July 1, 2013 by Robert Franklin, Esq.
Catherine Kieu has been sentenced to life in prison for severing her husband’s penis two years ago. She then put the organ in the garbage disposal, damaging it so it could not be surgically reattached. Kieu then called the police and, when they arrived, she told them “he deserved it.” She was convicted of felony counts of torture and aggravated mayhem. The 50-year-old Kieu will be eligible for parole in seven years. Read about it here (WPTV, 6/29/13).
Apart from the dramatic crime itself, Kieu’s sexual mutilation of her husband won renown as the subject of an afternoon television talk show called “The Talk.” There, the topic of the unnamed man’s mutilation was brought up to enthusiastic applause by the almost all-female audience. Panelists found great hilarity in the act with Sharon Osbourne calling the deed, among other encomiums, “quite fabulous.” Despite a storm of protest at Osbourne’s open promotion of sexual violence by women against men, no one on the show was disciplined in any way. Osbourne eventually made a plainly insincere apology on a later show.
At Kieu’s sentencing, her husband made a statement that said in part,
"The convicted (person) viciously deprived me of part of my life and identity," the ex-husband told the court. "Then, as is routine in cases of violence that involve something sexual, the victim must endure, at the hands of the defense, a second attack. This was a cruel and calculated violation of a person's body and mind. I now struggle with what is before me. She has torn off my identity as a man. She has caused doubt in my belief in good. She has betrayed my trust in people."
He also said that he’d not had sex with anyone, including his wife, for seven months prior to the attack. Just what Kieu meant by saying her husband “deserved it” has never been made known. Whatever her meaning, more than one of the audience members on “The Talk” was heard to shout the same words when the host brought up the topic. Only one member of the talk show’s panel offered the opinion that, if someone had sexually attacked a woman with a butcher knife, the commentary and tone of the program would likely be different. But, in the joy of the moment, her bleak assessment was hastily cast aside by Osbourne and others.
Out of scores of articles written about the man’s mutilation, the linked-to piece is the only one I’ve seen to call Kieu’s outrage “spousal abuse,” and that was only to point out why the man’s name has never been made public. The almost uniform refusal by the news media to call women’s domestic violence against men by its proper name, is one of the many signal features of intimate partner violence, its reporting by the press and its description by governmental officials and the DV industry that seek to marginalize the suffering of men.
That’s despite the fact that men are at least as likely as women to be victims of violence at the hands of an intimate partner. We’ve know that for decades. Ever since the first major study of domestic violence in 1977, the evidence for parity in both perpetration and victimization has been building up and up. But governmental officials, governmental policy and the domestic violence industry have ignored the science on the matter in favor of pouring billions of dollars into programs that have been shown to not bring down levels of partner abuse. One suspects that failure to combat domestic violence has a lot to do with the fact that VAWA-funded programs ignore the male half of victims and the female half of perpetrators. With that approach, it’s hard to imagine the programs being successful.
And when we look at what those programs consist of, it becomes clear why year after year, DV activists decry an “epidemic” of domestic violence. The simple truth is that programs utilizing the Duluth Model of intervention cannot combat DV because they’re based, not on the science of perpetration and victimization, but on a radical feminist political ideology that only men commit DV, only to control women who are its only victims. We’ve been adamantly trying to fit Duluth’s square peg into DV’s round hole for decades, predictably without success.
This comes at a time when the single most comprehensive analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on DV has just been made public. It’s called the Partner Abuse State of Knowledge project (PASK), and it tells us what we’ve known all along – that DV is not and never has been a gendered crime.
It also comes at a time when the newly-passed Violence Against Women Act contains language expressly forbidding discrimination in the provision of services to victims on the basis of sex.
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity … sexual orientation, or disability, be excluded from participation in … any program or activity funded … (under VAWA and related statutes).
Not only that, but the legislative history of VAWA reauthorization is replete with expressions by its chief sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT and others, that VAWA would cover all victims.
Expect to see lawsuits based on the above in the near future.
Those changes to VAWA and the Kieu verdict and sentencing suggest a reorientation of domestic violence law and public understanding. The science has been around long enough that no serious person can now deny the facts about DV. Now men can sue providers of services under the act for discriminating against them.
In the 90s, Lorena Bobbitt did the same thing to her husband John that Catherine Kieu did to her husband in 2011. Again to cries of delight from radical feminists everywhere, Lorena Bobbitt was acquitted of any wrongdoing on the shaky theory that her husband like rough sex and, given that, well, what’s a woman to do?
It’s been slow, but the times seem to be a-changin’. The hateful narrative of male-female relationships peddled by radical feminists lo these many decades may be finally be breaking down. It’s always been a fiction whose main purpose was to separate men from women and fathers from children. But people of good will and open minds have long seen it for the mendacity it’s always been. That’s surely part of the reason why, in a Huffington Post survey, only some 20% of people called themselves feminists.
It’s been a hard and bitter slog, and it’s nowhere near over. But sometime in the future, we’ll be able to look back on the Catherine Kieu verdict as one of the small but important events in the march toward sanity.
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