Friday, October 08, 2010

MTV, Teen Mom and domestic violence against men

I realize that few of the readers of this blog would be watching "Teen Mom" on MTV; however, if you caught the September 28th episode when Amber beat the crap out of her ex-fiance Gary, you would realize why this episode is so important in at least making an attempt to expose the blatant domestic violence against men.

Reluctantly, I admit that I watch and was sucked into this show on a fairly regular basis. I was shocked when I saw Amber attacking Gary a number of times and then finally, in the Sept. 28th episode, she hit him in the head and tried to kick him down a flight of stairs while he carrying down a TV to put in his car. Yahoo.com has this information on that episode:

Teen Mom star Amber Portwood tells the new Us Weekly that she's facing her serious anger issues head on.

Fans of the MTV show were shocked by the Sept. 28 episode, in which an enraged Portwood, 20, punched, kicked and screamed at Gary Shirley, her on-and-off fiance and father to daughter Leah, 23 months.

"A lot has changed," Portwood, now in couple counseling with Shirley, tells Us Weekly. "I haven't hit him since that fight." (Local authorities in Anderson, Ind. reportedly launched an investigation after the incident aired, and MTV broadcast a domestic violence PSA during commercial breaks.)


I must say I was surprised that MTV broadcast the domestic violence PSA for an abused man after the show. It was subtle but well-done. Kudos to MTV for exposing this taboo topic. They could have played it down and ignored it but they caught Amber's abuse on tape for all of the world to see. Yes, I know if the roles were reversed, the man would be in jail with no questions or apologies but at least it's a start.

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29 Comments:

Blogger DADvocate said...

Yes, kudos to MTV.

What would be the odds of a man who hit and kicked his spouse/girlfriend keeping the couple's child? Zero or less than zero?

My son and I visited Middle Tennessee State University about a month ago. Turns out Amber is going to college there now. A couple of people we talked to knew her and were quite neutral in their comments, i.e. nothing good to say.

2:12 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

DADvocate, I got my masters from MTSU. I learned a lot and it was a bargain. I would love to take you and yours out for a frosty beverage if you are in town again. Let me know on here and I will get you my email.

Trey

2:33 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Ern said...

Yes, I know if the roles were reversed, the man would be in jail with no questions or apologies but at least it's a start.

Your statement about role reversal is true, but doesn't go far enough. If the man were simply accused of doing it, he would spend the night in the local jail, whether there were any evidence that he did it (other than the woman's words) or not. This is true in several cities in which I have lived. Due process, including the presumption of innocence, does not, in practice, apply to a man accused of domestic violence.

4:45 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Steve said...

Heh. Small world. In the early 80's, I attended Reeves Rogers Elementry School 2nd through 4th grade, across the street from MTSU. I remember watching their football and basketball games. Go Blue Raiders!!

As for the article and previous comments, Ern is right. And the fact that possibility exists for men, regardless what actually does or does not transpire beforehand, is a scary thought.

It's nice to read a subtle PSA was provided at the end... though I'd rather see a more thorough narrative on the consequences of her wrong-doing, or not air the incident at all.

5:44 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

The reality and fantasy of teen parenthood are on 2 different ends of the parenting spectrum.

8:00 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger Ben Samuels said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:44 PM, October 08, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Trey - I'll let you know when we're back in town. Hopefully, it'll be sometime this fall.

12:26 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger mariner said...

Local authorities "launched an investigation"? Gee, isn't that nice.

It seems to me MTV has already done all the investigation that needs doing [to establish that criminal domestic violence did in fact happen], and the evidence was broadcast for all the world to see.

7:03 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger randian said...

ocal authorities "launched an investigation"? Gee, isn't that nice.

It's a CYA move. They'll wait until this all blows over and quietly not press charges, which shouldn't be mere battery. Punching someone is battery, trying to kick them down a flight of stairs should be aggravated battery if not attempted murder. The likelihood of serious and permanent injury or death is too great should the attack be successful.

8:36 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger tim maguire said...

My wife watches Teen Mom and I sometimes join her. I was really surprised at how well MTV handles the issue--they show all the gory details of these women's miserable lives. Not a bit of the glamorization I expected; a powerful statement about the consequences of teen sex.

It's ironic that Amber treats her boyfriend so terribly as she is one of the few who wasn't abandoned by him.

8:39 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger paul a'barge said...

Here is her boyfriend:
Gary

Here is: Amber

8:39 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger Derek said...

MTV doesn't deserve kudos. The producers of the program filmed the episode and then produced it. They never called the police while it was happening.

Law enforcement, according to several criticisms I've read recently, didn't even get involved until AFTER the episode aired nationally.

Imagine if they'd kept quiet after filming Gary slap Amber around. Would putting a PSA about domestic violence be enough to earn them kudos?

9:40 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger Steph said...

Just a point of clarification in the comments- Amber Portwood lives in Anderson Indiana, it's Maci Bookout who attends MTSU. (I kind of hate myself for knowing that)

MTV just runs those ads bc they know they have to- just like Bravo runs the anti-underage drinking ads every time Lynn Curtin's kids are on- it's a sop.

My husband and I have a sort of different take on the situation. Qualifiers: Amber Portwood is hands down one of the most awful people ever on television, she is a terrible mother and I cringe with every interaction she has with her daughter. She is the worst personality traits of six people rolled into one. She deserves no sympathy. With all that said, Gary deserved an ass kicking.
If we lived in a decent society his or her father would have stuck around and they'd dragged him out into the front yard and given him a what for. He is the laziest moron in the world, he refuses to get any sort of job, he graduated from high school, but doesn't even enroll in community college. Guess what Gary? If there aren't jobs for 18 yeard olds with a hs diploma in this economy what sort of job are you hoping for as a 25 year old with a hs diploma and no work history? Gary regualarly walks out on Amber claiming he's never coming back. He pretends to start dating girls he meets at Walmart (a behavior Amber is now imitating).
Gary needs to be set straight by a proper male role model and unfortunately in this case it happens to be the lady that he's dating. Would anyone be upset if Amber's brother came back from Afghanistan and slapped him around for his chronic sloth and stupidity?

10:10 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger The Head of Alfredo Garcia said...

We can split hairs about MTV's culpability and response; I agree.

But the fact that anyone is talking about it at all strikes me as a miracle.

I'm a guy who was attacked, constantly, during all the years I was married. And no, since someone *always* asks, I never hit her - not even in self defense. And I had the bruises to prove it.

The police were worthless (with one exception, at the very end). I would leave the house to let things cool off, walk up to cops at the coffee shop, show them the bruises on my face and ask if it was something they could do something about. "No", they'd respond, hardly bothering even to do that. Once, a cop responded to an incident during our divorce where she'd kicked me in the groin as my kids watched because I hadn't given her a key to the house (she'd moved out); his response was "well, you should have given her a key", and I got the impression that if I hadn't had a few witnesses, I might be going to jail. They did nothing to her.

Worse? The "Therapy community" was a bigoted as anyone else. We were going through couples counseling (this'd be fifteen years ago), and we discussed an incident where my then-wife kicked me and hit me with a kid's toy. He asked to speak with us separately; from me, he got some petty details. He told her to get a restraining order, take the kids and leave me (she told me later).

So seeing the media actually address the issue is a start. It'd be better to see "women" like that worthless slug "Amber" dragged in front of judges and losing their rights and their freedom and their futures, just like men do every single day over merely being accused of what she did.

10:18 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

"Would anyone be upset if Amber's brother came back from Afghanistan and slapped him around for his chronic sloth and stupidity?"

-----

Sure, I'd protest. It's an assault and battery based on nothing that the guy did to him personally.

Pretty warped thinking, but it keeps tort lawyers in business.

11:28 AM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger JB said...

@ Steph: are you serious? You condone someone giving this guy an "ass-kicking" because he

1) refuses to get a job;
2) refuses to enroll in college.

Yet every single day, thousands and thousands of SAHMs

1) refuse to get a job;
2) refuse to enroll in college.

Are we going to get someone to go drag all of them out in the front yard and kick their asses, too?

DV isn't the only realm where women enjoy being on the receiving end of a very extreme double standard.

12:17 PM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger Eric said...

You are right to say that "if the roles were reversed, the man would be in jail with no questions or apologies."

And I find myself wondering whether any of the social science statisticians who love to hound us with factoids have ever taken the time to examine public records pertaining to the granting of restraining orders. Are men who request them against women more or less likely to get them than women who request them against men?

Does anyone know?

12:19 PM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger Helen said...

The Head of Alfredo Garcia,

"We can split hairs about MTV's culpability and response; I agree.

But the fact that anyone is talking about it at all strikes me as a miracle."

Yes, my point exactly. At least MTV provided actual footage that showed what happens to 800,000 men (or more) in homes across this country. Before, it was hidden and/or laughed about. Now, it is more obvious, that is worth something.

3:04 PM, October 09, 2010  
Blogger Cappy said...

It is true that any attention to DV against men is welcome.

Also, I do not recommend the Woody Hayes Anger Management Clinic for Amber.

10:11 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Just a point of clarification in the comments- Amber Portwood lives in Anderson Indiana, it's Maci Bookout who attends MTSU.

Sorry for the misinformation. Obviously, I pay no attention to this show (except to ask my daughter if she would want her life to be like that. And the answer is always "No.")

10:31 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger God Of Bacon said...

Good to see the mysogynists are alive and well today.

10:45 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Good to see the mysogynists are alive and well today.

As well as our local mysandrist (village idiot).

11:44 AM, October 10, 2010  
Blogger Sloan said...

I occasionally catch my 15-year-old daughter watching this program. Not that we prohibit her from watching MTV, but in general the viewing fare on that channel, as we all know, leaves much to be desired.

Not in this case. Judging by my daughter's reaction (fear, horror, disgust), it might well be the most socially responsible program that MTV has ever aired; what better way to curb teen pregnancy than to show the young ladies and gentlemen out there just what life is like as a young unwed mother or father? I'm thinking that it's what "The Real World" should have been.

11:03 AM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger Dedicated_Dad said...

Can't resist another comment.

ERIC: the answer (in re: protective orders) is obvious.

Though anecdotal, my experience is obvious.

I stood before a judge with my face beaten in - actual facial-fractures - after yet another of her ever-escalating "sneak-attacks." This time she'd nearly killed me.

His (hack-spit) "Honor" literally laughed in my face, and told me "you can't be much of a man if you can't defend yourself against a little girl."

My - as respectful as possible - response that if I'd raised my hand to block her swing and she broke a nail, I'd be in jail, earned me a threat of "contempt of court" charges and being ordered from the courtroom.

Best of all, when I ordered transcripts they were "unavailable due to recording equipment malfunction" - the tape had been "eaten" by the machine" and ended right after the part where he verified my identity.

My Atty was later able to verify that the tape was FINE for the "petitioner" before and after me -- funny how those "malfunctions" work sometimes, huh?

Further, when she went before the same judge soon after, he granted HER request

At the "show cause" hearing - where I vehemently opposed the order and proved she was the repeatedly and consistently violent one and that shed even admitted this to several of HER FAMILY who testified for me, she still got her order and de-facto custody of the kids, house and everything else.

These "protective orders" are in reality used by crooked, attorneys and their abusive female clients to obtain summary-judgement, thus ensuring that the long and expensive "custody battle" to follow will be nothing more than a formality to finalize what was ordered in a 2-minute ex-parte hearing.

In the course of my years of participation in "Fathers' Rights" or "Men's Issues" I've met literally dozens of men with similar stories.

Go figure.

The problem is system-wide, and - though it is getting better - isn't likely to change any time soon.

Doesn't matter - not in the grand scheme of things.

We'll survive whatever they do to us -- but no matter what, **NEVER** give up on your kids.

DD

PS: I met another Dad early in my experiences. This poor guy was given the raw end of everything, and never seemed to catch a break. He wasn't even permitted to SEE his kids for over 15 years, but never quit fighting, never ever stopped.

Today his kids are grown. They have their scars - that's inevitable - but here's the important thing: They now know the truth. They know Mom lied to them. They know their "Deadbeat" Dad never ever ever gave up on them, and now consider him their best friend in the world.

Mom OTOH has finally received the reward she deserves -- her grown kids - who now know the truth - want nothing to do with her.

2:55 PM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger God Of Bacon said...

Dedicated_Dad,

The correct response to the judge's opinion of your manliness would be to ask for a copy of the transcript so you can read it back to him when you decide to defend yourself and end up back in court.

7:19 PM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger kmg said...

It is funny how so many 'femynysts' continue to misspell the most important word in their vocabulary.

Feminists, far from helping women, have greatly exposed the inherent inferiority of women for the world to see. Now, people who otherwise would not have noticed, have had multiple demonstrations of how women are simply inferior to men.

6:38 AM, October 14, 2010  
Blogger Dave said...

To the commenter who said that 'Gary deserved an ass beating'. Really, so not having a job and being lazy warrants attempting to kill someone by kicking them down a flight of stairs? You said the girl was horrible too, I guess she doesn't deserve physical violence and possible death though, only the guy. No double standard there.

I've seen the show & they're both losers, but she's the aggressive and abusive one and she deserves to be in jail.

6:03 AM, October 18, 2010  
Blogger hercules.smitherton said...

My girlfriend (at the time) once threw a cocktail glass at me to underscore her opinion in a tense discussion about my job prospects. The glass hit the edge of a piece of furniture and broke, shards cutting me in the hand. The wound needed stitching and I went to the next emergency room. The ER doctor asked what happened and I told him that I was doing the dishes and broke a glass. My girlfriend was applying for a federal job and a police report would have likely jeopardized her chances. I never told anyone about this incident until we broke up, and I think many men do not report female domestic violence because they want to protect their partner from the consequences.

2:45 PM, November 13, 2010  
Blogger Turning Winds said...

Amber should definitely change her ways if she wouldn't want her ex-fiance or anyone file charges against her for physical abuse. I'm worried that her child might adapt to her behavior and that would be a bad thing. She may be a troubled teen in need of help but she's also a mother who need's to put her act together to provide a good future for her child. I hope she does it soon, before she regrets everything.

Monica
http://turningwinds.blogspot.com/

12:55 AM, January 21, 2011  

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