Have you ever watched "The Lifetime Channel For Women?" Well, don't do it unless you want to start believing every man on the planet abuses women or that women all want to sleep with their students. Don't do it in general because the network makes all human beings look evil which is something I refuse to believe.
Last night Nicolas Cage was charged with domestic abuse for grabbing his wife's arm. According to reports, he was certain their temporary domicile was at a location she was wandering away from and he tried to steer her in the right direction. Why is this abuse? Have we as a society gone overboard in our definition of abuse? Cage was reported to be banging on vehicles in a drunken stupor. This makes a more sensible charge of say property destruction or malicious mischief. The abuse charge seems absurd.
Seriously, though, can we yell at one another or touch one another anymore or is this going to become a chargable offense? I don't think we have enough jail space to contain everyone guilty of yelling. It's true that yelling is not nice and not something one ought to resort to as a commmunication technique, but is it abuse? What exactly is abuse anymore?
At the now defunct Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio the issue of touching became actual policy in 1993. Students agreed to a "consent clause" according to writer Jennie Rosenbaum at The Daily Pennsylvanian. Her article "That Would Be Telling" describes the "consent clause" as one in which people had to verbally agree to each physical or sexual interaction regardless of who initiates it. This just ruins all old movies for me! Can you imagine "Casablanca" with dialog including, "Is it okay if I touch your arm now? May I now press your lips to my lips? Can I also wrap my arms around your waist while touching your lips?" My God! I would never have watched the film!
The Antioch issue was more likely about liability issues for administrators than students. Abuse is hitting, raping, tying someone up, and a host of other unsavory events. If we water down the definition, aren't we discounting all the real victims of abuse? Have we as a society gone haywire? Will verbal documents not be sufficient? People, the world is spinning mad. -Alison Whiteman