Many people rail against stereotypes calling them 'the language of hate' and thumbing their nose at anyone who may associate behaviors with someone's appearance or even tastes in entertainment. While a lot of these people may get up on their soapbox threatening certain people with strong words the truth of the matter is that most people use stereotypes not only to discriminate, but as a self defense mechanism.
Certain urban legends are surrounded by such not so keen observations that usually the public buys into them as truth without any supporting evidence. Given it's that wonderful time of the year that is the NFL playoffs I'd like to turn your attention to the myth that never dies which is domestic violence and the Super Bowl.
A few years back certain women's groups cited studies that on Super Bowl Sunday domestic violence rates reach as high as 40% above the norm. The public bought into it and NBC aired a commercial reminding men that abusing your wife is in fact a crime. Other groups took it a step further and sent out mailings advising women to leave the home during game time in fear that their husband may beat them savagely if their team doesn't win or if they don't bring the nachos in time.
Finally a reporter from the Washington Post decided to take a look at the evidence that was to back up these claims and found that no such data exists. There are certainly no cases of a 40% increase in domestic violence on that day and families are more likely to suffer abuse during the holiday season. Still the damage was done. The lies perpetuated by the domestic violence activists are still with us and people assume it to be true. After all football fans are nothing but brutish, simpleton, beer swilling violent misogynists right?
I know many people that watch football, men and women alike. I've been to many Super Bowl parties and all of them have been a fun environment where people just want to relax and enjoy a game. None of the people I associate with can fit the scenario that most people assume football fans to be and I thank God for that.
However misguided these women may have been they certainly have done damage to their own cause. Not only have they lost credibility, but they certainly haven't done families any favors by asking them to flee their husbands for reasons that are unfounded. I condemn domestic violence in all it's forms, but to mislead people in this fashion can set up a cry wolf scenario. As stated earlier most domestic violence cases are higher during the holidays, but I've never see mailings asking wives to be more careful around Christmas.
A lot of people in a way want this to be true as silly as that may seem. It gives credence to our already established thoughts on what the typical football fan may be and many find that comforting. Try and show this story to someone and watch them stare off for a few seconds and then say "yeah...but I hear..." Trust me it'll happen.
I do hope everyone has a safe and fun Super Bowl this year.
"I want to know what it's like to play in a Super Bowl and win one. My career will be great without it. But, personally, selfishly, I want to know what it feels like." - Dan Marino