"Tough Deary, you knew what you were getting yourself into."
I've not written on this in quite a while. It's past time to do so again.
In a private room, shielded from all outside observers, a police photographer's digital camera clicks away, taking pictures of the black and blue bruises that are ghastly decorations on the married woman's body. Evidence.
Down the hall, not far away, a female police officer takes a statement from another woman, wholly unrelated in any way to the first. This woman's husband has been degrading his wife with a series of insults. "You fat, ugly b*tch" are among the tamer insults she has withstood. Her husband has thrown dinners she's prepared for him against the walls, then ordered her to clean up the mess. Doors have been ripped from hinges and kitchen counters slammed with his clenched fists.
The officer inquires as to how long this has been going on? "About eight months," is the woman's sheepish reply.
(WARNING! The first sentence outside this parenthetical comment is naught but intended sarcasm, to make as dramatic a point as I can. Indeed, domestic violence, regardless how I loathe the first inclination of any assault on anyone's dignity or person, isn't even among my thoughts here. However, my point concerns an issue that is at least as horrific and disreputable and loathsome as any episode of violence that has ever been visited upon any woman.)
To the first and to the second victims above is sounded the same official response: "Well Deary, you knew what you were getting yourself into when you married the fellow."
I can well imagine, at this point, armies of women falling apoplectic in rage over just the callousness that inheres in such a notion. And they would be fully justified. The correct answer, of course, is that no they did not know, even if they may have suspected as much. They just did not know, and should not be expected to have known. In any event, no one would condemn them to having to further endure such outrages. Period.
But I now ask, how is that, while on the one hand we are readily prepared to excuse a physically and/or emotionally-psychologically battered spouse from a legal contract they freely entered into "for better or for worse," yet we expect those who have volunteered to serve in the Army or the Marines to "have known" what they were letting themselves in for?