Why does Halle Berry keep picking such violent men?
—Taylor, Arkansas, via Facebook
This is not the first time I've fielded this question, but it is the first time I'm addressing it. Because I respect my readers, I have reported an answer for you. But I also have a question for you. And I hope you'll take the time to think about it.
Yes, Halle Berry's marriage to David Justice ended in acrimony, with the actress taking out a restraining order on the athlete.
And by now we all know that ex Gabriel Aubry and fiancé Olivier Martinez were involved in some kind of scrum at Berry's house over Thanksgiving weekend. A former friend of Aubry's has said that the model has verbally threatened her.
Aubry, meanwhile, maintains in court documents that Martinez started the Thanksgiving fight and threatened to kill him.
Berry also has said that one of her ex-loves beat her so badly that she still suffers hearing loss in her left ear.
Psychologist Dr. Gilda Carle tells me that there is a clear reason why many people choose mates like Berry's.
"When a women doesn't think she deserves any kind of love, she will pick men who are abusive," Carle says. "She learned early on somewhere that love is expressed through fighting."
Berry has said that she witnessed her father beating her mother and sister.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I have a question for you all: Why are we focusing on Berry's choices, and not on the behavior of the men themselves?
"We have to be careful when we ask that question, because it's a big and loaded question," says Kit Gruelle of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. "We, as women, are kind of socialized from very early on to take care of men and sometimes we are socialized to take care of men who have significant issues—where they are broken, so to speak.
"The thing that concerns me is that we're focusing on what the victim does and does not do, and not the men, and what they are doing or not doing. It's useful to turn the coin over and say, ‘Why is it that men express themselves through violence and intimidation?'"
Good question. Any thoughts, readers?