Do you still beat your wife?

Slarti has an interesting post on the Winkler business concerning abuse and the difference between the male and female assumptions about abuse in a case such as Winkler’s.

I chimed in on this for several reasons. Some commenters wondered why Ms. Winkler just didn’t up and leave if she was being abused. As my wife said this morning when we were watching the news..’if you don’t understand why she didn’t leave, you don’t understand southern church of Christ culture’. Divorce is still a big taboo. The only ‘scriptural’ reason for divorce is adultry. You keep the family intact at large costs to yourself, because appearances do matter (that’s not just a C of C axiom).

I’m also a great believer in Occam’s Razor: All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one.

People who are not trained to kill don’t kill without a reason unless they are truly mentally ill. That’s not to say that the killing is always moral or justified, but people just don’t kill for the hell of it.

I’d venture to say (as I did in the comments at Slarti’s) that you could put every spousal killing into one or more of the following three categories*:

1. Sex
2. Money
3. Abuse – with self-defense being a sub-category of abuse
It was never a matter of just plain onery-ness. People who are not insane just don’t kill their spouse for little reason. There is some provocation. Doesn’t mean it’s ok, but always remember Occam’s Razor.

So, I disagree with Slarti’s premise that men look to trials such as this and wonder (or wager) when the ‘abuse card’ is going to be played. When the other major reasons are eliminated, abuse is what you have left.

Apparently the jury agreed: voluntary manslaughter implies provocation.

*unless, again, the killer is just plain bonked out.  Sorry for the technical medical jargon.

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3 Comments

Filed under golden rule stuff, sanctity of life

3 responses to “Do you still beat your wife?

  1. I think in this case the Church of Christ affiliation does indeed play a big part of it, but even if there was no religious aspect at all, many women in these situations just do not comprehend that they can leave and/or are fearful.

    I know someone very well who got married nearly straight out of high school and endured nearly 30 years of verbal and physical abuse – some of both VERY extreme – before she finally had the courage to leave. She is my mom’s age, so she married during a time when you didn’t question things and didn’t get divorces for a long time, and also was naive and trusting to boot.

    She thought she couldn’t make it on her own outside the marriage, was afraid enough of him to be afraid he would kill her if she tried to leave, and for many of the early years anyway, thought it was just the way things were and also felt that it was her fault for doing various things that she wound up abused for. After 30 years of it, she finally got up the courage to leave.

    And this wasn’t someone meek and mild like Winkler… if you knew this woman, you would think she’d be the last person to put up with such nonsense.

    I know another woman today that is not being physically abused in her relationship, but there is some questionable verbal and emotional stuff from time to time and I can see where if it became physical, she would never leave the relationship. In my opinion, she should get out now, but much like many abused women, she feels she brings it on herself, that she can’t make it on her on, that she will never get anyone else if she leaves him, etc.

    It’s mind-boggling to me that people stay in such relationships, yes. But having personally known these two, I have a bit of insight into why they don’t leave, even though just like everyone else, to me, it’s crazy (and sad) to me that anyone would put up with that crap.

  2. Also, she may have felt like the only way should could get out of the marriage was if he died, because it is taught that the only reason for divorce was adultry.

  3. Divorce is especially taboo for a C of C preacher. I’ve known literally hundreds of them in my life, and only one has divorced and been allowed to continue as a minister. I fully believe that, should she have brought it up to her husband, whether or not her other allegations against him are true, he would not have been willing to even consider it. In the C of C environment he was working in, he would have lost his job and community standing immediately had his wife even moved out, much less filed for divorce. I believe he absolutely would have done whatever he felt necessary to prevent that.

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