Making Fun Out Of Violence

By Dr. Boyce Watkins, BASN Contributor
Updated: December 12, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — Leave it up to ‘Saturday Night Live’ to slam the nail on the head when it comes to making us laugh about almost any significant event within American media.

Last Saturday, the show continued its tradition by doing a skit featuring Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren.

In the skit, ‘SNL’ shows continuous news breaks, where Tiger is being beaten by his wife between each clip for saying the wrong thing. He ends the skit with bruises on his face and a golf club twisted over his head.

The Tiger Woods’ ‘SNL’ skit was funny and on point. At the same time, it was dead wrong. Regrettably and sadly, I must emphasize the word “dead.”

While the Tiger skit made us laugh about the idea of a man being chased by his wife for being unfaithful, it doesn’t remind us of the fact that thousands of men are killed or seriously injured by jealous spouses each year.

Additionally, there are likely going to be several men who are killed by women who’ve become inspired by the “courage” shown by Elin Nordegren. Domestic violence is not a joke, especially when the perpetrator is using an object that can turn any person into a vegetable by cracking his or her skull.

By seeming to fudge the truth in order to protect his wife (remember Tiger said that Elin was “acting courageously” in his original statement), Tiger is no different from any abused housewife who thinks that her husband was right to beat her for burning the cookies or losing the car keys.

Yes, marital infidelity is far more serious than burnt cookies, but if your mate cheats on you, you don’t have the right to whack them in the head with deadly objects.

The Tiger Woods skit might not have been nearly as funny had the event instead featured Woods chasing his wife with a golf club. No matter how unfaithful she might have been and no matter what she might have said, none of us would have been able to laugh it off and congratulate Tiger for using a weapon to “hold his wife accountable” for her behavior.

Imagine further if instead of being sent to jail, Tiger was given millions of dollars to stay in the marriage and was held up as a national hero. Are you understanding how sick this is starting to sound?

The skit was made even more distasteful by the fact that the musical guest for the night was Rihanna, a woman who’d just made a pile of cash describing how traumatized she was when Chris Brown punched her in the face several times during a fit of rage.

If Chris had chased Rihanna with a golf club, bashing in her windows and sending her to the hospital, he would be in jail and instantly condemned by all of America. Why does that standard change when the perpetrator is a woman?

We must also ask ourselves just how much of a “victim” Elin Nordegren would appear to be if she were a black woman doing the exact same thing. Race and gender blast out of this case like the shattered glass in Tiger’s busted up SUV.

Dr. Towanna Freeman, a leading women’s empowerment speaker, had this to say about domestic violence in your own relationships: “The following are a few red flags that should be taken seriously: jealousy, isolation, threats of violence, verbal abuse, controlling behavior, does not respect privacy, and disrespects others. If someone you know demonstrates one or more of these characteristics on a consistent basis, he or she has the potential of being an abuser.” So for anyone who heard about Tiger’s wife trying to kill him and thought that she was justified, please remember this the next time you have a female friend who is beaten to death by a jealous boyfriend.

Perhaps we could make a comedic skit about the disfigured face of Tina Turner, after she was beat relentlessly by Ike Turner for several years. The Tiger Woods skit may have been funny, but only because we’ve trained ourselves to believe that the bounds of chivalry imply that a cheating man deserves whatever punishment he receives.

Sorry, my friends, it’s not that simple. Women know how to kill, too, and abuse is not acceptable no matter who distributes the violence.

If Elin tried to hit Tiger with that golf club, she should be going to jail. If Tiger were taking a nine iron to Elin’s head, we wouldn’t want to hear any explanations.

No matter how you slice it, stroke it or hook it, the Tiger Woods ‘SNL’ skit was fundamentally flawed and irresponsible. Reckless violence should never be rewarded, even on ‘Saturday Night Live.’