Starting Points

I’m not trying to start any crap, so please keep your claws down.  I’ve noticed a strange social dynamic, and I’m wondering why it is.

From discussions at Nashville Is Talking and also at several blogs, along with several personal discussions I’ve had concerning the Mary Winkler trial, women seem to have a different starting point than men.  In case you aren’t aware Winkler is the preacher’s wife who killed her husband; she is claiming that the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband gave her no other choice but to kill him.

Here’s the dichotomy: most women seem to accept her story at face value and start the discussion from there: “He abused her, but should she have killed him?”.  Most men I know see it differently; the stories of abuse conveniently came forward after she was caught and charged with her husband’s murder.  Many men I know, when she was first arrested, started pools about when she would first claim abuse; it is, in our eyes, quite predictable.

I believe that when a person reports abuse, maybe when seeking an order of protection,she/he should be believed by default, then the authorities should sort everything out.  At this point, everyone’s alive, and we’d like to keep it that way.  I do not have the same view after the fact, with no corroborating evidence to support the claims (remember, the psychologist that has testified has said nothing about abuse, only traumatic events from Mary Winkler’s childhood).

I’m just curious about why we have different starting points.  It just seems so obvious to me, sans other evidence, that Mary Winkler is making up stories of abuse to get out of a murder rap.  It seems just as obvious, without question, to many women that she’s telling the truth.

As I reminder, this dynamic also played itself out in the early days of the Duke Rape Case.

What gives?

UPDATE: I realise that if you follow the links in this post, one of the blog posts references this blog post, which claims the psychologist detailed the abuse.  There is absolutely NO record of this at the Tennessean.  I have not been following this case gavel-to-gavel, so I rely on reports from the Tennessean.  I would be interested in a link to a source that can corroborate this claim.  If so, I have a new beef: one with the editors of the Tennessean.