The Sexist

Advice Columnist Tells Victim She Wasn’t Actually Raped, And Should Have Aborted Her Not-Rape Baby

Daily Telegraph advice columnist Lesley Garner is faced with a doozy of a conundrum this week, a situation so horrible that it could only possibly be made worse by . . . the recommendations of Daily Telegraph advice columnist Lesley Garner!

The situation: "Eva," a married woman, is raped by her boss on a business trip. She becomes pregnant. She decides to get an abortion. Her husband is supportive of the abortion, but not of Eva—"He drove me to a clinic for a consultation and waited outside in the car because he 'didn't want to hear me talk about conception dates,'" she writes. Eva later decides not to go through with the abortion. Her husband leaves her. She raises a beautiful baby boy on her own. Now, seven years later, she wants to reconnect with her ex. But there is a complication: "What happened on that trip wasn't quite rape but I wasn't exactly willing either. The man was my boss and he was very drunk and forceful. I tried to push him away without upsetting him, but he was too strong and I didn't fight him."

Now, if I were the advice columnist here, I know what I'd say: "your ex-husband is a dickwad." But I'm not an advice columnist. Lesley Garner is. Her advice is of the "stop lying about getting raped and admit that it was selfish to not get an abortion" variety.

That's right: Garner tells Eva that (a) she wasn't actually raped; and that (b) any woman who refuses to abort her (made-up) rape baby is selfish for denying her husband's feelings. Let's start with the rape part:

Let's look at the bit about telling the truth first. Your letter is full of confusion and chaos, and then I reached the end and saw that the story with which you began—the story that you told your husband—wasn't even true. This was a shock to me, so you can bet it would be a very big shock to your husband.

The thing that strikes me most about your whole story is that you seem to have very little understanding of how your husband might feel. It is all about you and your needs. I think it is highly unlikely that your husband will welcome you back but I guarantee that, should you get to sit down and talk together, the further revelation that your rape wasn't exactly a rape but a situation between you and your boss that got out of hand would be the final blow.

. . . Something isn't right here, which makes me wonder whether you are telling the truth to yourself, never mind your husband.

Ah. It wasn't a "rape." It was a "situation." Situations! Anything goes in them, really! Remember this next time the man responsible for your paycheck gets drunk and forces you to have sex with him, but you decide not to physically fight him, because he is a strong, drunk, forceful man responsible for your paycheck: What were you doing turning up in that "situation" to begin with? Add that to the list of things to avoid if you don't want to get raped, ladies: Short skirts, beer, and "situations."

Again, I'm not an advice columnist, but isn't the more troublesome detail here that Eva would describe her "situation" as "not quite rape"? Shouldn't we address the fact that Eva appears to be in such denial about that "situation" that almost a decade later, she can't come to terms with what actually happened to her? No time: We still have to deal with Eva's horrible decision not to get an abortion!

Garner writes:

I see a complete mismatch between what has actually happened and the fantasies that you are weaving around the relationship. So I feel I should spell a few things out.

. . . You made a unilateral decision. You decided to continue with the pregnancy in the absolutely unrealistic expectation that your husband would be happy to bring up the child of another man, his wife's rapist. This is a no-brainer, Eva. No man could contemplate this. He would have found your decision inexplicable.

. . . On the whole, men's hearts are not melted by children who are not their own. Even a tender-hearted man is going to find it hard to be charmed by the child of a man he believes raped his wife. There is no bond between your former husband and this child, and I doubt there ever could be.

Oh, that "unilateral decision" to have an abortion! Whenever women make that decision all on their own, without even thinking of the "feelings" of their husband, government, or Telegraph advice columnist, some bad shit is bound to go down that will ruin their lives forever, right?

One last time—I'm not an advice columnist—but if I were, I would focus on reminding Eva about what a total dickwad her husband was after she had to endure being raped and impregnated by her boss. Perhaps we just gently tell Eva that, really, the problem is not in her decision to carry a pregnancy to term, but rather the decision to continue to allow this fucking guy to have any sway over her child, her happiness, or her life.

It's clear that both Lesley Garner and I aren't really down with the idea of Eva and her ex getting back together. We just happen to disagree on a few of the minor details—like what rape means, and whose feelings should be most valued in the case of abortion. Nevertheless, Garner's conclusion is a good one: "As for your lovely son, yes, it would be good if he had a father but he will also thrive if he has a happy, stable mother who has the support of a network of friends and family . . . become a happier and more fulfilled person in yourself and you have a much better chance of a strong relationship in the future." A good place to start? Ignoring every piece of advice that preceded Garner's final thought.

Comments

  1. #1

    Holeee crap! I find the advice that men's hearts are not warmed by children who are not their own to be absolutely without regard to millions of adopted children. My older sister was fathered by another man, but my dad was indeed won over by her and adopted her as his own as soon as her birth father gave up custody.

    What hole did this woman crawl out of that makes her believe that men are unable to love something that doesn't share a flesh bond with them? Clearly she doesn't value either males or females, or give enough credence to the humanity capacity to love.

  2. #2

    The general thrust of the advice is dead-on. This Eva woman describes making a series of choices that have made a mess of her life, and she gives no sign of any empathy for her ex-husband, who, like Eva, also suffered a lot of loss in this situation. Eva is spectacularly indecisive about life's most important decisions. First she's having an abortion, then she's not. First she's married, then she's not, now she wants to reunite. First she's going to conceal a rape from her husband, then she tells him she was raped, and now after having seven years to come to a decison, she's not sure she was raped after all.

    Imagine trying to be married to someone like that. This woman is a walking emotional deathbomb.

    As for the weird comment about men disliking other people's children, it's true that nobody wants to be unwillingly burdened by someone else's kid, which is the situation this husband has. That's very different from willingly adopting a child, or enjoying things like teaching, coaching, or babysitting. Men enjoy being around children in the same ways and for the same reasons women do.

  3. #3

    This whole situation is a mess. As an attorney, I can tell you that people lie all the time. Maybe the woman was raped, maybe she wasn't. It is very possible she lied to her husband and had consensual sex so that he would sympathize with her and stay in the marriage. Keep in mind, we're only hearing Eva's side of the story. It always amazes me how naive people are and how they accept only one version of events that they never witnessed themselves. It's obvious Amanda Hess has totally accepted Eva's version of events despite her changing story. First Eva says she was raped, then she later claims she was kind of raped.

    So the lesson, Ms. Hess, is to not argue so forcefully in support of one person's version of events that you did not witness yourself. Always be skeptical.

  4. #4

    Ah, the good old "Women are Emotional and Irrational" and "Women Lie About Rape" arguments, with a healthy side of "Explaining Things." Everybody slow clap for Thomas Westgard and VALawyer. Nothing like clinging to classics that should have died long ago.

    Best wishes to Eva and her son. They deserve better.

  5. #5

    Oh please. VALawyer, there is no such thing as "kind of raped." Eva may blame herself for not fighting back hard enough against her boss--despite the fact that she "tried to push him away" and that he was "drunk and forceful" and "too strong"--but the advice columnist should be helping her recognize that, despite the prevalence of victim blaming in our society, this WAS an act of rape. But Lesley Garner does nothing more than perpetuate the victim blaming.

    This isn't a court case in which it would make sense to further investigate her claims before putting someone in jail for the crime. Eva was seeking advice on a relationship based on the drastic changes that occurred in her life after she was raped by her boss. And the advice she received did nothing but blame her for the difficulties she has faced. Whatever Eva's back story, Garner sent a clear message to ALL of her readers that if a man forcefully has sex with a woman against her will, it's not actually rape.

    Tell me, VAlawyer, how rape victims could EVER receive the compassionate care they need if everywhere they turned, including a freakin' anonymous advice column from which they have nothing to gain except helpful *advice*, they were treated with your "always be skeptical" attitude? You state that we should not support a version of events we haven't witnessed ourselves? Where, exactly, does that leave rape victims?

    Thanks for the legal advice--now I know that should I ever be raped, I must make sure it happens in a public vicinity, or at LEAST take pictures to accompany my story, before I even think of seeking help after. Good to know!

  6. #6

    "First Eva says she was raped, then she later claims she was kind of raped."

    No, actually what happened is that she doesn't use the word "rape" because she lives in a society that has not taught her to correctly apply it to the “situations” it describes. She seems to believe she was under some kind of obligation to fight back, when, in fact, she wasn't. Other than that, her story is remarkably consistent and the "situation" she describes sound to me like a clear-cut case of what was precisely, yes, rape.

    The rest of her supposed indecisiveness is directly the result of the unfortunate situation she found herself in with non-existent incoming support from somebody who should have realised that being raped and impregnated by your rapist is probably a tad bit worse than being married to somebody that was raped and impregnated by their rapist. The commentators above seem to treat huge questions such as whether an individual should get an abortion or not, whether they should remain in their marriage or not and how to handle an experience as severely traumatic as rape as simple issues that any reasonable person can shoot off immediate, decisive answers too. I have to say, however, my personal feeling would be that most people would be likely to go back and forth uncountable times while weighing their options and trying to make up their minds on such complicated, loaded matters.

    Ooh, and I’m a lawyer too. Do I also get extra cookies and an air of authoritative condescension??? Hooray!

  7. #7

    I suggest both Amanda and Lesley Garner read Eva's letter a little closer - the letter doesn't say a word about why the husband left her. Both Amanda, who is excoriating the guy, and Lesley, who is defending him, are inferring that the reason the husband left her had anything to do with the child or the rape.

    Brennan's not too good at reading, either.

  8. #8

    "It’s obvious Amanda Hess has totally accepted Eva’s version of events despite her changing story. First Eva says she was raped, then she later claims she was kind of raped." The letter writers explanation makes it clear -- about as clear as it could be -- why this woman isn't sure if she was raped. She believes it doesn't really count because she didn't say no and didn't fight back hard enough. In fact, it was rape, she tried to push the man away and gave no sign of consenting.

    There's no reason to think she's lying; changing all the facts in one's story defeat the purpose of writing to an advice columnist (which is to get advice specific to your situation), and if she had wanted to deceive her husband, she could have just not told him that anything had happened. No one's doing any "clever" detective work here. VALawyer is just relying on the old "women lie about rape" cliche.

  9. #9

    I think he (or she?) reads just fine. Other than that, I'm surprised by the brazen assholishness displayed in direct response to an article about brazen assholishness regarding rape. And VALaywer, as a human, I can tell you to go fuck yourself.

  10. #10

    what's the assholishness, Katie - other than the fact that, like most women born after about 1950, you presumably consider all guys assholes since you keep building lies upon lies about us (what I have labelled "sperm libel"), like that this guy left his wife for any reason having anything to do with the rape or abortion?

    is the assholishness that the husband respected his wife's privacy so he didn't go into the abortion clinic with her? if he had insisted on being in there, you'd excoriate him for that. Why - because he's a guy, and you hate us, because of the incessant lies you and your kind (i.e. women) make up about us.

    Exactly what words in the article, the complete text of which is available at the link, in any way states that the reason they were divorced had anything to do with the rape or the abortion? In fact, where in the article just it say that he divorced her, and not the other way around?

    Quote them for me. Its easy - just copy and paste.

    Betcha can't do it. Because you assume - and you don't just make any assumption, like all of us have to do from time to time to get through life, but you assume that guys are out doing shitty things no matter what our intention, no matter what the facts are. And that makes you an ass.

  11. #11

    actually, now maybe i'm the ass. I'm not questioning the rape part, just the divorce part. My bad. Apologies to Kate.

  12. #12

    You're right, it is easy. You did all my work for me. For someone who so obviously hates "my kind" (i.e. over half the population), I find it curious that you spend so much of your time and energy on a feminist blog. Find a new hobby. Maybe you can work on getting a trademark for "sperm libel" and what are, I'm sure, a whole host of other adorable phrases!

  13. #13

    Wait...wait. Seriously?

  14. #14

    Kate,

    Seriously,

    I don't think VALawyer quite deserves the ripping he's getting, but after I hit the submit button and re-read your post, i realized you were ripping that VALawyer was questioning the rape and not ripping the husband. Its the ripping of the husband I object to, so, yes, my bad.

  15. #15

    Oh. OK. Well in that case it is probably ok that you said all women spread incessant lies about men. Phew, glad we cleared that up. Your bad!

    P.S. For such an avid reader of "close reading," one would think you could avoid calling me "Kate" twice. Only my little brothers get to call me that. TYVM.

  16. #16

    *fan, not reader. Now we're BOTH guilty of not reading what we've written carefully, but at least I didn't insult your whole species accidentally, right?

  17. #17

    Katie,

    You wrote, referring to my quote below, that I insulted your "WHOLE species" and that I said "ALL women" spread incessant lies about guys.

    I wrote, "like MOST women born after about 1950." I didn't say the "whole" sex or "all" women. I also limited the age range.

    Lets be clear here - while I am somewhat sympathetic to VALawyer's drawing an emotional reaction from you and Brennan that isn't necessarily reflective of hating guys - which is why I apologized - I firmnly believe that the majority of, albeit not all, adult women born after about 1950 in the United States constitute an informal hate group against guys. If you find that comment insulting, talk to your sisters about improving their act - I'm not taking it anymore, and neither are a lot of guys. I'm sick of hearing it, and I intend to keep making my feelings known on this and other "feminist" sites as much as I would expect an African-American to similarly object to statements on a Klan blog, as well as in my own guyinism blog.

    Anyway, why don't you prove to me you are not in that majority, or that I am wrong in asserting that Amanda's post is inappropriately critical of the husband, or, for that matter, that I am wrong in asserting that Lesley's post is inappropriately forgiving of him: quote me from Eva's letter what exactly the husband did that was wrong.

    Or, since he obviously did nothing wrong, at least not anything mentioned in the letter, admit he did nothing wrong.

  18. #18

    "if she had wanted to deceive her husband, she could have just not told him that anything had happened"

    Precisely. Her husband wasn't on the business trip; if she had consensual sex with her boss, there would've been no reason to tell her husband anything. And, as others have already pointed out, her denial about what happened to her is sadly far from atypical. Unfortunately we live in a society that goes out of its way to blame the victims of sexual assault while excusing the perpetrators, and Eva has clearly internalized those messages. She seems to believe that unless a woman fights her assailant with everything she's got, she can't call what happened to her rape, but of course that's not what the law states at all.

    As for DirkJohanson's assertion that the husband in this case wasn't acting like an asshole and that we would excoriate him no matter what he did because we hate men, you really don't see the problem with a guy in this situation either refusing to accompany his wife/girlfriend to the clinic or insisting on going with her against her wishes? Unfortunately some men act as if it's all about them when the woman in their life is raped instead of being supportive and respecting her wishes. Note that I said "some" men 'cause certainly not everyone is like that. My boyfriend (now my husband) was great when I was raped even though we'd only been going out for a few weeks when I was assaulted. He was totally supportive, listened to me talk about the rape without ever second-guessing my actions that night, accompanied me to all doctor's appointments, even decided to get tested himself when I had to come in for HIV testing six months later. It's safe to say that we would not be married today if he had acted anything like Eva's husband.

  19. #19

    Which came first, the sexist douchebag, or the misguided belief that most/all women hate men? It's my least favorite chicken-and-egg scenario of all time. That being said...my money's on the sexist douchebag. "Proving" that I am in the non-man haters group (lucky 59+ year olds!) isn't worth my time. Anyone with a blog called The Balls Monologues is, sadly, beyond my range of influence.

  20. #20

    @DirkJohnson:
    Brennan reads pretty well actually. She observed the following:

    Unlike you, Thomas Westgard assumed that (1) the divorce was a direct result of Eva's decision not to abort, and (2) the husband sought the divorce. While you're correct in that marriages can end for a variety of reasons, given that Eva says her "world fell apart" *when she changed her mind* (as opposed to when she was raped) and that she doesn't mention other marital conflicts, I think this is a reasonable reading of the text. What bothers me is TW's suggestion that he had to leave her because she sounds like "a walking emotional bombshell." (as if it were rational to base a decision as important as a pregnancy on your first reaction just weeks after being raped.) The implication is clear: she's Emotional, so he can't possibly be expected to face the burden of being married to her.

    And then, there was VALawyer who accused the victim of lying in her anonymous letter to an advice column and then tried to use this accusation as leverage both to discredit "Eva" and to silence Ms. Hess. Victim blaming, of course, is terrible for all the reasons Toni, Emily, and Fuschia laid out plus quite a few, but I was also troubled by the condescension ("So, the lesson, Ms. Hess, is not to argue so forcefully . . .") In short, VA told a blogger to shut up because she can't possibly know what she's talking about. In my book, that's not okay.

    But, DJ? It seems I have good news for you. While there was great concern that "sperm libel" was endangering the eventual reproductive capacity of the human species, scientists have proven that your swimmers are safe. That's right; no matter how angry females under the age of 59 may get at the perpetuation of sexist stereotypes and female silencing, no matter how many times Ms. Hess or one of her fellows makes your bros look bad by drawing attention to a marginalized victim, even if we do some day decide to start slandering the male sex while wearing white hoods for shits and giggles, not one of your poor spermatocytes will be harmed. Promise.

  21. #21

    Sasha,

    Where does Eva's letter say he "refused" to accompany her to the clinic?

    This is what Eva's letter actually says: "I told him I was pregnant from the rape and wanted an abortion. He DROVE ME to a clinic for a consultation and WAITED outside in the car because he "didn't want to hear me talk about conception dates". Then we had to wait a couple more weeks ..."

    So, he did accompany her to the clinic - its how she got there, and he didn't just drop her off - he waited.

    Yes, he didn't go in, but where does it say he "refused." True, he may very well have refused - but we don't know. The letter doesn't say that. It seems incredibly possible that Eva said, "do you want to come in, or do you prefer to wait out here?" to which he ineloquently responded to the effect of, "I think its best if I wait out here, honey - its personal - I'd rather not hear you have to talk about conception dates", without also saying that he felt the conversation was going to be very graphic and that he didn't belong in it. Maybe the way she was asking, the inflection of her voice, or the way she worded it, he didn't think she really wanted him to come in.

    Maybe, apart from the rape, he suspected her of cheating with other guys and didn't want to have to hear about that. Maybe they hadn't had sex in a long time and he was embarrassed about being a part of the conversation about that, and politely declined to go in. Maybe conception dates weren't really the issue, but he felt like he didn't belong in the room out of pure respect for her privacy - the woman's "right to choose" is entirely the woman's in the book of feminists, isn't it? Maybe he didn't want to have to hear his wife tearfully recount details of the rape. Maybe he didn't want to be an overbearing presence in the room, and felt like he had already been too much of an influence over her decision to go to the clinic in the first place.

    Obviously, whatever he did, Eva - who, unlike any of you, was there and knows the guy - seems to think enough of him to want him back. In fact, she waxes quite sentimentally about him.

    But no - a majority of you born from about 1950 on can only picture one thing - some angry guy belligerently refusing to get out of the car while his rape-victim wife pleads with him to go in, so instead he could stew in anger, think of the woman he took as his bride as a liar and whore, wasting time which he could otherwise use being out on the golf course while he plots a divorce the letter doesn't even say he necessarily even wanted. You probably picture him drinking a beer, and listening to Rush Limbaugh, while she was inside.

    Brennan, yes, one reasonable reading is that he wanted a divorce. Eva wrote about that time period is less than clear, "During that time I changed my mind, and my whole world fell apart. My baby was born healthy despite all the stress, and my decree nisi came through a few months later." There are plenty of other possibilities other than that he was the one who instituted a divorce, and maybe she gave him other good reasons to want one. Maybe, because he was building a business, they were short on funds, especially considering there was a child on the way, and he understandably divorced her when she refused to pursue paternity against the rapist - the trauma of a rape case is one thing - a paternity case against a known father not as much. Maybe she was socializing with the rapist or talking favorably about him (presumably, she saw the rapist daily at work) and he understandably couldn't take that she was doing that. Maybe the stress of the whole situation caused them to fight a lot about all sorts of things, and she told him to get out of the house.

    Eva's the one who writes, "could so much hurt ever be completely healed?" Her hurt is apparently largely if not entirely healed since she wants him back badly, so I read this as her asking if his hurt could be healed, a statement which makes it sound likely that she, not he, instituted the divorce. She also asks, "Is he waiting for me to make the first move?" That statement seems to indicate that she seems to believe she should make the first move, which is another indication that she was the one who pushed him away, not vice versa. After all, doesn't it make more sense that the person that asks to end the relationship be the one who first extends an offer to reconcile? Of course, I don't know the answer - but I'm certainly not leaping to the conclusion that the guy is a "dickwad."

    Katie - I'll answer your question, which this time obviously purposely misquotes me: my understanding of the hatred came first. Read the first post in The Balls Monologues - the Monologues are a response to constant lies and attacks. Yes, I don't just play defense - I go on offense, too - after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or something like that. Or do you contend that guys are supposed to be subjected to constant hateful beat downs and smile about it. Call me what you wish - most guys have had enough of it. And the fact is, DirkJohanson is a character, a magnification, intended as a response against his female counterparts - the real person behind DirkJohanson is considerably more reflective and nuanced.

    But make no mistake about it - he's just as sick of hearing all the shit.

  22. #22

    “Yes, he didn’t go in, but where does it say he “refused.” True, he may very well have refused – but we don’t know.”

    Oh, please, now you’re just being silly.

    “but he felt like he didn’t belong in the room out of pure respect for her privacy”

    See, this is what I hate: when people act like jerks under the pretence of acting like decent people. It’s not respect for her privacy if she wants him involved. It’s just him being selfish.

    Dirk, I was born way after 1950 and I like a lot of guys. My best friends are guys, my beloved father is a guy, my much missed grandfather was a guy and the guy I’m dating and currently very much infatuated in is a guy. They don’t always agree with me, although there are no hateful beatdowns for them to smile about, but they always engage my point of view and manage to get through even difficult conversations without accusing me or “my kind” of made-up hatred. In short, none of them are douchebags. What I don’t like is douchebags.

    Anyhoo, fyi, the issue has been studied (because apparently this assertion is something we should take seriously enough to study? Weird…) and it has been shown that non-feminists are generally more hostile towards men than feminists. Which makes perfect sense actually. Dude, you’re preaching to the wrong audience.

  23. #23

    Fuchsia,

    You are just SO sure you know exactly what happened and went through his head, aren't you.

    Anyway, my comments about a majority of a large swath of women hating guys wasn't limited to feminists. I read the actual study, which is reported at http://psych.umb.edu/faculty/kogan/files/Anderson%202009_Are%20Feminists%20Man%20Haters.pdf

    As I read it, it seems to conclude that, on a scale of 0-5, where the average would be 2.5, hostility toward guys is over the average (2.76) and benevolence is below the mean (2.39). In other words, more hostility than average, and more hostility than not. Of course, the sample was limited (just to college students) and may not be representative for a whole host of reasons, though I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say that womens' hostility toward guys increases with age (the age cutoff in my assertion is reflective of generational differences) - the longer women see guys not march to the beat of their drum, the more they hate us.

  24. #24

    Fuchsia, the study you cited only examined about 200 people, most of whom were specifically selected because of their opinions about feminism. The questions themselves are incredibly one-sided and clearly loaded feminist rhetoric. The scoring is so slanted at all a person has to do to score low enough to be considered less hostile is choose the middle ground responses or those that specifically align with feminist values.

    In other words, the study is about as objective as a poll taken by Glen Beck viewers.

  25. #25

    It is amazing to see the conclusion Hess draws of the ex-husband. The original article gives no specific reason for why the husband left and only states that the husband did not want to know the conception dates. To jump to the conclusion that the man is a "dickhead" demonstrates this very quality in Hess' character. According to the woman from the article, she is the one who informed her husband that she wished to have an abortion and he simply to her to the abortion clinic. They apparently remained together for several weeks and the woman never mentions what caused them to separate. Worse yet, this woman's only interest in her ex-husband appears to be her desire to find a father for her son and her own self-interest. She does not seem to be the slightest bit concerned about her ex-husband's feelings.

    It is quite callous to simply jump to the conclusion that the ex-husband his a "dickhead" because he left the relationship, which may or may not have been on rocky grounds before the incident.

  26. #26

    @DJ
    Talking favorably about her rapist would be a sign that she needs counseling, not a divorce. This, of course, is completely beside the point since I doubt even the most creative reading of the text could support that hypothesis. That aside, I still see nothing in the text that supports your alternative reading. If he left because of money, don't you think she would have told the advice columnist? We can play "what if" games until we're blue in the face, but the fact remains that the only issues she mentioned were her rape and her decision to keep the baby. But, since we're apparently enjoying these theoreticals, I would also argue that wanting him back is NOT a sign that "her hurt is apparently largely . . . healed." In fact, it could be just the opposite.

  27. #27

    @Jacobtk - Fuchsia's cited study examined 488 participants, making it well within the range of acceptable numbers of respondents for a significant study. A study with 400 participants provides a 95% confidence interval, and this study had more than that. Have you taken statistics? But, we both agree that Glenn Beck is crazy.

    Secondly - maybe you (Dirk) think most women hate men just because most women hate...you. I just don't know any all-around friendly, tolerant guys who feel they are victims of a evil female hate conspiracy...

  28. #28

    Dirk - No, I don't think I am in the husband's head. I simply can't really think of any reason (let alone an unwillingness to hear about conception dates!) that would justify leaving a wife who was recently raped to go through an abortion alone, especially when she clearly needed the support enough to still be upset about it 7 years later.

    Jacob, like I said, I think the subject matter of the study is ridiculous to start with. That being said, how do your objections explain the fact that non-feminists were shown to be more hostile towards men? If anything, the fact that the answers best aligned to feminist thinking were also the one less hostile to men, actually proves the point, no?

    Other than that, what Katie said.

  29. #29

    Fuchsia,

    You wrote, "I simply can’t really think of any reason (let alone an unwillingness to hear about conception dates!) that would justify leaving a wife who was recently raped to go through an abortion alone..."

    He didn't wait in the car for her to go through the abortion alone - she was there for a "consultation" that day, not the abortion itself.

    Its also not at all clear she was upset that he waited in the car. She did mention it 7 years later, but too many questions are unanswered here. Maybe she mentioned to explain how she arrived at the decision not to end up getting the abortion, inferring that had he been in the clinic with her, his presence may have influenced her to go through with it.

    Your every inference from the many missing facts in this letter is against the husband. Amanda's initial read is somewhat excusable in that she may have confused the facts as set forth in the letter with some of Lesley Garner's inferences. Both of you might be right - he might be a dickhead - how you can be so sure with these limited facts is truly disturbing.

  30. #30

    Katie, did you read the pdf article about the study? If you did you would see that the researchers excluded more than half of the 488 students they interviewed were excluded because their definition of "feminist" did not meet the researchers' definition. A portion of the remaining people were excluded because they agreed with feminist concepts, but did not call themselves feminist. This reduced the number of actual people used in the survey to 207 people. Initially, there were only 41 people who identified as feminists, which means that feminists represented 8% of the initial 488 and, assuming none were dismissed, only 20% of the remaining 207.

    Fuchsia, it is easily explained by the survey itself. The male version of the survey is ridiculously biased and feminist-leaning. That test is available online. I took it 7 times and found that if I answered in the middle I would be found completely unbiased. If I answered in the positive about women having unfair advantages I would be scored as hostile. If I answered in the positive about men having unfair advantages or being inherently sexist, there was little impact on the scoring. In other words, as long as I answered with the expected feminist rhetoric my score would be low. It is a bit like participating in a survey that asks if President Obama is a socialist, and if one answers yes one is considered patriotic and an American while if one answers no or maybe one is considered unpatriotic and unAmerican.

  31. #31

    This is not a cut and dry situation. If the woman was raped and decides to have the baby the stress this places on any marital relationship can not be under estimated emotionally for both parties. The assumption that a husband should just accept the child is ridiculous as it totally denies his own emotional feelings. Add to that the fact that the woman says it might not have been rape (regardless of denial of the actual situation that it was), what should the husband then conclude? As a man if it was my wife I would hope that WE as a couple decide on the appropriate course of action TOGETHER. If I as husband was left out of the decision process then I would be less compelled to be supportive of my spouse as she has made the unilateral decision with little regard for my emotions or perspective. In this case I would have to believe that her story of forceful but agreeable sex is hard to accept by even the most empathetic 'dickwad". I would say the person who would classify this husaband as a dickwad is a "-----wad" of the female variety. and in the end no one is talking about the dickwad who perpetuated the situation to begin with.

  32. #32

    Wowzas, there sure is a lot of mansplaining going on around here. Do mysoginists just stroll through the internet looking for feminist websites/blogs to explain to everyone what their talking about REALLY means? I dont go over to Balls Monologues and tell you how you dont know how to look at the world properly.
    She was raped. She had a baby as a result. Her husband left her. He's a dick. When you love someone, actually love them no matter what happens to them you WANT to be there for them, not because youre supposed to not because you have to but because you love that person. If that person makes a decision about THEIR OWN BODY then because you love that person you respect that. As difficult as Im sure it might have been for the husband it isnt a " no brainer" to leave her. In fact I think it goes to show that he obviously does not have the capacity to see past his own ego and women hating tendancies to be there for someone he was supposed to be with through thickness and thin.

  33. #33

    Ah - the "THEIR OWN BODY" shtick again, Kerry. If the decision is to get an abortion, its "THEIR OWN BODY" If the decision is NOT to get an abortion, its "THEIR OWN BODY." Even if the broad's decision really has nothing to do with any real concerns about her body. Fuck everyone else, right?

    Sometimes things happen to makes someone stop loving someone. Or is it now part of feminist doctrine that only women can seek a divorce? Women seek 70% of divorces already - so much for thickness and thin - why not go for the whole shebang?

    I welcome you to come over to "The Balls Monologues" any time and leave some comments, but be forewarned - I'll eat you for lunch, just like I did here.

  34. #34

    "Wowzas, there sure is a lot of mansplaining going on around here."

    Of course there is. Since women aren't men, you do not have the same point of view that men have. You just don't get it. Sort of like, since men don't get pregnant, we have to rely on what women say and do concerning abortion. Seems to me it shouldn't be a much more of an emotional dilemma than clipping one's toenails. Women think it is though, so I defer to their descriptions of their feelings.

    Since men are people too, we have feelings. Involuntarily or unknowingly raising someone else's child almost never happens to women. It happens to men though, so when a man says "I can't stand the idea of raising the child of my wife's rapist," listen. How happy would a woman be if her husband said, "hey, my mistress and I had a kid, she doesn't want her, so I was thinking you and I should raise her." Would anyone defend the husband? Would the wife be a "dickhead" (wonderfully gendered language there) for refusing to raise her husband's child by another woman?

    No one should be forced to raise a child that he or she does not want. Eva choose to have a child with someone else. "She was raped. She had a baby as a result." No, she became pregnant as a result of the rape. She had a baby as a result of her choice to have a baby." Her choice, no one else. She didn't chose to be raped, and she didn't choose to get pregnant. But she did choose to have and raise that child. Her husband had no legal say in that choice (nor should he). Just like a woman, a man does not have an obligation to raise or support a child that is not his.

    Do you really not understand that expecting someone to raise a child that that he or she does not want, and isn't the parent of, reeks of privelege? This shouldn't have to be mansplained to you. It should be clear from simply accepting men as fellow human beings. Refusing to adopt a child is not unethical.

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