Ottawa Citizen
Wednesday 25 July 2001

Society lets women get away with murder

Linda Kinsella
The Ottawa Citizen

Re: Women who run like wolves, July 16.

I agree strongly with Ilana Mercer that "if women can match men in almost every way that is fine and good, then so can they harbour the potential to be sinister."

I have personally seen women manipulate and emotionally abuse the men in their lives and, when the man retaliates, yell "abuse." More often than not, the man in these situations is charged and found guilty, no matter the provocation, while the woman never has to pay the consequences of her actions.

It confounds me that we, as a society, ignore the statistics and the studies that clearly show that women are just as likely as men to perpetuate abusive and violent behaviours.

Society today tells women that they can get away with anything, including murder. No matter what heinous crime she commits, she must have been provoked or emotionally distraught.

Why is it that men can never be provoked or so emotionally upset that we allow them to get away with murder and brutality?

I'm not saying that anyone should avoid legal sanction. But equal actions should be given equal punishment. Murder is murder. If Russell Yates had been the one to murder his five children, he likely would be found guilty, no matter what kind of emotional state he was in. (His wife, the accused, is said to be suffering from postpartum depression.)

I have known women who have admitted to being violent and abusive, and when they go to seek help, they are asked what was done to them. (If the woman admits to abusing a male spouse, it is assumed he must have done something to her first.) This undermines any effort the woman might make to correct her behaviour.

Many, including my friends, will disagree vehemently with me. But I want to show that Ms. Mercer is not the only one who sees the inequity here, and who believes society is in desperate need of an attitude change.

Linda Kinsella,
Ottawa

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