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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Look,* it's not financial issues...

I wrote recently (too lazy to link) about a murder/suicide(?) in the midwest. The husband claims that he went to fix the SUV's roof, came back and his wife had a gun and shot him in the leg. When he came back, she had killed their three kids and herself. I cried foul - and now I am crying foul on the news coverage.

So, apparently things aren't adding up - it's possible that maybe events didn't actually transpire that way. The police have questioned the man twice, and now are seizing all of the family computers and other stuff. They have also apparently noticed that this is a lot like an episode of Law and Order (or Law and Awdah** as my mom would say) in which some dude killed his family and shot himself in the leg to make it look like he had been attacked. The investigators are also now apparently looking at splatter patterns to see if it fits with a self-inflicted gunshot - and also doing toxicology screens, as I guess there is some suspicion that the woman and kids may have been drugged.

At the same time, there is a case in Northern California in which a man killed his wife and two kids (6 & 8) and then shot himself.

In both cases, the media is claiming that the families were experiencing "financial issues." Now, if that is code for domestic violence - then fine. But no, people don't kill their partners and kids over financial issues - they kill their bosses and themselves. That's just ridiculous. And seriously, who isn't having financial issues under the Bush administration?

No financial problems do not explain filicide and femicide. Sure, they exacerbate things - they add stress - and poverty is a predictor of domestic violence - but does it explain the violence? No. Is it a reason why someone might kill their wife and kids? No. The media needs to stop labeling it as such as it minimizes the issue and makes it look like an isolated event rather than as part of a huge societal issue - and makes it look like a family issue rather than as an issue of violence agaisnt women.

* I know previously I criticized Barack Obama for using "Look," to begin sentences - because it sounds like he is arrogant - but in this case, I think it is useful. Plus, I don't begin every single sentence with it as Obama seems to when he is interviewed.

** or if you ask her to try to say the rs, she says "Lor and order." It's even funnier to make her say the word "aorta."


At 5:17 PM, Blogger Anastasia said...

starting with look and ending with right ick me out when used perpetually. and i believe obama is probably pretty arrogant.

i'm with you on crying foul. financial issues is a weird way of putting it and doesn't seem that helpful. or accurate, probably.


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