Sex Little White Lies
posted by October 25 at 8:27 AMon
Back in July I answered a letter in “Savage Loveâ€ť from a guy that seemed to be contemplating—seriously contemplating— murdering his girlfriend’s husband . The husband, the girlfriend/wife told him, was a very, very bad dude. He abused her, their four children, and had raped her twice. The man had even been tried for rape—tried! Was he convicted? Acquitted? “Love Is Faithful Eternallyâ€ť didn’t say.
I advised LIFE not to murder anyone, and suggested that he might want to make sure his girlfriend wasn’t lying to him.
Have you bothered to confirm your lover’s story? Your letter makes this woman’s husband seem perfectly monstrous. In fact, he seems a little too perfectly monstrous. Have you entertained the possibility that you’re being fed a massive load of shit, LIFE? Some cheaters invent elaborate tales of woe—the frigid shrew of a wife; the abusive husband—because the cheater wants to have her infidelities and her victim status too.
So, LIFE, before you run off and kill anyone: Have you checked her story out? If your lover’s husband was tried for rape, then there are records out there somewhere—trial transcripts, newspaper articles. Have you looked them up? It’s something you might want to do before you “remove” anybody.
Predictably, there was an uproar . This letter appeared in the column…
I was appalled by the advice you gave LIFE, the man sleeping with a woman in an abusive marriage. You… doubted the woman’s claims of abuse, calling them “too perfectly monstrous.” My mother and my whole family were abused by my father, and most of the time she wasn’t believed. Discrediting the victim by saying she’s “lying” probably made all abused women who read your column recall the times they were called liars. You should not perpetuate the idea that abused women are really lying…..
I never intended to deny the reality of domestic violence, R. Too many women are monstrously abused; there was a story last week in the Detroit Free Press about a Michigan man who tore off his wife’s right arm. But the refusal to believe any woman’s claims of abuse should not, in my opinion, be replaced by a blanket acceptance of any woman’s claim of abuse. (If all claims of abuse are to be accepted at face value, why bother with domestic-violence charges or rape trials?) Women should get the benefit of the doubt as their lives—and right arms—may be at stake, but even that posture presupposes the possibility of doubt. That’s why I advised LIFE to check out the part of his girlfriend’s story that was verifiable: Her claim that her husband had once been prosecuted for rape. If it checks out, that goes a long way toward establishing her credibility. If it doesn’t, well, then it doesn’t. People do lie, R., as I’m sure you know. And women are people, as I’m sure you’d agree.
So many outraged letters poured that I posted a mess of them online . And most of the angry folks agreed: A woman who says she’s been raped must be believed—a point they wanted me to emphasize to LIFE, a guy who was contemplating the murder of this alleged rapist, his girlfriend’s husband.
All this came rushing back to me yesterday when I spotted this this AP story…
A sailor pleaded guilty Monday to abducting and killing a Marine corporal he thought had been involved in a gang rape. The rape turned out to be a lie.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Cooper Jackson, 23, pleaded guilty Monday to premeditated murder, kidnapping, impersonating a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Cpl. Justin L. Huff, 23.
…..Jackson had been fooled into falling in love with a woman who called herself Samantha and made up a story about being raped by servicemen. “Samantha” turned out to be Ashley Elrod, a 22-year-old hotel clerk on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, who testified that she lied about being raped. She said she “might have” told Jackson that one of the Marines was named Huff or Huffman, and she said Jackson called her after Huff was killed. Elrod has not been charged.
During his court-martial, Jackson told the Navy judge how he posed as an NCIS agent and took Huff to North Carolina to get information about the purported rape. He said he then slit Huff’s throat and buried the body to avoid being caught.
So, uh, gee. While I don’t think lots of women are running around telling lies about having been raped just for kicks, I do think that, as I said, some people do lie and that women are people. And I still think that folks should consult their bullshit detectors before they do anything rash—like, oh, slitting some poor motherfucker’s throat.