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femme fatale or battered wife?


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http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/29483/

Quotes below abridged for brevity's sake.  Please read full article for original context. 

Oxygen, a women-oriented cable channel, hypes its popular "Snapped" series this way.... promis[ing]to reveal that there is "something far more sinister to the fairer sex than 'sugar and spice and everything nice.'"

But the fact is that cold-hearted women who are simply out for themselves are a tiny minority of women doing time for murder -- or any other crime.

When women kill their mates, such acts are usually in self-defense -- or as a result of longstanding physical and emotional abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), at least half of all women in prison, including those jailed for nonviolent offences, were abused by spouses before their incarceration.

82 percent of men in custody who killed female partners or wives did so because they were motivated by "possessiveness," whereas 83 percent of women in custody described their motivation for murder as "self-defense."

[Nevertheless,] the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that the average prison sentence of men who kill their female partners ranges from two to six years, while women who kill their partners are sentenced to an average of 15 years.

(Please read the complete article, and not my little cut-and-paste job.)

(a)  I hate false stereotypes.

(b)  I hate injustice and inequality. 

(c)  I hate that most people pretend that such inequality does not exist. 

(d)  I'm faintly hopeful when people begin to constructively challenge these things, whatever their medium.

Any comments?

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Just playing devils' advocate here.

Isn't this sentencing discrepancy offset by the ones involving sexual escapades with minors?

A man gets treated and sentenced as a rapist.

A female school teacher gets treated as misunderstood and seeking to be with her true love. ;)

Ok, I'm exagerating by a long stretch.  Still, the press plays these things up.

A.M.

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Actually I've seen loads of men get out of the sex with a minor thing(Teachers especially...We had 4 get out of it when I was in HS..All coaches.).

Even if they got the book thrown at them, it's still not a murder conviction.

A better example would probably be the domestic violence ones, where if a guy even raises his hands to block his face being hit,

he's hauled off to jail...And it's still not a murder rap. It's not even a felony.

It's possible some of the difference in the sentences is what they're charged with.

Most women who kill an abusive spouse do so with a bit of planning involved.

It's virtually impossible to explain to people that have never been in that position that it feels like you can't escape at all.

Men who kill their spouses over jealousy tend to have a sudden snapping moment and it's carried out instantly.

Planning in advance nets a 1st degree murder charge, doing it spontaneously gets a 2nd degree murder charge. (That's how it works where I live, anyway.)

Here you also can't plead self defense for first degree.

There are lots of things law doesn't deal with well...This is probably the best example.

I'm not such an optimist that I believe that accounts for all or even most of it, though.

Misogynistic judges are most of the problem, as usual.

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You are correct Seldarin, crimes of passion usually result in shorter sentences for men. The judges (mostly men) have sympathy for these men if they kill their wives in a fit of rage. Such as when they find out their spouses have been unfaithful.

Women just don't usually snap like that. We take in the hurt, turn it in on ourselves, then kill the motherfucker later after we've gotten through the hurt and move on to anger. Still just as wrong, but harder sentence as it's deemed premeditated. No it's not fair. But not a whole lot is for women in this world. Lower wages, having to work 8-10 hours a day on the job, then put in another 6 or so at home, high cost of daycare, mechanics ripping us off, being labeled a bitch when we're being assertive, insurance covering viagra but not the pill, etc...

And what worries me is we're in jeopardy of losing our hard earned rights. The religious right and young women who were'nt of age when roe vs wade was fought are trying to take away our rights. Pharmacists refusing to fill the day after pill prescriptions? WTF is that? Ok, I'm gonna stop now, cuz I'm going off topic and just ranting here. You get my idea.

Croix

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