Naomi Campbell, Miss Piggy, And The Joke Of The Violent Woman

Remember how funny it was that Elin Nordegren might have attacked Tiger Woods? Well, today in Hilarious Violent Women, our subject is Naomi Campbell — again.

As we noted yesterday, Naomi Campbell stands accused of hitting her driver from behind, leaving him with "bumps and bruises," and then fleeing the scene. She's previously pled guilty not once but twice to assaulting employees with a phone, and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service after she "cursed, kicked and spat at police" at Heathrow Airport. Here's how Socialite Life describes Campbell's latest infraction:

Just when it seemed safe to work for Naomi Campbell again she went and beat up her chauffeur. The enraged supermodel"slapped and punched him as he drove" and, the move that never goes out of style for Campbell, struck him with her cellie. This time the staffer was quick to react. He stopped the car to call 911 and the supermodel jumped out of the car and split! Now the cops are looking for her and they better be wearing some armored protection because Naomi ain't afraid of no cops.

Even more droll is CBS's take on the issue, below:


From Harry Smith's amused expression to the phrases "when models attack!" and "slap-happy supermodel" to the chuckling man-on-the-street at the end of the clip, it's clear that Naomi Campbell beating up someone in her employ is comedy gold, at least to CBS. Part of the humor here relies on Campbell's glam image — CBS shows catwalk clips, Socialite Life depicts her in furs (Leopold von Sacher-Masoch would approve). The image of the well-dressed lady who flies off the handle isn't original to Campbell — Julie Klausner's idol Miss Piggy was karate-chopping in stilettos years ago. Of course, unlike Campbell, Piggy is fictional — laughing at her antics doesn't mean laughing at the bruises of an actual person. Still, her hiiiii-yah's may illustrate why we don't take female violence seriously.

Piggy's cute, for a pig, and more importantly, she's ultra-feminine. For her to attack someone is supposed to be funny because ladies don't hit people — especially not ladies who wear pearls. And when they do, it's not real violence — it's an incongruity, an oddity, much like when female teachers sleep with male students. Both, when they take place in real life and not Muppet-land, cause actual pain. But the flipside of the stereotype is that men and boys aren't supposed to feel pain — at least not if it's inflicted by women. It's no surprise that Campbell's latest victim, 27-year-old driver Miodrag Mejdina, isn't pressing charges, or that the NYPD won't be questioning Campbell — male victims of violent women are encouraged to shrug off their attacks, sometimes by law enforcement indifference. Back in December, Latoya wrote about calling the police on a woman attacking a man. "When the cops showed up a few minutes later," she said, "one of the officers rolled his eyes." The media, police, and society all roll our eyes at women's violence — and ask male victims to do the same.

Latoya also wrote, "it's worth asking why we sweep violence against women under the rug, and play violence against men for laughs, but are still too afraid to risk confronting any of these issues directly." The answer has to do with misogyny — women are too powerless to hurt men, but if they get hurt they must have been asking for it — and misandry — men who get hurt aren't real men. But it also has to do with our tendency as a society to turn anything we can't deal with into a joke. Miodrag Mejdina is lucky in one way — he's likely to make some serious bank from a civil settlement. But the men assaulted by less-famous women often get neither money nor justice nor sympathy — and they probably don't find this very funny.

Still Not Safe To Work For Naomi Campbell [Socialite Life]
Naomi Campbell Accused Of Punching Driver [CBS]
NYC Driver Tells Police Naomi Campbell Hit Him [AP, via Yahoo News]
Exclusive: NYPD On Naomi Campbell Attack - "We Have No Intention Of Talking To Her" [RadarOnline]

Earlier: SNL Says: Domestic Violence Is Hilarious - When Directed At Men