Writer Carol Sarler has been given the task by the Daily Mail to write up Waterman’s admission he hit former wife Rula Lenska. But, all the papers will be writing about it, so ‘give it a twist, make it edgy Sarler’.
Nah, instead in Carol Sarler’s article, entitled: “Yes, he's a stupid thug- but are there dark truths here we need to confront?” Sarler ignores Waterman’s actual quote that wife Rula “was hit” by him, Sarler waters that down to “slap”. Now, a slap is still quite serious, a slap hurts but it also only suggests a sharp pain that might sting a bit and leave a red mark. Slapping’s what they do on Dynasty. Hit, which is what Waterman said, suggests a closed fist and a resulting black eye. Which is what Waterman says he unwittingly gave Rula: “I must have punched her one time because she did have a black eye."
Don’t worry, Sarler also thinks Waterman is an “idiot”. But he’s mainly an “idiot” for “for admitting it so many years after their divorce”. You idiot, Waterman! You could have got away with it if it hadn’t been for your desire to sate Morgan and his hunger for a teary confessional!
Now, thanks to Waterman, Sarler has to listen to domestic violence charities be shrill on the radio, especially that Refuge: “First out of the traps, as usual, is the domestic violence charity Refuge, whose spokeswoman is, as usual, ‘appalled.’” There’s always one isn’t there, Carol.
But guys, it’s ok, because the writer already called Waterman an idiot and concedes that the charity Refuge might have a point. “For what it is worth, I agree with them. There can never be any reasoned excuse for brute force.”
I’m with you, Carol, there’s no excuse for violence. But get ready, because here come those “dark truths” we need to confront. Sarler points out that we can’t lay the blame for all domestic violence at the feet of Waterman. He has, after all, defied the statistics by admitting he had hit his wife and feels shame over the unfortunate event.
Sarler asks us instead to view the incident in the “context of the relationship and the woman involved”. To ignore the woman’s part in the conflict, “is to blind ourselves to some unpalatable, inconvenient, but overdue reality checks.”
Essentially, what Ms. Sarler is saying here is ‘talk sh**, get hit’.
This might be the point you expect some statistics. No. I smell an anecdote… “Some years ago, I was friendly with a fiercely clever woman called Jean who, during the time I knew her, went through three serious relationships with men and was hit by all of them.”
Gosh Carol, that’s dreadful, did you encourage this woman to report the men? No, because as Jean herself allegedly said: “with a bit of a slap, at least you know who wears the trousers, don’t you?”
This article is accompanied by a confusing stock photo that is either supposed to depict borderline sexy night time abuse, or a woman bravely fighting off an approaching migraine in bed with her lover, or trying to recall the previously agreed safe word. Bananas. I bet it’s bananas.
Whatever, the point is battered women usually have a higher IQ, around 10 points higher, than their violent partner. It looks an awful lot like Sarler is suggesting all beaten women are complicit in any violence they encounter. Is this the beginning of the IQ replacing the Short Skirt excuse?
After all this defence of Waterman’s conduct, and mention of friend Jean and her desire for a light slapping so she knows who wears the trousers, Sarler suddenly starts to talk sense. “To my mind, nothing changes from what I have always said: zero tolerance [of domestic violence] is the only answer.” Yes, exactly Carol. But wait: “At the first sign of the first raised fist, sensible women do what sensible women have always done: they walk away.” And you’ve lost me again.