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Law and Justice in Real Time Domestic Violence

Oscar Pistorius: Perceptions of Disability and Masculinity

Now that you all already know the main facts of the Oscar Pistorius’ case — that he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013, in the bathroom of his estate in Pretoria, South Africa – and especially now that the sentence has changed, I thought that I would delve deeper into Oscar Pistorius’ intent on murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. I think that we can all agree that Oscar Pistorius shot through the bathroom of his estate four times and that his girlfriend ended up dead because of it; however, there has been some controversy over whether the homicide was pre-meditated, with him knowing full well that his girlfriend was in the bathroom, or if it was accidental, with him thinking that an intruder was in the house, just chilling out in the bathroom with the door shut. It is completely possible that an intruder could have been in the house that night, given the high crime rate, especially in gated communities. The following image states the order of events that happened the night of the shooting.

Source: National Post,
Source: National Post,

From here on out, I am going to assume that his testimony of what happened that night was completely truthful. However, regardless of whether he thought that he was shooting an intruder or if he thought that he was shooting Reeva Steenkamp, his intentions were the same. There was no way that he could shoot a person four times through a small bathroom with nowhere to go and not kill them. However, the act of grabbing a gun when he heard sounds coming from the bathroom was likely the result of the fact that he was disabled and was more likely to experience fear and feel that his life was being threatened.

Q: Is the fact that Oscar Pistorius is disabled an excuse for him to kill his girlfriend? Are there any excuses for him for shooting Reeva Steenkamp?

No, even though disabled people feel more threatened than able-bodied individuals due to the fact that when they are in high-stress situations, they are less mobile and less likely to get out of the situation, just because he does not have the bottom half of his legs is no excuse to committing murder. He still has two working eyes and he could see if his girlfriend was in bed with him before shooting up a bathroom door.

It is also believed that Pistorius’ disability led him to feel emasculated, because disability is often considered feminine. He used women, sports, and guns to develop his masculinity. He was involved in relationships with attractive blonde women to satisfy any inadequacies in his life. He probably engaged in younger, thin, blonde women thinking that they would be insecure and that he could diminish his insecurities by controlling them and being the “man” in the relationship.

The Most Important Question: Did the emasculation from his disability cause Oscar Pistorius to shoot Reeva Steenkamp?

Q: If you were in the same situation as Oscar Pistorius, would you do the same thing that he did? Why or why not?

Personally, I would not have done what he did. First, I would have looked to see if my significant other was still in bed and then when I saw that she was not in bed, I would have just assumed that it was her in the bathroom and gone back to sleep.



Abrahams, N., Jewkes, R., & Matthews, S. (2010). Guns and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa. South African Medical Journal, 100 (9), 586-588. Retrieved from

Breetzke, G. D., & Cohn, E. G. (2013). Burglary in Gated Communities: An Empirical Analysis Using Routine Activities Theory. International Criminal Justice Review, 23 (1), 56-74. DOI: 10.1177/1057567713476887

Cherney, J. L., & Lindemann, K. (2014). Queering Street: Homosociality, Masculinity, and Disability in Friday Night Lights. Western Journal of Communication, 78 (1), 1-21. DOI: 10.1080/10570314.2013.792388

Hickey-Moody, A. (2015). Carbon Fibre Masculinity: Disability and Surfaces of Homosociality. Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 20 (1), 1-17.

Onishi, N. (2015, December 3). Oscar Pistorius Guilty in Murder of Reeva Steenkamp, Appeals Court Rules. The New York Times. Retrieved from

(2014). Oscar Pistorius Trial: Evidence. BBC News. Retrieved from

FINAL POST: The Subordination of Women through the Normalization of Brothels and the Sex Industry



Look at the image above. Do you recognize this place? This is the ‘Red Light District’ in Amsterdam. In this area, the trade or sexual services for money, goods, or exchanges of services is perfectly normal and well accepted. People from all over the world come to the red light to participate in the services offered which are typically considered taboo or illegal in their country of origin.



Women stand in windows parading their bodies around for viewers to see on display. Users of this sector of the sex industry are given the opportunity to walk down the streets and essentially window shop for their good time that night. The use of women for sex and leaving women without free choice is becoming such a normal aspect to most of society. We see it in Amsterdam’s Red Light district with the legal sale and encouragement of women to join the sex industry. Again we see it in places such as India that women are used for sex without consent and nothing is done. Women are being viewed plainly as sexual objects throughout the world. By turning women into sexual objects we are abandoning their humanistic aspects and turning them into an object, ready for anyone’s use.

We see this normalization of prostitution and the sex industry in the United States as well. For instance, the State of Nevada is the only state in the United States that has allowed for the use of brothels and has legalized prostitution within certain district limits. I personally feel like a large portion of citizens in the U.S. did not even know Nevada has prostitution laws making the act legal. That was until recently, when earlier in 2015, celebrity basketball player for the Lakers and ex-husband to Khloe Kardashian, Lamar Odom, had an incident at one of the brothels available in Nevada.



As some may know, Lamar Odom was reported at ‘Love Ranch’ in Nevada earlier in 2015 where he reportedly overdose and spent ridiculous amounts of money for female companionship (e.g.: sexual services). Odom was found by two of the females onsite who had been servicing him during his week long stay. Medical teams quickly responded and brought Odom to a hospital where he has been in recovery.

What most people do not see wrong with this story is how normal it was for Odom to be reported at a brothel. Nor was his drug use out of character, because I mean he was in a brothel and drugs and prostitutes kind of go hand in hand. The use of women for sex has become such a normal part of our society. Women fulfilling the sexual needs for males is essentially saying males have the upper hand while women are just things. This is similar to the ‘sexual contract’, which states men have control and access over a woman’s body. Good bye social contract, hello sexual contract.

The women who choose to partake in the sex industry set precedent for how all women are seen or viewed in society. This will set a norm for a patriarchal state.



  1. Is the normalization of the sex industry leading to a more patriarchal state?
  2. Does celebrity use of prostitutes and brothels normalize the sex industry?


FINAL POST: Defining, Categorizing, and Understanding Mass Shootings In America


Sadly, the above picture is completely accurate. Mass shootings have never been more prominent in America’s history than they are today. In this year alone, there have been more mass shootings than total number of days (381 so far, to be exact). Even now, in 2015, after years of recurring mass shootings, there is still no set definition of what exactly a mass shooting is. No one has yet to define exactly what aspects make up  mass shootings. All that is really set in stone when it comes to the definition of the subject is that someone needs to shoot and kill at least three other people, which does not include the shooter even if they get killed or commit suicide during the act, with a gun. Apparently the number of victims who are injured during an act but not killed is irrelevant to what defines a mass shooting. Therefore 100 people can get shot and injured in a shooting, but if no one dies it’s not a mass shooting. What? That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

There are many aspects of a mass shooting that add up to make its definition, the most important aspect being that the crime was committed with a gun (obviously). Another important, yet somewhat bizarre quality that defines a mass shooting is the number of deceased, but not injured individuals in the crime. According to the federal government in 2013, “three or more people must die, excluding the shooter” for the crime to be considered a mass murder (Ingraham, 2015). The area in which the shooting takes place also plays a big part in defining a mass shooting. The crime has to take place in a public area in order for it to qualify as a mass shooting. It’s really not that hard to believe that America cannot define what a mass shooting with all these ridiculous qualifications.

What is most difficult about defining a mass shooting is that there are different kinds of them. David Hemenway, a professor at Harvard University, came up with the idea that there are actually three subcategories of mass shootings (Ingraham, 2015). The first of the three categories is gang violence, but we never really see anything on the news or internet about multiple homicide shootouts happening in the ghetto, except for blue guys shooting black guys. Another one of the subcategories is domestic violence, which is basically when a family member goes of their rocker and starts shooting other relatives, usually over substances. The last category is public shootings, which is pretty much self-explanatory. Hemenway’s three category theory seems to be focused around the idea that there is a sort of hierarchy or tier list-like structure when it comes to this specific type of crime.

The main problem with Hemenway’s theory is that he doesn’t take into account the most important aspect of what should define a mass shooting: the motive of the shooter. I almost feel that gang violence and domestic violence aren’t even in the same league as a public shooting due to the motives of each criminal group that commits these acts. You never see or hear of a bunch of gangsters meeting up in some public place to randomly kill people because they’re psychotic or have some radical ideology they’re trying to spread because that is ridiculous. Historically, almost all mass shooters in recent years have committed their acts alone, unless they are committing an act of terrorism but that’s a whole other discussion. These lone gunmen carefully plan out their acts, picking out specific locations and times of day to avoid detection and for max casualties (Frances, 2014). This is why it’s hard to even consider putting domestic and gang violence with public shootings as subcategories of mass shootings, the motives are too different. Another reason why Hemenway’s subcategorization theory (as I call it) is a hard sell is because domestic and gang violence can be predicted and deterred to an extent, unlike psychopaths like James Holmes and Dylann Roof. After being arrested, James Holmes (Aurora shooter) was asked why he chose the theater of all places, he replied saying he thought about choosing an airport. When the officer asked Holmes why he didn’t pick the airport, Holmes responded “because that would be an act of terrorism. Terrorism isn’t the message. The message is, there is no message” (O’Neill, 2015).

In conclusion, we need to better our understanding of what exactly a mass shooting is and what defines them in order to be thinking about any possible solutions. Something that could help people grasp a better understanding of the subject is an implementation of something like Hemenway’s subcategorization idea. The criminal justice system could use the “mass shooting hierarchy” to determine how harsh of a punishment to give shooters of different categories. For example, the category of mass shooting that would receive the harshest punishment would be a premeditated one that the shooter is using to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. This is essentially an act of terrorism and should receive the harshest punishment. The mass shooting hierarchy is a pretty confusing concept to wrap your head around, but could if implemented correctly.


  1. PLEASE, what defines the term “Mass Shooting”?
  2. Should there really be subcategories of mass shootings? Does it work?
  3. What are some plausible solutions for deterring mass shootings and stopping the exponential growth rate of them WITHOUT mentioning the 2nd Amendment?


Frances, A. (2014, May 30). The Mind Of The Mass Murderer. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Ingraham, C. (2015, December 3). What makes a ‘mass shooting’ in America. Retrieved December 16, 2015, from

Lafraniere, S., Cohen, S., & Oppel, R. (2015, December 2). How Often Do Mass Shootings Occur? On Average, Every Day, Records Show. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Mass Shooting Tracker. (2015, December 7). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

O’Neill, A. (2015, August 27). James Holmes formally sentenced to life plus 3,318 years – Retrieved December 15, 2015, from

Palazzolo, J., & Flynn, A. (2015, October 3). U.S. Leads World in Mass Shootings. Retrieved December 15, 2015, from

Violence Has No Preference

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is a complicated issue that plagues all types of people and relationships. The specific definition refers to “a pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the abuser) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor) where there exists an intimate or dependent relationship”. Acts of domestic violence can come in the form of physical violence, intimidation, threats, isolation, economic abuse, emotional abuse, and entitlement. When we think about what domestic violence means, the first image that often comes to mind is the image of a fragile woman who is in a relationship with a rather aggressive man. And while it is a valid and realistic image, we cannot ignore the evidence that domestic violence is also a problem within homosexual relationships as well. Put into a heterosexual context, domestic violence receives a decent amount of attention. Although there is still much more that could be done, there are currently shelters, therapists, doctors, and programs dedicated to combating it, and reducing its occurrence. Our culture is reluctant to publicize these very same issues that happen within the homosexual community, and yet it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to get a full grasp on the problem that is domestic violence. In order to accurately discuss this, we must acknowledge that domestic violence doesn’t just happen; it is a product of many different factors, comprised of intersecting elements in our society.

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Why does domestic violence happen?

Some of the most prominent contributing factors to domestic violence are life stressors. Life stressors can be almost anything stressful that interferes with a person’s routine functioning. Some examples include, but are not limited to; having difficulty in school, being stressed about work, moving, having issues with money, dissatisfaction with a relationship, or even the after effects of previous abuse that the abuser experienced earlier in life. These life stressors tend to frustrate a person so much, that they begin to take out their anger on the person they care about most. Some do not even realize what is happening to their emotional state until they have already acted out their frustrations on their partner in an abusive manner, but are then able to end a cycle of abuse before it continues. Others, however, know exactly what they are doing.



Why do people choose to be abusive to their partners?

Intimate partner violence is not usually an accident, or a state of frustration gone too far; it is more often than not due to an individual’s desire for power and control. Individuals who are most likely to be abusers have often experienced some previous form of abuse, and due to their younger self remembering and modeling that behavior, they end up acting it out later in life, this time with their own partner. They may also suffer from a variety of mental illnesses. Abusers often feel extremely out of control during their earlier years, and because of this they want to be in control of as many elements of their life as possible; especially their romantic partners. Controlling their intimate partners gives them a sense of security, power, control, and even the illusion of true happiness (Island 2012).

Google Images

Why don’t victims just leave the relationship?

Many people ask those who are being abused why they don’t just leave. A majority of the time the person who is being abused wants to get out of the relationship; however, they may not have the means or power to do so. Abusers often hold control over their victims in as many ways possible, primarily through financial or emotional means that are meant to keep their victims in place. People who are being abused often experience threats if they try to leave, such as threats on their life, or other forms of emotional abuse that are meant to guilt them into staying with their abuser. Some abusers even threaten to hurt or kill themselves if their partner decides to leave.

Why is talking about domestic violence relevant?

Chances are, you probably know somebody who identifies as LGBT who has experienced some form of domestic violence. It is estimated that approximately an average of one in four people are in an abusive relationship at some point in their life. This estimate is probably not very accurate, due to the vast amount of under-reporting that goes on. Men, especially, feel a crushing amount of shame when they become victims of domestic abuse, and are often the least likely to report the incidents. It is very important that we send the message to people of all genders and sexual orientations that they will be well-received if they ever need to get out of an abusive relationship, or report abusive conduct to the police. The intersection of class, gender, and sexual orientation comes into play in so many ways when observing how abuse is dealt with in our society on so many levels, as well as the continuation of the stigmas that surround it.

Society as a whole will need to work together to counter the negative effects of every element of society that causes domestic violence, in order to eradicate it completely.



All pictures copyright of Google Images.

Domestic Violence Statistics. Men: The Overlooked Victims of Domestic Violence. Department of Justice. 2012.

Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. Shattering Illusions: Same-sex Domestic Violence. Routledge. 2008.

Island, David. Men Who Beat The Men Who Love Them. Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence. Routledge. 2012.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence and LGBT relationships. 2006.