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Douchebag Decree: An Open Letter to Whoopi Goldberg

Dear Whoopi Goldberg,
You were the obvious choice for this week's Douchebag Decree. On Monday's episode of The View, you said that you know Mel Gibson and that he's not a racist, which is definitely a partial defense of his character, and attempted to excuse his behavior because of his alcohol abuse, which doesn't even make sense, because you then said he wasn't drunk during the taped phone calls. I linked to the video, but it basically went like this:

I mean, you know! Because you were there. Then yesterday on The View, you responded to the media backlash (I guess you can skip this part, because you know what you said):

"There has been a lot of a lot of hassle and hazzerai [ed. note removed] in the media recently, about moi! (Pause for laughs.)... Because I had the audacity to say that I had some personal time with Mel that goes over years and years, and said that I did not think of him as a racist. People lost their minds and said 'you, you are defending him!' I do believe had you actually watched the show, all of you nice bloggers and all the folks that sit around at home and try to figure out stuff to do, if you had actually watched the show, you would have heard us say, and you would have heard me specifically say, I don't condone this. I don't think this is right, I don't think this is smart. But here's the piece of information that I have, my experience tells me that this is not a racist. Now being a black woman, you would think you would give me a little bit of leeway to feel if I'm around a racist. But I understand, I understand you don't get it. I understand that. ... And the last thing I wanna say, [putting on an exaggerated 'emotional' voice] because I wanna confess to you guys, is that I myself am a racist. [Audience laughs.] Yes. I mean, you're laughing, but here's what happens. [Returns to her normal voice] If you cut me off while I'm driving, and I happen to look over, whatever I happen to see, that's what you are. You're a black frmrmrmrmrm, or you're a white frmrmrmrm, or you're a female frmrmrmrm. You are everything in the book, in my book, and I realize given the criteria people are using for racist, that I'm a racist. Now if any of you can actually look in your mirror and say that you've never done that, then you get the right to cast the first stone."

Here's the thing, Ms. Goldberg. You're saying that your judgment of whether someone is racist is the most valid judgment because you're black; that everyone's a little bit racist, and that because everyone's a little bit racist, it's not okay for anyone to condemn racism. You're saying things that would be unquestionably considered racist if they came from a white person, but that you seem to think are just charming and irreverent. You're also suggesting that I actually watch a full episode of The View, which is just silly. There are a lot of things wrong with your defense of Gibson, then your defense of your defense of Gibson, but I still don't want to give the Decree to you alone. I think pouring a cooler full of haterade on you is kind of an easy way out. If you read the comments on any of the blog posts or YouTube videos about this incident (my advice: don't), it's obvious that although you're speaking only from personal experience, you're still voicing pretty popular opinions.

Your defense of Gibson seemed baffling at first—it's hard to imagine how anyone could think that Gibson is not a racist after hearing those tapes and after his previous anti-Semitic remarks. But, if what you said is true, Gibson is your longtime friend. He has met your family. He has, presumably, never called your family "a pack of niggers." It's very difficult to accept the fact that your close friends (or family) can harbor beliefs that you find completely poisonous, beliefs that are harmful to you and large groups of other people. It's hard to accept that someone can be racist towards people of your race or nationality and still be your friend; that they can consider you a friend but still believe awful stereotypes about everyone you're related to. It's hard to understand how someone can spend time with you and come to the conclusion that you're Okay, you're Cool, you're Acceptable, but you're still only an exception to (not a representative of) your race. And often what makes you Cool and Acceptable is your tolerance for jokes tinged with racism that masquerade as irony. This happens. This happens all the fucking time. Denial is powerful, and subjectivity is seductive. I'm not trying to excuse your comments here, Ms. Goldberg. You're a grownup and you can deal with the contradictions of these issues, and the fact that you're on an intellectual void of a show and forced to speak in soundbites doesn't mean that you're not allowed to hold forth complex opinions. Whoopi Goldberg, you're on television. You have a responsibility to be informed about the issues you spend your working life discussing, and you have a responsibility to be clear and precise about your opinions, and to consider the impact of this news on everyone who isn't close personal friends with Mel Gibson. That's your job, or it should be.

At this point, you kind of represent everyone who has defended Gibson and castigated his partner Oksana Grigorieva. I've read that at one point on the show, you questioned Grigorieva's motives for leaking the tapes (I couldn't find a clip of this, but it'd be great if you could post it in the comments) and implied that she should be publicly criticized just as much as Gibson. On the radio today (I was in a public place and don't know what station or what program), I heard a talk show host saying the exact same thing: condemning Grigorieva for making the tapes in the first place and then for making them public, calling her a "gold digger" and saying, "what kind of a person would do that to the father of their child?"

Maybe a better question is, what kind of a person would punch the mother of their child in the face, while she was carrying said child, and then later tell her she "fucking deserved it"? What kind of a person would pull a gun on the mother of his child to prevent her from leaving his house? What kind of person would tell the mother of his child that she "need[s] a bat to the side of the head," that he will put her "in a fucking rose garden"? What kind of a person would tell the mother of his child that she looks like "a pig in heat," and that if she "get[s] raped by a pack of niggers it will be [her] fault"? Mel Gibson, that's who. And even if you still don't think he's a racist, do you really still want to call yourself a friend of this man? Because that's what you said. On national television. Even if you and every other misogynistic waste of space out there are right, and Grigorieva really is going public with this story so she can sue Gibson and take all his money, not because widespread media attention was an extreme but completely necessary way to protect herself and her daughter from him—even that is not as heinous as Gibson's abuse. Grigorieva made multiple attempts to privately end what appears to have been a consistently and severely abusive relationship, and nothing put more attention on Gibson than the leaking of these tapes. I would wager that Grigorieva knew that, and that she decided that her personal safety (i.e. her life) is just a bit more important to her than any potential settlement money or the reputation of her horrifically abusive ex-partner.

The full audio files of Gibson's rants are in multiple posts on Radaronline.com. I haven't heard the unedited audio yet, and I don't plan to (even the transcribed excerpts are only palatable when tempered with pictures of kittens), but I suggest you take another listen. Imagine yourself in Grigorieva's shoes. Try and figure out if Gibson's racial slurs are true indicators of deep-seated racism, and I hope you'll realize it doesn't really matter that much whether he "really meant it" or not. Maybe he didn't "really mean it" when he threatened to kill his wife, but he still said it. He meant it enough to say it, and that's enough for me. Mel Gibson doesn't need you to defend him, Ms. Goldberg. He has a lawyer for that.

Yours truly,
A Nice Blogger

P.S.
This quiz says I'm you!

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Comments

37 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Thank you.

Spot. On.

This reminds me of the time...

well, more precisely, it reminds me of the time I heard about (I was three when this went down so I can't claim to remember it) when she said her then boyfriend Ted Danson wasn't a racist for appearing in black face at her roast. He might not be a card-carrying (it would be so much easier if they really carried cards) racist, but he certainly did a racist thing. She was quoted in Jet as saying "everything is fair game" at a roast...and she wrote the material he used that night. I feel like her racism-barometer might me off. Just a skosh.

Hassle and Hazzerai

Total minor point here - I agree with everything in your post, just wanted to point out that Whoopi, for all her many faults, *did* correctly use the term hazzerai in her rant. It is a fairly common Yiddish term which basically translates to "junk" in the literal or figurative sense (i.e., "Get all this hazzerai off the table so I can serve dinner" or "Oh please, that story is a bunch of hazzerai.").

Personally I think a BETTER term would have been "mishegoss" (craziness) but that is just semantic hair-splitting.

Great article!

Hazzerai

Thanks for the correction! I searched for different spellings of hazzerai but I couldn't find any definitions. It's good to know she wasn't just making it up, because it's a pretty great word. Although "mishegoss" may have been more appropriate, it wouldn't have that pleasing alliteration.

I stopped liking Whoopi

I stopped liking Whoopi Goldberg after she said Roman Polanski's rape of a 13-year old wasn't "rape-rape". Guess I'm not surprised that she's defending Mel.

Agreed.

Agreed.

It's not Rape-Rape

Ditto.

But as an old Trekkie I have to say, finding out she's such an asshole was a big disappointment. Ah well. Perhaps William Shatner is more Denny Crane than Captain Kirk too. What are you going to do.

I agree here, too

Well noted!

It supposedly wasn't "rape-rape" (of a then 13-year-old girl), and apparently it wasn't "racism-racism" or for that matter "abuse-abuse" or "threats-to-baby-mama's-life..." well, you get what I'm saying.

I used to be a bit of a fan of Whoopi's. I appreciated her, as I recall (or maybe I am wrong?) wearing a t-shirt reading "This is What a Feminist Looks Like" and marching for womens' rights. I thought she was cool, aware and politically progressive and an activist, too. I'm not so sure about those last few things now.

Um, Whoopi? Methinks (me hopes!) you've made a wrong turn somewhere... please reconsider your senseless comments about "rape-rape" and what constitutes racism. There is no 'grey rape' to a victim who'll carry the after-effects with her for the rest of her life. There is no excuse for anti-Semitic remarks or threatening your baby mama with gang rape. I don't care WHAT kind of beeotch she might have been acting like, there is NO. EXCUSE.

Just because you've 'hung' with Mel doesn't mean given enough time/alcohol/lack of alleged bipolar meds, he might not treat you to a disgusting tirade the likes of which we've seen a few times... all of them too many, IMHO.

While I'm not convinced Ms Grigorieva is some angelic, perfect person, it's really irrelevant. Again, no excuse.

puhleeze

I actually disagree. While I do think Mel is a douche, Whoopi has a point. No one in this world is truly exempt from racism, the way the world is. I don't condone the behavior either, however what she's trying to say is that someone can make a mistake without being a hatebag. However again, not sure that person is really Mel. But to me what she's saying is, move on- there are people who want to agonize and kill themselves over this stuff and there are people who realize that the general direction of most people about race is getting more positive. To me she seems resilient and nonplussed, while saying that the behavior is definitely not acceptable. Give her a break! God forbid a black woman should not go to pieces over something like this..how dare she be self-possessed enough to get past it. I actually think it's cool and I respect her for it.

Dear Sonia, What you have

Dear Sonia,
What you have written is an intelligent and coherant response to all this Mel hating. And I think that if Whoopi had come up with something as balanced and accessible she would not be a part of this crazy media mess right now. Sadly she did NOT take the high road but instead based her arguments on stupid ill-logical arguments. This why she leads the View on ABC and not a show on Cspan.

Beautifully stated.

Beautifully stated.

Obviously as feminists we

Obviously as feminists we can best destruct her rant because we see the internalized sexism so often in women who've broken the glass ceiling or made some accomplishment and then immediately downplay their gender. If you look the other way, you're enlightened! If you pretend the people around you aren't sexist/racist/homophobic/anti-Semitic/etc. they'll never take it out on you! You'll be one of them! The people on the other end probably did something to deserve it, so you know the insults, discrimination, violence will never happen to you. It's magical thinking. I did it for awhile in high education, that nobody would blame affirmative action and minority scholarships for my success if I thoroughly distanced myself from my heritage. It was easier because I'd left a small town were I was one of six black kids in the school, and only the second in my grade. (Thanks, New Hampshire.) Does Whoopi have a lot of black friends? Is she dependent on white people for socialization? I'm not as surprised by the misogyny because that victim-blaming and magical thinking is so commonplace. (I'm protected from sexual assault because I don't dress provocatively or flirt with strange men...♪)

After that posting, I think

After that posting, I think you deserve next weeks award. Way to be exactly like Mel Gibson but in such a nice political make yourself look good way.

Um

What does that even mean?

Has anyone really been far

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Some may have ambivalent

Some may have ambivalent regarding when their places in similitude, but nearly few won't.

Thank you so much, Sara.

I'm so angry with her. Being a queer woman of color who has done some pretty pro-feminist movies, she has the power to make me angrier than people for whom I never had high expectations. (*coughHasselbeckcough*) How can Goldberg say she wasn't defending Gibson when every single other comment she made was in his defense? Panty Buns and I discussed her original comments over at http://bitchmagazine.org/post/douchebag-decree-mel-gibson#comments , when she said that Gibson may be an ass or a bonehead -- lovable, doofus-esque not-his-fault-he's-just-not-smart words -- but couldn't possibly be a racist or sexist since he'd managed to never have a blow-up like that at her.

I also can't believe she equated people who call her office disagreeing with her with Gibson. I'm starting to think she has no idea what he actually said.

At this point, you kind of represent everyone who has defended Gibson and castigated his partner Oksana Grigorieva. THIS, YES. Regardless of what she thinks she's doing, she is validating the (discouragingly many) people who are shouting, "THAT STUPID NON-WHITE WOMAN WHO SOMETIMES DRESSES SEXILY IS TOTALLY TO BLAME! SHE SET HIM UP!" I'm going to repeat myself here: I am amazed by how much sense that does not make. Do they think she said, "Blurt out every racist and sexist thing you can think of, even though I know you're a total gentleman, and, oh yeah...pretend you've been brutally beating me in front of our daughter, admit to it and then threaten murder?" She "set up" a tape recorder, yes, but that's it, and I think that was totally understandable, considering how many domestic violence victims are not believed, especially amongst celebrities.

As it turns out, she's STILL not believed! UNREAL.

You say that you've abstained from listening to the tapes -- wise of you. I listened to one and wish I could scrub my mind clean. It was probably the most vile thing I've ever heard.

What WHoopi Knows

I think you may well be right and she has no idea what he said. I also thought back when she made her "it wasn't rape-rape" comment, that she had no idea of any of the facts and details of the Polanski rape case.

But this in no way excuses her. It's just evidence that she is incredibly ignorant and staggeringly arrogant because she speaks authoritatively on subjects she is clueless about and arrogantly dismisses anyone who disagrees with her.

Of course given all of that, The View is the perfect place for her.

Ease up on the "ignorant"

Ease up on the "ignorant" bombs. A difference of opinion, and that's what's happening here, does not denote the absence of intellect. And sorry, but I'm hearing some sketchy ass "tone" argument in your response, which is giving me the creeps.

Reign it in there.

"In real life as in Grand Opera, Arias only make hopeless situations worse." - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Seconded!

Hi everyone,

Please keep tone arguments out of the comments and stick to the topic at hand. Disagreeing with someone is fine, but calling someone ignorant doesn't do much to move the conversation forward.

Thanks!

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

Check Yourself

Ignorant denotes uninformed, which I assume she is on both this and the Polanski details. That's why I chose the word ignorant, not stupid.

However, that's really neither here nor there. From the editor who chooses to namecall using the outright anti-feminist "douchebag", you have some nerve coming on here and scolding me for my word choices.

Unlike those who are Whoopi defenders and are unliking or unfriending you on facebook, I won't leave because I get more out of this site than I lose.

But I will not be spoken to as if I am a child.

Back off and the next time you choose to inappropriately treat someone like an idiot child, seek out a 20 something which I have no doubt you are.

I'm 45 and I don't cotton to that, ever. From man or woman.

Hmm.

Douchebag is not anti-feminist, and Bitch has it made it perfectly clear where they stand on using this term: http://bitchmagazine.org/post/hear-ye-hear-ye-the-douchebag-decree-decree

Ignorance - ain't it a bitch.

Thanks Lindsey

I don't understand why every time this award is given some feminist jumps in to defend such a terrible product promoting bad hygiene and fear of natural bodies because a team of male researchers in the beauty care department thought vaginas should be artifically fragranced. Douching is harmful, a douchebag an accessory to the harm and insult of women everywhere. What exactly is the positive angle we're missing using it in the pejorative?

I meant to say

"NON-U.S.IAN" rather than "NON-WHITE."

The Difference Between a Racist and a Douchebag

The easiest thing to do is to call someone a racist. What reply can there be? You could say, "Oh, well I have a lot of black friends." I think that the fact that Mel Gibson said nigger, wetback, etc. doesn't make him a racist, it makes him a douchebag. What's probably the most hilarious about this situation is that the minority people that I know, including myself, aren't as angry about Mel using these terms as white people are. When Whoopi said she could spot a racist, I totally understood what she was saying. I too, can spot a racist. I absolutely know the difference between the people who dislike me because of my ethnicity and the ones who dislike me because of my personality. What seemingly all of you people fail to realize that the only color that has ever really mattered is green. And this simple fact applies to this situation in three ways. First, Grigorieva made the tapes not to severe her relationship with Mel, but to extort money from him. According to a report on Entertainment Tonight, Mel offered $20 million dollars to keep those tapes under wraps, Grigorieva declined. Why decline? Because Mel Gibson, although his career is in the shitter, is crazy rich and she's not married to Mel Gibson. In the state of California, if you want anything besides child support you have to be married and you have to prove your case. If she wanted to get away, she could have left. Second, Mel's movies aren't making the money that they used to and he's been box office poison since that drunken incident with the female highway patrol. If he was making money, there would be a lot more people in Hollywood willing to have his back. There was one story of a very well-known actor who killed his wife in the seventies, he was box office gold ... he got off. Whoopi said that Mel Gibson has never been anything but kind to her and that I can respect her for. It takes a lot of courage to defend a friend with douchebag tendencies. Seriously, the guy left his wife of twenty plus years for a Russian singer who had his love child. That alone would have taken him off of my Christmas list. And honestly, I never would condone hitting a woman, not ever and if the district attorney sees fit, Mel should be brought up on charges of assault. But, I think it's high time that women stop thinking they have a free pass to act like jerks just because they have a vagina.

Beg to differ

Hi there,

First off, I actually do think that using racist language is racist. Second, we don't know that non-white people are more upset about this incident than white people are. We may be hearing from more white people on the issue, but that could easily be because more white people hold positions of power in the media (hello again, racism).

Moving on, you may be correct that Mel Gibson's money has earned him special treatment over the years, but please don't speculate that Grigorieva just released those tapes for financial reasons. We don't know that. What we do know is that Gibson threatened to kill her, and that should be taken seriously. Period.

On another note, defending a friend who is a d-bag is one thing, but doing it in a knee-jerk douche-y way on national television is quite another. Whoopi's defense on The View of Mel Gibson (and Roman Polanksi, while we're at it) isn't the same as my defense of my drunk uncle on Thanksgiving, not least because an audience of millions isn't involved.

Finally, I disagree that us women think we have a free pass to act like jerks because of our vaginas. What does that even mean? That our vaginas make us cranky? Let's leave genitalia out of this.

Kelsey Wallace, Web Editor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

____________
Kelsey Wallace, contributor

Ask me about our Comments Policy!

You've Missed The Boat

The real issue is domestic violence-- it's not Whoopi and it's not racism. Instead of just writing a blog, I think you should consider getting some additional sources because there's a story here that's just scraping the surface. A while back I wrote a story on Hollywood's inability to cast multiracial actors and talked to the folks at Racialicious (http://www.racialicious.com). Racialicious is a media watchdog that looks at racial bias in the media. I think your magazine should look at their work as well.

There were a couple of good points on your Facebook page about how people who are not confronted with sexism or racism have a more difficult time identifying it. I think there a lot of people now who are saying, Mel Gibson is a racist because he used racial slurs, thinking that's the earmark of a racist when it's not. I would much prefer to be called a nigger than to be systematically separated from my cowokers because I don't "fit" into the ofice culture, or the expectation of my performance was predicated on the color of my skin. You know the worst thing a person can say, "I don't see color or I'm color blind" because it means that skin color or ethinic background is something that you have to overlook. My friend's father was a grand dragon of the KKK in the state of Minnesota who would hire minorities in his factory and pay them sixty percent of what the white workers were getting--that's racism.

And also, in reference to vaginas. Your vagina doesn't make you cranky and mine hasn't done anything for me lately. Instead of acting like a victim, Grigorieva should have nailed Mel's ass to the wall and gone to the police with the tapes, not the media. That, Ms. Wallace, makes her a jerk. I'm one-hundred percent sure that having a vagina and being stupid, are mutually exclusive.

What's more, I haven't searched your blog yet, but there should be an article about how to properly deal with domestic violence rather than a bitch fest on Whoopi. Consider using real stories from real women about how to recognize it, where to go, what resources to use, etc. There's so much about Grigorieva story that, if practiced in real life, could and would be dangerous for women. It's time to stop bitchn' and start helping.

She chose this? Riiight...

you said: Instead of acting like a victim, Grigorieva should have nailed Mel's ass to the wall and gone to the police with the tapes, not the media.

From what the tapes say, she didn't act like a victim at all: she WAS one, by Gibson's choice. Predators aren't stupid, don't leave much to chance, and pick, then groom their victims through manipulation, deceit and sometimes *gasp* even flattery. After they feel they have begun molding their target/victim into a 'thing', an object that might serve their wants (which the predator will usually describe as a 'need'), only then will the manipulation (emotional abuse through coercion) become control, the deceit become accusations and the flattery become verbal abuse or violence.

Victim-blaming has two sides: the "why didn't she act as strong as we think she should have/she should have gotten out" side, and the "she faked it out of greed" side. Few people factor in self-preservation and safety. Besides, motives are expressed through our words and actions, and Mel Gibson made his motives clearer than a blue sky.

Shenanigans!

The relationship between Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva is and was abusive--no dispute there. I even understand your arguments with the Whoopi thing, but I disagree. But instead of going after Mel Gibson or writing in support of Oksana Grigorieva, you went after Whoopi who spoke from her personal experience with him. She said Mel did a shitty thing, and in her opinion was getting a raw deal in the tabloids. And that was her truth, not yours. It took a brass set of ovaries for Whoopi to speak her personal truth and I respect that even if you don't. We're never going to see eye-to-eye on this issue, so I propose that we agree to disagree.

But you've ignored the key issue. You guys are a feminist magazine, what happened to empowering women to make good choices? If you want to help women, tell them what the warning signs of domestic violence are, who to call if they're a victim, how to document abuse, how to make a safety plan, and where to go when they're being abused. Could you write that article? I searched your website to see if there was an article written to empower women with real strategies to end domestic violence. I found one that was close, written in 2008, on unreported violence perpetrated towards Native American women. That was great, but there should be more. Even Cosmopolitan Magazine covered this issue more thoroughly after Rhianna was assaulted. And when it comes to journalism, Cosmopolitan Magazine sets a notoriously low bar--their top article this week is '7 Sex Tricks That'll Send Him Through the Roof.'

Maybe because this is a feminist magazine, I, and probably wrongly so, expected more thought or action in your publication. The meaning of feminism is to advocate the social and political equality of women. Where is your advocacy? There was a prime opportunity for you, as a legitimate journalist, to educate women on domestic violence and you totally missed it. I totally understand the weighty burden of writing an opinion piece that reflects the berth of an entire community it--for lack of a better reference--totally sucks. Yet, you guys turn out reviews on indie bands and movies as often as Cosmopolitan Magazine recycles those stupid sex tips for women. Honestly, it's sad that on the issue of domestic violence that they, and similar publications, have done it better.

I appreciate that you've spent more time, effort, and thought replying to my comments than writing your original blog post. It seems that you have a brass set of ovaries. And although I've enjoyed our spirited exchange, I'm not here to bitch because frankly, you do it better. Fellow feminist, I will torture you no more because I don't feel that there's anything left to add to a conversation on three people neither of us will care about next year, much less next week.

However, I will do something better than you've been able to do in this case--advocate. If you are a victim of domestic violence, seek the assistance of the police, a school counselor, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The number to the hotline is 1 (800) 799- SAFE. If you want to learn how to help someone else who is the victim of domestic violence visit The Safe Space at http://www.thesafespace.org/stay-safe/help-someone-else/. For more information on strategies to end domestic violence, like writing lawmakers in your state, visit the website for The National Network to End Domestic Violence at http://nnedv.org.

[The following excerpt is taken from the National Network to End Domestic Violence website]

If you are in danger, please:
Call 911
Call your local hotline
Call a national hotline:
U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY at 1-800-787-3224
U.S National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 automatically connect you to a local U.S. rape crisis program near your phone number's area code.
U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474
Remember that "corded" phones are more private and less interceptable than cordless phones or analog cell phones.
Be aware you may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service, so you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911.
Contact your local domestic violence program, shelter, or rape crisis center to learn about free cell phone donation programs. To locate a domestic violence program or shelter in your area, contact your state domestic violence coalition.

Sincerely,
Totally Bitchin' Feminist

Word.

That's all that needs to be said in response. Oh, and Thank You!

She did take the tapes to

She did take the tapes to the police. Some third party leaked them to RadarOnline.
My guess is that she made copies before she turned them over and had a friend leak the copies to shame Gibson into honoring the restraining order she'd taken out against him. And I think that was a smart move on her part. That or somebody from the police department leaked them.

You're right that plenty of bigots don't use slurs, but a bigot who does use slurs is certainly no less likely to do everything in his rich white male power to harm and/or marginalize women and minorities.

BTW, I did search this blog for the term "domestic violence" and got about 50 hits. There were also several hits for "partner abuse" and "partner violence." It took about one minute to do all three of those searches.

I think it's called

I think it's called "intimate partner violence" by many people now...Or IPV. Only heard that term about a month ago from someone in my grad program and had no idea what she was referring to...(to me, IPV could mean inactivated polio vaccine). I personally think it it should be called torture or terrorism instead of simply violence. Anyways this is all just semantics.

Whoopi and Mel

I have a suggestion for everyone who has read or commented on this post. Check out this video. In three minutes, this very wise man concisely explains where Whoopi went off the rails, and why some of the posters here feel they have to fall back on the "ignorant bombs."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

We all need to re-focus on the fact that what Mel Gibson said, over and over and in several different ways is what is wrong. None of us, or few of us, have any idea about who he is, what is in his heart, or anything like that. And we're not ever going to. But we all recognize that what he did and said is wrong, wrong, wrong, and it makes each of us certain that because of what he actually said and did he's not someone that we would want to be friends with and have around our kids.

If Whoopi wants to be friends with him, that's interesting. It maybe tells us something about her, though I'm not sure what. But you know what? That's not my problem.

I don't know, or care, if Mel Gibson is a racist, a misogynist, or a three-headed purple alien. I'm not in a position to make judgments about who or what Whoopi is, either. But I do know, and can argue effectively and knowledgeably that what Mel Gibson did and what he said is racist, misogynist, violent, abusive, mean.

Watch the video!

Refocusing on what he SAID

I agree with DW. The focus needs to remain on what he actually said. The things he said were racist, sexist and full of hate. His violent threats and history of physical violence need to be directly addressed. The statements he made were simply unacceptable, no matter who he OR she is. This isn't about her motivations or that she is the mother of his child or anything else. Psychological abuse involving violent threats and demeaning language is simply not acceptable.

As a woman who escaped an abusive marriage, I only made it through one of these tapes. To be honest, it all sounded too familiar. I kept noticing his circular logic - as he spewed abusive language at her and then portrayed himself as a victim to her lack of caring and compassion for him. This sort of narcisissm is pretty classic with abusers. Also, I noticed that his insults were careful crafted and I imagine that he was using his intimate knowledge of her own fears and insecurities to do the most damage with his words. This sort of abuse is often far more damaging to the individual in the relationship than can be ascertained easily from the outside.

The cycle of abuse has been well studied by psychologists and sociologists. By the time the cycle is short enough that there is no honeymoon period after an abusive outbreak, the victim has been beaten down pertty severly over time. There are far too many women in this country to have heard words like these directed at them from husbands and boyfriends. If these tapes bring awareness to this issue, then they have done some good. Clearly, this woman has found a way to protect herself and her child from an abusive partner. You may not agree with how she did it and you may speculate about her motivations, but at least we are talking about this subject.

Really?

I completely agree with the poster who pointed out that the more important story here is that of abuse. I don't give a shit whether Mel Gibson is racist although I think he probably is.

The other important issue here is the power we give these celebrities. I mean, really - Mel Gibson has that much power that the idea of him being racist (or not) is an important story? If that's the case, that's just one of many things indicative of the cultural wasteland that is America.

More Thoughts Re: Mad-Mel Beyond Thunder-Mouth

As i was reading and re-reading this post, the comments, the prior post and conversation with me referenced by TheBadAssMuppet, a few additional thoughts and questions occurred to me:

Many people might have missed that one of my comment titles, "Whoopi and Mad-Mel Beyond His Thunder-Mouth (again!)", was intended to be a play on the title of one of the Movies Mel was in. The movie "Mad Max Beyond Thunder-Dome" was not one of my favorites, but Tina Turner was in it and i loved listening to her sing it We Don't Need Another Hero" (emiamericarecords) on YouTube.

i can't help but wonder whether Tina Turner has heard the recent recordings racist thunder-mouthing by Mel and whether she might has commented on any of this yet. She was a victim of domestic abuse herself.

As good as the emergency telephone numbers orders of protection, links, and shelters etc. for victims of domestic violence listed by "Anonymous" may be for women, they don't always prevent tragedies from occurring. It is not so easy for a celebrity like Oxana to just disappear with her child. She may well have pushed his buttons to get what she got on tape, but the dangerous anger management issue they revealed cannot be dismissed with a list of contacts. In a high profile case like this one recourse may well have been limited.

This post was right on the mark. Whoopie has the right to defend Mel, and the author of this post has every right to bestow Ye Olde Douchebag Decree and point out that what Mel said was, in fact, racist. The tapes also revealed very serious anger management issues.

Of course...everyone has the

Of course...everyone has the right to speak their opinions...Whoopie/the author of this post. I think the previous post by Anonymous was not trying to dismiss Mel's dangerous anger management issues with the list of contacts, the point was to highlight them instead of focusing on the content of his words (ie whether he is racist or not). Really, who cares if he is racist if his actions had nothing to do with race? I personally don't care-but then, I was never a fan of his. I do care, however, that a woman was brutalized by him, and I suspected the previous Anonymous does too---and that is why he/she posted the list of contacts--just in case anyone's reading who might need a way out of a bad situation.