TW for violence against a child (most notably applies to the link below).
NB: A number of people read this post as demeaning to people with mental illnesses. I apologise unreservedly. I am leaving the post up because I think the discussion in comments is valuable, but will pull the post if requested. Please let me know if you would like me to pull it (see my comment below if you would like to contact me privately).
A man threw his four-year-old daughter off a bridge, in the midst of a custody dispute with his ex-wife. This is not madness, which is what he’s using as a defence. But it makes me mad – as in angry.
That’s because – far from being madness, or insanity – it seems to me far more to be a picture of a man’s sense of entitlement. A sense of entitlement to the company of his children at the expense of his ex-wife’s time with them, a sense of entitlement to the control of his ex-wife, a sense of entitlement to the control of his children. A sense of entitlement in the manner of “if you can’t have her, nobody can”.
The idea that he didn’t know it was wrong (which is the way in which you need to be “mad” in order for it to be a legal defence) seems laughable in light of the fact that it appears he effectively gave himself up immediately.
It’s not madness. But it serves to fuel the idea that people who are “mad” are also bad and dangerous to know.
And, as I said, that makes me mad.