The Hypocrisy of Domestic Violence

Here is an article on an instance of domestic violence:

Dawn Montesdeoca, 50, of  Chicago, used an usually sweet weapon when she assaulted her husband, Arturo Montesdeoca, 56, with cupcakes during an argument that got progressively sticky and ended with a charge of domestic battery.

The fight began as a verbal disagreement around 7:30 p.m. Saturday but soon escalated to a physical altercation. “The woman struck the husband about the head with her hands and then commenced to hit him with cupcakes,”  the Chicago Police Department said in a statement.

When police arrived, they found Arturo Monesdeoca with icing smeared on his head and clothes. Police arrested his wife for misdemeanor domestic battery. . . Arturo Montesdeoca reportedly told police that his wife had been verbally aggressive, and that he feared for his safety when he called police.

And here is a reaction to it:

This wife got in an argument with her husband. She began striking him, and then the argument deteriorated. She began pelting him with cupcakes! He called the cops on her. She has been released on $10,000 bond. Just how much damage can a battery of cupcakes do? I think she needs to be hospitalized and checked out for emotional illness, not arrested for assault. What a crazy article.

If you Google the story, you will find dozens of articles where the perpetrator is referred to as “cupcake-tossing wife.” Not “beating-a-person-on-the-head wife”, mind you. Not “verbally abusive wife.” Cupcake-tossing. Because that’s what makes the story interesting: cupcakes.  And arresting a person who beats a human being over the head? Oh, that’s just crazy.

I really don’t want this post to turn into “If the victim were a woman, the reaction would have been different.” No, it wouldn’t. No matter who the victim is, people who are battered at home are routinely dismissed. Domestic violence is an issue people love to dismiss. By ridiculing victims of domestic abuse we create an emotional distance from them. It is as if we said to ourselves, “This is not something that could happen to me. I’m nothing like these crazy, cupcake-hurling folks.”

While we are hiding from the horrible realities of domestic violence behind these inventive strategies, the true causes of it and the very real damage it creates remain unaddressed.

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22 comments on “The Hypocrisy of Domestic Violence

  1. My personal take is that we have an issue with communication that leads people to use violence to solve. One problem is when we try to label it in certain ways like, “domestic violence”. I never could quite understand what the difference is when someone kicks the shit out of you on the street or in the house. Isnt it still just a shitkicking? I realize it is sounds so much more powerful when we add the term “domestic”, unfortunately it doesnt feel any different for the person in the street. :(

  2. Is the explanation that domestic violence against men is not taken seriously? On the one hand, of course violence against women is by far the larger problem — but that doesn’t mean violence against men should be made light of. Jokery like this is part of how violence against women is made to feel normal.

  3. People need to understand that if he says he feared for his life, he feared for his life. It had nothing to do with cupcakes.

  4. On the one hand, of course violence against women is by far the larger problem — (Vance)

    And you know this how? I know the media tells it one way but is it really true?

  5. Women’s anger is supposed to be ineffectual — either sexy or simply humorous. Male anger is supposed to be a legitimate expression of godly wrath. Both stereotypes are patently bizarre.

    • Not the way I was raised to believe.

      A woman’s anger was seen as a legit display of being fed up with something and that she wasn’t going to take it anymore while a man’s anger was seen as brutish and uncivilized and doubly harmful if directed at women/girls.

      And I think that’s why a lot of times when women commit violence against men the first thing a lot of people reach for it “what did he do to make her do that to him?”.

  6. bloggerclarissa :
    I come from a culture of angry, openly aggressive women, so for me this is a very unexpected statement.
    I was nicknamed “the angry young woman” at my grad school.

    Oh — “angry” and “woman” — you surely must have cancelled yourself out?

  7. Part of why domestic violence isn’t taken seriously is are the assumptions:
    – women secretly like it, don’t mind it, accept it or want it whether the like it or not, so while they may complain it is just a flare-up, their complaint isn’t serious, they actually don’t want to do anything about it, and
    – if men are men, it wouldn’t happen to them, so it shouldn’t, so it didn’t, it’s just a tiff, a flare-up, not real

    • @Z

      Most violence isnt taken seriously. That is why on any given friday or saturday night you will have a “fight” at the bar that just have most people standing around and cheering for one side to win.

  8. Z :
    Part of why domestic violence isn’t taken seriously is are the assumptions:
    – women secretly like it, don’t mind it, accept it or want it whether the like it or not, so while they may complain it is just a flare-up, their complaint isn’t serious, they actually don’t want to do anything about it, and
    – if men are men, it wouldn’t happen to them, so it shouldn’t, so it didn’t, it’s just a tiff, a flare-up, not real

    A huge amount of reality is taken as “not real”. I would say this applies to the higher proportion of it — around 97 percent.

  9. Pingback: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Blog Carnival « Anytime Yoga

  10. This is a bit of topic as DV is mostly committed by men.

    Men of my age (and possibly younger men) were conditioned to think domestic violence was only violence against women. Somehow if a woman hit you it was not going to hurt and if it did it was because you were soft. So much so that they don’t realize when they are a victim.

    This actually happened to me a long time ago and it was only recently that I realized it was domestic violence. The circumstances where such that because I didn’t want to be injured any more I agreed to have sex with the woman I was living with. I can remember being very worried about what would happen next because the first time I needed 8 stitches and 23 the second time. But at no point did I think about this as domestic violence in the way we would nowadays.

      • Thanks for the sympathy but really there is no lasting damage. I was used to my mother hitting me when I was at home so did not think to much of it and unlike many women I had the financial resources to escape.

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