I was just on the Radio-Canada website, and read as well as heard an interview with Guy Turcotte’s spouse about her estranged husband’s verdict of non-criminal responsibility in the deaths of his two children, which she and some other Québecers are currently contesting.

In the interview Mrs. Isabelle Gaston argues that Mr. Turcotte, being a Doctor, could’ve and should’ve been able to simply reach out and ask any of his colleagues for help, and help would’ve been offered. She made it sound so simple that it was obvious she didn’t get it.

Now don’t get me wrong. Guy Turcotte is a very disturbed man. What he did was terrible, but not unforgivable. Worse things have occurred in times of war as well as peace. Mr. Turcotte needs to spend some quality time in a psychiatric institution to receive quality treatment and therapy so as to get him to heal the deep disturbances within his being which drove him to commit such an act.

But let’s look at the context within which men such as Guy Turcotte currently live. Generally they live in a society which is increasingly dominated by women, and, let’s face it, sometimes overtly hostile to men and all that they stand for, and have stood for in the past. Men Guy Turcotte’s age grew up with lots of pressure brought to bear on them from all quarters: The pressure to perform well in school, in a competitive environment with lots of competition from very bright and upwardly-mobile girls who made no bones about doing better than the boys. The pressure to do one better than their father did, and to at the very least replicate, and hopefully improve their socio-economic status in the community from what their parents knew. It was expected of them to nevertheless be gallant, noble, deferential to girls and women in many circumstances, even as their female peers actively sought to overtake them in the fields of academics and professional life. They were nevertheless still expected to be virile and masculine when it came time to play sports and to court a potential mate, and to have the patience of a saint in their newly-acquired roles as super Dads to their ‘enfant roi’ children, whom they were supposed to be there for and present with fully, unlike their fathers and grandfathers before them, who’d been absent due to the imperatives of doing such soul-destroying things as going to New-England or Ontario to chop wood during the winter.

Now they were being expected to do it all: Be super Dad, have the high-pressure professional career and be patient, consensual, moderate, considerate, caring etc with their colleagues, their kids, as well as their spouse, who now expected that hubby bend to her demands for concessions regarding everything under the sun from where the couple was to live, to where the kids were to go to school, to camp, or how often they were going to ‘do it’, if at all.
Personally, I think this is the main reason why some men like Guy Turcotte just snap, and do something completely haywire. Apparently, Mr. Turcotte was having issues with his sexuality, and was viewing gay porn at one point. Perhaps he was having problems discerning an alternative sexual orientation. He also apparently went completely beserk when he saw his children in the company of his estranged wife’s new boyfriend, and saw his status as ‘Daddy’ being usurped, and saw himself as a man being spurned by his now estranged wife.

All these things, combined with the stresses of work, and all of the other factors previously mentioned, I feel conspired to make him go off his rocker. He and many others like him. The men of this world are in grave crisis. They’re not being supported properly by the system. Men themselves are not stepping forward to help other men. Mostly, though, our society hasn’t yet seen fit to conceive a coherent policy which is focused on families.

The problem that we face currently is that we have a very powerful and well-financed and organized ‘women’s’ lobby and ‘homosexual’ lobby, and to a lesser degree a ‘mental health’ lobby, and ‘children’s’ lobby, but nobody to speak for families. The family is the basic unit of measure of our society, be it nuclear, reconstituted, same sex, or extended. We need a coherent policy at the federal level that speaks to these concerns, and helps men, women and children cope with the work-life balance issues that people face in today’s post-modern world.

Otherwise, there will continue to be more Guy Turcottes, and more people scratching their heads, or worse carrying signs in front of the courthouse.

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