A number of emails recently arrived, sometimes one right after another, about an upcoming webinar by Jewish Women International, titled When Battered Women Kill: What influences decisions to prosecute and verdicts? One cautionary email said, “Does it get any worse than this…”
Let’s help battered women go free when they murder their abusers… but not men if roles are reversed.
The webinar announcement says “[t]his comprehensive and innovative learning experience” is for those “[w]ho want to help battered women accused of killing their abusers stay out of prison!” The bold text and exclamation mark suggest only true believers might want to attend.
The select groups are from primarily politically correct Women Industry occupations like (industry related) attorneys, social workers, therapists, DV service providers and advocates, children’s advocates, child protection workers, child abuse service providers, scholars who work on intimate partner violence, child abuse, child custody, or family law policy; physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nursing and medical students, and practicing healthcare providers.
Nothing in the invitation suggests women accused of murdering their partners might be lying about being battered or before the killing knew they could trump a murder charge with the abuse excuse card. Battered Women Syndrome advocates leave little or no room for anything so imaginative. Hypocritically they deny a Battered Men Syndrome. No concern is shown for the murder victim, not even if he (“he”, implied by the nature of the organizations sponsoring the webinar) had a history of being abused. The murder victim was an “abuser” because his female murderer said he was.
Lorenza Penguelly was arrested yesterday in Chula Vista, California for stabbing her mother several times in the face, which by any reasonable measure would be considered by any reasonable person unreasonably abusive, if not criminal. In 1986 Penguelly pitched her five-month-old baby Sharai into San Diego Bay where she inhaled enough water to die a horrendously painful death. Penguelly recounted that Sharai had a smile on her face while she was floating. She was sentenced to six years in prison. She is apparently schizophrenic, might be suffering from postpartum psychosis; was not taking her meds when she attacked her mother, had terrorized her family for years, and was recently released from a mental hospital. Being abused sometime in her life is no reason to let her roam free, nor is it in the best interests of anyone, including Penguelly. She is clearly dangerous to herself and others.
Absent in the webinar invitation is any mention or inference of men driven to murder, suicide, or murder/suicide by a nightmare of a female or male partner. Perhaps dead female partners are considered victims under any circumstance while dead male partners are simply not worthy of discussion.
What if it’s a lesbian couple, without a real penis between them, then what? No problem, do the history two-step to avoid personal responsibility and you’re good to go. Lesbian researcher Janice Ristock in her landmark work “No More Secrets Violence in Lesbian Relationships” (page 56) writes that “patriarchy, misogyny, heterosexism, racism, and colonization are overwhelmingly present in the lives of lesbians… They are like the air we breathe.” Ok, fine, take a breath mint, consider apologizing to the family of the person you murdered, and in prison wear a t-shirt that says “Patriarchy, Misogyny, Heterosexism, Racism, and Colonization Made Me a Murderer”. Crazy is as crazy does; and, we’re the ones who are nuts if we continue to let murderers run amok for no reason other than they have been abused.
This webinar is co-sponsored by The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which bills itself as the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world with 152,000 members. NASW leadership is involved with women and gender studies. President Dr. Jeanne W. Canasta’s biography says she has published extensively in the areas of women’s issues, GLBT rights, mental health, and social work education. Vice-President Darrell P. Wheeler, PhD, MPH, ACSW has published articles in AIDS Education and Prevention, Journal of Black Psychology, Journal of Public Health Management, Journal of Applied Social Sciences, and Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. How about their army of followers?
NASW Code of Ethics says “help meet the needs of all people”.
If NASW helps battered women who kill shouldn’t they help battered men who kill?
The preamble of the NASW Code of Ethics begins with, “[t]he primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human wellbeing and help meet the basic human needs of all people…”A perusal of NASW’s Board of Directors’ biographies reveals not one social worker with any stated interest or experience working to overcome problems experienced by men in general or heterosexual men in particular. The same is true for Jewish Women International. Neither seems concerned with the fundamental mission of social work encompassing “all people.”
The webinar will teach how to overcome issues that might result in guilty verdict or help during an appeal, like (1) was it self-defense or insanity (2) could she have retreated (3) what was her reputation as a wife and mother (4) was she verbally aggressive (5) was testimony regarding Battered Women’s Syndrome presented (6) were the judge’s instructions on self-defense appropriate to the case? Whatever the case, “man” will be blamed, case specific, generally, and historically. All “she” did was pull the trigger.
Earlier this month Omaima Nelson bid for parole was denied. In California, Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Randolph J. Pawloski said when he visited the Nelson’s apartment, “[t]here were suitcases and plastic bags soaked with dark liquid from his body parts. In the fry cooker sat Mr. Nelson’s hands, and when we opened the refrigerator there was Mr. Nelson’s head with stab wounds,” Palowski said. “She had his entrails in his Corvette, and she was trying to get an ex-boyfriend to yank out the dentures from the head so she could dump it in the [Newport Beach] Back Bay.” A doctor who interviewed Nelson revealed that she sat at the kitchen table with her husband’s cooked remains and said out loud: “It’s so sweet, it’s so delicious…. I like mine tender.” Nelson was earlier convicted of assaulting an ex-boyfriend by tying him up and demanding money at gunpoint. While in prison she bit a security guard’s breast and had several violent encounters. “She has served 20 years and she deserves parole,” said Thomas Mooney, who represented her at trial and presented evidence that she was a battered woman abused by several men, including her husband. He claimed that she killed because she was abused, rather than liking sweet meat.
It should be no surprise that Diane Follingstad, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky Medical School will, during the webinar, share the results of “research studies” exploring vignettes and real-life scenarios, which may mean Follingstad will tell stories about women killing men absent any rigorous scientific analysis. The invitation does not reveal Professor Follinstad as a Woman Industry operative sitting in the Women’s Circle Endowed Chair at the Center for Research on Violence Against Women. I guess it’s a given.
Male or female, regardless of gender identification, a life of abuse may indeed result in murder. Short of insanity such abuse should not be used as a get out of jail free card. Even the insane should be restrained. Had Lorenza Penguelly not been released her elderly mother would not be waking from nightmares with stitches on her face from stab wounds. Though Omaima Nelson’s case is extreme, the introduction of the abuse excuse in her case may have kept her off death row. It may be useful in understanding her background but certainly not in justifying her actions or release from prison.
Abuse is not gender specific. It never has been. Abusive behavior has existed since Man and Woman discovered each other, apple or no apple. Social justice, public good, and humanity are not well served when viewed through gender exclusive rose colored glasses. Indeed, we all can bleed, have bled, and will shed more blood; an irreconcilable human condition no amount of social control, misandric psychobabble, and tunnel vision can overcome, especially when based on a hate movement that blames roughly half the population for everything wrong with everything. If, as the domestic violence industry operatives say, “[t]here is no excuse for abuse”, then how can industry operatives rationally excuse murder?
On October 17 the Associated Press reported that an Everett Washington woman was arrested for trying to cut off her sleeping husbands head with a chain saw…we’ve given women a license to abuse at will, even to kill, which may make us more evil than the evilest women in history.
Does it get any worse? Yes, especially if well meaning and caring people don’t do anything to stop it. Time will tell.