My feed

to access all these features

Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Things that have bugged me in the news today

20 replies

Bumperlicioso · 25/05/2011 16:45

I'm posting in here because these things have a feminist slant. Two stories in the paper have bugged me today:

Firstly, the airline pilot who bludgeoned his wife to death with a hammer while his children cowered in the playroom got manslaughter rather than murder after driving to his wife's house with a hammer and the children - WTF? I don't know the details of the case but I can't seem to see why he got the lower conviction.

Secondly, a man died on Everest days after his wife gave birth to their third child. Now, I have very little sympathy with these sort of escapades anyway to be honest, but what kind of man goes on an expedition where 1 in 10 people die, while his wife is left with their two children and about to give birth. This astounds me! How selfish to put your family through that so that you can get your kicks scaling a frozen graveyard and junk yard.

There, I've got that of my chest :)

OP posts:
MotherPanda · 25/05/2011 16:52

Oh dear... I didn't see about the airline pilot. I don't understand that one either... I thought manslaughter was meant to be a spur of the moment thing... whereas the fact he drove to the house with the hammer would suggest to me he was planning on murdering his wife, so should have been convicted with murder.. no?

Everest man: That must be an incredibly understanding wife. My husband will only be allowed out of the house to go to work and to buy me ice cream as my due date nears, No way would he even think to go and climb bloody everest.

It wasn't a charity thing was it? That I could understand, maybe... but surely he was able to plan when to do it?

Saying that, I do feel sorry that he died, but i suppose it makes us angry because he could have prevented it. Poor family.

Bumperlicioso · 25/05/2011 16:58

The Everest thing is just really selfish. It's not like the wife can say, "you know what, I'm bored being pg, can you just do it for a while so I can go and bunjy jump from Angel Falls"

OP posts:
madwomanintheattic · 25/05/2011 17:04

mothers climb everest and die too. his timing was dire, but tbh there's no really perfect time to do anything adventurous as a parent.

i suppose you have to discuss it as a couple and make up your own minds. i doubt he just wandered in and said 'i'm off to everest. i might be back after the baby is born, maybe not.' he'd have been aware of the risks, as would she.

i remember a huge furore a couple of years ago with a young mother and everest. huge media coverage about whether it as appropriate for a mother to be doing this stuff. that made me crosser tbh.

v sad though for all concerned.

Insomnia11 · 25/05/2011 17:06

He got manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, not because he didn't intend to kill her. Probably because of some mental health issue we haven't been told about. The judge thought it fit to sentence him for 26 years though- that to me reflects the severity of the crime and that it was recognised. For most manslaughter you would get single figure sentences. For murder not that much more.

As for the Everest man, I haven't heard about this but if people marry others who have dangerous hobbies/professions they generally accept that this is part of that person's character and if they didn't do the dangerous activity then they wouldn't be the same person. I wouldn't like to be married to someone where their job took them away for long periods of time or I feared for their safety constantly, but it takes all sorts.

Insomnia11 · 25/05/2011 17:09

i remember a huge furore a couple of years ago with a young mother and everest. huge media coverage about whether it as appropriate for a mother to be doing this stuff. that made me crosser tbh.

Exactly, the coverage was very sexist. Obviously her husband was upset she had died but he did also accept she was a mountaineer and that was what she did, he wasn't angry with her so why should the media be? It's not something I would do but each to their own!

TheCrackFox · 25/05/2011 17:09

There was also a recent case in Scotland where a man beat his wife to death, infront of their children, and he got 5 yrs.

I don't get the whole mountain climbing thing at all but it does seem very selfish to do it when your wife has just given birth.

Bumperlicioso · 25/05/2011 17:23

I don't know, isn't part of being a parent making sacrifices for your children? Mum or dad, I think doing a 'sport' that is so highly risky when you have young children is incredibly selfish. It's also probably quite a middle class thing. I imagine there is more judgement of the man who leaves his family to go to the pub every night than the man who leaves for months on dangerous climbing expeditions, because climbing, especially Everest, is expensive therefore the preserve of the wealthy.

Sorry, that's off the feminism topic now. But as a recent feminist poster said, I am seeing misogyny everywhere now and it makes me really angry!

Today I attended an appointment with a friend with a breast consultant because she has excrutiating, unexplained pain while feeding her LO, and the doctor essentially said 'there is no research into breast pain as it just isn't important. Take some painkillers and you'll be stopping bfing soon anyway.'


OP posts:
AyeRobot · 25/05/2011 17:46

I didn't get the pilot result either. I suspect the judge didn't and hence the long sentence.

The British Everest climber menationed earlier was Alison Hargreaves, I think. She died on K2 a few months after her Everest climb. Those situations are always emotive and I struggle with a clear cut answer. But then I would, given that my Dad, brother and I recently left my Mum at home and sailed across the Atlantic. I think there were a few mutterings behind the scenes from friends and relatives, but not from Mum as she knew she could have come along but chose not to. And recognised that it was the likely realisation of 3 people's dreams vs the unlikely realisation of her nightmare.

celadon · 25/05/2011 17:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

celadon · 25/05/2011 17:52

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

celadon · 25/05/2011 17:53

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hassled · 25/05/2011 17:56

The Everest thing - yes, I understand why you feel as you do. All you can do is hope that the wife was in full agreement to the trip; that it wasn't a case of him swanning off to have a Boy's Own Adventure despite protestations. But even if that was the case, even if she had agreed and was under no pressure to agree - still misguided.

AyeRobot · 25/05/2011 18:00

Yay to see another Atlantic crosser. I only mentioned that because we did the same as the Everest guy, but in reverse i.e. we risked my Mum losing her entire immediate family rather than an immediate family losing a parent. But them we all do that frequently when travelling by car and do so without a second thought.

madwomanintheattic · 25/05/2011 19:11

thanks for clarifying k2/ah ladies - i was wondering why i couldn't get any specific google hits Grin

god, i always wanted to do a solo atlantic crossing and a rtw. i so badly wanted to be clare francis as a kid! these days we've traded water for mountains, though, not even a lake to be seen.

i think if you are at the point of an everest attempt, it's beyond boy's own adventure - it's a part of your life whether you are a man or a woman.

i was going to mention being knocked down a bus, too. Sad mortality is a funny thing, and shouldn't really dictate our every move, it's just where you draw the line and how you see acceptable risk i suppose... i had this conversation with the dcs in the winter in a low level sort of way. it had been remarked that i may not have been quite hitting the double black runs with much alacrity etc etc, and i asked them who would be driving them to dance classes/ the slopes/ picking them up from school/ cooking dinner etc if i was in hospital or laid up with a couple of broken legs. it was even noted that if dh broke his legs nothing much would change for them (a depressing but currently true statement as i left work a month ago prior to moving), so by default, i have become the one that has a lower risk threshold... i wouldn't parachute, for example.

i guess i'm saying that these days i probably wouldn't, as a parent, be off to everest (or k2). but i don't have any issue with men or women who would, it's a personal decision.

given the choice, i'd be on a boat in a flash though. my risk assessment would say 'get mil over for the duration'. Grin

Bumperlicioso · 25/05/2011 19:24

As I said I'm not big on these dangerous escapades. One in 10 people die climbing Everest. Not the same for a car. And a car has for many become a lifestyle necessity for getting to work, the shops etc.

I suppose my feminist point is that men's lives really don't have to change when they as a couple chose to have a baby. But women have no choice. If dh could have had our babies I'd have let him in an instant.

OP posts:
AyeRobot · 25/05/2011 19:30

I read "Come Hell or High Water" on the trip, madwomanintheattic. There's lots of glaring feminst stuff in there (as an aside), especially in the way she was marketed, but on the whole she just has a great story.

"i think if you are at the point of an everest attempt, it's beyond boy's own adventure - it's a part of your life whether you are a man or a woman". I think this is very true and, at the risk of sounding very patronising, it's not something that is easily understood unless you've travelled quite far along the path that might lead you there. It's tricky because big goals like Everest or ocean sailing or similar are often not attempted, or even thought about in detail, until you have the skills, experience, cash and time. And those are hard to come by simultaneously early in life. I don't judge those who decide to try and combine the challenge with a family rather than chose the challenge over having a family or having a family without the challenge, although I know others would and I can understand why.

BTW, we met quite a lot of families who were long term liveaboards and were homeschooling on a rtw trip. Just a thought...

AyeRobot · 25/05/2011 19:36


I agree that a lot of men's lives don't change much post babies. Whilst I'd like to see more men truly sharing the childcare etc, I would also love to hear about more women saying "I am doing X, Y or Z on Saturday afternoons/Wednesday evenings" or whatever and taking a "me too" approach to carrying on the things that they loved to do pre-children. It could work on a year by year turn and turn about basis, to avoid the situation where there is little all together family time.

celadon · 25/05/2011 19:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madwomanintheattic · 25/05/2011 19:43

lor, robot, i've seen dh's sailing skills. Grin he wants to buy a flaming canoe at the mo (we do have enough water for that lol) and i foresee disaster even then. Grin (i'm happy to kayak as that's me in control... an all family liveaboard rtw would automatically exclude dh at the risk assessment stage!

(it would please ds though - he's desperate to be he-ed)

i haven't read chohw for years. i feel like running to the library immediately!

agree with the post-babies thing though. it's an easy trap to fall into.

melpomene · 25/05/2011 20:32

The part about that story that got to me was the quote from his BIL saying "the family came first for him". Regardless of whether one thinks it is justifiable to climb Everest when his wife is about to give birth, if he's going that far out of contact from the family at that time, and risking his life into the bargain, then it is obviously not true that family come first for him.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.