Posted by: Amelia | July 9, 2007

Odd! Funny! Nauseating!

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has been documenting the troubling number of “Oddly Enough” stories that have to do with the mistreatment of women. Domestic abuse, sexual harassment, humiliation, murder, and so forth somehow regularly make it into the Odd News sections of Reuters, AP, CNN, and so forth. As she first ranted in February:

In recent months, I’ve read under the heading of “Odd News” stories about a man branding his wife with a hot iron, a man coercing his wife into having plastic surgery to look like his deceased first wife, wives/girlfriends/exes being held against their will in various “odd” places including a coffin, women being traded for “odd” objects or offered as reparations for “odd” transgressions (along the same lines as the daughter lost in the poker game), and all other manner of outrageous indignity which is reported alongside […] frivolous fare.

Indeed, last Friday there was a Reuters Oddly Enough story about a man who got caught with the dismembered remains of his wife and child in his freezer. As Melissa said, “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: It’s so odd when men (allegedly) murdered their spouses (and children) and then stash them in the freezer while hosting a party.”

Today I glanced at CNN’s “Funny News” section and saw another story that, while far less egregious, continues the pattern. “Stealing another’s man’s wife costs $4,802,” the headline read. Using an arcane law about alienation of affection, an Illinois man successfully convinced a jury that he deserved compensation after his wife left him for another man. And not divorce-related compensation from her, mind you, but compensation from the new lover for taking what was rightfully his.

But Natalie Friedman, the woman at the center of it all, claims her husband asked her to have sex with other men and women — including Blinov — to spice up their relationship.

She supposedly began having feelings for Blinov, prompting her husband to file the lawsuit.

“This guy ruined my life — he backstabbed me,” Arthur Friedman told the Chicago Sun-Times. “What he did was wrong. And I did what I had to do to get my point across.”

The wife’s body and affections are suitable for renting out, but he’ll be damned if he loses ownership! Unfortunately, the story doesn’t bother to make note of these implications. I guess I can see how the story is “funny” or “odd” in some sense, but only in the it’s-so-funny-I’m-crying-that-we-still-have-laws-like-this-and-husbands-like-this kind of way.


  1. I like the odd stories about the dumb criminals, things like that. But stories like what you described above? Why do they belong in Funny News, or Oddly enough? Why is it not mainstream news when a husband dismembers his wife and child and puts them in the freezer? Oh, right, because Paris Hilton got the front page.

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