Last Saturday morning, in a Kansas City enclave not 20 miles from my home, Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker, Jovan Belcher, pumped 9 rounds into his girlfriend and the mother of their child, killing her. He did so in front of their 3 month-old daughter and his mother. He then crashed his car through the gate of the Chiefs practice facility about a quarter mile from Arrowhead Stadium, thanked his coach and the team general manager, walked outside and as police approached, Belcher shot himself in the temple ending his own life.
There are conflicting reports about the kind of man he was off the field. Close family and friends claim he was a sweet-spirited gentle giant who never hurt a soul. Reports are filtering in he had a violent temper and a history of domestic abuse. No one around Kansas City has much to say about Kasandra Perkins, his victim, but the outpouring of grief for Jovan Belcher is overwhelming, including an impromptu shrine at the doorstep of the home they shared and another in front of Arrowhead Stadium. There is a lot of talk about repetitive head injuries being the cause, possible steroid use resulting in what is commonly called ‘roid rage and the pressures of being a professional athlete. Excuses for his behavior are coming out of the woodwork – including blaming Kasandra Perkins. I mean, she must have been a really bad person and she probably set the poor man off, right? A man has to pump NINE rounds into a woman’s skull because sometimes you just have to tell the bitch twice… right? *end sarcasm.
Kansas City sports writer, Jason Whitlock used his column to at least inject a bit of sanity into the conversation. Sunday evening, during the televised sportscast of a football game, sports analyst Bob Costas took one minute and thirty two seconds (listen closely as “God Bless America” plays in the background) to speak a little truth about the subject – you know, about how perhaps if guns weren’t quite so readily available, maybe, just maybe, a couple of people might still be alive.
Costas’ comments have been characterized as a “rant”. I guess daring to question anything or have an opinion on anything is a “rant”. They must not swing by here much if they call that a “rant”. My rants get raves. That brief commentary wasn’t even in the same league as mine. The NRA and the rest of the gun-fetishists immediately demanded the network fire Costas for daring to say something marginally thoughtful and coherent while they crowed that, of course, the whole tragedy would have been averted if only Kasandra Perkins had a gun too – because more loaded weapons always make things better, right? They blame her for her own death because she didn’t have a gun too. *Sigh. Blaming a murder victim for not being armed is like blaming the victims of 9/11 for not having their own planes. And of course, they claim she still would have been dead, because the shooter would have just strangled her or beat her to death with a bat instead. Not only is that a false assumption, they conveniently ignore how easy guns make it. Ted Nugent in all his fucktardery stated that a gun was responsible for her death the way spoons are responsible for obesity. As a fat woman, I can tell you I’ve never offed anyone in a crowded movie theatre with a spork.
Of course, the NFL Commissioner could have done the right thing in all of this and called the Chiefs’ Sunday game off, but we can’t let a little thing like a murder-suicide stand in the way of greed. What would this city have done with itself if the Chiefs hadn’t played on Sunday, hmmm? Read a book, perhaps or maybe… get a conscience? Maybe I could ignore the insensitivity of it all if they just hadn’t gone and blamed that damned woman. My thoughts are with no one but her child and her family but I seem to be the odd person out here.
Speaking of those damned women, a friend sent me an article
about the “War on Men”, written by self-described “teacher-turned author and social critic”, Suzanne Venker. I had a few clues about what I would be reading when the article appeared on the Fox News website and in looking at Ms. Venker’s website, she was described as a “dynamite lady” by Dr. James Dobson, the Christian fundamentalist head of the whack-jobs at Focus on the Family. She did not disappoint. I was treated to 18 short paragraphs admonishing women for wanting more out of life than the role as a submissive baby-factory. Seems we’re castrating men by wanting jobs and equal pay and the right to vote and social justice. Yes, I am the problem. Women like me just ‘aren’t women anymore’ and it pisses men off. Well, it pisses most men off, according to Ms. Venker – just not the one I’ve been with for 17 years. I’m still trying to figure out how to break it to Von that he’s some kind of a freak of nature for accepting me as I am and finding me to be a completely feminine woman.
It was my intention to dissect the utter bullshit of Ms. Venker’s views but Meredith Blake of the Los Angeles Times and comedian Stephen Colbert beat me to it. I wasn’t expecting a man to rise to our defense, but he did it so brilliantly, I frankly have nothing to add. You can watch the video here.
It’s not often I’m left with nothing more to say on an article like “The War on Men“.
Well played, Mr. Colbert. Well played.
Editor’s Note: For another brilliant blog on the topic of the Kasandra Perkins murder, may I recommend Erin Nanasi’s “Poking At Snakes” blog.
Carol Baker is a free-lance political writer and sometimes satirist. She is a regular contributor to Here Women Talk.
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