Bill Maher: “The surprise is that someone hasn’t choked this bitch sooner.”

Can we be surprised? Via the Frisky, according to Bill Maher, choking a woman is A-OK if she’s an annoying, promiscuous publicity whore, right?

Said Maher:

New rule: stop acting surprised someone choked Tila Tequila! The surprise is that someone hasn’t choked this bitch sooner.

And I don’t give a rat’s ass what actually happened with San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman that night; where the charges are true or not, it doesn’t make jokes about violence against women acceptable. It’s never acceptable.

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68 Comments

  1. alixana
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Ah, by “it has” I meant “been through the legal process” since the dropping of the case means it won’t proceed any further – thanks for pointing out I wasn’t clear so I could clarify!

  2. alixana
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure where you’re getting from my comment that I think Bill Maher would choke someone?
    Abusive partners aren’t abusive only to certain types of women, such as the women that DeafBrownTrash disapproves of. Whenever feminists decide to approve of sexism or abuse against certain types of women (Sarah Palin, Tila Tequila, Paris Hilton, anyone else they dislike), they’re in turn approving of it against ALL of us, because we’re all women.
    Again, you’re sort of pulling this Bill-Maher-choking-people from nowhere, but do you know what Bill Maher WOULD do? He’d make sexist comments about any woman, not just the ones DeafBrownTrash thinks are trite and annoying.

  3. Opheelia
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    This might seem ridiculous to some people, but I try to be very aware of semantics. She wasn’t choked, she was strangled.
    And dropping the case due to lack of evidence isn’t surprising. It happens a lot in DV cases, and strangulation often leaves no visible injuries. It can cause significant internal damage, however, that causes major problems days or even weeks after the attack.
    And I know this has been addressed, but his comment really does have far reaching consequences. He basically said that she deserved it for being a “bitch.” (Is there anyone who posts here who HASN’T been called a bitch?) This just perpetuates the belief that violence against women is justified, and every time someone says shit like this on television, there are abusers out there listening.

  4. llevinso
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I figured that’s what you meant. The wording was just a bit fuzzy. I just wanted to make double sure :)

  5. llevinso
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Slight derail here: I never knew there was a difference between choke and strangle. You learn something new every day!

  6. Opheelia
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    It’s a completely semantic arugment, but to use the same word when someone’s airway is obstructed by a piece of food as when someone deliberately crushes the airway just doesn’t seem right. Using the word strangle shows the seriousness of the crime.
    Strangulation is also a strong lethality indicator in domestic violence cases. Women who have been strangled are at 9 or 10 times greater risk of homicide.

  7. llevinso
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Actually also according to a judo website I found when googling the terms: “The best way of thinking about it is a choke obstructs the air way and a strangle obstructs the arteries to the brain.” So it isn’t necessarily only related to food. Someone also described the difference as a choke puts pressure on the front of the throat whereas strangling puts pressure on the sides.

  8. Lucy Gillam
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I just watched a prosecutor opine on national television that, “X had so many women coming after him, he didn’t need to beat anyone” as an argument against a woman’s charges of abuse, charges that were echoed by other women against the same man. As long as attitudes like that are in our actual justice system, it’s just not okay to make jokes about domestic violence, particularly jokes that justify it.

  9. Opheelia
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Excellent distinction. :) That’s more nuanced than most conversations; I tend to use the food situation to make the concept clear, and because we don’t really see too many actual choke holds in DV (unless an officer is restraining a perpetrator). It’s much more common to have hands around the neck.
    Interestingly, there are machines capable of assessing internal damage from strangulation, but they’re pretty rare and extremely expensive to use. (There’s only one in my whole state.) Another reason why proving strangulation in court cases is tough if there are no external marks…

  10. Jamie
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    “…You think misogynistic men…” AKA Bill Maher, right?
    “…We’re all the same to them. They’ll gladly choke any of us. …”
    That’s where I got that. Maybe it’s not what you meant, but it’s not as though I pulled it out of my ass.
    My point is that there’s a difference between approving of this irresponsible humor (which I don’t), and writing as though you think people who say shit like this as part of a comedy bit would actually do it.

  11. Demosthenes XXI
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Martial artist and self-defense instructor here.
    Yes, there is evident physical evidence of strangulation. Bruising of the carotid artery is quite visible unless something like a cloth is used. There is a technique that will apply pressure against the artery that will not show as readily, but that is not a widely known thing.
    On a fair-skinned person like Tila Tequila, bruising of the arterial area on the neck will show up, especially if the pressure is applied by a human hand.
    Considering that she claimed that the guy did strangle her, the medical personnel who examined her would know what to look for.
    Another thing is that considering that both of these people are high-profile celebrities, there would be a more vested interest in pursuing this case fairly if there was any evident facts that would either confirm or deny Tila’s accusation (i.e. Rhianna and Chris Brown).

  12. Demosthenes XXI
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    “In fact, when is the last time you can recall a man being beat up by someone they were intimate with where everyone made fun of them and said they deserved it? I can’t think of one, can you?”
    When Kelly Bensimon beat up her boyfriend Nick Stefanov, there was a lot of commentary on both radio and TV that made light of the attack. (In addition, Bensimon got off with a misdemeanor charge.)
    In particular, there are the comments made by Bill O’Reilly’s and Megan Kelly when it was reported:
    O’Reilly: “…he looks like a metrosexual…
    Megan Kelly: “He’s a girlie-man, eh?”
    O’Reilly: “He’s a guy who drinks a lot of lattes…”
    It’s wrong and it happens to both genders.

  13. Demosthenes XXI
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    “In fact, when is the last time you can recall a man being beat up by someone they were intimate with where everyone made fun of them and said they deserved it? I can’t think of one, can you?”
    When Kelly Bensimon beat up her boyfriend Nick Stefanov, there was a lot of commentary on both radio and TV that made light of the attack. (In addition, Bensimon got off with a misdemeanor charge.)
    In particular, there are the comments made by Bill O’Reilly’s and Megan Kelly when it was reported:
    O’Reilly: “…he looks like a metrosexual…
    Megan Kelly: “He’s a girlie-man, eh?”
    O’Reilly: “He’s a guy who drinks a lot of lattes…”
    It’s wrong and it happens to both genders.

  14. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Obviously, you hate Tila Tequila’s public persona.
    That’s clear – because you said so.
    But “everybody” doesn’t hate Tila Tequila’s public persona – because you do not speak for everybody.
    And you don’t actually hate Tila Nguyen (the actual live human being behind the Tila Tequila persona) because you don’t know her personally – you just know the character she plays on the internet and TV – “Tila Tequila”.
    I’m actually pretty indifferent to the Tila Tequila media persona, I don’t even know the real Tila Nguyen personally so I have no opinion on her personality but I feel very sympathetic with the real Tila Nguyen because her boyfriend (a professional athlete a foot taller than her who outweighs her by 200 pounds) chose to beat her up because she wouldn’t do as he said.

  15. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Bill Maher has a history of being emotionally abusive to his real life female domestic partners
    Specifically, he likes to date African American women who make less money than he does – and then he bombards them with highly racialized class biased verbal abuse – he accuses them of being “Black golddiggers”, basically.
    So, big surprise, he’d applaud the physical abuse of an Asian American woman who comes from a working class Vietnamese refugee family.
    I’m surprised you’d agree with him though!

  16. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    No, you’re wrong.
    The San Diego County declined to prosecute.
    Which does NOT mean Shawne Merriman is innocent.
    It just means that they thought they wouldn’t get a conviction.
    Which may have had a lot to do with Merriman being a widely popular football star who is also a millionaire.
    In other words, Merriman had the money to beat the case – and, in a conservative Navy town like San Diego, his lawyers could easily find male jurors who condoned his domestic violence, both because they believe in the male “right” to beat women and because he’s a big time football guy.
    I’ve seen the pictures of Tila Tequila’s bruises – I suspect he’s guilty as sin, dropped prosecution or not.

  17. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Bill Maher is sexist – so why would he criticize Jay Z for, basically, having the same contempt for women that he does!
    Maher probably ADMIRES Jay Z because, unlike Maher, Jay Z has lots of young conventionally attractive female groupies, and Maher has none.

  18. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted September 19, 2009 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    As a practical matter, being choked and being strangled are synonyms.
    ESPECIALLY if you’re on the receiving end of the choking or strangling.
    So it’s pretty nitpicky to even bring that up.
    As for Tequila’s injuries – she posted pictures on the internet showing the bruises on her arms – handprint shaped bruises so it was really obvious she had been physically attacked, by a much larger – and presumably male – attacker, a guy probably about the size of Shawn Merriman.

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