Thursday, 29 October 2009

Men-tally unstable

We watched a programme tonight on channel 4 about Katie Piper. Katie was an aspiring model who broke up with her boyfriend a year and a half ago after he raped and assaulted her in a hotel room. In response, he organised someone to throw sulphuric acid into her face, blinding her in one eye, and destroying her career and life in a moment. Recently, after a long legal battle, the attacker and the boyfriend were both given life sentences. Obviously a horrific story, and the documentary does a good job of showing the long term psychological damage caused to Katie by the attack, with her unable to leave her parents house for months, and clearly shaken by every stranger she comes into contact with.

Today, footballer Marlon King was jailed for assaulting a woman in a bar when she rejected his advances. Although the magnitude of the assault is clearly less in this situation, there seem to be remarkable similarities in the actions of the men in both stories. A sense that they had a right to the affection of the women, and a descent into an almost unreal and uncomprehendable fury when their expectations were dashed. It seems to portray both men as living in some sort of fantasy world, in which they believe that they can and should have everything and everyone that they want, and that for the world to deny them something or someone is unfair and unreasonable. It also seems to show that the reaction of both men when denied what they wanted/expected was to punish the parties denying them it, as though they were so unable to come to terms with a universe in which they were wrong that they needed to physically demostrate their clear superiority.

I don't really have anything else to say about either case, except that I find the actions and mentality of the men involved totally baffling.

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