Sleazy Men Should Be Publicly Shamed
But this silence can sometimes have harmful, even deadly, effects. Consider producer Phil Spector, who was tried for murder, a case which ended, shamefully, in a mistrial. The prosecution presented four women -- and a fifth who never took the stand -- from previous relationships; all testified that he had held them hostage with a gun to their heads when they tried to leave his mansion. And that was how his employee, forty-year-old actress Lana Clarkson, was found dead -- from a gunshot to her head, sitting on a chair holding a purse, as if ready to leave. A chauffeur also testified that Spector had told him, "I think I just killed her."
What struck me about the testimony of all these women is that it showed a pattern. Yet each of these women did not know about the other women's similar experiences. We need to ask: Would Lana Clarkson have been so trusting of Phil Spector if one of these women had been able to tell her about her experience? Would Phil Spector have continued in this pattern if his business associates and clients had shunned him?
Even though Peter Cook has thus proven himself an unfit father, the chorus of commentators from the airwaves has sung out against Brinkley, "But the children! Think about what all this publicity is doing to them!"
This is the same chorus that sings that hit single, "Yes, the guy was abusive to his wife, but he can still be a good father."
This is moral relativism based on the faith in compartmentalization. But experts on abusers tell us that a person who is abusive in one aspect of his life is likely to be abusive in another. The sick sex play of pointing a gun at a woman's head and the fantasy of multiple barely legal partners are the stuff of pornography. Spector who got his jollies by holding women hostage in his mansion also liked to lock his adopted sons into their bedrooms after dinner, according to their testimony. Clearly, the guy seems to have some control issues.
So think about Cook's teenage daughter bringing her friends with her to Dad's house for a sleepover. (Would you want your daughter there?) And what kind of message is sent to a son -- who will inevitably learn about Dad's behavior -- when his father suffers no opprobrium? It tells him: You can do anything you like and you can just tell your kids that you didn't "get along" with their mom. Then on to the next "date."
Peter Cook has rightfully been exposed and shamed, as such cheating, conniving creeps were in days of yore. His attorney may claim that Brinkley displays the "self-indulgent wrath of a woman scorned," but women have been suffering from the silence that comes from the pressure of such accusations for too long.