Hell hath no fury like a woman...

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Carrie Bradshaw Posts: 683
[i:3oynlusd]As Ingrid Tarrant wreaks a very public revenge on her husband, Rowan Pelling salutes the women whose fury is hell for the men who cheated on them We live in an age where William Congreve's famous couplet from The Mourning Bride has never been so frequently proved true: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.'' The sheer reach of modern media, via newspapers, television, radio and the internet, means that aggrieved women now have an unprecedented forum in which to settle scores -- and increasingly they avail themselves of the opportunity. Ingrid Tarrant, who is in the throes of divorce from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire husband Chris following his seven-year affair with teacher Fiona McKechnie, recently vented the full force of her disappointment and spleen in a tabloid newspaper -- thus ensuring that her soon-to-be-former spouse's humiliation was neon-lit over the nation. Like many a wounded wife before her, Ingrid aimed her blows squarely at the goolies. The public learnt that Chris Tarrant was a "clumsy, naive lover'' who often came to bed smelling of fish (it should, perhaps, be pointed out that Tarrant is a keen angler) and took Viagra after suffering bouts of impotence. Her ire was apparently ignited by an earlier newspaper report that had quoted a "pal'' of Tarrant's who said that his infidelity had been prompted by Ingrid's imposing a seven-year sex ban. Not true, raged Ingrid, proving with a few deft sallies that words can be every bit as damaging as GBH: "I did understand that Chris, like all men, needed the physical release. So I always tried to satisfy him in every way I could even when I found myself repulsed by him.'' There will be many who deplore Ingrid Tarrant's outburst for losing all vestiges of dignity. But I can't help wondering how great the consolations of dignity really are when the person you loved most in the world has dumped on you from such a spectacular height. Why should a betrayed wife sit quietly while her wayward husband's behaviour is characterised (usually by the perpetrator himself) as just the sort of thing you should expect from an adulated alpha male? If you read the journalist Rachel Royce's cutting public tirades against her cheating husband, columnist Rod Liddle, you may remember that they were provoked not just by his adultery but by the fact that he cited fornication as an innate human urge. "My thesis,'' he wrote, "is this: almost everybody would be unfaithful if the circumstances were right and a sufficiently alluring opportunity was there and they thought they could get away with it.'' In other words: if you were a tousle-haired media personality and found yourself in close proximity to a gorgeous leggy blonde, you would do it, too. A point that doubtless inflamed the attractive brunette Royce, who had somehow found the will power not to cheat on Liddle. Chris Tarrant has also played the bloke card, even suggesting that he's actually pretty restrained in the face of female admiration. "I tend to go out and have to say, 'Don't be silly, put your knickers back on.''' Yet apart from his affair there were reports of a drunken snog with "a mystery blonde'' in a bar. To which allegation his laddish response was: "I behaved really badly. I mean, boy goes out on night on town and makes complete prat of himself is basically the story.'' In the same vein he called the liaison with McKechnie "not significant'' and suggested that the romance had been blown out of proportion. If I were Ingrid Tarrant, my blood would boil at the suggestion that I should consider a seven-year love affair as insignificant -- never mind what his mistress must have felt at the insult. It is hardly surprising, under the circumstances, that both Ingrid Tarrant and Rachel Royce aimed their responses with telescopic precision at their husbands' supposedly Lothario images. Why should these two exceptionally good-looking females be made to look like withered cast-offs? What could more swiftly annihilate the two men's presumed swaggering virility than the revelation that both had been caught with Viagra? One can only presume that the cathartic effect of revealing this secret to an enthralled world far outweighed any loss of decorum. A more serious criticism is the effect that all this mudslinging must have on a warring couple's children. Nobody can doubt that the fallout must be very distressing indeed. But we should remember that Chris Tarrant in effect dragged his family into the public arena in the first place. Furthermore, Ingrid has stated that it is very distressing for her children to read false reports about their mother in the press without seeing them repudiated. Friends of mine who have been caught in the middle of their parents' acrimonious divorce negotiations say that seeing your mother treated, or behaving, like a doormat, can be extremely damaging in itself. But there's no doubt that those who gain most solace from these public acts of retribution are the large swathes of women who have also suffered cheating partners. Remember how Lady Moon (who prefers to be known as Sally Graham-Moon) became a female icon after snipping a sleeve from each of her philandering husband's 32 Savile Row suits, pouring five litres of white paint over his blue BMW and depositing bottles of his vintage claret on neighbours' doorsteps? She inspired a generation not to get mad when they could get even. Similarly, the inspired appearance of Diana, Princess of Wales at London's Serpentine Gallery in her dazzling little black "revenge dress'' on the evening that Prince Charles admitted to adultery in a television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby was a clarion call to deserted wives to seize the initiative. Likewise Della Bovey, who dolled herself up and danced along to the song I Will Survive on the night she was faced with her estranged husband Grant and his new lover Anthea Turner at a party for the first time. Margaret Cook also became a beacon to downtrodden women when she refused to back into the shadows after being dumped by political committee when Robin Cook's adultery was about to be exposed in the tabloids. There are those who take a more personal, less public revenge, such as rubbing chilli oil on their ex's underpants. It seems to me, though, that the crucial thing in this stirring new female quest for revenge is knowing when to stop. As Sally Graham-Moon said: "I'm not a victim, I moved on.'' Nobody would want to find herself in the dock, as did 24-year-old Amanda Monti in February 2005, after ripping off her former lover's left testicle in a fit of pique. Monti said: "I have challenged myself to explain what has happened but still I just cannot remember. This has caused much anguish to me and will do for the rest of my life.'' Amanda Monti's case serves as a timely reminder to all avenging angels: act in haste, repent at leisure. [/i:3oynlusd]
clucky Posts: 26471
[quote:fmhc14xr]Nobody would want to find herself in the dock, as did 24-year-old Amanda Monti in February 2005, after ripping off her former lover's left testicle in a fit of pique. [/quote:fmhc14xr] ouch!!!
Carrie Bradshaw Posts: 683
[quote:3p29jq1o]There are those who take a more personal, less public revenge, such as rubbing chilli oil on their ex's underpants.[/quote:3p29jq1o] ouch as well!!! :ooh
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