Tart & Soul

A Search for Meaning and Connection

Tart & Soul

Tart & Soul
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MARCH 8, 2011 10:35AM

Charlie Sheen, Dickwolves & Disposable Girls

Rate: 21 Flag

 

Sheen

 

Know what?  I’m not entertained anymore by Charlie Sheen’s shenanigans and not only because he’s a cracked egomaniac who should be receiving treatment rather than accolades.  And it’s not only because I fear getting my kicks off the ravings of a lunatic who may end up dead soon.

I’m not paying attention to Charlie anymore because I’m tired of acting like guys who beat up women are okay in my book.  In his long career, Mr. Tiger Blood has shot ex-fiancé Kelly Preston (John Travolta’s wife), got sued by a college student he knocked in the head for not sleeping with him, had restraining orders filed against him by his wives and had several adult film actresses accuse him of throwing them around a room.  The reason dude’s kids were finally taken away from him last week was because he supposedly threatened to cut off their mom’s head and send it to their grandmother in a box.

Oh, Charlie, you old kook!

In most of these cases, Charlie pleaded no contest and paid a fine or settled out of court.  Though in a couple instances, the accusers never followed through with their allegations, I think we can safely assume Sir Smirk n’ Chin hits women.  But as most of those ladies were porn stars, strippers, hookers, addicts and gold-digging starlets, they seem to be considered the kinds of low-lifes for whom abuse is inevitable, perhaps even justifiable.  Thus, as a great piece in the New York Times suggests, these gals are deemed “disposable.”

I realize the futility in suggesting a serial abuser shouldn’t be rewarded with a multi-million dollar television contract and a star on the Walk of Fame.  Some of the most celebrated, even admirable, characters in the history of the world have been bastards and weirdoes.  I’ll also let someone else wonder why Mel Gibson’s stock is waning while Charlie’s is on the rise or why Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna cost him his career (race?  the value of a pop star over a porn star?)  All I want to know is why instances of abuse toward women aren’t more regularly met with horror.

In the same week of Charlie’s meltdown, I read about a monstrously successful online comic called Penny Arcade.  A strip about video games, Penny Arcade has spawned a massive movement amongst gamers and geeks.  However, the creators of the comic got into hot water last year for publishing a strip in which characters were repeatedly raped by “the Dickwolves,” monsters who looked like wolves and had penises for hands.

When female fans took offense, the creators issued a smartass, flimsy apology.  The notion being these ugly feminists couldn’t take a joke.  Meanwhile, male fans harassed the women online by, among other things, posting pictures of mutilated women and creating Twitter handles like @teamrape and @rapefatchicks.  The most vocal female fan, a rape survivor, even received death threats.

I love men.  I know they’re smarter and more sensitive than the culture gives them credit for.  But I don’t understand why so many of them are clueless about violence against women.

Maybe because abuse is swept under the rug when prominent people like Charlie Sheen do it.  Maybe because when women are raped and mutilated on cop shows, they’re found in “do me” poses, wearing matching lace panties and bra sets, as if violent death is so darn sexy.  Maybe because men have no idea what it’s like for us gals to live with the threat of violence every day of our lives.

Every male who walks behind you, every overeager guy hitting on you at a bar, every man staring too long at you on the bus, every creepy taxi driver ogling you in the rearview mirror, every date with a stranger, every escalating fight with a husband, every unlit street, every empty subway car, every parking garage creates a moment and place where every woman knows something horrible could happen.  Statistically speaking, every woman has experienced violence, some of them victims of the most horrible cruelty imaginable.  And believe me, it ain’t funny.

For all I care, Charlie can continue his rampage of derangement and reap all of its glorious plunder.  It’s not his fault no one cares about the women he hurts.  But I do want to live in a world where ravaging females, regardless of their station in life, is no longer entertainment or a joke.  Maybe ladies have to keep letting folks know the pain of what we go through.  Maybe one day, they’ll believe us.

[Photo of Sheen accuser Brittany Ashland from Jezebel.com]

*Reprinted from Laura K. Warrell's blog Tart & Soul at www.TartandSoul.com.

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Bravo! Well said! Excellent piece! I hope this gets the cover. Lucid, intelligent and biting in all the right places.
Thank you!
It is a sad state of affairs.....so is he.
Thank you for saying this yet another time for all of us and saying it well. This deluded and destructive man is not the epitome of his sex. Thank God. He should be a cautionary tale instead of a role model. Fortunately men exist who believe in fair and honorable treatment of women. I wish more of them were speaking up, too, particularly to boys, who need all the positive role models they can get. Rated
don't worry - Charlie's violence towards females will be his undoing, I think.
I am not going to rate this because, by writing it, you're doing the same thing everyone - including me - have been doing when they hop aboard the Charlie Sheen express.

The issues you raise are serious. The juxtaposition of these issues with the Charlie Sheen circus might be justified because it got you noticed and resulted in an editor's pick.

But we, and I mean all of us who can't resist posting or commenting on Charlie Sheen, are merely perpetuating the same cycle of celebrity worship....and that's what needs to stop.
I think this is the ONLY reporting that ought to be done on Mr. Sheen: reminders of the women he has hurt and abused.
Incessant reminders.
You are so absolutley right. Thank for saying this loud and clear.
When you tell people the truth they eventually run away when you keep telling the truth. I understand, it's too hard for them to listen to what others have to live through. It's just reality, it's just the way it is.

Great post, I wish things were different.
Thank you all for your support of this piece! I usually post lighter fare and was nervous about posting something with a bit more bite. Knowing it resonated makes me happy I took the chance.

Bonnie, I'm checking out your blog, so curious about the GPS notification system! Thanks for coming by.

Sagemerlin, a quick comment. We can assume those who write about current events or scandals of the day are attempts by writers to promote themselves, though I think this is a cynical view. How better to make our points than to place them in cultural contexts that exemplify our positions and which everyone can relate to?

The problem with our adoration of Hollywood stars is how it blinds us to the realities of our own lives, culture and the true personalities of those we worship. Staying silent about Charlie Sheen's crimes against women as the nation celebrates him, to me, contributes to something far worse than celebrity worship.
Brava! I didn't read this in any way as a Charlie Sheen story and wish the editors hadn't chosen the headline they used on the front page. To my mind "disposable girls" said it all, and your words brought it home. Thank you.
I'm absolutely with you on this one.

I've never been much of a fan for people who behave badly and then are rewarded for it. I was sick of CS's recent burst of fifteen minute fame about 2.5 minutes into it.

Ask any woman who's survived rape and prolonged abuse--there's nothing funny about it.

rated
psychology is a big subject, and the simple fact that you feel charlie is worth talking about is part of why he has gotten away with (not quite) murder.

politics enters here, america is money driven, a great many men in expensive suits will do anything for more, and will cheerfully watch women dismembered by sheen as long as his ratings hold up.
So well said! The women who refused to remain silent over Penny Arcade deserve a tremendous amount of credit. When I was a college student, men used to yuck it up with their buddies by joking about going home to beat their wives. A popular NYC meteorologist, Tex Antoine, was shocked to find himself unemployed after telling a very cruel joke about rape - right on the air! Popular culture has reduced older feminists to man hating, bra burning caricatures. It's so ingrained that young women like yourself feel the need to preface your comments with disclaimers like: I love men, but... We want the very same things: equal pay, reproductive choice, and the right to be free from that ever-present fear. There is something wrong when a feminist icon like Phil Donahue loses his job bc of his resistance to the Iraq war while "sorry Charlie" pulls a paycheck regardless of his behavior. If Mr. Sheen's choices bring him to a bad end, that's karma. The real tragedy happens when he murders a woman in a self-centered, misogynist rage.
Good for you, Laura. This angle has been underplayed in the Circus. I've been most intrigued by the addiction/mental health aspects and appalled all around, but you've put out a cogent and passionate argument that deserves the EP and cover. No worries about your "voice." I'm a fan!
Charlie Sheen is a mongoloid. He beats women and he pays prostitutes .
Hey Charlie that is not the hallmark of a cool guy, it's the hallmark of some lame kid who is famous because of his daddy and can't deal with it.
Can we get rid of Palin, Beckum, Fatso Rush and the Royals please?
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
I could not agree with you more. I'm sick and tired of hearing about overpaid, spoiled silly celebrities.
Ten years ago, in the weeks following 9-11, all other news coverage fell to the wayside. As the nation prepared to take on Al Quaida, my friend and co-worker Hilton was relieved that congressman Gary Condit wasn't in the news any more...as one of the figures surrounding the death of Chandra Levy!

A few years ago, the appropriately named Amy Winehouse (of "Rehab" fame) was making news. Now, it's Charlie Sheen.

When I first accessed the Salon.com website and saw "sick of Charlie Sheen" as one of the Open Salon articles, I was expecting an entertaining rant along similar lines.

You've taken a current "Tabloid TV" topic and given it a serious turn, and I commend you for it. Your points are valid.

You write:

"I love men. I know they’re smarter and more sensitive than the culture gives them credit for. But I don’t understand why so many of them are clueless about violence against women.

"Maybe because abuse is swept under the rug when prominent people like Charlie Sheen do it...Maybe because men have no idea what it’s like for us gals to live with the threat of violence every day of our lives.

"Every male who walks behind you, every overeager guy hitting on you at a bar, every man staring too long at you on the bus, every creepy taxi driver ogling you in the rearview mirror, every date with a stranger, every escalating fight with a husband, every unlit street, every empty subway car, every parking garage creates a moment and place where every woman knows something horrible could happen...

"Maybe ladies have to keep letting folks know the pain of what we go through. Maybe one day, they’ll believe us."

I sympathize, yes. I do. And I'm supportive of the women's movement taking a stand against rape, domestic violence, etc.

Try looking at things from the perspective of sensitive men. Despite the strides made by the women's movement, women are still the ones being romantically pursued and we men are the ones expected to do the pursuing.

And this requires looks and income! And women (right wing women, anyway) continue to treat sensitive males with disdain, as wimps, likening them to Woody Allen, etc.

In the '80s, when an older gentleman suggested a possible explanation for the lack of women in my life back then was, "you have an aura of harmlessness...women don't feel threatened by you," my friend Chris commented cynically, "They want a rapist?!"

Things have changed considerably since then with the Internet and online dating. I understand your feelings in this regard, but think you shouldn't be so quick to write off men. Some of us do care, and do treat ladies with respect.
The very fact that you felt you had to include that tired and meaningless trope about "I love men" invalidates the stance you take against Sheen. Most men do not speak out against violence to women because they profit from it hugely, culturally and economically. Some genuinely do not like it and say so, but most are content with the status quo that favours them.

I don't like much of Sheen's behavior, but I think you have to be very careful of accusing him of direct violence. Many incidents have been a "he said/she said" situation. The incident with Ms. Preston involved a weapon that fell out of his pants pocket and discharged accidentally. He was not in the room when it happened. Two of his recent ex-wives have repeatedly said that he was not physically abusive to them. Verbal and emotional abuse is still abuse, but it is not the same as physical violence, which is what you claim he is guilty of. I also believe that the women he hires for sex/companionship are often as high as he is and we all know that crazy shit happens when you do drugs and don't sleep for days.

I wouldn't be interested in his company, but presumably many of the women he is with choose to be with him, either for money, or out of curiosity and the age-old mistaken belief that they can "change him. It's not quite as cut and dried as you infer.
" I’ll also let someone else wonder why Mel Gibson’s stock is waning while Charlie’s is on the rise or why Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna cost him his career (race? the value of a pop star over a porn star?) All I want to know is why instances of abuse toward women aren’t more regularly met with horror."
I think you have included the refutation of your own argument. why do you presume that sheens "stock is on the rise"? he just got fired. this is likely to be a major flameout for him, as most others are concurring. and yes, chris browns abuse and mel gibsons were definitely met with widespread horror, and in both their cases, the damage to their careers has been epic, nearly catastrophic. so I think you are just seeing a public meltdown that will soon end similarly Brownian or Gibsonian.
I haven't understood the popularity of the show, in that it is poorly written and their obvious hatred of women made it really hard to watch. My sweetie, a man, HATED it, couldn't stand it when it would come on in the background when I left the tv on while doing other things. So, not sure how many are clueless about violence and degradation, I just wonder how we expect narcissists to do any better?
congrats on the EP, laura. excellent piece.
About the "dickwolf" comic, no one was raped. In the strip, a white male slave begs the hero to rescue him and claims to raped by dickwolves every night. The hero character refuses because he's already met his quota of rescues needed to claim his prize. The joke was about online gamings' off kilter morality system, not rape. Might to do a bit of research before criticizing something you don't really know anything about.
But he is a walking advertisement of what not to be, and so he does serve a purpose, if a weird one.
AMEN! Rated and shared.
Wow, I'm so touched to have received so many responses to my piece (including those that don't agree with me)!

This is obviously a loaded subject and Sheen is unintentionally pushing many buttons - violence against women, celebrity culture, mental illness, substance use, corporate greed - for those of us who are searching beneath the surface of his "meltdown." Thank you all so much for giving me even more to think about!
Frankly, Scarlet, I give a http://twitter.com/tweeterdam
I really loved this article and agree, completely, with everything you said. Bravo!