A Quick Note on ‘Playful Tiffs’

I shouldn’t ever have to remind anyone of this, nobody should, but putting your hands around your wife’s throat is not a ‘playful tiff’…it’s assault, it’s domestic violence. It seeks to intimidate and silence. What’s so ‘playful’ about that?

I’m sure you’ve heard about Nigella Lawson; photos were recently released showing her husband, Charles Saatchi, putting his hands around her throat and on her face during an argument outside of a restaurant. According to him it was okay because there was ‘no grip’. Pictures of Nigella looking upset and in tears followed. It’s fine though because apparently, in Saatchi’s words, she was only upset because of the argument and ‘not because she was hurt’. Apparently he only touched her in such a way to ‘get [his] point across’. I’m sorry, but if you need to strangle your wife in order to get your point across you should really go and crawl into a hole away from human society, right now. I’ve read a few different articles about it; some balanced and some just plain ridiculous. I read one where they, for whatever reason, thought it was appropriate to describe what she was wearing (!). Nick Clegg then called it a ‘fleeting thing’. A fleeting thing. A FLEETING THING. When a man who is the deputy prime minister calls an act of domestic violence towards a woman a ‘fleeting thing’ you know we’re all in trouble; because, you know what, it’s not a fleeting thing. It’s enabled by a culture which is so deeply embedded with misogyny, we’re all told we should laugh at jokes about domestic violence and rape, where we’re constantly seeing women being objectified and sexualised in lad’s mags, Page Three, advertising and pretty much every other aspect of the media to the point where women aren’t seen as human beings.

Just because Saatchi handed himself in and then spoke out about it doesn’t make him any less of a cretin. We shouldn’t be awarding him a gold star for ‘doing the right thing’, he should have known that was the wrong thing to do in the first place. Giving him a platform to ‘defend himself’, in my view, is also the wrong thing to do.

While I’m on the subject, why did the photographer not intervene? She was being assaulted. Call the police, shout, anything.

Here’s a link to an article about it: (Trigger warning: it shows one picture of his hand on her face)


2 responses to “A Quick Note on ‘Playful Tiffs’

  • Helen

    You might remember me I fell out with you on your facebook page a year ago. Being in Nigella’s position makes you act weird, behave weird and lash out in some weird ways so I just thought I’d take this opportunity to say sorry and say that when domestic violence takes this form, and the woman is, like Nigella, a strong, independant, career woman type, she (or at least in my case) won’t identify it as domestic violence or herself as a victim, it takes a massive psychological step for that realisation to occur, and chances are, sadly, he probably doesn’t even see it that way either (I know mine doesn’t). Which is why, in these cases women stay, even smart strong women who you wouldn’t imagine would. Because, as we can see from the reaction to it, it’s not so simple and black and white as it should be, it’s not just about saying “this is wrong” and “this man is a creitn” (yes it is wrong and yes he is a cretin certainly not disagreeing with that one ;o) ) it’s about educating people that domestic violence isn’t just about women getting punched and kicked and black eyes, and getting proper psychiatric help in place for perpetrators too, estimates show that about 70% of men who commit this crime have a mental health disorder, in my case my husband should have been sectioned long before he started a lot of the abuse but mental health services is so poor he just slipped through the cracks and sadly still is doing as he refuses to face up to what he did.

  • Helen

    Hey you know before I was in this position too my reaction would have been exactly the same as yours about the photographer, and in fact when I see pics of other horrific things in newspapers it is pretty much a “how could they take pics of that rather than do something about it?”

    But, having been in pretty much the exact same position as Nigella (grabbing me by the throat was my husbands control method of choice) if anyone had seen it (he was smarter than Saatchi) I would SO much rather they’d have taken photos than intervened because if they intervened they’d only make him worse and he’d spend the next however many years going on about how much I’d embarassed him and showed him up (oh yes it would be ALL my fault) whereas if they’d taken photos when he was arrested earlier this week he wouldn’t have been able to get off scot free by denying it all because I’d have some evidence! ;o(

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