Family Sexual Relations

Amber Heard/Lizzie Borden

Written by Andy

According to NBC News: “National feminist organizations break their silence on Amber Heard in an open letter of support”

One hundred and thirty years ago “Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her father 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave her mother 41.”

Like Amber Heard, her case is an exception to the rule in that she and what she did broke through and became famous. And, she is a prime example of the gender rules in action in that, despite ample evidence against her and a prime motive (inheriting her father’s wealth), Lizzie Borden was never at any appreciable risk of prosecution for murder—primarily because the contemporary populace were of the firm opinion that “A woman is not capable of such a thing.” Even today, the same bias would protect Amber Heard except that audio tapes of Heard’s taunting and gloating provide objective proof of Heard’s villainy. If Borden’s crime had been filmed, the veils of protection would doubtless have lifted for her as well.

Consider the magnitude of the societal forces that mobilized in Borden’s defense. “Major newspapers, feminists groups such as ‘The Bloomer Girls,’ the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and clergy criticized her arrest.” Well, how dare the legal system fail to recognize the sanctity of a woman?!

Then as now, the sisterhood (backed by chivalry) rose up to protect one of its own. In his closing remarks, the chivalrous judge himself spoke as advocate for her “and even discredited certain points the prosecution had made.” Following the closing arguments from both the defense and the prosecution, “Justice Dewey, who had been appointed to the Superior Court bench by then Governor Robinson, then delivered his charge to the jury, which was, in effect, a second summation of the case for the defense, remarkable in its bias.” No more remarkable than the bias shown throughout.

“One of her defense lawyers, an ex-governor of the State, summed up the argument for the defense: ‘Gentlemen, to find Lizzie Borden guilty you must believe that she is a fiend. Does she look it? The prisoner at the bar is a woman, and a Christian woman, the equal of your wife and mine.’ The jury was out for an hour and a half. The verdict was unanimously for acquittal. Lizzie Borden, who had become somewhat of a symbol of women’s rights, was tearfully embraced by throngs of well-wishers.”

The power of The Governor is impressive, but it is a power distributed only to a few elite men. By contrast, Heard/Borden’s impressive female power was/is distributed among women in general.

Let’s clear the haze here. Was Borden really a symbol of “women’s rights”? No one doubted the legality of her trial, so what do “women’s rights” have to do with it (unless of course by women’s rights we mean a special, altogether higher class of rights)? Or, were women’s groups rushing to her defense because her potential conviction was seen as a potential threat to women’s presumed moral and ethical superiority? Church organizations also rushed to her aid yet, following the trial, “Lizzie found it impossible to attend church because of her ostracism.” Did throngs of well-wishers embrace her because they truly believed in her innocence (from then on, she was also immediately and permanently ostracized by the people of her town ) or were they rushing to protect a woman (innocent or guilty) and thus protect the myth (true or false) that “A woman is not capable of such a thing”?

Things have shifted, but only as a matter of degree. One hundred and thirty years later, little has changed. “More than 130 people, including Gloria Steinem, and organizations in the field of women’s rights advocacy and domestic violence and sexual assault awareness have signed an open letter to support Amber Heard . . . signed by groups like the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, Equality Now and the Women’s March Foundation.” Then as now, the Sisterhood mobilizes to protect a woman—right or wrong. But it’s not the obviously guilty woman they’re defending; it’s the myth of female purity, innocence, and moral superiority. It’s the myth that “men have the power and women are the victims” ManBad/WomanGood, that’s what’s being defended and protected.

“By her own admission, [Borden] had attempted to purchase hydrocyanic acid at a local pharmacy, to ‘clean a sealskin coat.’ The substance, several professionals testified, is fatal in small doses, absorbed readily into the nervous system, and leaves no post-mortem symptoms. It is not used as a cleaning agent.” Furthermore, “The day before her imprisonment, Lizzie was observed by a friend burning a dress similar to the one she had on the day of the murders.” An ax with freshly broken handle and a blade that fit the wounds perfectly was found in the basement. It had recently been cleaned with ashes.

“The prosecution presented an overwhelming case of circumstantial evidence; Lizzie’s jury of twelve men acquitted her. Some think Lizzie’s verdict was ‘jury nullification’ – when the jury ignores evidence. It was said the jury didn’t believe a Christian young woman could have killed.”

Despite damning evidence, Borden was never seriously threatened with prosecution. Those twelve chivalrous men found her “innocent” after deliberating for little more than one hour. Meanwhile, “Heard filed a brief last month laying the groundwork to appeal a seven-person jury’s decision in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court to award Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in June.” Who knows, the army supporting and defending the myth of female innocence may yet prevail, the damning audio recordings may yet be expunged from public memory and Amber Heard may yet be successfully protected—protected from accountability, protected from sinking to the bottom of a jail cell—Heard and Borden, two among a multitude of women walking upon their Glass Floor.

Tim Goldich


Gender E
Like “Feminazi Icon” Gloria (“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle”) Steinem. When Steinem wrote: “patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself . . . The most dangerous situation for a woman is not an unknown man in the street, or even the enemy in wartime, but a husband or lover in the isolation of their own home,” the defamation of male character was extreme enough to be considered a form of violence against men. She’s commonly regarded as a “saint,” but I think few in modern history can match the malevolent, destructive, and poisonous force of influence upon the world at a level equal to Gloria Steinem.

David L
Women think they can do no wrong and are above the law, feminists are against equality, they are defending favouritism for their gender.

Jeni B
Because in many cases, they are, above the law. Women very often attack men exactly because they expect zero retaliation.

Tim Goldich
Throughout history, every culture has been both male dominated and female manipulated in equal measure.

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