Twenty Years Ago Today: The Bobbitt Saga

Bobbitt_Uncut Anyone who was around twenty years ago will remember this one: this is about the guy with the funny name whose wife cut off his penis in a moment of what the legal system decided on this day in 1994 was an act of temporary insanity.

And they'll likely recall that after the member was sewn back on, John Bobbitt went on to have a (thankfully brief) career in porn. And then we all rolled our eyes and sighed "only in America..."

But let's switch perspectives for a moment, and look at it from Lorena's side. Her claim was that she had suffered a long history of abuse at the hands of her husband - physical, sexual and mental. He beat her. He stole her money. And he raped her. It was after one such incident that she found could take no more. So she took up a pair of scissors and lopped off his pride and joy.

It's not all that long ago that people didn't think marital rape was actually possible, so you might think that Lorena's claims would be given short shrift in the dark mediaeval world of twenty years ago. But you'd be wrong. This is possibly due to John Bobbitt's extremely poor performance on the witness stand (he contradicted himself and the evidence multiple times), but might just have been a step forward in the perception of domestic abuse as being unacceptable.

But of course all that anyone really remembers is "John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut". Because penises are funny AND THAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

More on the Bobbitts, if you need it...