Thursday, April 21, 2005

On Roosters and DV

Sheelzebub and Pseudo-Adrienne have already written about the hullaballoo over the South Carolina Senate's decision to make cockfighting a felony while once again tabeling a bill to protect DV victims (and the resulting altercation between SC State Rep. John Graham Altman III and reporter Kara Gormley). I could go on and on about how horrifying and disgusting I find the whole matter. I could go on and on about how Rep. Altman's views on DV are so distorted and based in mythology that he is a harm to women everywhere. I could, but I won't, because, frankly, Sheelzebub and Pseudo-Adrienne already did that and said everything I would have said.

But perhaps we can look beyond the blatant sexism and victim-blaming that is so evident in this whole issue (after all, Sheelzebub and Pseudo-Adrienne have both covered that ground quite well). Let's examine why the legislature felt it so important to make cockfighting a crime. Is it because they felt the urgent need to protect all these roosters? Somehow I doubt it -- after all, it was specifically targetted at cockfighting, not dog fighting or any of the other brutal-to-animals acts that are going on. So, why cockfighting? My guess? It's not the roosters they're concerned about, and it has nothing to do with "protection" of anyone (or anything).

To see why this law was deemed so important for the legislature to deal with, one only needs to ask, "Who is it that generally participates in cockfighting?" (and I do mean besides the roosters). The answer: Latinos.

I'm sure that has nothing to with the need to change this law, though. Nothing at all. Just as I'm sure that there really is no connection between this and their tabeling of the DV legislation. Uh huh.


Anne said...

Aha, interesting. I read a comment at another site where I posted that article saying that gambling (that is, gambling without letting the gov't have a cut) is the problem here, not the lives of the roosters, which means that preventing gambling is more important than protecting women. I can see either the Latino reasoning or the gambling reasoning, or both together. I don't think it's actually due to concern for roosters, anyway.

Miss Education said...

I think it has something to do with gambling as well. Moral, or blue laws, like these still have a considerable amount of popularity in red states. Sure does in mine.

Anonymous said...

Well, it certainly isn't an animal-rights thing, and the gambling....well, maybe marginally, but as Bean pointed out, there are other activities involving gambling that don't seem to need such urgent action.

It may not be the Latino thing *only*, but I'm betting that it's a big part of why it has to be taken care of *now*.

crys T

Terry said...

My money says class has as much to do with it as race. It's not the sort of gambling the upper crust or even middle class would patronize, like horse or dog racing, so it's easy to slap down hard.

Anonymous said...

Can't disgaree that some racism and classism could be involved, but the University of South Carolina mascot is The Gamecock and a white state official was recently caught taking bribes to overlook cock fighting by other white people, and both those things are relevant as well. I point this out because I live in the South and goodness knows we have our problems but we do tend to get generalized about in ways that are unfair sometimes. We are complex and diverse too, just like y'all.