Savage Love

Sad, Confused, Raw, Amateur Pussy Eater

I read somewhere once that you can get that little flap of skin snipped—I would Google it myself, SCRAPE, but I'm sitting in a bar in Saugatuck, Michigan, helping myself to some of the really terrific margaritas they make at Phil's, a bar that doesn't have internet access. So Google it yourself, okay?

I was appalled by the advice you gave LIFE, the man sleeping with a woman in an abusive marriage. You told him to run, and doubted the woman's claims of abuse, calling them "too perfectly monstrous." My mother and my whole family were abused by my father, and most of the time she wasn't believed. Discrediting the victim by saying she's "lying" probably made all abused women who read your column recall the times they were called liars.

You should not perpetuate the idea that abused women are really lying and that abusive husbands really aren't capable of harming someone that much.


I never intended to deny the reality of domestic violence, R. Too many women are monstrously abused; there was a story last week in the Detroit Free Press about a Michigan man who tore off his wife's right arm. But the refusal to believe any woman's claims of abuse should not, in my opinion, be replaced by a blanket acceptance of any woman's claim of abuse. (If all claims of abuse are to be accepted at face value, why bother with domestic-violence charges or rape trials?) Women should get the benefit of the doubt as their lives—and right arms—may be at stake, but even that posture presupposes the possibility of doubt. That's why I advised LIFE to check out the part of his girlfriend's story that was verifiable: Her claim that her husband had once been prosecuted for rape. If it checks out, that goes a long way toward establishing her credibility. If it doesn't, well, then it doesn't. People do lie, R., as I'm sure you know. And women are people, as I'm sure you'd agree.

A lot of people took issue with my advice for LIFE. To read their responses, go to

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