The other day, on a talk show, I heard a host say Charlie Sheen was displaying arrogance, selfishness and anti-Semitism. And, I thought, how about misogyny?
It’s on blatant display both in his personal and work life. I stopped watching Two and a half men when they started having so many scantily-clad women on the show – I had been putting up with the horribly negative stereotypes of women (and often enough, men), but the stupid but perty women did me in.
And then today – finally, New York Times writer David Carr – and hallelujah it’s a male!! – wakes the public up to the misogyny in Sheen’s personal life:
In 2006, his wife at the time, Denise Richards, filed a restraining order, charging that Mr. Sheen had pushed her down, thrown chairs at her and threatened to kill her in person and on the phone. The couple eventually divorced.
Mr. Sheen then had a series of very public relationships with sex film stars, which is certainly his prerogative — talent is as talent does — but he also continued to exhibit a pattern of violence toward women.
Mr. Sheen was charged with a felony for an incident on Christmas Day in 2009 in which he threatened to kill his wife, Brooke Mueller, while holding a knife to her throat. According to the police report, Mr. Sheen “started to strangle Mueller then he pulled out a knife he always carries on his person and held the knife to Mueller’s neck and threatened, ‘You better be in fear. If you tell anybody I’ll kill you.’ ”
Last fall, Mr. Sheen went on a rampage in the Plaza Hotel in New York. A hired escort who had locked herself in the bathroom claimed he had put his hands around her neck and threatened her while his former wife Ms. Richards and his children slept down the hall.
Yet none of these incidents got Mr. Sheen fired from his lucrative day job as a sitcom star, not even suspended. What did? He insulted his boss.
Mr. Carr, we are familiar with this scenario. Violence against women teeters on one of the lowest rungs on the ladder of priority, especially when it comes to men who are celebrities, politicians, athletes, or anyone whose career is more important than assaulting women (and that includes almost all men). Even harming animals (remember Michael Vick?) gets more outrage than harming women. So, insulting a boss? Yeah, far more important than harming women.
Carr mentions some men who’ve lost their jobs due to committing violence against women; but in my experience, many men (even police officers with guns) get to keep their jobs and hit their women, too. (I’ll try to put some resources up on a post later.) After this, Carr says:
Is Mr. Sheen excused because he manufactures laughs, not widgets, for a living? For years on the show, Mr. Sheen has been playing to type as a naughty boy in a man’s body: the result was often scabrous and funny and a hit in the ratings. It also fits another depressing pattern. From “Animal House” to Howard Stern, from “Pretty Woman” to “The Hangover,” Hollywood has long had a soft spot for male misbehavior and, in claiming to parody childish misogyny, it seems to provide an excuse to indulge in it further.