New York Times: What’s Funnier Than Battered Women?

Oh, the jocularity of a good domestic violence punchline.  Will jokes about women getting smashed in the face with glassware ever get old?

Not for New York Times columnist Clyde Haberman.

Searching for an angle on the domestic violence conviction of New York State Senator Hiram Monserrate, Haberman and his editors decided they couldn’t go wrong with a little light-hearted levity about the slash wounds Monserrate left on his girlfriend.  The lacerations carved into her face by Monserrate’s water glass were so bad that the emergency room doctor notified police that a stabbing had occurred.

Are you laughing yet? No?

Well maybe you’ll get a chuckle out of Haberman’s report that Monserrate’s victim, Karla Giraldo, has agreed to marry him.  For Haberman, the jokes practically wrote themselves.

But if a wedding is in store, it is never too early to think about the bridal registry. As a service, we checked out glassware at several prominent stores. With this couple, you want to be sure that what you buy is sturdy.

Pottery Barn has tumblers for $10 apiece, part of its “Montana” collection. Montana certainly sounds rugged. Despite the name, the glasses were made in China. “Each piece is hand-blown with thick sloped sides,” a sign said. Thick sides are a definite plus.

If $10 is too steep for you, Pottery Barn also sells glasses for $2 per. They are less elegant than the Montana but more solid. They even come with “Made in U.S.A.” tags. How many things can you say that about these days?

Still other deals can be found at Gracious Home. Hefty glasses sell there for as little as $2.49 apiece. Bed Bath & Beyond does better yet, with slash-proof tumblers going for as little as $9.99 a dozen, taxes not included. They aren’t very pretty. But they are almost guaranteed to keep a squabbling couple out of court.

What reader wouldn’t be rolling on the floor laughing at those knee-slappers?  Because really, what’s funnier than a domestic violence survivor marrying her abuser?  Luckily she has the New York Times to offer up advice about what sort of glassware will be least likely to leave slashes the next time she’s bludgeoned.

If this is the New York Times strategy for rebuilding readership, the editors might want to give Sandra Bernhard a call.  I’m pretty sure she could use the work, and I hear she tells a mean rape joke.

Comments

6 Responses to “New York Times: What’s Funnier Than Battered Women?”

  1. The Javelineer on October 22nd, 2009 12:02 am

    Welcome to the club, toots. Men have endured this kind of thing … oh … let’s see … forever. Isn’t it funny to see the woman kick the man in the balls? Isn’t it funny to see the man hit on the head with a steel pan? Isn’t it funny to see a man all scratched up?

    The only way to take this post seriously is to ignore the most obvious legal and social double standards against men. By and large, women can assault men with impunity. It’s a fundamental comic routine – the woman kicking the man in the balls. It’s in almost every movie and television show.

    If you really are so blind that this has escaped you, watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlFAd4YdQks

    In summary, give me a freakin’ break. Your indignation is misplaced in the most sorry way.

  2. Jenn Q. Public on October 22nd, 2009 12:38 am

    Your argument is all straw man and no substance, toots.

    Maybe your daddy didn’t love you and your mommy had a habit of using her foot to shove your testicles up into your abdominal cavity, maybe your problems stem from something else. But whatever your damage is, it has nothing to do with what’s written here. This post addresses a specific article I took issue with. I never said domestic violence aimed at men is funny and nothing in my piece indicates a double standard when it comes to men. You also make no case for the notion that my indignation is misplaced.

    Come back when you can make a relevant argument backed by sound reasoning and free of logical fallacies.

  3. Rob Taylor on October 22nd, 2009 6:30 am

    Javelineer!?! Holy Freud! Please don’t skewer us with your powerful tool oh mighty wielder of the Javelin.

    No wonder your relationships all failed. Have fun dying alone.

  4. Eclectic Radical on October 22nd, 2009 7:54 am

    Javelineer, the existence of a double standard does not imply that it is right to make jokes about domestic violence in such crass and tasteless fashion in the pages of what is probably the most circulated newspaper in the country… one of two (/maybe/ three) truly /national/ newspapers. The fact that culture, mostly, does not protest humorous depictions of female violence against men does not make it somehow wrong or hypocritical for Jenn to protest humorous depictions of male against women.

    Indeed, the reason there is no uproar against the humorous depiction of female violence against men is because men make most of the decisions at most levels of society and can afford to laugh at the frying pan gag without fearing it. Indeed, the fundamental humor in female violence against men is based in the prevailing gender politics: because men have all the power and women usually have to take what they get, it is ‘funny’ for this to be exploded by the frying pan gag.

    So the double standard of which you are complaining in attacking Jenn’s article could not exist /without/ a prevailing male dominance of society. It wouldn’t be ‘funny’ otherwise.

  5. Rob Taylor on October 22nd, 2009 12:01 pm

    Also, men can’t be abused by women. I mean, not if they want to keep their man cards. Getting slapped after calling some woman who has had your junk in one or more of her orifices fat is not abuse, neither is laughing when someone gets hit in the balls or someone getting a drink thrown on them in a bar after using the line “I think heaven’s lost a couple of angels, because I think I see them bouncing around in your blouse”

    Is it safe to assume Javelineer never played in sports? You’re a man. Men don’t pal around with men’s movement sissies complaining about how unfair it is that men aren’t treated like delicate flowers. Have you no pride? Dignity? Testosterone?

    It’s not a big deal for you to get slapped by a woman because A) You’re a man, even a hard slap from a woman is like being clawed by a kitten and B) unless you’re dating some psycho you’ve probably earned slap by doing something outrageous. Like reading Iron John.

    Look, if your woman slaps you and you don’t like it dump her on the spot and hook up with her hotter friend for good measure. This has been the time honored response to female “abuse” of men since ancient times, passed to us by Greek and Roman philosophers like Celsus who wrote that little known treatise on dating called Stop Acting Like a Little Girl.

    By the gods do you two listen to yourselves? You’re (theoretically) Men now start acting like it. What’s next we’ll have to hear Javelineer complain that puppies play to rough with him (under his new handle ThrobingBeef69) which is unfair because he’s not allowed to beat them up? Then will Eclectic Radical vomit out some JR college post-post-modernist deconstruction of the power dynamic of we Peopleists who are oppressing dogs?

    You’re men. MEN! What would John Wayne say to you two? Would Baudelaire put up with this sort of mincing effeminacy? La Rouchfoucald? He would have laughed at you while applying his rouge.

    Take off those skinny jeans, throw away your ironic glasses and start acting like men. If you guys did, maybe you could actually have women who cared enough about where your penises have been to throw the occasional rolling pin at you.

  6. Janis on October 22nd, 2009 7:31 pm

    I have never in my life heard ANY audience of any kind laugh when a woman knees a guy in the nuts. It’s shock, outrage, disgust, and “HEY!” all around.

    When another man does it, or when it’s an accident that occurred doing “manly” things, THEY LOVE IT. Yes, you heard me — MEN love it. Why else would people advertise all those DVDs of 90 solid minutes of football players getting hit in the nuts while the male audience guffaws?

    STFU. Men love that crap — when it’s another man doing the kicking. When it’s a woman, it’s moider-dah-bitch time. Mostly because she might have had damned good reason for it.

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