et al., but they all touch each other - there's really only one big ocean. There's really only one ethnic group - human.

And for the love of all that is good and holy, when you're angry with your domestic partner, walk away from him or her. Being drunk or on drugs is no excuse. You're an adult - you know how to NOT assault people.


Kenya G. Johnson said...

I agree with you on the permanent sh!t list. I had forgotten all about the Mel Gibson thing.

a.eye said...

So with you on this rant!! I can't stand when people put others' beliefs down, especially without the correct facts. And, please don't get me started on my disdain for the public's acceptance of all of these abusers!

Anonymous said...

I can't stand the fact that having celebrity status seems to make people more forgiving of what they do, and they get away with it. I could go on with my own rant, but I won't do it in your comment section. Bashing individuals because of their nationality is also another of my rants, so I'm right along side you with this one, too.

Guerrilla Mom said...

Yes, we have a long history of condoning domestic violence in this country. It's pretty vile. He should not be given a platform- ever.

Gina said...

I did not know Gibson was on The Tonight Show Friday. I don't care for that show and now won't watch at all. Who lets that guy anywhere near the public anymore. Your shit list is perfect. Judgemental, difference bashing people, deserve their own planet where they can be together.

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