Sunday, March 22, 2009
Tyra Did Her Own Show on Teen Dating Violence
Phew I didn't have anything to record this with but it was more harrowing than the Oprah episode from last week. I see parallels in how there's been a lot of social gains but other core basics have been ignored and a lot of social ills have emerged more virulent than ever. Apparently the dating violence rate has nearly doubled in the past decade. The Oprah episode with Robin Givens and Kevin Powell was pre-empted in my market on Thursday for March Madness so I hope it repeats again soon. This Tyra episode scared me quite frankly.
She had several teen girls on who talked about being punched, strangled, choked and hit with objects. She featured one couple who are 17 and 18 with a toddler where the male thinks he's stone cold and didn't want to take any responsibility for his actions. He'd punched his girlfriend at least 4 times and choked her, causing her to black out. So Tyra thanked him for sitting on the panel but referred to him as a kid. Oh well, I'm not a medical professional but that's just bunk! At 18 you can serve in the military and go to prison, okay. He isn't a baby - he has a baby!
Men who batter look to women to make them feel good and increase their self-esteem. So basically they feel vulnerable and perhaps defeated in other parts of their lives and take it out on someone they think is weaker. So this guy kept denying he felt powerless, he claims he feels nothing that battering is not trying to be manly. So the therapist who spoke was trying to offer critique and he was blowing her off. So what are the odds this guy will admit he's abusive, get help, do the work necessary and break the cycle? I'm sorry but I'm not holding my breath.
Tyra offered both teens therapy and the young woman being victimized said she'd go. I want to have some amount of sympathy but I'm more inclined to tell her to run and not look back. Don't try to find any excuses to stay with someone who could kill her. Her mother was on the panel and mentioned how her grandchild's demeanor has changed because of what's he's been exposed to. Hello!!!!
Oh..I just did a Youtube search and this aired last week in certain markets so here's the video. Our young women really need help! The flippant attitude from some in the audience was beyond belief.
The main young woman featured said she hopes she'll stay away. She also mentions that she was financially supporting her deadbeat, lowlife, gutter boyfriend. I won't be able to watch these segments again for a long time. I suspect this young woman will end up dead and if not she is extremely lucky, but I can't say her choices so far indicate that she'll have a quality life.
I don't know what to say. I see patterns that these women have been sexualized at a young age, have babies, may still be in high school and have a lot of burdens placed on them quite frankly that I'd find challenging and I'm a decade older. I just feel like they've been failed by the people around them. As for Tyra last remark about there being "two sides to every story" that sounded like a legal caveat. I say put these "tough" guys in prison for a few days since they think they're so tough. Let them experience some of what they've dished out and they'll see how tough they really are! Then offer some that *may* have remorse therapy and a chance at restitution with a no violation clause. I think some of these "men" are beyond redemption though and even at 18 it may be too late for some have already killed their girlfriends. Every young man doesn't act this way and I think we may want to be lenient when it would be a mistake to do so.