Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

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“Sometimes I Say I’m Married, Sometimes I Pretend I’m Not” [via The XX Factor]

“What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure?” [via Pacific Standard]

In the 21st century, most Americans marry for love. We choose partners who we hope will be our soulmates for life. When children come along, we believe that we can press pause on the soulmate narrative, because parenthood has become our new priority and religion. We raise our children as best we can, and we know that we have succeeded if they leave us, going out into the world to find partners and have children of their own. Once our gods have left us, we try to pick up the pieces of our long neglected marriages and find new purpose. Is it surprising that divorce rates are rising fastest for new empty nesters? Perhaps it is time that we gave the parenthood religion a second thought. “How American parenting is killing the American marriage” [via Quartz]

“Are We Dating? And other Confusions created by Texting. A Curated List of Text Messages that Explain Why Everyone is So Confused” [via Medium.com]

This reminds me of so many letters I get for advice: I’m sorry to say this, but the fact is that you’re just not the man I blindly hoped you would somehow transform into when we got married. “I’m Sorry, But You’re Just Not The Man I Hoped You Would Become When We Got Married” [via The Onion]

And on a much more serious note: “How the Law Turns Battered Women Into Criminals” [via Buzzfeed] The reader who recommended it says: It’s a really hard thing to read, but I also think people should know more about it.

Also, Lena Dunham’s book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”, was published this week. Are you planning to read it?

Plus: 27 October reads that might interest you [via PopSugar Love]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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14 comments… add one
  • Guy Friday

    Guy Friday October 3, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Ok. I need to comment on that whole “battered mothers going to prison for decades” link, because it misstates Wisconsin’s laws and their application DRAMATICALLY, and that giant flaw makes me question the credibility of any other information described there. A few notes about Wisconsin, some of which I believe apply to other states as well:.
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    1.) The “maximum time” they list is for when a child suffers “great bodily harm,” and is generally charged in situations like the first story described, and rarely at that. But unlike other states — where they sentence you to X years, and then MAYBE you get out on parole if you behave — Wisconsin’s “truth in sentencing” laws split that 12.5 years into no more than 7.5 years of prison and no more than 5 years of parole, with a further caveat that the parole time can’t be more than 75% of the sentence (i.e., if you get less prison time, the cap on parole is lowered). It is FAR more common to charge the lesser “bodily harm” charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 3 years of prison and 3 years of parole.
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    2.) The statute in question (948.03) requires the parent to be “physically and emotionally capable of taking action” against the abuser. So in a scenario like the one they described with Titches, it wouldn’t be charged. In most scenarios you can imagine, it wouldn’t be charged. Where I’ve seen it charged, actually, is when either (a) the other parent was involved in some way in the abuse but not enough that the State feels confident that they could win a child abuse case (ex: the mother yells at the child to “Stay put while you’re getting your whoopin!”), or (b) the other parent exhibits little to no regard for the child’s health or well-being (ex: the parent, when questioned, says “Hey, the kid deserved to be beaten up.”)
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    3.) Like many states, just because a crime CAN be charged doesn’t mean that a crime WILL be charged. I practice in the biggest urban county in the state, and the head of the Child Protection and Advocacy Unit at the DA’s office here has often been referenced as one of the most well-respected child abuse prosecutors in the state. He teaches seminars on how to prosecute these kinds of cases. And do you know what his policy on charging is for his team? “If there’s any doubt in your mind that the other parent could have managed to stop the abuser, don’t charge them with ‘Failing to Protect’.” I can count on one hand the number of these kinds of cases I’ve seen prosecuted — as in, not given a “get ‘battered spouse’ counseling and a parenting class and we’ll drop the charges” agreement and forced to go to trial — in our county in the last year.
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    So, yeah, this whole “vendetta against beaten mothers” article is crap.

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    • Miel

      Miel October 3, 2014, 5:02 pm

      Well maybe not a vendetta and maybe not in Wisconsin but don’t you agree that there are women behind the bars right now that probably shouldn’t be, and thus the laws aren’t perfect ? I have trouble with the fact that some sentence were equal or longer for the bystander woman than for the abuser violent man…

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    • something random

      something random October 4, 2014, 9:30 pm

      Its good to hear about from somebody doing the heavy lifting.

      Reply Link
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    Bcamber October 3, 2014, 4:37 pm

    Lena Dunham kind of bugs me. And I’m not overly interested in reading about what she’s “learned” in her ripe old ago of 26 or whatever, so I probably won’t read it.

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    • Bon Vivant

      Bon Vivant October 3, 2014, 5:36 pm

      Could not agree more.

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        Wendy's Sister October 4, 2014, 9:58 am

        Ditto!

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  • avatar

    Shanon October 3, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Sorry but, when you’re a mother, you do anything to protect your child, even if it means dying yourself. Maybe that’s just me.

    .
    “Turner turned to Lindley, warning her that if she tried to take Titches out of the house he would kill her.” For me, it would be, “so kill me then”. No way could I watch someone do that to my child. Especially when he is just some boyfriend, not even the child’s father, whom I CHOSE to bring into my child’s life.

    .
    Also before anyone screams at me, I grew up in an abusive household, so I do know what I’m talking about. I protect my mother, to this day, the same way she protected me. I protect all I love this way.

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    • Miel

      Miel October 3, 2014, 5:16 pm

      If the mom dies then who is left to stand in between the kid and the men ? It’s not a trade, it’s just going to be double murder.

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      • avatar

        Shanon October 3, 2014, 5:20 pm

        Then so be it. But since he was not the kids father, the child would get taken away.

        .
        I’m certainly not going to be left alive while my child is dead. He was obviously killing her child, there would be no way you could keep me from stopping him. If my child’s life is going to be taken right in front of me, it would be over my dead body first.

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      • avatar

        Shanon October 3, 2014, 5:26 pm

        Also, she wasn’t standing between the kid and the man THEN. She didn’t help her child at all, or take the beatings for him.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover October 3, 2014, 8:29 pm

        And other people don’t have that strength. So I guess it makes sense to put them in jail for 35 years for being weaker people. Fitting punishment, right?

        Plus, different people think differently. Some will stand their ground, like what you’re saying. Others will look for ways to get out with the kids. Again, do you really think they should be put in jail for looking for a non-death solution?

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      • something random

        something random October 3, 2014, 9:42 pm

        This is not an easy issue. I could not read the article; maybe I’ll go back and try later. Basically there are two victims here; a domestic partner and a child. On the surface one relationship is consensual between adults and one relationship is a dependent. The dependent was clearly neglected by the parent to endure violence and abuse, there is no question. However the consensual relationship may not have been so consensual in psychological and logistical ways. So if a parent is under duress and control how much of their legal and moral responsibility is possible? How much is excused? Are the mother and the child EQUAL victims in this? Not easy questions. Honestly, it takes me to a Bitter Gay Mark place about who should bring kids in the world and who shouldn’t. None of it is fair. Maybe I won’t be reading this article.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover October 3, 2014, 10:16 pm

        We can’t control who brings kids into the world. Are these jail sentences supposed to make women think twice about having kids? Because I doubt very much if they’ll have that effect.
        .
        Supposedly, jail has two purposes: rehabilitation for the offender, and deterrent for future offenders. How will these women be rehabilitated? They didn’t want their children to die; they were too weak to protect them. How will future “offenders” be deterred? I think most people think that they would be stronger, that they would get out. No one will be deterred by this. The actual murderers certainly won’t. So what is the purpose of these lengthy jail sentences, except to punish broken women who didn’t have the strength to protect their children?

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      • something random

        something random October 3, 2014, 11:27 pm

        No, the point’s not to make women think twice about having kids. I think the point is exactly to punish women who don’t protect their children. I’m certainly not endorsing decade-long jail time for domestic violence victims who have had their children murdered. But I’m not willing to say a parent who brings a vulnerable child to life has the right to endanger that child for a relationship or put their own needs or wants above their children’s well-being. Or that those who fail to do so owe no debt to society.

        I understand domestic victims often feel broken and powerless. In that condition perhaps some don’t have the emotional competency to effectively parent. Yet they ARE parents. To kids who have NO POWER to remove themselves from the situation. And I’ve read enough letters on this site not to feel sorry for every woman who makes shitty choices when she has kids in tow she should be thinking about.

        People from all walks of life can find themselves in an abusive situation. My understanding is that most abusers don’t start off as psychos and most long-term victims are repeating patterns that are deeply ingrained. Its not a simple situation and victims have my sympathy. I wish our government would spend more to defend and protect victims trying to leave. I wish education about domestic abuse was better dispersed and perpetrators faced stronger consequences and it was easier to get out and DV was better understood.

        I have no control over who has children but I can definitely have my opinion on who should. I don’t think anyone should bring a child into the world without objectively considering their own physical, psychological, and economical aptitudes and limitations. A competent adult can reach out, look for resources, assess a situation, etc. Children can’t. They shouldn’t be born to parents who can’t either. This is clearly a judging, emotional reaction. It’s where I’m at with this.

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