Daisy Deadhead asked a few weeks ago if anyone here was paying any attention to the Jodi Arias trial. She considered this particular murder trial, with the now customary accusations of spousal abuse by the murder victim, to be a huge men’s rights issue. She was right.
Background – Jodi Arias shot her husband, Travis, and stabbed him 29 times. She can’t keep her story straight enough for anyone to figure out where she did it or quite how it all happened. Nevertheless there is an even chance she’ll be acquitted – because Patriarchy or something and the Duluth Model. Murder victim or not, he’s the only man in the situation, so he must be the abuser, right? That seems to be the way La Violette’s, expert witness for the defense, sees it.
But this is the real news. The star defense witness, a domestic violence expert named Alyce La Violette has stirred up a hurricane with her biased testimony portraying Jodi as a DV victim. Look at the reaction in the comments about her book at Amazon. DV victims and DV professionals are lining up – over 500 comments so far – to say how she disgusts them as DV victims, how she shames them as DV professionals, what a fraud she is. It is really quite the firestorm. And in comment after comment her man-hatred is excoriated. That’s a new development too.
And when someone ventures a positive comment it immediately attracts five and ten comments calling them frauds, maybe even Alyce herself, or else duped idiots. One such comment has 55 comments in response – that’s five pages of comments.
In fact the reaction has become so violent that saner voices, Janice Harper for instance, have had to speak up – not to defend Alyce La Violettee so much as to insist on some kind of civilized moderation.
This is news indeed. What’s news is that the enablers of these abusers are paying the price, for a change. There will always be Jodi Ariases and Ted Bundys – sociopaths who feel free to treat others as objects and simply do not see how the most basic rules apply to them. That’s not the issue. The issue is how society deals with that. In the case of a Ted Bundy no one saw it for years, but when they finally did, the hammer came down. No one testified at his trial trying to excuse his behavior on the grounds of some kind of mistreatment he allegedly suffered. Yet when it‘s a woman – this time it’s Jodi Arias, but it happened with Mary Winkler, with Andrea Yates and with many others – there is a heroic attempt to portray the perpetrator as a victim, and a willing audience, because that narrative fits their narratives.
And the enablers like La Violette are crucial to this. And always even in those rare instances where the woman does get held accountable, the enablers skitter out scott free to wreak havoc another day.
Well, maybe not for much longer.