Monday, March 30, 2009

Why so little coverage of the case of woman on trial for knifing ex-boyfriend's penis?

Comment: Before discussing the news story about a woman who attacked her ex-boyfriend's penis with a knife and then accused him of sexually assaulting her (news story posted below this comment and linked here) it needs to be put into context.

When I read that story, I was amazed it had not received far greater news coverage, given the grisly nature of the attack. I mean, the current news stories about Rihanna and Austria's Josef Fritzl are huge, international stories involving violence against a loved one. Why hasn't this story attracted such attention? Then it dawned on me why: the woman is charged with trying to cut an innocent man's penis because she felt he had jilted her. It plays into the whole "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" stereotype. The man seems obviously innocent and unjustly maimed. The story has been given little coverage because it's the man who's the apparent victim of domestic violence here, not the woman.

To really understand the import of this story, you need to compare it with a similar case -- a case that was given very dissimilar news coverage. Almost 16 years ago, John Bobbitt was mutilated by his wife as he lay sleeping. The story is well known and, in fact, became a cause célèbre. Lorena Bobbitt said her husband raped her, and in a moment of temporary insanity, she took a knife from the kitchen of their apartment and cut off her sleeping husband's penis.
"[D]uring her arrest Lorena commented to police that 'He always have orgasm and he doesn't wait for me to have orgasm. He's selfish.' That was the reason she gave for severing his penis."
Later in 1993, John Bobbitt was acquitted of marital sexual abuse.

For her part, Lorena Bobbitt was charged with malicious wounding. On January 21, 1994, she was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to a mental health facility for 45 days for observation.

Here's the important part:
"Lorena was treated as a feminist hero."

You read that right: a feminist hero. In fact, before a single fact was adjudicated, before a scrap of evidence was admitted at trial, serious publications covered the story as if the dismemberment was in some manner justified. It was called "a cautionary tale" for men.

The lesson wasn't that mutilating another human being is never justified, it was that men had better wise up when it comes to how they treat women. Never mind that none of those publications, and no feminist leaders, would embrace any other type of bodily mutilation for any other type of crime. No one would applaud an aggrieved husband's mutilation of his wife's vagina. Yet vigilante justice directed at penises was celebrated with glee. The fact that purportedly enlightened publications were implicitly rooting for Mrs. Bobbitt even before any facts were adjudicated is nothing short of frightening.

Fast forward to 2009 and the case of another knife-wielding woman. This time, there is no indication that the man wronged her. The man was not charged with sexually abusing her, as Mr. Bobbitt was. Her apparently criminal overreaction to her ex-boyfriend's rebuffs is not embraced by feminists or the news media. In fact, she's probably an embarrassment to the feminists.

In short, the case doesn't represent some larger "truth" about male predatory behavior or female victimization. In fact, never are the words "domestic violence" used in the news reports, as they surely would be if the genders were reversed.

It's just a story about a man apparently falsely accused of sexual assault whose penis was attacked by a knife-wielding woman.

Nothing to get excited about.


Man 'knifed in penis after sex rebuff'

A spurned woman plunged a knife into her ex-boyfriend's penis after he spurned her efforts at reconciliation, a Lincoln court heard.

Tatiana Bastos (28) pulled a six-inch knife from her handbag and attacked Ricardo Morais without warning while he was driving, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, said Bastos, of High Street, Lincoln, turned up unexpectedly at Mr Morais' workplace.

She attempted to make sexual advances towards him, but was rebuffed.

"He got into his car to go back to do his shift but Bastos followed him. She jumped in the car and refused to get out," Miss Bradley said.

"Miss Bastos then leant over and bit him on the arm. He could feel the pain of the bite.

"She then produced from her handbag a kitchen knife with a blade in the region of 15cms long."

Miss Bradley said that when Mr Morais asked what she was going to do Bastos replied "I'm going to kill you and then I'm going to kill myself."

"Within seconds she stabbed the knife into his groin," said Miss Bradley.

"It went in through his jeans, his thermals and his boxer shorts.

"He could immediately feel the pain and the cold of the knife on his penis."

Bastos denies wounding Mr Morais with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon in Newark Road, Lincoln, on 21 May 2008.

She also denies perverting the course of justice by making a false allegation of sexual assault on 23 May 2008.

The trial continues.



Lover 'knifed in manhood as he drove'

A jilted lover stabbed her boyfriend in the penis as he was driving, a court heard.

Horrified Ricardo Morais was in agony as he struggled to keep control.

He was given emergency surgery after flagging down a passing motorist.

Prosecutor Caroline Bradley told Lincoln crown court: "The blade went through his jeans, his thermals and his boxer shorts.

"He could immediately feel the pain and the cold of the knife on his penis."

Tatiana Bastos, 28, of Lincoln, denies wounding Ricardo after he refused to have sex with her.

She also pleads not guilty to having an offensive weapon - a six-inch kitchen knife - and making a false allegation of sexual assault.