FixedIt: Why did he murder her?

I recently read an article by an alleged journalist saying the bushfires in NSW and QLD had nothing to do with climate change because climate change is not real. It made me angry, as it was intended to do. It was a polemic piece, designed to shore up adherents and infuriate opponents. It worked.

There were any number of ways I could have dealt with my anger. I could have just rolled my eyes and ignored it. I could have written a calm and informed response. I could have waded into the social media cesspit, frothing with threats and insults. I could have found his home address (frighteningly easy to do if you know how) and turned up at his house to shout abuse or threats. I could have tracked him down and run over him with a car or attacked him with a knife. If I had chosen any of those last few options, I would have committed a crime for which I would (and should) have been charged and convicted.

If I had committed any of those crimes, would it be reasonably to say I did them because of his article? Would anyone suggest he was to blame, despite the fact that he had deliberately set out to provoke anger in people like me?

Of course not. He may have caused the anger but I would have made the choice about what actions I took because of that anger. (In case anyone is wondering, I chose the eye-roll option.)

We cannot control what other people do and sometime we cannot control how we feel when they do things that directly affect us. But we can control the choices we make in response to those feelings. If we choose to commit crimes, we are responsible for those choices.

Warren Rogers did not commit murder because of anything his wife did. She may well have made him angry. Even if she actually was in contact with an old boyfriend, she was not making any choices about Roger’s actions, she was making choices about her own life, because they are they only choices we can make.

So the cause of the murder cannot be ascribed to her behaviour, the only cause was his choice to kill her.

Despite this, yet again, the responsibility for a man’s decision to murder his partner is taken from him and placed onto the woman he killed. As if she chose to be killed, or had any control over whether he killed her. She didn’t. If she did she’d still be alive.

Men who use violence against women are routinely excused for the choices they make to be violent. It’s why this project exists and why I am continually and desperately hoping it will one day be redundant.

It appears today is not that day.

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron


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