Monday, July 30, 2007

Women And Dogs

It wasn't that long ago when Kobe Bryant,upon first being accused of rape, was met with a swarm of support from his fan base. He was treated quite well from the onset, and even better as details came out, and after his accuser was dragged through the mud by Team Kobe.
'Accused' doesn't mean 'Guilty', we here in Southern California were reminded. Repeatedly.
(Personally, I don't care half a wit 'bout basketball or those who play it. But I was certainly damned tired of hearing about it.)
One thing was for sure: No level of cool was sacrificed by being seen walking 'round L.A. wearing an overpriced, NBA licensed 'Bryant' Lakers jersey.

Of late, we have Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, accused of animal cruelty in a dog fighting scandal.
Unfortunately for Vick: It's over. No more NFL merch bearing the mark of Vick will be sold. He won't be playing football this year. He was protested outside the courthouse. No support, forgiveness,or understanding for charges that are yet to be proven. 'Accused' and 'Guilty' are the same.

To be sure, it takes a special breed of sadistic asshole to breed, train, and fight dogs,a process requiring a level of heartless cruelty delivered to a pup from birth, and an insane measure of brutality toward 'bait' animals involved in fight training, to get a dog ready for the ring.
In short, those involved in this business are human scum.

But let's not forget: It's only dogs. Yeah, I know, we love our dogs.(Some of us do, anyway)
But a dog is still a dog.
Disgusting creatures.
We call them 'dogs' for a reason,right?

Anyway, back to my point...

I just find it rather unamusing that...
before many of the facts are out,
before a defense can be rendered,
before anybody really knows anything beyond the headlines,
a popular sports star accused of being mean to dogs is treated far worse in the court of public opinion than if he had been accused of rape.

Or am I missing something?


RW said...

It isn't his fault. He is a poor black man and society made him do it.

The Law Fairy said...

Gino, for once I find myself nodding enthusiastically in agreement with you. Excellently put.

As a dog lover, I want them to string Vick up if he did this. It takes a special kind of depravity to harm an innocent animal. But at the end of the day, there is something objectively worse about harming a human than harming a dog, even if in some sense it takes a worse PERSON to harm a dog. As much as humans might be a lot worse at loving, we're still more important than dogs (still -- mark my words, you mess with my dog, you mess with me).

So anyway, I agree with you a hundred percent on this one.

Cue Twilight Zone music ;)

Palm boy said...

heh, Vick has build this hatred up for himself.
A. Fliped a bird at the home crowd. With both hands.
B. His water bottle had some suspicious substance taped to it at an air port, that everybody nearby said was marijuana, but nothing ever came of it.
C. Dog fighting?
In any event, he just plead guilty, I think.

Kobe, he seemed like a clean enough guy before the event, so people sided with him.
Vick just seemed like a jerk, so no one sided with him.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

*Claps very loudly* Thank you!!!

Jade said...

Part of the problem, I think, stems from when people show pictures of the alleged rape victim wearing skimpy clothes, with hair and make-up all overdone, and spiked heels... dressing like that gives off a vibe of self confidence that says "this woman seduced him and is now wanting to get money". There have been a lot of stories about gold diggers that go after rich people just for the money and the public will tend to think back to those stories, pause, and wonder if it isn't happening again.

I'm not saying we should automatically discount their stories just because of the way they dress, but this is what the public perception... "rape victims aren't self-confident, they are shy and want to avoid the public eye"

The dog fighting though... it's a bit different. The dog isn't coming forward trying to get money from the sports figure - we see images of these poor puppies being put through hell for personal entertainment and our gut reaction is anger towards the guy. And like Palm Boy said, it doesn't help that the guy was apparently a jerk to begin with - someone who treats their fans like that, it's easy for the public to picture him being mean to dogs.

Brian said...

There are some pretty important differences here, actually, that don't have much to do with the whether rape or animal cruelty is more heinous.

1. There is no question that a crime (actually, many instances of a crime, namely animal cruelty) did, in fact, occur, and that it occurred on Mr. Vick's property. The only question is whether Vick was involved.

The evidence of rape in the Bryant case was not so clear.

2. Jade beat me to this point: there is no possibility that a pit bull is going to be able to extort a large amount of money from Vick over this. Not so with Bryant.

3. Really, the absolute best-case scenario for Vick in all of this is that he looked the other way while some very nasty criminal activity was taking place on his property. The best case (and apparently, more or less true) scenario for Kobe was that he had sex with someone who wasn't his wife. Not good, but not exactly shocking either.

That said, of course Vick deserves due process and all of that, just like everybody else. But public opinion is not bound to due process.

Brian said...

Oh and for the record, this whole story makes me genuinely sorry that I don't believe in hell or any other sort of retributive afterlife.

Gino said...

RW:he hasnt been poor in a few years, but black, well, i guess thats forever.

LawFairy and Vas: anytime i got you two, together, on my side, i'm either doing something very right, or terribly wrong.
I'll take the former, but the latter would be more fun. ;)

PalmBoy: do you think it would be different if kobe had the dog thing, and vick had the rape thing?
i dont know...

Jade and Brian: transferance of our bias', maybe?
we color in the missing facts based upon how we already percieve the accused?
good point.

Brian: try islam.

RW said...

We should all live in separate countries. Women over there, men over here, dogs over yonder...

Palm boy said...

Gino, I think that if this Dog story was attached to Kobe, it would have been about as damaging as his affair, but not much more.
And if Vick was involed in a porported rape, then he would have been crucified last week.

His image is just one that begs to be tarred and feathered, and while Kobe is arrogant, he also makes an effort to play as a team, even with subpar comrades. In the sports world, its about who the media hates this week. And Vick gets that a lot because he acts like a jerk.

kr said...

America (the colony of Massachusetts) passed animal abuse laws before we passed child abuse laws, 'way back. (I don't know about wife-abuse laws, but my impression is those are relatively recent?)

In the end, I thnk Palm Boy is right, and I am glad (that if we put rape into the Vick context, it would in fact play out worse).

LF, if you are still speaking to me, I had to laugh. Up here in Portland the most "liberal" "Liberals" actually DO think animals have greater moral value than people, because they are inherently innocent, and so your "objectively worse" comment threw me. (Portland Liberality is full of interesting tangents, and I sometimes forget how place-specific it is.)

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...


Anyone who thinks animals are inherently innocent, have never met my bisexual, human foot and cat raping, water splashing, newspaper eating, vermin-torturing, knick-knack hurling, laundry pissing and door destroying cats from hell.

Thank heavens for water pistols.

kr said...


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