• Tue, Aug 10 2010

MTV Seems to Think Violence Against Men Is OK

Image via WENN

Last year, much ado was made over a promo ad for MTV’s breakout show Jersey Shore, which showed castmember Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi getting punched in the face by an unidentified man. Many activist groups responded negatively to the ad, and while the punch ultimately didn’t make it onto the show (however, they showed cast members talking about it and reacting to it), MTV included an anti-violence public service announcement at the end of the episode. While I commend MTV for taking a stand, it’s unfortunate how they have let similar acts of violence go without similar PSAs. On Jersey Shore, there was another episode where J.Woww smacked The Situation. On last week’s episode, a drunken Angelina hit Pauly D on the face. Why did those incidents go without comment? Maybe because the aggressors were other cast members. But this isn’t the only time MTV has let violence against men go without concern.

On Teen Mom, the followup to 16 and Pregnant, which follows several of the show’s moms as they struggle with teen parenthood, one of the moms (Amber) has been shown acting violently toward her on-again-off-again fiance and the father of her child, Gary. Last season, Amber shoved Gary while they were having an argument. This season, one of the other mothers, Farrah Abraham, was assaulted by her mother, Debra, although the incident was not caught by MTV’s cameras. Despite not having footage of the incident, Teen Mom has followed Farrah through the aftermath, as she speaks with a state attorney who is pressing charges and enters therapy to cope with what happened. After the first episode of the season, which featured Farrah talking about what had happened between her and her mother, MTV included a number for a domestic violence hotline on the screen. It seems that what happened between Debra and Farrah was worthy of a PSA, but what happened between Gary and Amber is not worth speaking of again.

What’s with MTV’s double standard on their reality shows? Are they saying that violence is okay as long as it’s a woman hitting a man? I suspect that if Gary had been the one shoving Amber, the police would have been called and a PSA would have been aired. But since it’s Gary who was on the receiving end of harm, it doesn’t mean anything.

MTV, I urge you to play fair. If you really believe in your message that violence is wrong, you need to make sure you apply that logic to everyone.

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  • cori

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s disgusting that women think they can hit men just because they won’t get hit back. Violence of any kind is disgusting and if Gary had hit Amber he’d have been arrested. MTV has the right idea but they need to step up.

  • Tito

    Two words… “Bully Beatdown”.

  • Alex

    Oh my goodness, thank you! I’ve been so tired of seeing this double standard not only on television but in every day life. A girl in one of my classes was bragging about how she fractured her boyfriend’s arm in a fight by beating him with the side-view mirror she ripped off his car. Stuff like that disgusts me, but I’m so glad someone else is noticing!

  • Eileen

    It’s not just MTV. Remember when it came out that Tiger Woods was cheating and that his wife had allegedly hit him over the head with a golf club? Not that I advocate what he did, but the fact that so many women – and men, too – seemed to celebrate the idea of attacking her husband with a metal club seemed kind of perverse to me.

  • Summer

    I totally agree; and even if violence against a man were acceptable, what about Gary and Amber’s baby. That little girl is growing up in an abusive household. Gary can take care of himself, and should leave that crazy Amber. But he should either take Leah with him, or call the cops and let someone else take that innocent baby out of that scream-filled apartment.

  • dani

    Well, after watching the upcoming episode for next week, it looks like we get to see Amber graduate from slapping Gary to PUNCHING him. Wow, looks like those boxing classes have really paid off Amber! I was just sick to my stomach to see what is coming up next week and I hope to God that Gary gets much needed therapy and takes Amber to court for custody…he has plenty of evidence captured on film of her abuse of not only him, but her precious daughter. How does she scream and yell at Gary to not “yell at her in her own home” when he hasn’t raised his voice at all. Then she kicks him out spewing many profanities and turns around and tells Leah, “Daddy left you again”? Someone with a brain needs to step in and give a crap about this man and his daughter. When a man hits a woman he goes to jail, when a woman hits a man he’s a “sissy” and her behavior gets validation on a TV show and she gets paid to do it!

    • Lilit Marcus

      Amber has also alluded to hitting Leah. Remember when Gary asked Amber not to “discipline” their daughter? Just awful all around.

  • Double standard

    I am SO sick of this double standard! Talk about a man hitting a woman – and immediately people will be all over it saying stuff like “that is totally wrong” or “I hope he gets sent to jail”.
    However, any talk about a woman hitting a man and it’s like “pucker up mate and take it like a man”…. Pathetic.

  • rethink

    Abuse is abuse, regardless of gender. If Gary treated Amber the way she treats him – shoving, choking, screaming – there would be total outrage. But for some reason, most people ignore (or worse, even try to justify) her behavior. Why is this!? It’s so wrong.