Debra Darvick advocates mutilating babies
PS. She’s also a bigot.
In the July 12th issue of Newsweek magazine (which you can read online here), Debra Darvick — a woman who believes she must have shamans ritually mutilate the penises of babies to appease her god — writes that those with piercings are disgusting and that she won’t interact with them because they make her “nearly blow her lunch”. She launches a tirade of ignorant insults against those with piercings based on both false assumptions and simple bigotry, eventually coming to the conclusion that people should be judged first on appearance, and second on behavior.
She begins by writing,
The fact is that piercings — most commonly stretched earlobes — have been a defining standard of beauty over nearly all of human history, even if Debra Darvick’s short-sightedness decides to class it as ugly. It’s actually quite strange that some people in the West have forgotten that. However, ignoring her stupidity for a moment, here are a few more comments from her introduction.
Debra Darvick prides herself on being a good Jewish mother (she even opens her book, The Jewish Life, with anecdotes about her son’s bris), yet her approach to people she doesn’t understand is ridicule and abuse. This type of child abuse that Debra Darvick seems to espouse is often linked to eating disorders and other disorders related to shame and self-esteem issues — including suicide, which the University of Minnesota says is increased as much as 300% by teasing. In America, over 160,000 students miss school every day because of teasing and bullying. According to the NEA, this teasing damages the education process not just for those being teased, but for all students because of the climate of fear it generates. More than half of all students know someone who left school because of teasing, and less than a quarter of students believe that teachers ever intervene in this teasing (and according to the National Mental Health and Education Center, many teachers have no problem at all with teasing and intervene only 4% of the time)… Now Debra Darvick wants to bring this crime to the pages of Newsweek as well, thus legitimizing it even more.
Before you say that Ms. Darvick just has a problem with piercings because she’s fundamentally clueless and out of touch, she teases at any opportunity be it her snide “Gen-whatever” and “Gen-XYZ” tags, or when she describes the gap between her and her children as yawning “wider than the space between David Letterman’s two front teeth.” She’s also very clear that this has nothing to do with service or behavior — it’s exclusively about looks. Here is how she describes just the job performance of the people she’s chosen to publicly degrade and ridicule:
However, doing a good job isn’t what she’s looking for. As she points out over and over, people with piercings make her want to vomit. She has to “stifle a shudder or two” when she notices someone’s piercings. I myself shudder when I imagine how she might react to those who are obese, unattractive, or simply of a race different than her own. Later in the article she tries to intellectualize an explanation, but only her ignorance is evident in it.
Even the most basic of research would show her that piercing is absolutely not about “being part of a group” — if anything, quite the opposite. People with piercings are far more likely to be outside the group, and given Ms. Darvick’s series of attacks, that should be obvious. Her notion that piercings hurt once “the anesthetic wears off” is laughable and illustrates that she has done zero research into what she’s writing about and cares little about the truth, and even less about the welfare of young people and their families. And this is the calibre of writing that wins two Rockower awards for excellence in Jewish journalism?
She pejoratively hopes that piercing is just a “phase” like the “no bra, hair down to there and bell-bottoms” look of the children of the 70s, which she admits she did share, but cared little for the associated feminism and social justice. You know what? If vapid hatemongers like Debra Darvick are what is produced when “the trend” is over, all the more reason for young people to get pierced and stay pierced. It all underscores the overwhelmingly obvious — Debra Darvick is simply too closed-minded to comprehend these issues, and when she doesn’t understand something, she attacks it. The kind of attitude she’s arguing for can be used to justify atrocities of all sorts, most obviously the Holocaust, a stain on history that occurred because otherwise good people decided it was acceptable to hate a group of people because of their differences.
She concludes by writing that she probably won’t let “Mr. Toro” (her nom de
I doubt that anything I or anyone else writes will change Ms. Darvick’s stance on child abuse and her apparent love for bringing pain to those she does not understand, so I haven’t tried to explain to her “why” we transform ourselves in this way. In any case, it is inexcusable for Newsweek or any other pseudo-reputable publication at least doing a charade of journalism to give credence and support to teasing in such a public forum — have they forgotten that it was only a few years ago that they themselves pointed out (in “The Roots of Violence: Why The Young Kill”) exactly what the outcome of such teasing is, and that they have regularly printed articles on the damage that attitudes like Ms. Darvick’s do to young people?
Debra Darvick can be reached at (248) 646-5044 in Birmingham, MI (I won’t print the rest of her address, also available online, because I have no wish to see harm come to her or anyone else), although her son told me that she’s currently on vacation and said people should call her cell phone instead at (248) 561-4989. If you’re wondering why her son would give out her cell phone number to me, she herself says that her children characterize her beliefs as “horrible and prejudiced”. You know what Debra? If your own children think you’re a bigot, maybe you should listen.
And to Newsweek, next time you decide to print a story on body piercing, I hope you will consider hiring a journalist that cares more about researched facts than simply finding a platform for their uninformed prejudice.
Some of the comments I’ve gotten so far: