Chrissy Polis, a 22-year-old transgender woman, decided to go to McDonald’s one night. Following Chrissy’s use of the ladies’ restroom, McDonald’s employees looked on amused she was repeatedly kicked in the back, face and head, pummeled with fists, spat upon, had her hair pulled and her earrings torn out. These heinous abuses were doled out by two teenage girls, one 14 and one 18. One good Samaritan, an older woman, attempted to intervene and demanded that the assailants “get off of her,” but she herself was struck in the face. The seemingly-endless, three-minute long beating was recorded by a McDonald’s employee, Vernon Hackett (who has since been fired), while the other employees watched, laughed and rooted for the abusers. The assault ended only after Chrissy suffered a seizure near the front door. Seeing this, the employee who’d been recording the crime actually encouraged the criminals to leave immediately since the victim was bleeding and the police would be on their way. Yeah… wouldn’t want anyone to get arrested for brutally assaulting a helpless victim or anything.
So why did this happen? According to various news sources, including the Huffington Post, it had to do with Chrissy’s attempt to use the women’s restroom.
Polis told the newspaper that after she used the restroom, “They said, ‘That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom.'”
Does it matter what it’s about? Well, WMAL Radio Host Chris Plante had plenty to say on the matter. He blathers on about the nature of transexuality and complains grievously about the term’s flexibility. He has a big problem with the idea that this incident is considered a hate crime since, in his astonishingly-enlightened mind he believes that if this were “simply a matter of” two black girls destroying a white girl, the incident would not be labelled as such. His mind-broadening commentary of course being due to his extensive life experience as a transgender, African-American female… oh, wait… he’s cissexual, white and male. One YouTube commenter, Nirvanfan4ever, prefers to refer to Mr. Plante as a “fucktard,” and I don’t think it’s really my place to disagree with him.
Worse still is yet another well-informed intellectual who calls himself RedBaiter, who begins his article regarding the tragedy as follows:
Nothing excuses the behaviour of the animals responsible for the McDonald’s beating, however it is necessary to dispel the widely held misconception that the victim was a white girl. The victim has been identified as Christopher Lee Polis and a male of Arab or Indian descent who dressed as a woman. Its debatable that such a person has any real right to enter a women’s toilet [emphasis mine].
Chrissy is, in fact, half white and half something else. Why this is relevant to whether or not she should use a toilet… I can’t quite figure that one out. But some people will attack from any angle they can muster when it comes to GLBTQ injustices.
And, yes… it does matter what it’s about. When the level of violence exacted at an individual is escalated to the point of potentially fatal actions due to their personal identity, it DOES MATTER, and it MUST BE RECOGNIZED AND PUNISHED AS EXACTLY THAT. Some people contend that “all crime is ‘hate crime'” since a person would not commit a crime against someone they were fond of. This is missing the point. Identifying an act of violence as a “hate crime” is important because there is an extra element at play here. An element which has NO place in civilized society. This element is the act of the “-ism.” Scholars refer to it as “othering.” When you “other” a group, you dehumanize them and find ways to justify violence and other injustices committed against them. This is no simple error in judgment and it is unacceptable in a society which purports to value equality. Had it been two black girls thrashing some white girl due to her skin color, it would most definitely be a hate crime as well. (Not to mention, Plante’s example proves his egregious underestimation of the eagerness with which the legal system prosecutes African-Americans in general.)
Click here to watch the beating. >>CAUTION: IT IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH… YOU MAY WANT TO HAVE A PAPER BAG HANDY. AND A VALIUM.
Unfortunately, there has been longterm fallout; since the incident, Chrissy has been concerned about the result of this unwanted publicity. She lives in a smaller town and is concerned about obtaining employment and living a normal life. She, in fact, has been hesitant to leave her house altogether due to the mental trauma she has suffered from this brutal incident. She spoke out about the injustices served and the unnecessary fearfulness that transgender individuals experience every day in an interview with the Baltimore Sun.
What the FUCK is wrong with people?
Transgenderism. I am only recently learning the ins and outs of how the terminology is perceived in the trans/queer community and attempting to educate myself on protocol. As with any group, there are diverse preferences in how individuals prefer to be viewed and treated, but one thing I’m pretty sure about: TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE HUMAN BEINGS AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE HUMAN BEINGS. Is that a concise enough definition for you, Plante?
Or, here’s a tip: stop trying to stuff everyone into a category. There are too many of us and there are endless variations of individuals. It’s a futile project at best… and a terrifyingly harmful one with dire consequences at worst.
And here’s the 18 year old ****’s mugshot:
Teonna Monae Brown, 18 years old,
One of the assailants who administered a brutal beating to Chrissy Polis…
at the McDonald’s located at 6315 Kenwood Avenue… has done it before. At the same McDonald’s…
To a mother and her children. Read more on this at TSG.
Here’s the problem. Most people believe that once you remove yourself from an abusive situation, everything will be fine. After all, it’s all downhill from there, right? Wrong. Even after ending the relationship, people who have experienced abuse at the hands of a partner can suffer from PTSD, a lifelong illness that never goes away. PTSD affects you for the rest of your life. And it’s not just for soldiers anymore.
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Here’s a slice of criteria from the DSM-IV explaining the causes of PTSD:
“(1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others (2) the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.”
PTSD causes physical damage to the brain. It’s literally a stress fracture. The stress imposed upon the brain resulting from the traumatic event causes damage to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory as well as in the handling of stress. As a result of this damage, people suffer from memory loss, flashbacks, and delayed comprehension. But that’s not where it ends. Other chronic symptoms of PTSD include insomnia, vivid nightmares, intense psychological distress at exposure to situations or objects that resemble any aspect of the event, depression, detachment from others, feelings of impending doom or imminent death, irritability, outbursts of rage, difficulty concentrating and exaggerated startle response. Typically, people experience all or most of these symptoms for most of the rest of their lives.
Some people need just one event to trigger PTSD. One of my close friends was slammed against the wall, punched in the eye and helplessly cornered when she smashed his glasses against his face in self-defense. He threatened to kill her and she hit him with a nearby coffee mug. She managed to get away and call the police, but it was too late. She was already destined to re-experience this trauma repeatedly, day after day, for years to come. She currently has difficulty leaving the house, interacting with an intimate partner, and dealing with crowds. Her awareness has been heightened to a state of hypervigilance as a result of the damage to her brain.
Unfortunately, deliberate acts of domestic violence that occur repeatedly (or a domestic situation that causes prolonged fear on the part of the victim, as in a constant fear of your partner’s reactions) will create a more severe condition than would an attack from a stranger. Not to mention, the closer you are emotionally to your assailant, the more severe your condition will be. Experiencing trauma at the hands of someone you formerly trusted or someone you currently love causes deeper injury and produces harsher symptoms as a result.
If you are involved with an abusive partner, you might think that “good guys” don’t exist. You might think that no one really has a good relationship. You might think that relationship equality is something out of a television sitcom; something that doesn’t exist in real life. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. There are billions of men out there who will treat you respectfully every single day. There are billions of men out there who will love you for exactly who you are, whatever flaws you may think you have. There are billions of men out there who will sweep you off your feet and romance your socks off. (And women.) YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER BE AFRAID OF YOUR PARTNER, NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT. But if you are, consider the risks. The result may be more than you can deal with for the rest of your life. Just think it over.
Image from MediManage.com
I’ve figured it out.
After observing Charlie’s erratic behavior on television networks, reading his Twitter account, and analyzing his past interviews in contrast with his current behaviors, I collected some data, did some research, considered what others had to say about him, and I finally came to a conclusion: I think Charlie Sheen suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and is currently using drugs. My guess is that he’s using both meth and coke. I only speculate on the meth because he goes for long periods of time – for instance, during interviews – where he’s not seen sniffing anything, and he’s definitely not crashing.
Dr. Drew Pinsky has diagnosed Sheen as “hypomanic,” which is a symptom of Bipolar Disorder, the psychotic effects of which can be prompted by drug use. PsychCentral.com’s Sherrie McGregor, Ph.D. explains, “Speed (methamphetamine, crank, crystal) and cocaine are two that have sent many abusers into mania, often followed quickly by deep depression and psychotic symptoms. Hallucinogens, including LSD and PCP, can set off psychotic symptoms as well.” And, of course, who’s ruling out LSD or PCP? Either way, there’s something a little #tigersblood going on here…
Although I concur with the hypomanic diagnosis, hypomania is commonly comorbid (coexistent) with NPD – and so is substance abuse. I don’t think for a second that Charlie has stopped using drugs, even if he has found a way to circumvent the results of his urinalysis. (Obviously it’s a stupid idea to let him take the urine test in his own house. Duh. Cheating.)
According to the DSM-IV, symptoms of NPD are:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Charlie appears to feature all of the symptoms associated with the disorder and, as a child star, has many of the risk factors for NPD. The risk factors for NPD are:
- An oversensitive temperament at birth is the main symptomatic chronic form
- Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults
- Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback
- Excessive praise for good behaviors or excessive criticism for poor behaviors in childhood
- Overindulgence and overvaluation by parents
- Severe emotional abuse in childhood
- Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents
- Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem
In an interview with ABC, when questioned about whether or not he’s bipolar, Charlie says, “I’m not bi-polar; I’m bi-winning… if I’m bi-polar, aren’t there moments where a guy, like, crashes and is, like, in the corner like, [mock crying] ‘Oh my god, it’s all my mom’s fault,’ [as a frustrated respondent to the crying guy] Shut up! Shut up! Stop! Move forward.” Shunning this make-believe person for crying is somewhat telling as well. Dr. Daniel A. Bochner, Ph.D. and author of “The Therapist’s Use of Self in Family Therapy” writes, “The narcissist grows up in an environment in which vulnerability is unacceptable. Any sign of weakness in this environment is met with disdain and disgust.”
Idealization and devaluation are also components of NPD. People are all good or they’re all bad. For instance, on his radio show, Sheen’s Korner, he used the tagline, “You’re either in Charlie’s corner, or you’re with the trolls.” In contrast to the trolls, he idealizes his live-in porn stars, referring to them as “Goddesses.” (Unfortunately, this lofty moniker simultaneously makes them faceless, nameless and disposable.)
A person who is suffering from NPD lives in a black-and-white world. It’s good or bad, right or wrong, love or hate. Here’s a quote from his radio interview on the Alex Jones Show:
“My motto now is you either love or you hate, and you must do so violently. And the reason you must hate violently is because – and you have to hate everybody that’s not in your family, because they’re there to destroy your family… and, therefore, there’s nothing in the middle. I don’t live in the middle anymore; that’s where you get slaughtered, that’s where you get embarrassed in front of the prom queen… and it’s just not an option…”
Check out some of his interviews here:
His recent behavior in comparison with his past conduct is drastically different.
And when I think about the fact that Charlie Sheen is, in fact, suffering from a disease, and decomposing, in front of billions of people, I almost feel sorry for him… until I think about this. And this. And this. And this. And this. And this.
And then I smile and watch, quietly amused, as he publicly self-destructs. And, suddenly, it seems like – for once – the victims are WINNING.