I noticed a story about a woman who cut off her husband’s penis; the authorities are treating this as a crime that could earn her a sentence of life in prison. It occurred to me that rape seldom gets anywhere near so severe a sentence. Is this a case of double standards? Is rape as serious a crime as penisectomy? I could understand part of the argument: rape is often an impulsive crime of passion, but this crime was obviously premeditated.
Looking at extremes, we see that some rape cases, such as long-term sexual enslavement, usually do garner life sentences. Rape accompanied by torture often earns a life sentence. Can we establish the degree of egregiousness in rape that should earn a life sentence? As a first stab, I’d suggest that a premeditated rape of a stranger accompanied by physical abuse would be roughly equivalent to penisectomy. But this is such a subjective matter—any thoughts?
Both deserve chemical castration, but in the case of the penisectomy, that’s been solved - so long as they don’t reattach it and have the guy appear in porn flicks like Bobbitt.
Since the penis in question was run through the household garbage disposer, re-attatchment won’t be an option.
Whether or not this particular crime is somehow “worse” then forcible rape is a moral viewpoint which I’ll cheerfully leave to others, however, in the legal sense, I believe that this crime is defined as “mayhem.” If life in prison is on the table, then I would take that to mean it’s taken pretty seriously in that state.
George, the comparison you ask about is not apropos, because rape to a woman has different emotional significance to a man. The real question here is, how does the emotional impact of rape on a woman compare to the emotional impact of penisectomy on a man? Worse? Better? The same?
This is an impossible question. I don’t think you can compare the two because of the emotional differences between men and women. Penisectomy is meant to be torturous for the obvious reasons. If she wanted him dead she could have stabbed him and been done with it. This is likely about hatred of males and wanting to make him suffer. You could convince the jury of that maybe, but not for certain.
When someone punches another as an attack, yes I’d call that fist a weapon. So does that justify cutting off that fist? When someone kicks as an attack, yes I’d call that foot a weapon. So does that justify cutting off that foot? When a man gets an erection pushes it into someone, no I wouldn’t call that a weapon. Does that justify cutting off that penis? When someone turns a broom into a weapon beating and penetrating people with it, yes I’d call that a weapon. So does that justify destroying the broom?
I don’t think that rape is impulsive, I think the rapists are insane and very deliberate.
Yes any victim, I believe, has the right to STOP their attacker with force. Destroying an inanimate object is an unquestionably correct way to stop an attack, in my eyes. But mutilating an attacker is different than stopping them, the Becker case seems like torture and vengeance, not protective defense. Her husband was drugged and asleep, vengeance is not legal. This mutilation seems sexist, that men deserve mutilation because men are rapists, that is not true. Some men rape, some women rape, they are rapists, they are few a far between. Most men are normal and sane. The woman Becker is obvious not sane, obviously planned the attack, obviously it was vengeance. The woman chose her husband, chose to stay with him, obviously she was under some duress, but she still made some of her own choices.
“The woman then threw the penis into the waste disposal and told police who attended the incident in Garden Grove, near Los Angeles: ‘He deserved it.’
“Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, has been charged with poisoning and assault with a deadly weapon.”