“[Omar Mateen’s ex-wife] described him as mentally unstable and traumatised”. So said Suzanne Moore, in her article yesterday1 in the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
It’s just one word, but it raises an interesting question, one that the author doesn’t address at all in the article: If Mateen was traumatised, then by what? By whom?
I don’t think it was by the sight of two men kissing, which is what the media seem to be suggesting was what enraged him and galvanised him into action. The traits and behaviour thus described by his ex-wife predate the tragic events in Orlando.
The Guardian newspaper published an article last month1, the topic of which was the rising number of people in the UK who identify as being of ‘no religion’. Geographical and demographic data pertaining to religious attitudes and affiliations had been collected by British Social Attitudes surveys over the course of roughly 30 years, and were analysed by Dr. Stephen Bullivant, senior lecturer in theology and ethics at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. (The report did not consider data from Scotland or Northern Ireland, although comparable statistics on the former were broadly in step with figures from England and Wales.)
“Rape”, by Malangatana (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Far be it from me to detract from the awareness the term ‘rape culture’ provides, or from the justified outrage it expresses, but the scandalous proceedings following the sexual assault of an unconscious 23-year-old by former Stanford University student, Brock Turner, lend themselves to reflection in more ways than one.
Convicted of several felonies and facing a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment, one might wonder, for example, how it is that in the interest of ensuring a fair and balanced trial, no one thought to point out the potential conflict of interest in having a Continue reading →