Saturday, 11 February 2006

Call yourself a human being?

I’m afraid I can’t tell you about the near miss the other day, but, don’t despair, I may still have cause to slap that person properly in the future. I’ll let you know.

Anyway, while we wait for World War Three to start because of a cartoon, I want to slap a couple of people for whom drawing and quartering isn’t good enough. I mean the babysitters that were recently jailed for raping a 12-week-old baby girl and taking pictures of their repulsive acts. The mother was totally unaware of the abuse until the police discovered the photos and showed them to her. You don’t want to even imagine what her reaction must have been.

The man is 40 years old and the woman 19. Sentencing them, the judge said the young woman was “also a victim and had come under her boyfriend’s ‘malign influence’ and was to some extent ‘corrupted by him’.” I’m not quite sure what I think about that. I believe anyone with a smidgen of moral sense should be capable of resisting such evil influence, but I’m obviously wrong. Obviously, some weak-minded people find it impossible to do so in certain circumstances. I really don’t know. What they did stuns me. My brain refuses to understand how anyone can do such a thing and consider themselves ‘human’.

What does a 40-year-old man see in a 19-year-old woman, in the first place? Apart from the obvious, I mean; apart from an unformed, malleable personality he can mould as he wishes. Neither partner wants to have a relationship based on equality and mutual respect, so the age/life-experience discrepancy doesn’t matter.

There have been lots of similar cases in the past, but I don’t think it’s ever been suggested that the women were the instigators in any of them. I take comfort in that, at least (even though I want to slap them harder yet for being so pathetic).



  1. I'm stunned.

    A 19-year-old knows better. Hell, a 6-year-old knows better. Assuming she actually committed these acts along with her boyfriend, the 19-year-old is just as responsible as the 40-year-old.

    I get rankled when we assume that just because she's a woman, a female criminal is somehow less guilty than her male accomplice. We need to be just as resolute in our commitment to refuse to tolerate evil acts on the part of women as we are with men.

    I don't support the death penalty, but if I were that child's mother you'd have to physically restrain me from killing them both with my bare hands. Seriously.

  2. She did take part in the abuse (I don't know exactly to what extent), but I doubt she was the one who started it.

    You have to admit that some women are in thrall to their male partners. They have so little self-esteem. Sometimes they get demonized, like Myra Hindley (one of the Moors Murderers). Very often we are harder on the women than on the men. That's not right either.

    As a mother-to-be, you must be finding this especially revolting, K. I'm not a mother, but if I were, I too would want to kill those people with my bare hands.

  3. It is incomprehensible that anyone could have such desires, much less act on them. I am acquainted with someone who survived something similar, and believe me the shock and revulsion you feel having the events translated through words and pixels is overwhelmingly horrific when the victim is there in front of you.

    More to the point is probably that although crimes of this magnitude are thankfully rare, I know or have known dozens and dozens of women who were abused in some way. It's astoundingly common in some form or other, the indiscretions and over friendliness of jolly uncles, domineering lovers and family 'friends'. And it tends to have consequences way beyond the initial pain.

    Slap them hard, if that isn't trivialising it, makes me feel better.

    I agree about the harsh double edged sword for women criminals. It's unfeminine so female criminals (I nearly used the pronoun 'we' but caught myself)need to be treated harshly and made an example of, but we women are all empty headed ninnies so cannot be responsible. Doesn't really fit together in my head.

    I do think the influence of someone admired, with age, money power, perceived wisdom, can manipulate a malleable person's thoughts to the point they don't tink at all. I just don't think it's only women who are malleable.

  4. You described that double-edged sword well, jvs. I don't favor harsher penalties for women, just the same penalty given the same crime (and age of majority, which this woman had reached).

    I know the research on violence and self-esteem, and contrary to popular belief, violent people tend to score higher on SE inventories. They have a strong sense of entitlement and little remorse. Shame over their actions is a foreign concept. I don't know, however, whether there are gender differences, so it's *possible*, J, that women with low self-esteem are more prone to these things -- but I'm skeptical.

    When I was in my early 20s I witnessed an argument between my 27-year-old brother and his 19-year-old girlfriend. The girlfriend had a 12-month-old baby (not my brother's). In defiance of my brother, the girlfriend held up the crying baby and ceremoniously dropped her on the tile floor, then smiled in triumph. I bolted up, stunned. My brother scooped up the baby and stormed off to deposit her in her crib. I followed and got to the doorway just in time to see my 6'5" brother swing the screaming baby over his head and slam-dunk her in the crib. She could easily have died. In my opinion, both my brother and his younger girlfriend were (are) scumbags of equal magnitude.

    (In case you're curious about the ending, I called him out on it in a very dramatic scene that ended with him chasing me and promising to kill me, until my father interfered. Later that evening I got calls from my mother and my other brother, both accusing me of the ultimate family betrayal for having accused my brother of something so heinous. I told them, "If that baby dies, you can hold yourselves responsible." Apparently it got through because my mother was instrumental in helping the baby's grandmother win custody away from the baby's mother. Needless to say, when DH and I started thinking about having kids of our own, we knew we had to move out of state and away from my family -- which we did.)

  5. Sick. I feel sick. How? Why? I know these things happen, but WHY do they happen?

    Where is this God people speak of? If I believed that there was a God who could stop this type of thing, and yet does NOT stop it, I would have to go insane myself.

    I don't believe in the death penalty either. But, in cases like this one, I can understand why some people do believe in it.

    I feel that both the older man and the young woman should be locked away forever. If they get out, they might do it again.

  6. I don't understand how it is physically possible to rape a 12 week baby girl and not kill her. Trying to imagine it makes me sick.

    See, this is a case where I think public hangings should be re-instituted. What I'd really like to see is a week in the stocks in a public square, and THEN a hanging.

    Nothing can excuse such a crime.

  7. JvS, I don't understand it either. Is it possible to get over such a terrible thing?

    I don't know anyone who's been through that kind of trauma and I'm grateful for the fact that I have no experience of abuse whatsoever personally. Perhaps because my family consisted of just three people: my parents and I. No uncles, no male cousins, etc. And, as a child, I was never left alone with friends of my parents'.

    I have no idea whether women should receive lesser punishments than men. Still, regardless of what some chauvinist pigs (there's a phrase one doesn't often hear these days) may say, men still commit the great majority of heinous crimes, which surely means that women are less inclined to behave in a violent manner. Surely.

    WW, I'm amazed by what you say about violent people scoring high in self-esteem tests. I would have thought it only applied to men. Perhaps, when you have a moment ("What are you saying? I'm having a baby in a minute!" I can hear you cry), you can try and find out whether that is true or not.

    I am appalled by the incident you relate. I find it hard to believe you're talking about one of your siblings. I'm so glad you managed to escape from that environment.

    TLP, it is indeed inconceivable that a God - any God - would let this kind of thing happen.

    FTR, I don't even try to think of the actual act - in all its 'physical' horror. It's too awful.

    Monsters should definitely suffer monstrous punishments. No doubt these people will be examined and 'understood' and somehow exonerated. Because to understand is very often to excuse, isn't it?

  8. Chere Bela,

    J'ai une (bonne) idée pour votre site Web. Quelquefois si vous voulez une 'slap' au sujet de jeux d'ordinateur [qui s'appelle PS2]sans moralité, j'ai quelquechose. Ils sont tuer notre société, je pense. Je suis desolée pour les mal mots. Vous avez une bonne journée,

    a bientot, jemima


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