Monday, September 10, 2012

Pat Robertson is a bad, bad man

I'm sure I should not continue to be surprised, astounded, horrified, etc. by the offensive nonsense that comes out of Pat Robertson's mouth. But sometimes, I still find myself unable to believe he actually said that.

Because, yes, he actually said this.

Apparently this came during the portion of the show where he offers helpful advice to viewers. He's such a Renaissance man. News analyst. Politician. Dear Abby. All rolled into one.

The male viewer wrote in asking for advice in how to handle his wife, saying, "My wife has become a real problem. She has no respect for me as the head of the house. She insults me and she even went as far as stretching her hand to beat me. I've lost my self-confidence. Her words hurt so much and she refuses to talk through our problems..."

And what did Pat say? "Well you could become a Muslim and you could beat her."

He goes on to state that we don't condone wife beating any more, in a way that makes me think he's a darn shame we don't condone wife beating any more. Something's got to be done, he says. She doesn't want to recognize any authority. Someone needs to stand up to her because he can't let her get away with this stuff. She's a 13 year old in a 30 year old's body. So since you can't divorce her, good viewer, move to Saudi Arabia.

You really can't make this stuff up.

Did it ever once occur to him to question what the husband's role in this situation was? Did it occur to him to wonder whether the wife stretched her hand out to beat him in response to a beating she herself was receiving? Did it occur to him to ask if the insults and lack of respect went both ways? Isn't the first thing any marriage counselor should do is to ask both spouses to consider their own individual behavior and roles in what got them to needing an outsider's help?

Not in Pat's world. In Pat's world the man is unquestionably the head of the household, due total respect in all thing. He is also unquestionably telling the full and unvarnished truth. While the woman is a rebellious little hussy who probably hit her father and needs to be taught a lesson the way they teach those lessons to willful women in Saudi Arabia. And he probably thinks his god might want to impress upon the hearts of American politicians that we should really give that wife-beating thing another try.

Well, in my world, if a man turn to this misogynist for advice on marriage, that should be exhibit A in his wife's divorce petition. A man who would turn to Pat Robertson for advice isn't looking for a thoughtful solution to a complex problem. He's just looking for validation that he, the man, is right and that dirty, dirty whore of a wife of his needs some corrective measures directed her way. Like a one-way trip to the middle east and whatever kind of domestic violence those enlightened folks condone.

It is a sin and a shame that this man still has a daily national television platform from which to spew his twisted views. If this won't make the networks and stations that air his show rethink that choice, I don't know what will. Because this is really bad.


Rob Osterman said...

I've been thinking about your post and your anger at Pat Robertson. I agree that your anger is well founded; Robertson's inability to articulate anything close to a real answer is appalling and his repeated "move somewhere that you can beat her" is simply inappropriate.

But, something else you said caught my eye, so I'd like to pose a question.

Would your response to the husband be different if this were a woman writing an email to Dr. Laura? Would you ask her what she had done to provoke her husband? Would you have asked what she did to bring his insults and his rebellious behavior upon herself?

I don't know this guy from Adam. He could be a dyed in the wool red-neck who thinks that because he married a girl, she has to do whatever he says because the Bible tells him that he's the head of the house.

He could also be an emotionally abused guy who had no idea what to do with a wife he loves but perhaps does not love him in return. He could be someone in a bad place who turned to scripture only after things went bad, and is now even more lost. Bible or no, she doesn't want to talk through their problems/ situtation. At some point they're going to have to talk or something ~bad~ is going to happen. If they're lucky it'll just be divorce....


S said...

I'm a defense attorney. Of course my response is always to question what the other side is. To wonder what the other spouse would say. The truth of a situation is almost always somewhere in the middle.

BellsforStacy said...

I think husband abuse is a seriously under reported crime. Really. Truly. I think women are just as verbally and physicially abusive as men, but because we are seen as the "weaker sex" and can't inflict as much harm with just our fists, the men in these instances look the other way.

I'm with you I think he thinks she ought to be spanked or slapped. Not very cool.

I don't doubt she's abusive. And he's wrong that he can't divorce her. If she's abusing him physically there is scriptural precedent to leaving her. Also, used to be women were told to not divorce their husbands, but separate and not remarry. So I'm not sure why he wouldn't at least say THAT.

I feel sorry for the poor man. (Michael not Robertson).

S said...

I don't doubt that husband are abused. I just didn't see that here. And I don't think Pat Robertson did, either. That "head of the household" line speaks volumes to me that the problem he's complaining of isn't that she is emotionally abusive but that she's lippy and doesn't defer to him properly as she should. Coupled with the fact that the person he turned to for advice is Pat Robertson, and it smacks to me of a guy who is just looking for someone to tell his wife to shut up and submit properly.

Either way, it certainly sounds like a dysfunctional marriage that should probably be ended. And Pat Robertson's answer was appalling.

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