Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Extreme Dating

See this story from yahoo.ca:

CHATHAM, Ont. - Police in Chatham, Ont., have charged a woman with assault after her boyfriend was punched twice — the first time in an alleged dispute over a sandwich.

Investigators say a man made his girlfriend a sandwich Monday evening and when she only ate half, she said he could have the other half.

A short time later, police say the woman became infuriated that the sandwich was missing and punched her boyfriend in the face.

Police say later in the night the two became involved in an unrelated argument and she punched him in the chest.

A 27-year-old Chatham woman has been charged with two counts of assault.

She has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.

(end of article)

My first diagnosis of this situation is that this woman's crazy. Now, it's quite possible that I don't understand the full context of the situation, that maybe there are extraneous factors involved in this situation and that a hostile relationship has been formed with her boyfriend with undercurrents of trust issues related to some deep-rooted psychosis associated with some sort of childhood trauma.

Taking that into account, my diagnosis is that this woman's crazy.

On the one hand, this is probably the most domestic of domestic disputes that you could have. It's a fairly simple, straightforward situation in which the solution seems pretty clear. The boyfriend made her a sandwich of which she ate half and then she offered the other half back to him. As of this moment, she has forfeited her rights to that half of the sandwich and therefore has no grounds on which to reclaim or claim theft of the aforementioned sandwich half. Yes, it's true that the entire sandwich was intended for her sole consumption, but seeing as she was unfit to consume the entire sandwich in one sitting, instead of putting it in a Ziploc bag and saving it for later, she willfully forfeited it back to the maker. Therefore, the resulting assault had no seeming justification given the context.

What makes matters worse, is that this woman then punched her boyfriend again, later, for a totally unrelated issue. It's possible that there were residual feelings of resentment from the missing sandwich half debacle, and that it boiled over into a subsequent dispute, quite possibly about laundry or something equally mundane and domestic-centered, and that this led to the situation of this woman's arrest.

Dating is hard in today's world. Everyone's so confused, and men and women have visions and expectations of each other which are so confusing and ever changing. Women have become more powerful in relationships and their demands have changed too. Men, for their part, have mostly been accommodating to these changes and have accepted to do more of the domestic stuff, like making sandwiches. Apparently, that wasn't enough for this particular woman and she might have had an issue with the sandwich itself or some related domestic issue which may have been on the ever-increasing to-do list on the fridge.

My question is: when did it become acceptable to punch people at home over stupid issues? Sure, in the old days, fathers used to rule with the iron fist and give you the beating of your life for doing things like failing math or taking the last Coke out of the fridge. So it would be feasible that something like a sandwich dispute could have led to some sort of assault...back in the 1950s.

Since then, there have been several laws put in place to protect people from domestic abuse. The issues are well-known, the laws are well-known, as are the adverse effects on the victims involved. What was once considered a fact of life and just something that people had to live with, like racism and sexism, has since been actively lobbied against and protections put in place to prevent it from happening again. Things like this aren't supposed to happen anymore, right?

It appears that I'm wrong on this one. It appears that abuse of this kind, which seems as outdated as wood siding on a family sized Buick, is still alive and well and that even women have gotten into the game. True, women are often latecomers to most things, what with them not getting rights for a really long time, but not EVERY frontier has to be conquered by a woman. Making the brave cross over step into domestic violence is really not a field that women had to enter.

How does this sort of thing happen? Who gets punched over a missing sandwich in their own home by the person that they call honey bunny?

Of all the things that we have to worry about in the dating world, I can't believe that getting punched out over silly domestic issues is still on the list. I thought that was out, just like inter-racial dating and the no kissing on the first date rule. What do we have to do to make this issue as obsolete?

The man charging the woman was a good first step. Overcoming the emotional pain and the potential embarrassment are a positive step to remind us that domestic abuse is unacceptable in all circumstances and that the abusers aren't justified because of their gender.

I hope that there aren't too many more maligned sandwich making boyfriends out there suffering in silence.

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