I was amused to see via Jeff the very long post and resulting thread about my comment at Nomad's. I had no idea it touched a nerve in people as much as it did as I was just throwing the question/comment out there, not necessarily "attacking" anyone. However, I literally was surprised and a little annoyed at some of the things being said. I notice similar things are often said by mostly men (at last in the K blogsphere) in regards to spousal abuse as well but we don't hear such graphic rage and the desire to inflict harm on someone else when we read about abuse toward the elderly or handicapped and nothing nearly as violent in regards to victims of drunk driving which is an equally disgusting crime. Sure, we hear people respond with ill-wishes toward the offender, but nothing along the very vulgar, raging lines of what was written on that particular thread at Nomad's. Very curious to observe...
For example, also on Lost Nomad's, we read about a military man who was held responsible for his wife's death after a night drinking. Notice the much saner tone of the comments on that one and what I would say, the more rational response the story generated (at least according to how it was last time I checked). Is this crime any less pathetic than that of the child abuse case? Where is the same reader outrage there? Some people even expressed pity toward him saying he's suffered enough and prison is too much. Like the child abuser, this man will be punished, at least according to what we have read. But I didn't hear anyone wishing to inflict torture upon him. I wonder why...I know there are some people who would say this points to racism in that the man in this case is an American and if he were a Korean man, the commenters would be even more brutal. I'm not saying that is how I feel but I can picture it right now coming from others.
Having said that, I thought I should clear some stuff up in regards to things on your post or comment section regarding me and what I apparently said according to some people.
First of all, nowhere did I say that violence never solves anything. That is taking my words and dramatically twisting them around in order to fit one's personal agenda, in this case, your post. Not acceptable. I was simply referring to this very isolated case and the exact comments I was reading on that particular thread. It fascinated me, reading about everyone's fantasies about what they would do to a man who harmed a helpless, innocent victim but who had been caught. I can understand someone wanting to act in violence toward him had he gone free when it was clear he was guilty, or if they caught him in the act, but I'm not sure what good violence would do to him now that he has been arrested and is to be punished, at least according to what we have read in the paper.
And why the fantasizing of wanting to harm him with one's own hands? I know if it were a child of your own, such feelings would be understandable but it is fascinating to see such vivid, horrendous reactions to a story in the paper where again, the man has been caught. (I know, there is a lot of room for unspoken possibilities about his punishment but I don't think it's fair to go off those. We can only react to what we are reading right in front of us with the information we have been given and that is what I did, although perhaps I was the only one who was doing that.) So having said that, it was very fascinating to read about such carnal outrage from most of the readers yet it didn't make sense to me in this case.
You said it yourself:I'm not violent by nature. If a guy slugs me in the face, it's possible I won't slug him back. But Heaven help the man I catch on the street if he's abusing someone helpless.
You see, I have no problem with that. But that isn't what has happened here. You, nor anyone else who responded to that story saw this guy in the act yet you still had these strong desires to harm him and if we are to believe your words, you'd still want to harm him even after he's been caught.
Was it fair of me to say that having such thoughts "lowers" a person in my mind? Well, in this case I certainly didn't think very highly of anyone who said they wanted to inflict torture at their own hands on this man. He was caught. He is going to be punished. I just don't get it. What good would it do except to satisfy your own needs? He is clearly already being held responsible for his crime from what we have been told. I'm not saying it's wrong to be angry. Anyone who isn't emotionally touched in some way about the crime (whether it is sympathy for the child, anger at the crime, etc.) has some issues. But it is still shocking for me to hear someone want to take the matter into their own hands when the matter clearly has already been taken into the hands of the law...but not simply wanting to take the issue into their own hands but actually have a detailed plan about what they would do to him, it's a little disturbing.
By the way, I am not a pacifist at all and I don't see how one could concretely say that about me based on that one comment which again, was a reaction to one very specific case. I am not anti-military (that was the funniest guess of all, especially if you know me) and I am not anti-police. I know you didn't say straight out that I was, but I thought I'd just end the mystery myself.
Are the reactions on the thread "male" reactions? It's hard to tell. It has been argued that it is a very maternal instict for a mother to want to protect her children from perps or harm in and that she would not hesitate to do so in a very physical way. I think there are women who would feel the same---if it were their own kids in question. How about a woman wanting to protect children who are not her own? Would she resort to the same violent thoughts or would she take the campaign route sort of speak? I really don't know...again, I'm just throwing the question out there.
Does my reaction mean I'm soft on such crimes? Anyone who interprets it that way is looking at the issue through a very narrow mindset.
On a lighter note, I have, by the way, never claimed to understand men and again, anyone who knows me would laugh at the assumption that I do. I have given up on ever fully understanding men for the time being. I suppose there are people out there who will call me a "man hater" for saying that but I'm sure those very same people are just as clueless about the opposite sex as I am. Sometimes I think we should just give up trying to figure each other out and rather enjoy one another's company.
As for my haughtiness, I don't see how I come off as being any more "haughty" other typical bloggers or commenters for that matter. Yes I stand my ground on issues I feel strongly about or on things I am knowledgeable on and if that makes me haughty then we are all guilty, you included. I think your perception of me as being haughty is quite accurate to what another well-known male K-blogger told me in regards to your assessment of me: "For some reason attitude in a woman always comes off worse than attitude in a man. It's unfair and I'm not saying it's right, but that is the way it is." Your words seem to accurately reflect his sentiments and it is unfortunate for me and any other female blogger out there who has to contend with such perceptions.
Anyway, as people have noticed, my site has gone offline due to personal reasons unrelated to blogging. I must admit the timing couldn't be better considering the sh*t storm that has erupted over something I said not even on my own blog and that has taken on a life of its own at the hands of others.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thanks to Jeff for defending me on the thread.
Thank you, Jodi, for your response. Regarding this:
First of all, nowhere did I say that violence never solves anything. That is taking my words and dramatically twisting them around in order to fit one's personal agenda, in this case, your post. Not acceptable.
Please recall that you said:
As much as I am against child abuse, I find it very disturbing that so many commenters here believe the way to solve this is to use violence against the abuser. Violence to solve violence? I hope you guys are just joking when you write about all the things you’d do to this person because it doesn't really reflect all that great on any of you if you are serious. Seems to me this guy got what he deserved when he was arrested.
Within this paragraph is the crucial question: "Violence to solve violence?" If, as you say, the question is meant to apply only to this particular situation, I have to wonder why the question was asked at all. The question, as is, has universal import. So, no: I didn't misunderstand the implication of this question. You were quite clear. "Violence to solve violence?" is almost always asked in reaction to specific cases, not merely as a preamble to abstract armchair ruminations, and not in such a way as to be tied parochially to a given situation. A fair reading of what you wrote is the reading I gave it. Far from twisting your words (I've heard that you've used this debating tactic before, i.e., claiming people have misunderstood you or taken you out of context), I've read them as they are usually read. Perhaps you should have been clearer in your original comment if you meant to say, "Violence to solve violence? In this case, that's unacceptable!"
Let me put the question to you (and to my handful of readers): In what cases is violence justified?
As for "shitstorm"... hm. My own blog isn't all that heavily trafficked, so I'd hardly call a civil discussion (among only nine or so people) in my rinky-dink comment threads a shitstorm. Let's not magnify something beyond its actual significance.
I also reject the contention that "for some reason attitude in a woman always comes off worse than attitude in a man. It's unfair and I'm not saying it's right, but that is the way it is." This statement may in fact apply to many men, but it fails to explain why I, for one, appreciate feminists with backbone like Camille Paglia, who are fighting a war against both PC feminism and male chauvinism. The above-quoted remark is good for feeding a persecution complex, not for explaining gender realities.
Regarding your point about the drunk couple who crashed, I'd say you're probably right: there could have been more outrage than there was. After all, such negligence is unbecoming of both an officer and a husband (or, to be fair, of whoever might happen to be driving a moped while drunk, man or woman). I gladly concede your point. "Where was the rage?" indeed. I can't explain the general lack of a visceral response over at the Nomad's, except perhaps to say that most of the guys probably saw this as a tragic case involving two adults who had some choice in what they were doing-- i.e., they both decided to get drunk. This is a far cry from willful abuse of helpless children. But having said that, I agree with you that the man deserves his time in purgatory for allowing his wife to be killed.
Your basic objection, in your original comment at the Nomad's, seemed to be rooted in revulsion about certain aspects of the male psyche. Your admission of incomprehension is wise; I freely admit my own incomprehension at your revulsion. I suspect that, were you to have children, you would have a better idea where some of those commenters-- some of whom are fathers-- are coming from. I, of course, am not a parent (as pregnant as I may look), but as someone with a soft spot for kids and a goddaughter of my own I could easily see myself doing anything-- anything-- to teach scum like that guy a lesson, to leave him gasping and hurting and unable to commit such a crime again.
So that seems to be about where we stand, Jodi. I appreciate your email. Good luck during your hiatus.