Sunday, July 29, 2007

Women Should not be Diverted by a Red Herring

The story last month of pro-wrestler, Chris Benoit, murdering his wife and 7 year old son was framed in so many ways by various commentators that it was hard to know what to believe. Was he a good husband and father who was using steroids and unexpectedly went off into a so-called ‘roid-rage’ with the murder of his family the result, a man under stress with a hectic traveling schedule due to his wrestling career and a handicapped son who just finally snapped or just an ordinary run of the mill abusive jackoff who took the beatings too far one day?

Of course, it’s a given the early coverage spent most of their ink blaming the woman involved here, Benoit’s wife, Nancy Benoit. Frankly I would have been surprised if they hadn’t, since this pattern has been established since the story of Adam and Eve. Some things never change I guess.

Many of the news articles immediately began harping on the fact that Nancy Benoit was married and divorced before (thus, implying she was a slut) while this was a first marriage for Chris Benoit. She was once charged with pulling a knife on an ex, so, of course, the implicit assumption being that she somehow brought this upon herself by her own behavior. AND what would one of these stories be without the requisite picture of the female victim dressed in some wholly inappropriate (considering she was just murdered) provocative outfit? Again, the implication being that she was somehow responsible for what happened to her. She wasn’t a ‘good girl’ was the message being radiated out here. If she had been a better person, dressed more conservatively, never divorced, etc., this probably would not have happened to her.

Thus woman across America were lulled back to sleep confident in the knowledge that if Nancy Benoit had been a better person, acted differently, not been so out-there, she’d be alive today. Everything that happened to her was her own fault was the message women were being fed. Don’t be like her and you and your kids won’t wind up in her situation.

But is this true? Was Nancy Benoit’s situation really entirely the result of her many bad choices? Or was it the result of a family court system that has empowered men to use custody of children as a club against women, forcing us back into marriages we wish to leave otherwise we risk losing our children?

“…Nancy Benoit had filed for a divorce in 2003, saying the couple’s three-year marriage was irrevocably broken and alleging “cruel treatment.” She later dropped the complaint, as well as a request for a restraining order in which she charged that the 5-foot-10, 220-pound Benoit had threatened her and had broken furniture in their home.

In the divorce filing, she said Benoit made more than $ 500,000 a year as a professional wrestler and asked for permanent custody of Daniel and child support. In response, Benoit sought joint custody.”

As we can see in the above quote from an AP release dated June 27, 2007, Nancy Benoit did try to escape her fate. She attempted to take her son with her to escape his as well. Yet Chris Benoit was able to force this woman back into the marriage using the power of his half a million dollar annual income, probably assisted by some slick attorney screaming about fathers’ rights and empowered by a gender-neutral court system that refuses to recognize or honor the unique bond between mothers and their children.

Thus, this is not just the story of one woman who made some unfortunate life choices which ended in her and her son’s death. This is instead the story of how our family court system has enabled men to use custody of children as a club against women. How men have used their access to greater financial resources to assist them in this monstrous endeavor. Additionally it is the story of how gender-neutralized feminists have aided and abetted in these crimes committed against their sisters. How they have used the womens’ movement to advance their own careers, climbing up onto the back of their sisters to establish themselves into cushy jobs and well-paid positions throughout our judiciary, only to stab us in our collective hearts as soon as they are embedded within the system.

That’s the real story behind the story here, not steroid use. Steroid use is a side show, the classic red herring thrown out to divert us.

13 comments:

silverside said...

The spin on this case has been amazing. Trying to make it all about steroids (which are abused, yes, but that's not the whole story.) Or about the "frustrations" of a "disabled" child (media accounts have actually differed as to whether the son, in fact, had "fragile x" or not). What it NEVER seems to be about is domestic violence. Or how this woman tried to get out, but was pressured into recanting. And it certainly has never been framed as a story about custodial blackmail. Which is the real theme here, the 800 pound gorilla that everyone ignores as to why that woman and child were still in that home and thus vulnerable to his "rage" (which may or not have been "fueled" by steroids). If they hadn't been in that home, had they been secure someplace else with their privacy intact, the steroid stuff would have been a moot point, since they wouldn't have been accessible to the killer. But everyone except you, NYMOM, seems to miss that very obvious point. Good post!

NYMOM said...

I've been very busy lately and unable to post as much, but I've been going nuts over this case everytime it has come up over the last month or so.

It's totally ridiculous the spin being put on it.

The woman's parents even said there was nothing wrong with their grandson. This is just more of the ongoing attempts by other men to try to excuse this Chris Benoit for two cold-blooded and senseless murders...claiming he was stressed. Please, the people who were being stressed were that poor woman and little boy he killed. Benoit was probably abusing both of them for years and when this woman tried to get out he 'blackmailed' her just like you said through the family court system and forced her back...

Same thing with this Hasselhoff jackoff (who just won custody of his daughters) and I bet you dollars to donuts we're going to see the same thing shortly with this Alex Baldwin character. More emotional blackmail of his ex enabled by the family court...

AND those are just the famous ones we read about...but there are hundreds of thousands of other women and children facing the same crap every day in courts across this country whose names and faces we'll never know...

Val said...

Amen -- "those are just the famous ones we read about"!
I'm growing increasingly weary of even scanning the newspaper each day, these horror stories just leap out at me...
Yet I keep on telling myself, I'M one of the "lucky" ones: I got away (ha! saddled w/joint custody; roped in/tied down for another 9+ yrs), I didn't lose custody (only 45% thereof), etc etc

NYMOM said...

I know.

I've heard from dozens of women like yourself Val struck in these weird custodial situations where they are forced to shunt their children off somewhere for close to half their existence. Many of the kids are even forbidden to call their mothers when they are on their fathers' time...

It throws you as well as the kids for a loop as you spent half their life growing up worrying about what they are up to and who they are with all the times you're not there with them...not to mention this happens to babies all over this country every day. Where mothers are forced to surrender them for 50% of the time to some 'boyfriend' who generally dumps them off with his mother or latest girlfriend of the week...So many of these babies grow up spending more time with a total stranger, who at best is indifferent to them at worse is resentful of their very existence.

Val said...

This case also reminded me of Jeffrey MacDonald's ("Fatal Vision"), the army doctor who murdered his entire family (wife & 2 daughters) in which amphetamines were blamed for his behavior. Ha.

NYMOM said...

Yeah...and the sad part of MacDonald is that he still has a following, many of them woman, who support him. Sending him money for his case and everything. One of them married him I think.

That's why I keep saying it ain't men who are the problem, it's US...for being so damn stupid all the time and giving into them. As behind every one of these idiots is some woman enabler...

So we need to work on ourselves, then men will improve, when we quit letting them get away with the crap they do.

Anonymous said...

Occasionally the men are the victims, and while murder is not ever the answer, sometimes women do raise their hands and voices and degrade and abuse their husbands. Perhaps she played more of a part in this then just her own ignorance. She did pull a knife on an ex-husband, more than was ever proven he did until that fateful night. In her court order she only clamed he made threats and broke furniture—certainly not balanced things to do, but we have all lost it before, and it also isn’t, in my opinion anyway, anywhere near as bad as pulling a knife on someone. Also, she left her first husband after having a documented affair with a wrestler and then married him not long after, then years later she had another documented affair with Benoit while married to her second husband, then divorced him, and married Benoit within the year. I would say the media didn’t need to smudge her reputation; she had already sullied it sufficiently. You, mam, are actually the type of woman setting women back. If men and women are ever to be truly equal, then women must stop being portrayed as intelligently equivalent to the mentally handicap. She was a grown woman, who had a chance to get out. He had no special power over her, no more than anyone can over anyone else. And for all we know, she contributed to the abuse in her own ways. A woman who would pull a knife on a man seems just as likely to do something crazy as a man who previously had only been accused of threats and breaking furniture. The courts ruled in her favor in her case, and Benoit spent no effort in trying to fight it in public, he merely asked for joint custody. Then she changed her mind, not only a usual sign of a women who has been threatened by her spouse, but also often a sign of a women who falsely accused her husband of a domestic dispute, a common problem in modern America. Benoit was wrong, I do not disagree with you their. Murder is wrong. Period. But, as an intelligent person, who bases his opinion of a subject on the realism and plausibility it possess, and not how sad a day time movie it would make after it’s been spun by the media, I would have to say I don’t think Nancy Benoit was a battered wife. A murdered one perhaps, but I think she may have made her own bed. The only truly innocent one was Daniel, and Chris Benoit may have known what he was doing when he put his son out of his misery—whatever life he would have had, had he lived, would not have been much of a life, with his mom and dad dead and all the questions and speculation that would surround him the rest of his life. Remember, things aren’t always black and white; and also, remember women will never be treated as equals as long as they are always depicted as weak, helpless victims. Just as much as he had the power to not kill them, she had the power to leave. Sure fear can be crippling, and make tough decisions even harder, but I imagine whatever Benoit was going through to make his snap wasn’t a walk in the park to deal with either. They both chose to stay in a relationship that was clearly rocky thanks to both of them. They both were wrong.

NYMOM said...

"I would have to say I don't think Nancy Benoit was a battered wife."

Then I'd have to respond that I think you're an idiot.

Okay...

Anonymous said...

I'm an idiot? At least I intelligently defended my point. There is only proof of a murder, and reports, by her, previously of only threats and breaking furniture. To say she was a battered wife is you making an assumption that makes this story easier for you to swallow, that, if you were intelligent, you couldn't possibly make. There is no proof of what happen between them until there final days. To be a battered wife she would have to have endured a prolonged period of physical abuse. Besides your claim of it, what other proof is there? None. I rest my case. You cannot assume things just because it is easy to, or logical to. Things are what they are. I only was offering an alternative theory to a situation none of us can really understand—one I thought more plausible then a man killing an innocent women he loved for years, and his son, for no apparent reason. Perhaps, as hard as it might be for you to accept, there was some reason—not a justifiable one, maybe, but justification is relative.

NYMOM said...

"Perhaps, as hard as it might be for you to accept, there was some reason--"

No idiot, there is no reason or excuse for murdering your wife and kid.

NONE.

NYMOM said...

BTW, don't bother posting again as your comments will be erased.

I'm just getting back into blogging again after being sick for a while and frankly, have no patience.

So don't waste your time typing any more stupid remarks implying there could have been a 'reason' for this woman and her son being brutally murdered.

Okay.

Anonymous said...

You want equal rights for women, but you don't believe in free speech or intelligently debating a subject. You don't deserve to be treated equal. Bleeding hearts like you, who can't see past their own hand, are what is killing this country, and why people aren't treated equal.

NYMOM said...

No it's idiots like you who are killling the country. Actually you are doing as much damage to western civilization as this Osama bin Ladin...

I'm a bleeding heart???

Just the opposite, with you determined to make every excuse you can think of to excuse this man's crime and to make more excuses for a legal system that probably hindered his victims' escape.

As ultimately that is what this entire custody nonsense is all about.

It's an attempt by men (through misuse of our legal system) to do an end run around ALL the rights western women have recently won. To undermine our ability to freely choose what sort of lives we wish to lead. To hold our children hostage for our good behavior...probably even to drive us out of the professional workforce eventually...