As you may have heard, if you frequent the wingnutosphere, last week Thomas Ball, a divorced man angry about paying child support, committed suicide through self-immolation on the steps of a courthouse in Keene, New Hampshire. For this act he’s been praised by the usual suspects, who see his act as some sort of brave stand against those evil feminists who control the courts. And the right is shocked — shocked! — that some on the left could see Ball’s action and his suicide note-slash-call to terrorism as some sort of violent act.
I don’t have time to give Ball’s jeremiad the kicking around it deserves, not today; hopefully I’ll be able to later in the week. Suffice to say that everything you need to know about Thomas Ball is written by he himself, in the sixth paragraph:
My story starts with the infamous slapping incident of April 2001. While putting my four year old daughter to bed, she began licking my hand. After giving her three verbal warnings I slapped her. She got a cut lip. My wife asked me to leave to calm things down.
This is the sainted martyr of the MRA movement — a man who admits to slapping his child so hard that he cut her lip, because she was, like most children, being silly and testing boundaries.
A four-year-old child. Who just wanted to play with her dad.
He hit her so hard he cut her lip.
And he was remorseless.
Suffice to say that if, as Dr. Mrs. Wingnutty Professor opines, “His statement is not the ramblings of a madman,” I don’t want to be sane.
Maybe, maybe not. They’re certainly the ramblings of a deeply stupid, deeply misogynistic, admittedly child abusing man with some very twisted, demonstrably false views of the country in which he lived. If those are the things your movement aspires to, I’m going to run as fast as I can the other way when I see you coming.
Pandagon has it pretty well-covered; but I look forward to seeing how your perspective overlaps and differs.
People commit suicide to hurt and control others, not because they are hurting or mentally ill.
Any person that believes the above sentence is just as sick as David Ball obviously was. As far as it goes, David Ball never blamed his wife or child in that note, he hurt no one but himself. If he doesn’t deserve the kudos that some people are giving him, he certainly doesn’t deserve the hatred either.
I’ve got Ball’s last testament here .
It seems to me, from what I read, that Mr. Ball was very embittered. Yes, he did say he beat his daughter; however, I believe he was just annoyed about something else and it reflected on the reaction that night. (It could happen; from what he wrote, it didn’t seem he usually beated his daughter.)
Now comes the creapy part, his suicidal thoughts; he compares his situation to the World War II, mentioning for instance Jews and Molotov Cocktails.
And now notice this: he criticizes both feminists and the fathers’ movement:
And he’s also somewhat supportive of the Tea Party movement:
Reading this makes me believe he should have been given a second chance. Of course a great part of this situation was his fault.
So there should be a way to be sure there wouldn’t end up killing himself, some kind of psychological help (of course, for victims and accused alike).
And, by the way, any «MRA» who supports this (and support =/= understand) is not a true MRA, period!
P.S.: Don’t read the comments – some are creapy. And, sorry for poorly written words.
The guy never would have accepted psychological help. Did you read what he wrote about psychiatrists and counselors?
Do you have any evidence at all to support your assertion? Ball certainly didn’t provide any in his letter. I’m confident that you’ve just made that up so that you can feel better about defending him.
I’m also pretty sure that if you hit your 4 year old in the face hard enough to make her bleed that you’re a child abuser whether or not you were agitated for some entirely different reason than the kid licking your hand. Beating your kids because you’re angry about other stuff is pretty standard among abusers.
In the same way that any Republican who supports, say, the Patriot Act, is no true Republican, I’m sure.
Have you ever attempted suicide? I have. I can tell you that while depression was a serious and driving force behind the attempt, it was not the only motivating factor. To pretend that someone committing suicide is incapable of having more than one motivation — especially someone whose suicide note was a call to arms — is to ignore basic human nature.
Ah yes, the No True Scotsman fallacy. Almost perfectly executed, too.
I make Jeff Fecke’s words mine.
I didn’t meen to make a fallacy. What I really wanted to refer to was those websites which say they are part of the men’s rights and fathers’ rights movement (Angry Harry, et cetera) but that, for me, are really not. (I take as a reference Glenn Sacks, which for me is a person who really cares and hasn’t been affected by the courts and their divisiveness).
I have no idea what you’re trying to tell me.
Sorry. In Portuguese, this is an expression (more properly on Portuguese, Faço minhas as palavras de Jeff Fecke, hope you can read the c with cedille) which makes a lot of sense; it simply meens I completely agree with Jeff to the point of quoting him without actually quoting (i.e. I would use his words in the future). An equivalent expression would be I subscribe to Jeff Fecke, although I think this wouldn’t also make sense, since in the US you only subscribe magazines (and we do that too).
Okay. Next question. What of part of Jeff Fecke’s post do you entirely agree with that is a response to my question and opinion of your excuse for Ball?
The one referring to Clarence (it fits here: the man was obviously mad, he was interested in the fate of his children – although the acts he committed wouldn’t seem to indicate so – and there are various reasons to commit suicide, namely, to draw attention).
Thanks. I still don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, but I appreciate the time you’ve spent answering my questions.