Mark Lundy has had his conviction overturned at the Privy Council. I must say, ever since I read the North and South article about the Lundy case I have been doubtful of the conviction. The short time he had to commit the murders, the doubtful use of DNA in relation to identifying brain tissue on his clothes, the bizarre recollections of witnesses. All very strange.
Yet, as the verdict came out, I saw a storm of outrage against the judgement. People railed that it is a “sad day for preventing family violence,” what about his “ridiculous overacting”, that he is a “creep”, that he is a “pervert”, “he did it, he did it” and “oh God, no.” All of these quotes and the majority of those enraged are women.
Let me say at the outset: Mark Lundy may go back to court for his retrial, be found guilty of the murders, and be sentenced again. I am not sure of his innocence nor his guilt, because I wasn’t at the trial and I am not stupid enough to think the above North and South article provided me with all the evidence without fear or favour.
However, what I really want to talk about is the reaction of some women on social media. Perhaps their reaction is because they were at the trial and have investigated all the evidence to their own satisfaction. But I doubt it. Most of this reaction is because Mark Lundy was having intercourse with a prostitute around about the time that his wife and child were being murdered by tomahawk.
That he visited prostitutes is low. He broke trust with his wife and their marriage relationship and put her at the very real risk of contracting STIs that could have had lifelong impacts. That he tried to hide these details shows he is a coward. That he threw himself around in front of the church during the funeral in a most unseemly fashion suggests he is emotionally stunted and not able to express his emotions in a functional manner. But none of them are material as to whether he killed his wife and daughter.
Yet, they are material details in the judgement of said commentators. Because they prove he is a bad man. In my friendships, I have noticed that a few of my married friends live under the expectations of women, wives and partners who have a division between good men and bad men. It is often related to sexuality and sexual practice. These men, if I have the privilege of getting to this depth of connection, are deeply afraid that their emotional and sexual darkness and fantasy will be uncovered and the person they value the most in the world will see that they are a bad man. This expectation causes even men of integrity and high character to find strategies that are close to lying, at least obfuscation, and certainly keep their loved one at arms length from their Id, their soul, their wairua.
There are no bad men. There are no good men. There are only good/bad men: Men who have experimented and wrestled with pornography (I know two men who have never used pornography in my 37 years); men who have tried to (and in some cases succeeded) enter into relationships with women (and men) with open hearts and respectful minds .
Men who have had sexual fantasies of domination and control over another person; men who are good listeners, try to ensure their partner is have a good time in their love making, and feel whole in the embrace of their one love (or more; some people have complicated polyamorous relationships).
Men who have talked trash with their friends about women, said degrading things, shown all the insight of a critic of the Suffragettes in the 1880s; men who have written letters, made complaints, marched, worn t-shirts, raised daughters in the hope of advancing womens’ human rights and bringing the visions of feminism to life.
Good men are also bad men. It is possible that Mark Lundy genuinely loved his wife and child. That he was a good father and an attentive husband. He could have been that person, and visited prostitutes. He may be innocent of the murders even though he visited prostitutes. There are only good/bad men.
To the partners and people seeking partners out there: if you cannot allow yourself to countenance that, then the good man you are with has things he will not be telling you. Fantasies, fears, hates that are dark and unpalatable. But what you don’t understand is that he has danced with his light and dark to create this good man you see today. And what a tragedy if you never saw him dance. Like going to an opera, and you never saw the weeping, the tragedy, the betrayal, only the soaring triumph at the end.
If you want to change that, you will need to assure him that you are alright with talking about his darkness. That you want to know it because you trust that is not all that he is. That you love him. You need to find a way past his Ego to get to his Id. And the first steps on that path is taking down your own fears and hates and misguided hero worship of this man who is just a man. A good/bad man.
We are not all Mark Lundy. I’d dispute the radical feminist statement that all men are rapists. Be we all have the capacity for the most heinous of crimes and horrors. Consider the conduct of men in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor, Bougainville, Somalia…. these same men are now at home as fathers and husbands.
Don’t freak out! We are not all one car trip away from killing someone dear and near. But you make us safer, better, and aim higher when you embrace us as complete men.