I just can’t seem to get enough of Barbara Kay. So often she seems to hit the nail on the head, whatever her subject. This article is no exception (National Post, 11/17/10). It seems that Barrie, Ontario resident Elaine Campione drowned her two daughters, Serena, 3 and Sophia, 1, in the bathtub. She confessed all to police and told them that her motivation was “hatred for and revenge against” her ex-husband, Leo. So, back in November, a jury convicted her of first-degree murder. She’s now looking at 25 years behind bars. So, what’s so unusual about that other than the horrific nature of her crime? Well, what’s so unusual is the conduct of the trial judge Alfred Stong post-verdict.
He said, “It is more than disconcerting to think that if Campione had not been so abused, so used and discarded as a person, her two daughters could still be alive…’ Judge Stong was determined that even if it is Campione that gets locked up, Canadians would know that the real villain, morally speaking, is Leo Campione, the father of the dead girls (even though his alleged abusiveness was entirely based on his wife”s allegations and never proved), and it is actually the “discarded’ Elaine Campione who is the victim.
Judge Stong felt such personal animus against the grieving father that he wanted to deny Mr. Campione and his parents their opportunity to read a victim-impact statement, standard practice even with mandatory- sentencing cases. He only relented under strong pressure from the prosecutor, who reminded the judge that the murdered girls had been “an extremely important part of [Mr. Campione’s] life.’
The judge”s attitude is shameful. But what can you expect from someone who has been trained – literally, judges take structured learning programs steeped in feminist myths and misandric conspiracy theories – that women are never abusive or violent unless they have been driven to it by an abusive male. Judge Stong just could not get it into his head – he alluded to the “unimaginable facts of this case’ – that a woman could kill her children without a motivation involving a controlling male that somehow drove her to the act.
What had Leo Campione done that was so heinous as to force his wife to destroy their two little girls? Apparently he’d divorced her. She claimed some non-specific form of abuse, but no evidence beyond her word was ever produced to back up her claims. And yet that was all Judge Stong needed to all but convict, not the girls’ admitted killer, but their distraught father. The only thing more remarkable than this judge’s hatred for his own sex is how prevalent his attitude is. As Kay points out, it’s literally taught to judges, but my guess is that’s overkill; my guess is that they’d learn it without being formally taught. That’s because the notion that women are witless tools of men is all around us. Some days we breathe it like air. Much of our concept of domestic violence (of which Judge Stong’s attitude is but one tiny offshoot) is based on exactly that. According to that concept, men are taught from an early age to be violent toward women and to do so to control them; men’s violence toward women is winked at and “flies under the radar” of public policy and comment; women aren’t violent toward men, or, if they are, it’s OK because of the men’s bad behavior; therefore women who are violent need not be treated or punished for their behavior, but men, whether violent or not, must be. So police are taught to arrest the man when there’s a DV complaint irrespective of the facts of the case. Now, next to none of that reflects the actual realities of domestic violence. What it reflects is the reality of radical feminist ideology about the sexes – that women don’t harm men or children. You can read that any day of the week several times a day. And what the Campione case shows, as have many others, is that that ideology, so divorced from known facts and rationality, has consequences. Of course the intention behind the ideology was that it have consequences for men. Those radical feminists have never made a secret of their desire to get as many men as possible separated from their wives, lovers and children and into prison if at all possible. Whatever you may think of those motivations, the Campione case shows the even darker side of society’s dogged determination to excuse female violence. Leo Campione is, after all, alive; it’s his kids who aren’t. You see, Elaine Campione and her dangerous personality were well known to child welfare agencies, but they deemed her a “safe parent” anyway and two small children paid the ultimate price. In the United States, mothers do twice as much abuse and neglect of children each year as do fathers. Those figures from the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services remain the same year after year. But when fathers’ rights advocates try to get even a semblance of equality in parenting time, they’re met with the cry “fathers are violent” from the anti-father crowd. That claim is then dutifully swallowed hook, line and sinker by policy-makers. You can’t make this stuff up. Truly you can’t. Kay adds,
Everyone involved in this fiasco should be locked up in a room and forced to review the case of Zachary Turner, the thirteen-month old baby who was drugged and drowned in Newfoundland in 2003 by his psychotic mother, Shirley, while she was out on bail for the third time on charges of murdering Zachary”s father. And after that forced to review the case of Toronto baby Jordan Heikamp, who in 2001 was starved to death by his mother under the blind eyes of the Catholic Children”s Aid Society (no jail time) and Toronto baby Sara Cao, abused to death in 2001 by her mother Elizabeth. Christie Blatchford, who covered that case, said the mother (again no jail time) “was treated by the system, and in the main by the media, as a pitiful [woman], worthy of sympathy…’ Little Sophia and Serena Campione did not have to die. They were allowed to die because of a belief system that denies the truth of human nature. Both men and women are capable of aggression.
Best interests of the child? Ha!