domestic violence, psychology, religion

“Grooming” your wife…

A few days ago, a friend of mine shared a blog post with me. He shared it because he knows I am fascinated by fundies– particularly of the Christian type. The post, which I have now seen passed around on Facebook on Duggar Family News and now on YouTube, has a lot of people in a tizzy. Here’s a video done by Jimmy Snow (aka Mr. Atheist) about this very blog post.

Jimmy Snow talks about a blog post entitled 7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Christian Wife.

Jimmy is clearly shocked by the contents of the blog post, which was written by a guy who thinks he ought to be treating his wife like a child. The article, as well as the comments, even includes references to spanking the wife for disciplinary transgressions. For example, the author of this piece includes an example of a man named “Robert” who is 24 years old. His wife is 18. He wants to be in charge of her, but she won’t get with the program. He’s asked the blogger for advice in getting his wife to accept her supposedly “Biblical” role as submissive to her husband’s leadership.

What follows is a list of seven steps to indoctrinate young women into being “godly”, submissive, disciplined wives. And he does specify that she must be young. Prerequisite #3 is exactly that. See below.

And why is this? I think I know…

As Jimmy points out in his video, people under age 25 tend to still be in “development”. It’s a fact that most human brains aren’t fully developed until people hit their early 20s. A person’s judgment is still forming when they are in their late teen years. They are physically mature, but mentally and emotionally, they’re still a work in progress. Which isn’t to say that a person can’t be “progressing” emotionally and mentally beyond their early years. It’s just that a lot more of it is going on during the time in which a person is maturing. The author of the “Biblical Gender Roles” blog correctly points out that a woman in her 30s or 40s is a lot less likely to accept that her husband must be in charge. I would add that even though young women might accept this condition of marriage, some of them will eventually reject it when they get older and are more mature.

So then, after listing three prerequisites, the blog author continues with his seven steps to “groom” a Christian wife. As he delves into this post, he even points out how creepy the word “grooming” is to many people, and he specifically calls out “secular humanists”.

Many of us cringe when we hear the word “groom”, when it’s not pertaining to personal hygiene or cleaning up an animal.

But then the blogger goes on to explain why “grooming” is okay when it’s your “Christian” wife. Then he goes on to write about why spanking wives is okay.

I probably have a controversial opinion about so-called “domestic discipline” in that I don’t always consider it abuse. If the people involved are consenting adults and they have truly consented to living that lifestyle, knowing the potential risks that could befall them in surrendering their personal power to, or accepting total responsibility for, another person, then I don’t figure that it’s any of my business what they do at home. If they don’t consider it abusive that their husband is head of the household, who am I to tell them they’re wrong, even if I disagree?

What I find especially interesting is that so many people are quick to call spanking one’s adult wife “domestic abuse”, but they have no problems with spanking children. Even if a wife is being abused by her husband’s spankings, she is always in a better position to seek help than a child is. And yet, many people don’t have an issue with spanking children, and a lot of folks even think that if we spanked children as often as we did back in the day, there would be fewer social problems.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I am not a proponent of spanking children in most situations. I see it as a last ditch thing that should only be used when every other measure fails, and even then, it probably shouldn’t be used. My father spanked me a lot when I was a child. It was pretty much the only method he used to discipline me, besides yelling at me (also not very effective, although often employed by frustrated parents). He’s been dead for six years, and I’m still angry with him about some of the things he did in the name of teaching me wrong from right. In my case, the spankings were usually abusive. They were always terrifying because he was almost always enraged when they happened.

Although I don’t remember being spanked once I got into true adolescence, I do remember that my dad was fine with hitting and slapping me until I was about 21 years old. The last time he did so, I told him that I would have him arrested if he ever laid a finger on me in anger again. It took considerable courage to tell him that, especially since I still relied on him at that point in my life. But it was a groundbreaking day for me. I decided on that day that anyone who hits me without my consent had better kill me. Children have no say over what an adult does to discipline them, and they are mostly unable to ask for help out of an abusive situation the way an adult can. Adults are usually bigger and stronger than children are. Women are also often smaller and weaker than men are, although there are certainly exceptions.

It always surprises me when I see people like Jimmy Snow flatly condemning domestic discipline as “abuse”, but so many other people are perfectly fine with physically punishing children. If you do a little sleuthing on the Internet, you’ll find that there’s a large population of people out there who are a little bit kinky and they enjoy exchanging power with others. As long as it’s safe, sane, and consensual, they don’t see it as abusive, even if other people think it’s “sick”. Some of those people also align these practices with Christianity. Again… not my cup of tea, but the brain is a fascinating and powerful thing. Some people, like it or not, get off on it.

A person who is legally able to get married can consent to “domestic discipline”. I may not agree with his or her decision to allow a spouse to discipline them with spankings or other punishments, but it’s not my place to tell them they can’t or shouldn’t. Ultimately, it is their decision. What’s sad about these fundie Christian marriages, though, is that a lot of the people who are in them don’t know another way. They have not been exposed to life beyond the religion they were born into, and a lot of them have not been taught critical thinking skills– hence the blogger’s comment that “grooming” a wife to be a disciplined Christian helpmeet is not going to work unless she’s young, and from a very sheltered upbringing. If she’s been exposed to another way, she probably won’t accept it.

In any case– I’m not sure that what the author of the Biblical Gender Roles blog is proposing is really the same thing as two consenting adults entering into a “domestic discipline” relationship. It sounds to me like his advice to “Robert” and his ilk is to “manipulate” their young wives. That practice, probably IS abusive, because it’s done in a deceptive, underhanded way. The very fact that the women have to be “young” and therefore naive and tractable, is kind of sick and creepy. These men simply want to marry children who have reached legal adulthood and will do what they say without question. That’s abusive.

In a weird way, because they have been on TV, I think the Duggar women might have escaped worse fates than they would have otherwise. If they kept being raised in an isolated community, with no exposure to “normal” people and worldly ideas, the daughters, especially, might have wound up being stuck in marriages in which they are treated like children and expected to obey their husbands without question. I think that being exposed to the world because they’ve been on TV has made them a little less subjugated than they could have been.

Look at some of the choices the Duggar daughters have made since they’ve been married. Jill Dillard wears pants and has a nose piercing, and she’s been photographed wearing what most women would consider modest swimwear but, for her, is probably scandalous. Jinger Vuolo moved to Los Angeles, where she wears pants and has had her hair cut. She’s only had one child so far, although she’s pregnant with her second. Her husband doesn’t take orders from JimBob Duggar, nor does Jill’s husband, Derick. Jessa Seewald is still close to home, but she obviously has a strong personality and is not being controlled by her husband, Ben, who has a milder personality than she does. I don’t know about Joy Anna Forsyth’s situation, but her husband makes his own money flipping houses, rather than working for Boob. Had they not been on TV, God knows who they would have married, and what they’d be expected to tolerate. And it would all be behind closed doors! Since they’re famous and a lot of “normal” people are watching, there’s somewhat less secrecy and weird shit that would go unnoticed or called out. On the other hand, Michelle Duggar had a somewhat normal upbringing and she willingly submitted herself and her children, especially her daughters, to what many might consider an oppressive lifestyle.

Anyway… like a lot of people, I was kind of grossed out by the Biblical Gender Roles blog and its tips on “grooming” a Christian wife. It’s definitely not something I would be interested in, and I’m grateful that I was raised by people who would not want that for me, either. But, I must admit that it makes for interesting speculation and a temporary diversion from all of the other doom and gloom headlines that are currently circulating. And now that I’ve written today’s tome, I think I’ll take Arran for a walk and get some fresh air… then practice my guitar.

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domestic violence, Ex

The lightbulb moment…

This morning, I woke up to shocking news. First of all, several friends tagged me in a news report about The Trellis restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia. That restaurant, where I spent among the toughest 17 months of my life, has permanently closed. It opened in 1980, when my eldest sister was attending the College of William & Mary. She worked at The Trellis when it first opened– at least until she graduated from college. Then, a few years later, she joined the Peace Corps and launched a successful career that pays benefits and includes a lot of exciting travel for work.

I, by contrast, joined the Peace Corps and went away for two years, only to land at The Trellis after my return home. It was a significant time in my life, for a lot of reasons. It was also a tough time in my life that was hell to get through, but ultimately propelled me to bigger and better things.

In 2009, the original owner, Marcel Desaulniers, and his partner, John Curtis, sold the restaurant to Chef David Everett. On Tuesday, Chef Everett decided to close The Trellis. I heard the restaurant had become a very different and reportedly inferior restaurant than it was when Marcel was running it, so it’s probably for the best that he finally closed it. Plans are to turn it into an Italian eatery, which will open next month. I read in an article that the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which owns the building the restaurant is in (before it was a restaurant, it was a drug store, for all you trivia buffs), had wanted an Italian restaurant for some time. The emphasis will be on less expensive, high quality food, and more of a family atmosphere. I also read that the restaurant will now have fewer seats and one side of it will be turned into retail space.

A lot of my friends knew I’d worked at The Trellis, so several of them tagged me in news articles they posted on Facebook, but I had already been discussing the restaurant with other former workers a couple of days before the news broke publicly. I’m actually surprised it took so long to close The Trellis and turn it into something else. Marcel had turned that place into an institution (some would say a “mental institution”). He’s a famous chef who’s written a lot of books and hosted cooking shows for years. Why Chef Everett thought he could fill Marcel’s shoes, I’ll never know. Not to say Chef Everett isn’t a good chef, but he’s not Marcel. The Trellis was Marcel’s baby. I think Chef Everett should have changed the restaurant from the beginning.

Then, I read about how the United States is going to shut down travel from Schengen Zone countries in Europe starting tomorrow. Trump, in all his dumbassery, is making his usual stupid decisions and comments, as usual. Coronavirus isn’t a joke, of course. I don’t necessarily believe that it’s wrong to shut down travel to prevent its spread, although I don’t understand why it’s okay for Brits to come to the USA (Coronavirus is in Britain), yet not other Europeans. I did read that it was because Britain is an island and supposedly stricter about its borders. But I still think Trump is a bumbling idiot, and I’m kind of hoping his fuckery regarding handling the virus will be his downfall… much like our investments have downfallen lately. I’d like to drop kick the orange turd out of my life, once and for all.

And finally, there was a revelation this morning. Bill got an email from his daughter, responding to a note that Bill had sent, thanking her for seeing him and letting her know he’d made it back to Germany (thank God his conference ended last week instead of this week). Younger daughter, once again proving that she’s Bill’s daughter, sent him a link to an article she thought would help him. It was an article on domestic violence, specifically about when an abuser leaves the victim, rather than the other way around. Sometimes, in domestic violence situations, the abuser chooses to split from the victim, and that’s ultimately what happened in Bill’s case, although I don’t think it was Ex’s intention. Younger daughter had somehow figured out on her own that Bill is a victim of domestic violence perpetrated by her mother.

Bill told his daughter about what happened when he and his ex wife had decided to divorce. They were visiting Bill’s dad’s house for Easter. They had the kids with them. Bill’s dad and stepmom took the kids out for ice cream, while Bill and Ex stayed behind to “talk”. Ex accused Bill of being a violent pervert who hates women. She demanded that he go into “counseling” with his LDS bishop in Kansas– that was where Bill was living at the time, since he’d rejoined the Army. Ex was living in Arkansas with the kids and her boyfriend, now husband, who was shacked up in Bill’s house. Ex said that if Bill refused to acquiesce to her demands, they would get divorced.

Bill asked, “Don’t you think I’m a good husband and father?”

And Ex said coldly, “Maybe you would be to another family.”

In a moment of clarity, Bill realized that Ex’s demands and accusations were preposterous. He isn’t an abusive person, nor is he a pervert. And he also knew that even if he complied with Ex’s demands, there would later be other demands that he may not be able to meet, nor should he have to. He’s a good person, and shouldn’t have been expected to change who he is and admit to things he didn’t do simply because his ex wife demanded it.

Bill hadn’t wanted to get a divorce, mainly because he worried about the children. His own parents had divorced, and he went through a lot of pain because of it. No, he didn’t love Ex, but he did love the children, and it devastated him to think that he’d have to be separated from them. But he also knew that for his own sanity, he needed to agree to the split. So he started crying, then said “Okay. What do we have to do?”

Ex was not prepared for that. She’d only meant to threaten Bill, not actually start divorce proceedings. This was intended to be an act of taking control and humiliating Bill. But, because she’s stubborn, shortsighted, and stupid, she simply went into the guest room and cried for hours. Then, on Easter morning, she came out of the room. Bill took her hand and held it as they drove to the notary that Ex had found. There they stood, on a major religious holiday, signing paperwork in front of an older couple who consoled them on the death of their marriage. They set the wheels in motion for the divorce on Easter. I’ve always thought of that action as a very powerful symbol… it was like Bill resurrected his life, even though in the short term, he went through a lot of agony.

The children were somehow oblivious to this drama that was going on at the time. Younger daughter was surprised when Bill told her the story last weekend. She said, “Wow, that must have been humiliating.” When Bill told me that, I realized that she really does get it.

A few years later after the divorce showdown at his father’s house, Bill and I were newlyweds. One day in 2003, we were driving back to Virginia from Tennessee, having visited Bill’s dad and stepmom. Bill was talking about other yucky stuff that had happened in his first marriage.

Suddenly, a lightbulb went on in my head as I listened to Bill’s words. I said, “Bill, I think you’re a victim of domestic violence.”

I remember the look of shock on Bill’s face when he said, “Was I abused?”

Relying on my recently acquired master’s degree in social work and a bit of common sense, I said, “Yes, you were. If you were a woman, there would be no question that you’re a victim of domestic violence.”

He started crying. But ultimately, he realized I was right. He hadn’t realized that he’d lived through domestic violence because, like a lot of people, he’d falsely believed that men can’t be victims of abuse perpetrated by women. But, in fact, he had all of the symptoms, and he went through the same type of stuff many abused women go through, including sexual abuse.

For years, I’ve encouraged Bill to see a third party– a qualified counselor– to discuss these issues. I am not a substitute for a therapist, and even if I were qualified, it wouldn’t be ethical for me to counsel him because I’m his wife, and not objective. When Bill was in the Army, it was dangerous to his career for him to seek counseling, mainly because the military is dangerously shortsighted about mental health issues among the troops. Although things are better than they once were– like, servicemembers are no longer assumed to be dangerous if they need psychological help– it’s still very risky to get counseling if one has a security clearance. It may be the case for civilians, too. But even younger daughter suggested therapy for Bill… and for herself, as well.

I am, yet again, dumbfounded by how insightful and kind younger daughter is. She’s as concerned about Bill’s healing as she is about her own. It’s too bad that they lost fifteen years to Ex’s poison, but I feel pretty confident that their relationship is going to heal. I never thought things would turn out this way, but it really is gratifying to see it. It’s like a miracle.

Here’s a link to an article about domestic violence against men, though it’s not the one younger daughter sent (I couldn’t find it). In the spirit of Bill’s daughter’s actions, I’m sharing it in case someone out there reads this and also needs a resource that will help them heal.

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domestic violence

Yes, your husband IS raping you…

Sometimes, my inspirations for blog posts come on very suddenly. I didn’t intend, for instance, to write yet another post about Christians and their sex “tips” today. I was actually thinking about writing about Cobra Kai, the awesome YouTube web series that was just added to iTunes. It’s based on The Karate Kid, which I saw in the movie theater when I was 12 years old. Most kids of the 1980s saw that film and I am LOVING the snarky reboot. It would have been more fun to write about Cobra Kai than marital rape. However, when my mind and fingers itch to write about something, I have to indulge. It gets me into trouble sometimes.

Anyway, this morning’s post is inspired by a four year old blog post that was shared in the Life is Not All Pickles and Hairspray Group. The blog post is entitled “Is my husband raping me?” It appears on a blog called Biblical Gender Roles, written by a man who graduated from a Protestant Christian high school, has “some college” and technical skills, and filled in for his pastor when he was in his first marriage. He claims that while he doesn’t have formal theological training, he has a “love for God’s word” and “a gift for teaching”. He writes that he and his first wife had five children together and divorced after “she committed adultery”. He has remarried and shares custody of his children with his ex wife. He and his second wife attend a Baptist church.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you probably already know I am not a very religious person, even though I was raised Christian. I don’t make it a habit to read the Bible, attend church services, or even read blogs about Christianity. I am more interested in reading about wacky beliefs than I am trying to be religious myself. However, I do consider myself spiritual and there are some aspects of religion that I enjoy. I mostly like the music… and sometimes, if I happen to hear a particularly talented pastor who is a gifted orator and doesn’t say stupid or blatantly offensive things, I might even enjoy a church service now and then.

I don’t pretend to know all there is to know about Christianity or the Bible, although I do know that people interpret scripture in various ways. The blog I referenced is obviously penned by someone who has very definite ideas about what Christianity is, and how the Bible is supposed to be interpreted. This person also seems to think that one must adhere to the Bible at all costs, even though the Bible is full of contradictions, and some of what is written within it doesn’t have relevance today.

A poster left an anonymous comment on an earlier post on Biblical Gender Roles entitled “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood?” She wrote that she’d been married for nine years. She’s a Christian, but he’s not. When she was pregnant with their first child, she told him that sometimes sex was uncomfortable for her, but she’d do her best to “do her wifely duty”. She stated that after they had that conversation it “all went downhill” and her husband showed a complete lack of concern for her feelings regarding sex.

She wrote that she felt like “his whore”, and that even if she was trying to read a book, her husband would have sex with her. It didn’t matter if she was in pain, feeling sick, tired, or simply uninterested. It did not concern him if she was crying. He’d tell her he’d “be quick”. She writes that she now feels disgust toward him. She hates it when he touches her; it makes her feel sick to her stomach. She doesn’t feel loved, especially when he asks, “What is your problem?” She also wrote that she’d try to deal with the constant requests for sex by drinking alcohol. Her husband would actually encourage her to drink so he could have sex with her without any complaints. When she wanted to see a counselor about their problems, her husband came up with reasons why they shouldn’t get counseling.

Her anonymous post, which was “cleaned up” of spelling and grammatical errors for the follow up post, was full of questions for the blogger. But the most important question was, “Is my husband raping me?” The short answer the blogger provided to this poor woman is that, no, she wasn’t being “raped” by her husband. The blogger explained that according to the Bible, marital rape is “impossible”. The blogger instead conceded that the woman might be “abused”, but as a wife, she can’t be raped. At least not according to the Bible. The blogger then went on to explain that the wife was partly at fault for having a bad attitude. And then, the blogger put it on the wife to try to “lead her husband to Christ” by being a better example of a “Godly” woman.

I was pretty flabbergasted and sickened by this post. I shared it with Bill, who was also horrified by it. Bill has studied the Bible a lot more than I have and I think he respects it more than I do. Both of us were revolted by and appalled at the so-called biblical answer to this poor woman’s question. I can’t imagine why any person would want to have sex with someone who’s in pain and crying. In fact, no decent person would want to do that.

What is rape? Simply put, rape is any act of non-consensual sexual penetration. The unwanted sexual contact does not have to be violent to be considered rape. All that needs to happen is that the victim said “no”. While the blogger on Biblical Gender Roles added a couple of Bible verses to support his idea that there is no such thing as “marital rape”, the laws of most civilized countries would beg to differ that marital rape doesn’t exist. Marital rape is sexual assault and domestic violence. It’s against the law in many countries, including the United States. However, marital rape has not been illegal for a very long time. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 80s that societies started to define rape within a marriage as “legitimate” and worthy of prosecution.

I’ve read enough about devout Christians to know that many of them don’t appreciate feminists or feminism. It was the feminists who pushed forth the idea that a married person could be raped by a spouse. Before the feminists emerged into modern culture, wives were considered not much better than their husband’s property. That attitude continues in some Christian circles today, hence comments by people like Michelle Duggar, who claim that wives should always be “joyfully available” to their husbands, regardless of how they’re feeling. When her daughter, Jill, was getting married, Mrs. Duggar famously said:

“And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’ no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels. ‘I’m still here for you and I’m going to meet that need because I know it’s a need for you.’ ”

According to Mrs. Duggar and her ilk, it should not matter if a woman is hugely pregnant, feeling really hot or sick, or simply too tired for sex. She’s expected to just get on her back and spread ’em. Sorry to put it that way, but that’s how it comes across to me. There’s nothing pleasant, loving, or genteel about it. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a particularly Christian attitude, either. Christ encouraged kindness, compassion, and empathy. Or, at least that was what I learned when I went to church regularly for so many years.

I’m sure Anna Duggar was “joyfully available” to Josh Duggar whenever he wanted to have sex. She’s currently pregnant with their sixth child and she’s only about 30 years old. And yet, despite obviously being willing and able to do her “wifely duty”, Josh still cheated on her and was caught red-handed with an Ashley Madison account. So even if the commenter feels that being a good Christian woman means being always available to her husband, it’s doubtful it would matter to him. Josh Duggar was held up as a model Christian for a few years– until the truth came out about what a scumbag he really is.

The anonymous poster is not even married to a Christian, so any rules coming from the Bible don’t really apply to him. He doesn’t even pretend to care about how she feels, and in fact, it sounds like he uses her Christianity as an excuse to force her to have sex with him. She makes it clear that he’s not interested in anything more than satisfying his own selfish desires. Even when he initiates sex by making overtures that she used to enjoy, she now feels disgusted and sickened by him. She doesn’t make it a secret to him that she finds him repugnant. He has sex with her anyway. That’s not Godly behavior, although in fairness, the commenter did write that her husband isn’t a Christian, so I wouldn’t expect him to try to be “Godly”.

It’s obvious to me that the commenter is/was in a terrible marriage and, first and foremost, should get a divorce– especially since her husband wasn’t interested in getting counseling. I understand that many Christians would not see it this way. However, since the commenter is a Christian and her husband isn’t, and apparently has no desire to be, I think she’d be within her rights to get out of the marriage. I also think she’d be within her rights to press charges against her husband the next time he touches her sexually without her consent. No one has the right to force another person into sexual intercourse, regardless of whether or not they’ve signed a marital agreement. When someone makes it clear that he or she doesn’t want to have sex, they have not given consent. Sexual intercourse without consent is rape. It doesn’t matter if they’re married.

I think it’s disgusting that so-called Bible experts are promoting the idea that married women are to be used as sex toys by their husbands, whenever their husbands feel the urge and regardless of how their wives feel about it. However, I was glad to read the blogger’s concession that the anonymous poster was being abused and that it wasn’t wrong to ask for a “delay” in sex. But then he followed up with blaming the poster for having a “bad attitude”, being selfish regarding her husband’s “needs”, and for “not leading her husband to Christ” by setting the right example. Someone in the Duggar group wrote that the Biblical Gender Roles site is a “trolling site”, but if it is, I’d be surprised. I see a lot of people have left positive comments for this male blogger who doesn’t believe in “marital rape”. Granted, he writes that he often doesn’t publish negative comments, so there’s no telling how many people have written to him telling him how full of shit he is.

Yes, married people, male or female, can be raped.

Anyway… he obviously never watched The Burning Bed, an excellent 1984 TV film that effectively illustrated why marital rape and domestic violence are real things. Shame on that blogger for not pulling his head out of his ass and writing something that is actually helpful. I truly hope the commenter was able to get out of that situation and is happier today.

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domestic violence

Domestic violence is not a family value…

Meet Mississippi Republican state Representative Douglas McLeod. The 58 year old man apparently enjoys his alcohol. He also enjoys sex. Police were called to his home last Saturday night because he allegedly punched his wife when she failed to undress quickly enough for him when he called for sex. According to a report filed by the George County Sheriff’s Department, McLeod was intoxicated and holding a glass of booze when the cops responded to a call from his home at about 9:00pm.

The deputies who investigated the incident noted that McLeod punched his wife in the nose, bloodying it. There was blood on the couple’s bed and on the floor. When deputies told McLeod that someone had called them for assistance, his response was “Are you kidding me?”

McLeod said “The cops are here.” Then, he stumbled to the front door and walked outside, where he proceeded to stagger about in a zig zag pattern. The deputies then saw two women, both of whom looked frightened. McLeod was slurring his words and said some things that were unintelligible. Meanwhile, his wife was shaking, upset, and obviously terrified of her husband, the good state legislator.

After speaking with McLeod’s wife, deputies learned that he frequently “snaps” when he’s drunk. After McLeod allegedly bashed his wife’s face, she ran upstairs to the other woman’s bedroom. They closed the door and locked it, while McLeod banged on it and demanded the door to be opened, or he’d “kill her (expletive) dog.”

McLeod’s wife chose not to go the emergency department by ambulance, but said her daughter would take her to the hospital so that there would be an official record of her injuries. McLeod was booked on a misdemeanor count of domestic violence and was released from jail on a $1000 signature bond. Other Mississippi legislators are calling for McLeod, who has been a Representative since 2012, to resign his post.

I read this account just before I read about the failure of a bill in North Carolina that would have made it illegal to continue to have sex with someone who told the other person to stop. North Carolina may be the only state where it’s not illegal to continue to have sex with a person who explicitly says “no”. It has origins from a 40 year old precedent. In North Carolina’s defense, a few bills regarding sexual assault did pass, including one that makes it illegal to have sex with an incapacitated person, even if the person caused that condition within themselves, and another that makes it illegal to tamper with someone’s drink (WTF? That wasn’t already illegal?)

As things continue to get scarier and more bizarre for the women of the United States, I can’t help but wonder why we have so many elected officials who don’t care about the health and safety of half of the population. I used to live in North Carolina, and I know there are many smart people there. Why in the world would the people of that state tolerate such misogyny? Mississippi, I’d kind of expect it from, but not so much from North Carolina.

As for McLeod, it sounds like maybe he has a problem with booze and violence. I don’t know which of the women in his home called the police, but I think it took bravery. It sounds like this abuse has been going on for a very long time and it’s beyond unacceptable that someone who gets drunk and beats his wife has the ability to help make state laws.

I’m beginning to think that most elected officials are simply people who have a thirst for power, but not necessarily the brains or compassion to make them good at the job. I’ve read so many egregiously stupid comments, mostly from white, southern, male Republican lawmakers, on the subjects of women’s health, pregnancy, rape, and domestic violence. More than a few of them seem to think they are above the law or are outright hypocrites.

For instance, in 2017, Pennsylvania Representative Tim Murphy was a Republican who claimed to be “pro-life” and sponsored a bill that would deny Pennsylvania women access to abortions beyond 20 weeks gestation. However, Murphy, who at 65 years old was having an affair with a 32 year old woman named Shannon Edwards, asked Edwards to consider having an abortion when she thought she was pregnant. When Edwards confronted Murphy about his hypocrisy, he claimed that his staff posted all of the pro-life messages and that he’d asked them not to post them anymore. Murphy faced intense pressure to resign, and to his credit, he eventually did.

For being such a “family values” party, the Republicans sure behave in a very unfriendly way toward families. They regularly vote against social safety nets that would make starting and maintaining families easier. They pass laws that would force women to give birth, but they have no love for the children that result from those pregnancies. They cut aid to schools and federal programs that provide healthcare and nutritional support to women and children. And some of them, when dealing with their own families, don’t seem to want to follow the law. Doug McLeod probably thinks of himself as being all for family values, but strong family values do not mesh with getting drunk and beating your wife.

Ah well… some people love to be large and in charge, and some people are masters at looking pro-family even if their behavior is anything but. Look at Bill Cosby. When I was growing up, he had a glowing image of being America’s Dad. He could do no wrong. We all loved his shows, his product endorsements, and even his stinky movies, like Ghost Dad. And yet, he’s now sitting in prison after one of the many, many women who have accused him of drugging and raping them, was finally able to pin a conviction on him. I’m not sure how Mr. Cosby votes. My guess is that he’s a conservative.

If you were around in the 1980s and remember New Coke, which lasted just 3 months on the shelves, you might remember this bullshit… Think Cosby is grimacing because of how good it is? Or is this just another illusion to fool the masses?

Yeah… a master of bullshit right here, not unlike a lot of “family values” politicians…
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