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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Valorizing women beaters

Okay, so some of what comes out of Charlie Sheen's mouth is funny. But one has to wonder, why are we valorizing a man who is so consistently violent to women? Why does his violence slip to the wayside in discussions? Should we be concerned when so many men seem to be putting Sheen up on a pedestal as the new Hef for his 'porn family', when really he's a little more like American Psycho than Playboy?

With more than 2 million fans on Twitter (1 million in the first 24 hours, setting a new record for the platform), we should be concerned that hardly anyone is mentioning the fact that this guy is a harbinger for domestic abuse. Thankfully, Anna Holmes writes a great opinion piece in the New York Times critiquing the madness:

The Disposable Woman

FORTY-THREE minutes into his “special live edition” with Charlie Sheen on Monday night, Piers Morgan finally got around to asking his guest a real question. Before that, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Sheen had mostly traded chuckles and anecdotes about multiday benders, inflated network salaries and meet-ups in Aspen, Colo. But then, after three commercial breaks, Mr. Morgan inquired, “Have you ever hit a woman?”

Two minutes later, with Mr. Morgan apparently satisfied with the actor’s answer that no, women should be “hugged and caressed,” that line of questioning was over.

That Mr. Morgan didn’t press the issue of domestic violence shouldn’t have come as any surprise. CBS executives, not to mention the millions of viewers of his “family” sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” have consistently turned a blind eye toward Mr. Sheen’s history of abusing women. Part of this, of course, is about money. The actor’s F-18 of an id — to borrow a metaphor from Mr. Sheen himself — had long provided the show a steady stream of free publicity. It also helped make Mr. Sheen the highest-paid actor on television, at $1.2 million an episode.

But it’s also about apathy. Even now — after Mr. Sheen began carpet-bombing his bosses in radio rants, prompting CBS to shut down production on the show — observers still seem more entertained than outraged, tuning in to see him appear on every talk show on the planet and coming up with creative Internet memes based on his most colorful statements. And while his self-abuses are endlessly discussed, his abuse of women is barely broached.

Our inertia is not for lack of evidence. In 1990, he accidentally shot his fiancée at the time, the actress Kelly Preston, in the arm. (The engagement ended soon after.) In 1994 he was sued by a college student who alleged that he struck her in the head after she declined to have sex with him. (The case was settled out of court.) Two years later, a sex film actress, Brittany Ashland, said she had been thrown to the floor of Mr. Sheen’s Los Angeles house during a fight. (He pleaded no contest and paid a fine.)

In 2006, his wife at the time, the actress Denise Richards, filed a restraining order against him, saying Mr. Sheen had shoved and threatened to kill her. In December 2009, Mr. Sheen’s third wife, Brooke Mueller, a real-estate executive, called 911 after Mr. Sheen held a knife to her throat. (He pleaded guilty and was placed on probation.) Last October, another actress in sex films, Capri Anderson, locked herself in a Plaza Hotel bathroom after Mr. Sheen went on a rampage. (Ms. Anderson filed a criminal complaint but no arrest was made.) And on Tuesday, Ms. Mueller requested a temporary restraining order against her former husband, alleging that he had threatened to cut her head off, “put it in a box and send it to your mom.” (The order was granted, and the couple’s twin sons were quickly removed from his home.) “Lies,” Mr. Sheen told People magazine.

But wait, there's more:

Charlie Sheen blindsided by sons being removed from house

She [Mueller] also claimed that Sheen threatened to stab her in the eye with a pen, and that he spit on her feet and punched her on the arm during a recent trip to the Bahamas.

The nearly 2-year-old twins were removed from Sheen’s home Tuesday night after a court order was granted to Mueller. Sheen has rarely seen the boys in the past year, but took the boys on Saturday and refused to return them.

“I am in great fear that he will find me and attack me and I am in great fear for the children’s safety while in his care,” Mueller wrote.

Why are we valorizing a psychotic, unstable, violent man who is a threat to women in his company and his own children? Gaddafi can be funny too, but he's not overnight the icon of 21st century masculinity.


At 9/3/11 7:55 pm, Blogger snigie said...

Dosnt it also highlight wonderfully how a woman can run to the cops, say her mans a rapist slasher and weeeee in run the pigs, taking away his kids like its his stereo or something and not having anything other than 'i said he did it' to go on but never actually charging the guy for the crimes their removing his kids for.

At 1/5/11 3:06 pm, Blogger Stephen Parkes said...

Taking a precautionary approach and removing children from an unsafe environment is not the same as taking away someone's stereo. In fact it's kinda the opposite - recognising their rights. It's not like they're impounded; they get to stay with the other parent.

All that evidence, including Sheen pleading guilty to one charge, and you're worried about dad's rights?


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