Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Irrational Venom

I know I shouldn't expect elevated comments at the Daily Beast, but when First Things linked to this article, about a woman who refused to grant her husband a divorce (NY was the last state to have no-fault divorce), I was amazed at the stupidity and venom of the comments.

People thought she shouldn't want him if he was unfaithful - wouldn't it be her choice what she wanted? They thought he should have his freedom - what about her freedom to make choices?

She may indeed be a selfish and pathological creature - I don't accept her word for it that she was the good one and he the evil, because I'm fairly automatic on not taking sides after hearing only one side of the story at this point. But there is nothing in the evidence presented that she actually is selfish or unbalanced. People just assume it.

The assumptions in the comments (I only read the first page of 'em) are quite remarkable. Looks like a lot of personal defensiveness spilling over onto the page.


jaed said...

I had a similar reaction to those comments. In particular, to the repetition of the formula "but if he doesn't want to be with you..." Several commenters put it that way, and I couldn't help hearing it in a teenaged whine: "Ooh, I want to beeeee with him... we should beeeee together... if he doesn't want to beeeee with you..."

My projection of teenaged sentimentality aside, the phrase usually refers to sex. If he wants to have sex with someone else, you shouldn't stand in the way. As though the woman was in some kind of fluffy romantic relationship that lost its reason for being the moment infatuation lighted on someone else.

It made me think to myself, "None of these people have the slightest notion what marriage is."

Texan99 said...

Here's what I think is strange. You can't force a guy to continue living with his wife and children if he wants to ditch them, divorce or no divorce. So why was it so important for him to get his divorce? Because he was all hot to marry wife number two. But why? Why not just shack up with her? Because marriage is so important to him? Or is so important to the new flame? Neither of them acts like it.

Serial marriers confuse me, especially when they don't quite finish the first marriage before they start the second one.

At the same time, I'm too proud to stay married to someone who wanted to leave me.