Nice guy kills girlfriend

I see nothing much has changed while I was away.

The latest case in the national news involves Jovan Belcher, a linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Police report shows new details in Jovan-Belcher murder suicide

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/police-report-shows-details-jovan-belcher-murder-suicide-152440857–nfl.html

So, the reason for this fatal domestic violence incident, according to this article:

  • couple had been arguing for months
  • he was angry she was out late
  • she reportedly did not talk to him as he thought she should

Honestly, I can’t recall seeing “arguing” as a cause of domestic violence, have you? Or the manner in which a person speaks to another.

He’s painted with a lot of sympathy in this article – he only “reportedly” partied (in quotation marks in the article); he says he’s sorry to his girlfriend (sorry for killing her); his mother and coach are involved; he tells the coach how he wants his children to be taken care of (do killers have that right?)

The victim, on the otherhand, is a mother who went to a concert, had a few drinks, argued with her boyfriend, and spoke in a manner he didn’t like.

Hmmm.

 

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Sympathy for the accused

So many rape-related articles are upsetting – this one is down-right distressing in how pro-perp it is.

Why we should protect those accused of rape

Here’s my comment, please consider commenting yourself:

More sympathy for the accused than the abused

This is one of the most ridiculous perp-protecting rubish I’ve ever read.

1) It’s not the “alleged victim” (bias), it’s the accuser.

2) Victims are not always granted anonymity – many victims’ names have turned up in the press, where they are also bashed and blamed.

3)If you take away victims’ anonymity, other victims couldn’t come forward (ie, more protection for the perp-and that seems exactly what you’re seeking)

4) An “electronic nanny”? Gosh, you can’t even hide your misogyny.

5) The “suffering of rape defendents” – ohmygosh. Have you read, Is it worse to be a rapist or a racist (Hint – the word has a c in it). MOST RAPISTS GET AWAY WITH RAPE. Most cases are not reported. According to RAIN, only 6% of rapists WILL EVER SERVE TIME IN JAIL.

6) There’s a far greater stigma for men accused of rape than victims? Not only will the media bash and blame victims, the comment sections on rape articles are so atrocious and sexist, it’s stomach-turning.

7) Easier to charge and convict? Have you ever in talked to a rape victim? Have you talked to organizations that help men and women who’ve been raped? Have you done an iota of research?

This is simply rubish. Perp-protecting, entitled, stereotyping (of women as false accusers) rubbish that I’ve ever read.

AND

The media print more articles on false allegations (which often dont explain context), which skews the thinking that there’s a hysteria of women accusing men of rape. Most credible stats put false allegations at 8-10% and most credible organizations will explain things like a person recanting, police not believing a victim, etc.

If you look at the Innocence Project, false allegations are not listed as one of the leading reasons of wrongful imprisonment – but media bias would have the public perceive it as such.

Media use the term false allegation for women, but not for men. For men, terms depicting skill or talent (set up, framed, etc.) are used.

Media refrain from stating that men also make false allegations, and that, in family court, research (Bala &Schumann) find that men make more false allegations (neglect, unfit) than women.

But, then again, stereotypes have more branding power than mere facts, And, nobody is stopping writers like Roy Black from using stereotypes rather than facts.

https://mediamisses.wordpress.com

Furthermore

, if you look at the history of the Victims Rights Movement, you’ll see there are more deniers than liars. Deniers have been the backlash which tries to thwart progress. Denying abuse lets it go unimpeded and can result in further abuse and murder.

Look at judges like Judge Lemkau who called Katie Tagle a liar (transcript on Internet) -and you’ll see the results of this stereotype – the judge called her a liar, gave her husband custody of the infant, and 10 days later both were found dead. Look at articles on rape & domestic violence and see the perps background – often enough, rather than locking him up, he was permitted by a lax criminal justice system to continue to abuse people (Jaycee Duggard). Often enough, in domestic violence, the perp is the “nice guy” that kills wife and/or kids.

What we need is a society that helps victims press charges – not a society that helps protect perps.

There is not one of us immune from having charges pressed against us. What we can do, is keep the press from using bias and judgement and see to it that perps are punished so they don’t keep abusing.

Hardly a headline

This headline barely touches upon what this father did to his daughter:

Ceres father charged in death

Alycia Mesiti was 14 years old in August 2006, enrolled to attend the  year-old Central Valley High School in Ceres. But before classes began, her  father and his girlfriend reported her as a runaway.

In March 2009, officers unearthed Alycia’s body in the back yard of the home  the family rented in the 3500 block of Alexis Court in west Ceres.

Her father, Mark Edward Mesiti, was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail on  Thursday afternoon on charges of murder with malice, one count of lewd and  lascivious acts on a child, and one count of rape or sodomy.

Imagine giving this guy custody?!

Alycia and her older brother were placed in her father’s custody in November  2005, about the time the family moved to Ceres. In the previous seven years,  Mesiti was convicted of bank fraud and drunken driving, and charged with  domestic violence. He was ordered to attend anger-management classes and landed  in prison after failing to attend court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment  programs.

Now for some victim blaming:

But the children’s mother, Roberta Allen, had her own problems. She battled  depression and a court investigator called her an unfit parent. There were  reports of a suicide attempt and fights with the two children. She told a  Mercury News reporter that she suffered years of persecution by Mesiti and had  fled to other states and even to Canada, where she and the children lived in  battered women’s shelters.

She said her husband could afford to hire an attorney in the custody battle,  while her own responses were handwritten.

Typical ‘battered mothers losing custody’ scenario: He has a long list of problems, abuse. She’s considered depressed and unfit (which occurs to human beings after enduring years of abuse – it’s a symptom of domestic violence). He can afford an attorney, she can’t. As Steve Bardo from the Center for Judicial Excellence said last week on the Dr. Phil show – this country gives people accused of heinous crimes legal representation, yet throws battered women into court to fend for themselves.

And, sadly, this is a typical response to a protective mother:

Allen, a restaurant worker in 2009, said she called the Ceres police to say  she didn’t believe her daughter had run away and instead should be classified as  a missing person.

“The police stopped taking my calls,” she said in 2009. “They said, ‘She’ll  come home.’ “

Read more: http://www.modbee.com/2011/06/02/1716153/father-charged-in-death.html#ixzz1ORnxyHwx

Victim blaming in the media regarding the IMF chief’s sexual assault case

This is from the Women’s Media Center and it contains a link to a petition to protest the media’s rampant victim blaming:

“Dominique Strauss-Kahn may have more to worry about than a possible prison sentence.” That was the first sentence in an article in the New York Post today about the IMF Chief accused of sexually attacking a woman in a New York City hotel. The article then proceeds to “out” the alleged victim for living in an apartment building for people and families living with HIV/AIDS. This type of coverage does nothing to help hold an alleged rapist accountable and only contributes to victim-shaming and stigmatizing people living with HIV/AIDS – With no respect for the accuser’s medical confidentiality or the confidentiality of the residents in that building. Further, they repeatedly refer to her as maid, rather than a victim, and highlight her immigration status and race. The New York Post should be ashamed for framing their coverage of sexual assault about concerns for an alleged attacker, rather than the impact of a violent sexual assault on a woman at her place of work. They also printed this quote:

“One high-powered lawyer, who was among those trying to reach her to offer to rep her, said ‘She could make $6 million, maybe more, just by shutting her mouth.”

As heinous as the NY Post’s piece was, they’re not the only ones who are guilty of harmful coverage. The Daily Beast ran this commentary by Bernard-Henri Levy in which he questioned the alleged victim’s legitimacy:

“I do not know—but, on the other hand, it would be nice to know, and without delay—how a chambermaid could have walked in alone, contrary to the habitual practice of most of New York’s grand hotels of sending a ‘cleaning brigade’ of two people, into the room of one of the most closely watched figures on the planet.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, The American Spectator published this despicable piece by Ben Stein yesterday, in which he ranted:

“The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn ‘forced’ the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife? He’s a short fat old man. They were in a hotel with people passing by the room constantly, if it’s anything like the many hotels I am in. How did he intimidate her in that situation? And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?

People accuse other people of crimes all of the time. What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid? I love and admire hotel maids. They have incredibly hard jobs and they do them uncomplainingly. I am sure she is a fine woman. On the other hand, I have had hotel maids that were complete lunatics, stealing airline tickets from me, stealing money from me, throwing away important papers, stealing medications from me. How do we know that this woman’s word was good enough to put Mr. Strauss-Kahn straight into a horrific jail?”

After all this media coverage, all women (and men) may have more to worry about than the possibility that an international leader is guilty of sexual assault. This type of coverage reinforces the power structures that legitimize sexism and rape, and works directly against the elimination of sexual violence in our culture. In a country where a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes, such pieces do real harm.Tell the NY Post, the Daily Beast, and the American Spectator that media have a responsibility to work towards the elimination of rape culture and sexism – Not to legitimize it!

Send a letter by clicking here: http://www.change.org/petitions/media-stop-victim-blaming-and-shaming-in-coverage-of-imf-chiefs-alleged-sexual-assault

Change.org

Mother’s Day round up

Happy Mother’s Day to all – to those that have children, to those that have lost children, and to those that care for children.

When we hated mom – NY Times article by Stephanie Coontz – provides an historical account of motherhood from a (feminist) sociological perspective. Feminism, Coontz explains, has improved the lives of women (and men) – but, hey, we knew that! Interesting to note, though, society’s disparaging view of protective mothers:

Momism became seen as a threat to the moral fiber of America on a par with communism. In 1945, the psychiatrist Edward Strecher argued that the 2.5 million men rejected or discharged from the Army as unfit during World War II were the product of overly protective mothers.

From the Washington Post, we have an article on racism…onMother’s Day. Granted, I don’t get a home copy of the Post, but this is all I could find in their daily email of headlines. It seems some media outlets would rather celebrate anniversaries (Freedom Riders, David Goldman reuniting with his son) rather than Mothers. I object to racism too, but when can we get national discussions going on sexism? They can even be combined. But, as one writer pointed out, it’s worse to be a racist than a rapist. Both should be despised.

Freedom Riders, 50 years on,  see today’s youth as disconnected from racism

The heartless way Conservatives treat young women who choose to have babies by Amanda Marcotte

Everytime I think the Republicans/Conservatives couldn’t get any worse, they surprise me with their renewed spirit of misogyny. Gotta give it to them for disguising hate with “fiscal responsibility.” There’s always some reason to put women’s issues on the back burner…or to just burn them.

The girls were arrested for holding a sit-in to protest the closing of their school, the Catherine Ferguson Academy, which was established to serve students who are pregnant or mothering.  The school provides day care and parenting classes, and focuses on getting students to college and giving them skills that help future self-sufficiency.  Supposedly “pro-life” conservatives should not only be supporting this school, but demanding that every high school in the country provide these services to teenage mothers.  After all, these girls did what anti-choicers ask of them.  They chose to have their babies.  And now the very same conservatives that wax sentimental about “choosing life” are working to shut down the educational opportunities of young women who did what anti-choicers want, by having their babies.

Don’t forget the women who’ve had injuries or their lives cut short from the men that supposedly loved them and fathered children with them – and, please, don’t forget that it’s more often when these women do the “right thing” that they get injured or killed (far too many people, including feminists, blame the victim for “staying” with an abuser) –

Man charged with ambush slayings of ex, her dad

Orange County prosecutors have charged a 36-year-old man with murdering his ex-wife and her father after they came to his home to take court-ordered custody of the couple’s 7-year-old daughter.

Ex-wife. She left him. They came to take court-ordered custody. Court must have granted dad custody if they came to take her back. It wasn’t enough to kill the ex-wife. He killed her father, too — he shot them both in the backs, the coward.  This 7-year-old just lost her mother (and grandfather) in the week leading up to Mother’s Day. 

Roughly 3 women die every day in domestic violence in this country. This week alone, we’ve lost 21 women, many of whom were mothers.

Candlelight vigil for murdered mother of four

Fresno – Four kids are dealing with the loss of their mother after a murder-suicide in southeast Fresno Tuesday.

The kids were joined about 100 family members and friends Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil.

They gathered on Shields Avenue, the spot where 28-year-old Jennifer Puentes Chatman died, after her ex-boyfriend, 34-year-old Richard Haynes, shot her.

She is the victim of a deadly domestic violence dispute.

This article also ‘blamed the victim’, saying she had chances to leave, but didn’t. But – why didn’t she? Because he threatened to take or kill the kids? Because she feared sharing custody with him or worse, losing custody all together? Because she didn’t have faith in the justice system? Because she feared not being believed? Because women are in greatest danger when they leave?

 Mom with cancer loses custody of kids

This 37-year-old stay-at-home mother lost custody of her 2 children because she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She lives in North Carolina. The father is taking the kids to Illinois. Nice. What a Mother’s Day.

No woman, no cry – Oprah is offering this documentary for free for the next ten days. It discusses death during childbirth.

Mothers rally for fairness in courts

Lori has spent the last eight years fighting the courts for custody of her two children. It began, she said, with her accusing her then-husband of abusing their 3-year-old boy and year-old girl. It ended with him gaining custody and her getting visitation rights.

“He drained me out,” said the 47-year-old Westfield woman, who declined to give her full name for fear it would hurt her future custody chances. She can’t afford a lawyer and has to represent herself after spending more than $100,000 in legal fees over the years.

She was a housewife. He is a lawyer. She has little money. He has lots.

It is a formula that legal experts and advocates say creates a lopsided matchup in the courtroom for custody cases – one in which the mother most often loses.

It looks like HE takes HER to the cleaners – then, why, oh why, does the media portray the opposite?

And, remember, there’s a candlelight vigil tonight from 6-9 pm in front of the White House (see post below).

Happy Mother’s Day to all — Let’s work towards improving the very lives that give us life

Sydney Morning Herald: Fathers kill their kids to get revenge – not because they’re upset with lack of time with them

I wish there were more articles with women’s points of views, especially in regard to Family Court. Seems we only hear from men on that front. Here’s one discussing fathers who kill their children (take a look at Dastardly Dad’s blog, linked to the right). It’s NOT because they’re upset about not spending enough time with them (as fathers rights guys proclaim) – it’s because they want to get revenge on the ex-wives, girlfriends. (Same fathers rights guys will claim women are vengeful and evil).

Men’s murderous revenge

It’s not angst over custody: fathers kill their children to punish their ex-partners.

Since Arthur Freeman was found guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Darcey, much of the media focus has been on the distress of fathers going through separation and custody disputes. There has been a call for more support for fathers.

However, we must ask ourselves whether we are losing sight of the victims and, more importantly, whether this is the best approach to preventing these deaths from occurring in the future.

While the community understandably struggles to comprehend a parent killing a child, our research shows that these are not inexplicable tragedies. There is a particular type of filicide (the killing of children by parents) that occurs in the context of the separation of the parents.

In these ”spousal revenge” cases – as recognised by the Freeman jury – fathers kill their children to punish their ex-partners. There is usually no prior violence against the children. In fact, they appear to love their children. The act of killing is directed towards harming the child’s mother. The motive is revenge.

In the case of Freeman and Robert Farquharson (found guilty of three counts of murder of his sons Bailey, Tyler and Jai, aged two to 10, who drowned in a dam near Winchelsea), both fathers indicated that they wished to punish their ex-partner. Shortly before killing Darcey, Freeman told his ex-wife to say goodbye to her children and that she would never see them again – clearly to make her suffer. Farquharson told a friend that he would make his ex-wife suffer by taking what mattered to her most – her children.

Contrary to some claims, these cases are not about fathers losing access to their children. The reality is that in both cases, the fathers had access to their children and, in both cases, killed them during it.

Murder as an occupational hazard

I wrote this piece – Murder as an Occupational Hazard – in 2007 when 5 women’s bodies were found in Atlantic City, NJ.  I really wanted to stress how misogyny plays a role in serial killers who target women. Certainly, there are other “vulnerable populations” that these killers could target: runaways, drug dealers on the street, the elderly, the disabled, male prostitutes, etc. — but all too often the common denominator is gender, and profession, although clearly a factor, is secondary.

Recently, the bodies of 10 female sex workers were discovered in NY. Hopefully, it will spur more debate about legalizing (or not) prostitution, a culture that ‘permits’ gender-based violence, devaluing people (for whatever reason), impunity, and making heroes out of serial killers. I just want to add that in this discussion/debate, people need to address the prostitution of minors (johns that use them) and sexual trafficking.

Lust murder: Prostitutes as victims of throwaway capitalism

This is David Rosen’s take:

Many of the female victims of these horrendous murder sprees have been prostitutes. They tend to be young women in their 20s, lost to their birth families and community, and often on drugs. They seem like lost souls who have nothing left but their bodies to sell. They are throwaway living commodities of capitalism.

Getting away with murder on Long Island

This is Nancy Goldstein’s take:

It’s not yet clear whether one killer or multiple killers are responsible. No suspects have surfaced. But that’s not what makes this story really tragic. Some of those 10 people might be alive today if it hadn’t been for the lackluster response of law enforcement and the press coverage of the case — much of it sensationalist and dehumanizing — all because of the first victims’ sex-worker status.