Posts Tagged With: violence

Conditional Pity

Here’s a confession…

As I hear more and more about police shootings and other types of violence against youth, I sometimes find myself sliding frighteningly close to the edge of CONDITIONAL PITY. See, CONDITIONAL PITY occurs when an individual or group feels sorry for what has happened to someone else, but believes that, to some degree, the victim was simply at the wrong place, or with the wrong people, or doing the wrong thing. And that somehow, if maybe they’d been in the right place, or with the right people, or doing the right thing, this tragedy could’ve been avoided.

I admit that I’ve fallen into that mindset on occasion. I’ve had to actively steer my thinking away from trying to make some sense out of violence that is in many instances all too often a senseless act. Perhaps the reason this happens is because to do so provides us with a false sense of security. Unfortunately, to rationalize the behavior of a criminal in hopes of protecting yourself from becoming a victim as well, not only trivializes the situation, but demeans the victim, and offers no real opportunity for commiseration.

Perhaps the biggest fallacy of CONDITIONAL PITY is that as long as you (or I) relegate victims to that space, you are using victim blaming to effectively convince yourself that it could never happen to you because, you know… you avoid those types of people/places/scenarios, right?


It’s been 11 years sense my nephew was gunned down in a drive by shooting. He was in a car, in the driveway with his cousins, preparing to go to the movies. He wasn’t in the wrong place, or with the wrong people. He was targeted for no reason that he himself could’ve changed or avoided.

I still think about him.

And it still hurts.

It’s only when we allow ourselves to recognize and acknowledge the innocence of these victims, that we can then understand and accept that no one, myself included, is truly safe. Because, as much as we’d like to think otherwise, the world is not safe. And that reality scares people. I understand that. I get scared sometimes too. But CONDITIONAL PITY is not the answer.

Instead, let us use this truth as a call to action. Safety begins at the moment of clear perception. It’s when we decide that participation is more important than observation. Be more than a spectator. In the moment one person decides to move forward, everything around them is changed. How much more so when 100 people decide to move, or 1000?

So I’m moving forward. Maybe in seeing me move, 99 others will be inspired to join me. Maybe if you move, you’ll inspire 999 others. Wouldn’t that be worth the effort? Shouldn’t it?

Opinions welcome.

Categories: commentary, opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nudity With Friends

My wife is part of a MOMS Club and every month they have what they call a “Mom’s Night Out” or MNO. The MNO is typically an event scheduled specifically for all the members to have a night of socializing WITHOUT their children or S.O.’s involvement. The type of event can vary from having a fondue party to learning how to paint at a local artist’s gallery.

This month’s MNO will be at our house and they’ve decided to have a movie night which basically consists of all the women gathering at our home and watching a pre-selected movie while munching on appetizers and/or sharing a bottle of wine.

So, being the Keeper of All Media that I am, my wife asked me what movies I had that she could offer for selection by the moms who would be attending the MNO. As I rattled off a list of possible choices, I started thinking about the content of some of these movies. The Dramas and Sci-Fi films lean toward violence. While the Rom-Coms tend to skew more raunchy these days. Then I began to wonder if other people consider the amount of violence, profanity and nudity when enjoying a movie with other adults.

I mean, we’re all adults and I’m not saying you invite people over to view porn. But there are a lot of mainstream movies out today that contain their fair share of T&A exposure to the point where it’s all but unavoidable if you want to watch something not produce by Disney or Pixar. So where do you draw the line in situations like this? You never know how someone may react to a woman being topless (and yes, I realize it’s probably different for men than women, but that’s an entirely different story ;-)) Do you base it on the overall comfort level of those who will be there? Do you determine it based on your own convictions?

So here are my questions…
How comfortable are you watching a movie with friends or family if it has some nudity in it?
And if you are comfortable, how much nudity would it take to make you uncomfortable?

Categories: sexuality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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