For the past six days, we have been saturated with tributes to the “greatness” of Norman Mailer. Not just his work but his life. He has been called “brave”, “determined to experience life’s richness”, “compassionate”, even “nice”. It is noted only briefly that he violently despised women. He said they are “low, sloppy beasts; they should be kept in cages”. He campaigned to halt every move to give women control over their lives, including birth control – because he said he wanted to retain the “thrill” of knowing the woman he was having sex with might later die in childbirth. He said feminists wanted to “destroy men” and wrote a bizarre 300-page book – The Prisoner Of Sex – to “prove” it.
He acted on this hate. He beat his young wife, Adele, punching her in the stomach when she was six months pregnant, and coerced her to have group sex with his friends. One night, in the middle of a party, he picked up a knife and stabbed her. He cut through her breast, only just missing her heart. Then he stabbed her in the back. As she lay there, haemorrhaging, one man reached down to help her. He snapped: “Get away from her. Let the bitch die.”
And on he goes lamenting that our society doesn’t care enough about violence against women. But at no point does he say that women should take some responsibility. They know, or they definitely should know, who they are sleeping with; if they often do willingly sleep with violent misogynists (those oh-so-manly brutes) instead of nice guys and help them propagate their genes of course they suffer. Too many times I’ve seen some thoughtless little woman willingly go to her doom although all the easily detectable signs of meanness,cruelty and sometimes also deception are right there in front of that woman’s eyes. I say to them: if you sleep with scum, you are scum too. That may sound little harsh but I think it’s true although I don’t mean to imply that those men they sleep with aren’t usually even worse than the women.