Open Thread: On Tiger Woods, Race, and Violence Against Men

by Latoya Peterson

So, details are still emerging about what happened to Tiger Woods. TMZ alleges that Wood’s injuries stem from domestic violence, not the accident:

We’re told he said his wife had confronted him about reports that he was seeing another woman. The argument got heated and, according to our source, she scratched his face up. We’re told it was then Woods beat a hasty retreat for his SUV — but according to our source, Woods says his wife followed behind with a golf club. As Tiger drove away, she struck the vehicle several times with the club.

The only agreed upon statements are that Tiger Woods was in a one-car accident close to his home.

Sister Toldja has an interesting take on the situation, noting:

If the story is as it appears, I want to give Woods credit from trying to walk away from the fight. Whatever he did or didn’t do with another woman, he did the right thing by attempting to get away from his wife when she started throwing blows. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s what a man has to do in a society that ultimately condones and sometimes encourages violent retribution from spurned women. I have a huge problem with this and I will get in to that later this week. […]

The image of the violent, angry wife is often associated with Black women, but it was Tiger’s stereotypical blond trophy wife who bloodied his face and ran up on him with a golf club. In fact, Woods himself revealed that he bought in to that stereotype when he told a friend that his wife had “gone ghetto” on him.

Oh. The. Irony.

There is a SMALL (but loud) group of Black men that seems to believe that White women are a safe haven from the loud, angry, emasculating Black woman. That White girls will lay down, submit and put up with foolishness a man offers them. If any good can come from this incident, I hope it’s the the death of that notion which is incredibly offensive to both Black and White women. I know plenty of Black and “ghetto” girls who would have handled that situation very differently than Mrs. Woods. I also know that she’s not hardly the first White woman to beat her man’s butt.

Do I think Tiger married his wife BECAUSE she was White? I highly doubt it. I would, however, place a considerable bet that non-White women were not a consideration for him when he was shopping for a woman. I know that he didn’t expect what he got on Saturday and the fact that he called it going “ghetto” just puts a sour taste in my mouth. Tiger put a very real distance between himself and the Black community years ago and to hear him describe such negative behavior using a stereotype associated with Black life isn’t surprising so much as it is simply unfortunate.

Elin Woods didn’t go “ghetto” on her husband; she went human, she went woman, she went wrong*.

The “she went wrong” part refers to using physical violence against men in a dispute. I wonder if gender or race (though it’s probably both) is playing a role in why the coverage about what happened to Woods is related to infidelity.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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