If women were human, no one would read books about serial killers.

28 Jan

If people were capable of viewing women as human beings, their murders would not evoke prurient fascination and bolster book sales. Big “if,” I know.

After reading an excellent post at The F Word yesterday related to a serial killer whose existence I was theretofore unaware of, I made the foolish decision to google the Robert Pickton case to learn more about it. In the first page of results I came across a collection of salacious accounts of a man raping, killing, and dismembering prostituted women and feeding their body parts to the pigs on his farm (and, possibly, to other humans, as some accounts claim he mixed the dead women’s flesh with pork and served it to those who visited the farm).

The public just loves serial killers, and this case had all of the elements that make for the kind of serial killer story a misogynistic society can really get down with. First — and most telling — the victims were nearly all prostitutes, many of whom are said to have had drug problems. That element is mentioned early in every account of the case in order to assure the reader that he or she may proceed to revel in maximum prurience without any feelings of fear or guilt, because everyone knows that prostituted women with drug problems are about as worthless as anyone can get and deserved to be raped and murdered. With that concern out of the way, the authors of the stories delve into the gory details of what they choose to pretend was a bizarre aberration, treating the salivating reader to the fine points of how Pickton lured, trapped, brutalized, raped, and murdered up to 49 female human beings.

Each account that I read made mention of Pickton’s farm, the Piggy Palace, where he held parties that hundreds of people attended. They also mention Pickton’s 1997 arrest for the attempted murder of  a woman who escaped after Pickton handcuffed and stabbed her, and of the many times police visited Pickford’s farm on the suspicion that he was connected to a growing list of missing women. Despite those visits and several searches of the farm, Pickton managed to murder several more women before being caught in 2002. Each of the stories also mentioned that, though he had only been convicted of killing six women, police were aware that the number of women Pickton had murdered was likely 49. They were aware of that number because Pickton admitted to an undercover cop posing as a cell mate that he had killed 49 women and wished he could have had the chance to kill one more to make it an even 50.

It doesn’t take a philologist to understand the underlying messages glossed over in the reporting on this and other serial killer cases. Pickton felt comfortable enough to admit to a near stranger that he had killed 49 human beings, which means two things. First, he had to have disclosed his activities to several people with whom he had closer relationships prior to having been caught, and none of those people came forward. Second, he was so secure in the knowledge that other men hate women as much as he does that he didn’t expect his new “cell mate” to blink when he admitted to 43 murders he had not yet been charged with. Then there is the fact that scores of bands played and hundreds of men partied at Pickton’s farm, many of whom recalled later having witnessed violent scenes involving prostituted women and deeming the place creepy. One dude who frequented the farm reported to police that there were purses and women’s IDs all over the place, but that information resulted in a search that — either because Pickton was coincidentally slightly less secure and careless in his assumption that everyone would overlook his murdering prostituted women on that day or because the police did a half-assed job (likely both) — turned up nothing that would put a stop to Pickton’s activities. In short, the hundreds of men who had the chance to didn’t care enough about prostituted women to bother putting forth a smidgen of effort to prevent them from being raped and murdered.

There are marathons of biographies of serial killers on television nearly constantly, and books written about serial killers perennially occupy the upper reaches of bestseller lists. People revel in serial killer stories because serial killers generally tend to kill women, and the culture is so desensitized to the murder of women that it can be taken as pure entertainment, especially when those women are prostitutes. Prostitutes, in the fictional account of their existence provided by libertarian, individualistic, boot-strap ideology, became prostitutes out of some moral failing of their own, and thus deserve far less sympathy and police resources than other women (whose murders are still entertaining, though slightly scarier — to women).

Serial killers take revenge on women on behalf of misogynistic society for rejecting men and for straying outside the boundaries of acceptable behavior, and they scare other women back into line by doing so. Serial killers punish prostitutes for being prostitutes — despite the fact that their being prostituted in the first place is already usually punishment for their having been born poor or having been victims of abuse — and everyone but prostitutes and feminists seems to find that acceptable. Societal obsession with men who compulsively murder women and the fact that no one seems all that interested in the thoughts of men who routinely shoot other men indicate that the fascination comes not from the purportedly bizarre landscape of serial killers’ psyches, but from the fact that they are murdering women. What is interesting about serial killers and the cultural enthrallment with them is not how aberrant their psychology is, but how banal and pedestrian their hatred of women is. An obsession with serial killers might go really well with the general thoughtless consumption of macabre bullshit like Norwegian death metal and horror movies, but it does not indicate anything about the obsessor other than that he has mistakenly come to believe that men who sexualize violence by murdering women are doing anything but reflecting the logical conclusion of mainstream societal misogyny.

41 Responses to “If women were human, no one would read books about serial killers.”

  1. Sarah January 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM #

    I don’t think that’s the only reason people read about serial killers. There’s many reasons. Some people like to be scared, some people enjoy reading about history, some people are just fascinated by disturbing people, some people study serial killers because it’s their job to hunt serial killers, or because they’re writing an article or a thesis and they need to research serial killers.
    And not all serial killers go after prostitutes, women, or female prostitutes.

    There is a big problem with society though, when so many serial killers specifically target female prostitutes because they know that those women “won’t be missed” and their deaths will be ignored, dismissed, or that people will think the women “deserved” being murdered because of their profession.

  2. neus January 28, 2012 at 6:35 PM #

    I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where in 2002, there were two serial killers whose killing grounds crossed paths. Derrick Todd Lee and Sean Vincent Gillis. I followed the cases quite closely- one reason is that I was a criminology major, i needed to keep close female friends in tune because some weren’t paying that much attention and one of the victims was found behind my grandmothers house, which of course scared the fuck out of me. Many of Gillis’ victims were prostitutes and I’m sure that the police department took a long time to find him because the women were prostitutes. After the capture of both these assholes, another body was found in a park in a predominantly poor, black neighborhood and the woman was a prostitute and since everyone was relieved with the capture of Derrick Todd Lee b/c he killed college women and single women, i don’t think the public even paid attention to the fact that there was ( and still is ) possibly a third serial killer out there.

  3. elaine January 28, 2012 at 7:36 PM #

    Interestingly, serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s profile matches in many respects that of Pickford’s…many murders, many people later admitting to the authorities that something seemed, you know, well–*wrong* about the guy. The signal difference being that Gacy’s victims were all young men, almost uniformly young male hustlers (Gacy didn’t start coming under real suspicion until some of his victims started becoming young boys from stable home backgrounds. Like Pickford’s female prostitutes, the earlier victims were essentially ‘throwaways’ whom no one was apparently much concerned about).

    I totally agree with your take on the idea of titllation and exploitative thrill i
    nvolved in the specific obsession with prostituted women, Nine. But I think there’s an underlying social dynamic going on here that Gacy’s story pointed up so sadly–
    the subculture of supposedly ‘ disposable humans’ , female and male whose existence much of the sex industry relies upon and whose ‘disposability’ in their role of social waste product very few among the general ge

    ,

    that the whole sex industry relies upon, and that the surrounding society takes for granted as being an utterly expected and acceptable

  4. Hecate January 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

    Strangely, when I lived in Italy, one of the favorite swear words, especially of men, was ‘porca puttana eva.’ Something to the effect of ‘filthy, porky whore Eve.’ Lovely, isn’t it? Yes, just put it all on Eve, as usual.

    It saddens me when prostitutes are targeted by serial killers, and it’s sadder still that they are not seen as human beings when they are murdered. Many fall into prostitution as a last resort. It doesn’t make them untouchable or unconnected to ‘ordinary’ folk. Some johns even go so far as to define ‘regular’ women as ‘civilians,’ to differentiate them from the ‘wicked’ women involved in the sex trade. Again, the entire burden falls on prostituted women to remain outsiders. Actually, now I think of it, ‘civilian’ is an awkward, militant designation.

    I wish that when a prostituted woman is murdered, we could get more details from the media as to who she was. There’s no reason not to, once a case is resolved. ‘Civilian’ women have the benefit of their identity being known when they pass (for whatever reason). And it would help everyone to see a prostituted woman as more human than ‘filthy pig whore’ or what have you. They were never anything less than human beings to me, that’s for sure. They deserve security and comfort like all the rest of us on this sad little planet.

  5. liz January 28, 2012 at 7:47 PM #

    It’s interesting how we’re dealing with a mental disease, a meme really… it’s fascination with the manifestations (prostitution, rape, murder of females) of something totally dead and boring (males + their hatred of women)… if thought of as a disease, the cure may be treating it as what it is: boring. males really are looking for a reaction, positive or negative. to treat them with total neutrality terrifies most of them, however subtly. you can see it in their eyeessssss

  6. Fede January 28, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

    I feel a little downhearted seeing that in the first few comments to this post, there are already instances of both
    “there can be other motivations for being fascinated with serial killers than cheap titillation!”
    and
    “men can be treated as disposable, too!”

    Ugh.

    No one said otherwise. Indeed, it is always possible to point to very true exceptions – doesn’t mean that it’s relevant. Nine Deuce is right about the rule. Can we talk about the rule now?

  7. gracemargaret January 29, 2012 at 2:19 AM #

    It’s a running joke in society. There was a “Family Guy” episode where someone murdered a hooker then the characters gave a mock PSA at the end of the show about how it’s wrong to kill prostitutes because they’re alread dead inside anyway. There is a also a “Dead Hooker” page on facebook. Some posts: “What is the difference between an onion and a dead hooker? I cried when I cut up the onion.”
    “It is truly a pet peeve of mine to watch porn and see the girl smile. Stop smiling. Actually, for once, please cry…”

    “The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition” was a title of a “Big Bang Theory” episode a few years ago. Har har.

  8. isme January 29, 2012 at 4:07 AM #

    There’s a bizarre sort of sick titillation associated with serial killers, they are afforded some sort of strange celebrity status. It probably helps that there’s this fixation on prostitutes as well, people want to hear about them, the better to look down on them.

    Oh, there’s outrage, of a sort, at the terrible crimes committed against prostitutes, but it’s the sort of cosy outrage the public always wants more of.

    It also helps that having the victims be prostitutes mean you can have terrible crimes, but at the same time they remain safely victimless. It’s nice and safe, nobody worth caring about gets hurt. You especially see that if a victim who is a “nice, respectable lady” ends up getting murdered, at which point suddenly it’s a serious issue. Certainly, I don’t wish to downplay what’s a terrible crime, but it’s no worse than the murder before, surely?

    (Not wanting to derail the topic, but I HATE the way TV seems flooded with shows glamourising violent criminals in general.)

  9. maggie January 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM #

    When depicted on celluloid, these women who are killed are usually seen as jacking off dude beforehand, downing a bottle of vodka and then seen as whimpering in a sweaty see through vest and knickers. Snot coming down from nose is also an imperative.

    Women as a sex class aren’t seen as human, and when they behave like human beings they are accused of being too masculine. Prostitutes are viewed by the patriarchy as having no purpose beyond servicing the male. They are viewed as fuck toilets. Objects.

    Brilliant post ND and I also recommend that you check out The F Word link as well.

  10. maggie January 29, 2012 at 10:46 AM #

    Re checking out the F Word post: Not you ND but those reading the comments. My bad.

  11. Sam Berg January 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM #

    isme wrote, “It also helps that having the victims be prostitutes mean you can have terrible crimes, but at the same time they remain safely victimless.”

    That dovetails nicely with my theory on the rise of zombie fandom since 2002 (“28 Days Later” and “Resident Evil”), the stoked gratification in killing people who don’t count as people.

  12. lizor January 29, 2012 at 11:55 AM #

    I used to watch crime shows, the vast majority of which feature a mostly-naked dead/carved-up co-ed in a “sexy” pose as the central plot motive. Nine times out of ten, when the dude finally admits to the rape-murder, his motive was “She laughed at me”.

    The Pickton case has the added layer that many/most of his victims were aboriginal women – which is a whole other level of “disposability” in our racist country.

  13. blue January 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM #

    and which gender by far reads this genre the most? oh yeah, women. darn patriarchy shoving those books in our faces :(

  14. womononajourney January 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM #

    Great post.

    Another point is that serial killer movies/tv shows desensitize both men and women to male violence against women.

    During all the hub-ub about sl*twalk, someone mentioned that research has been done showing that in slasher flicks the “slut” is targeted in a specific and special way.

    I must say, I cannot imagine being a prostituted, or exited prostituted woman, and watching tv today. The jokes about so-called “whores” are constant.

    As if that’s not all bad enough, in just about every movie, women are shown using our sexuality as a way to manipulate men. But that could be yet another post in itself! :P

  15. isme January 30, 2012 at 4:19 AM #

    “That dovetails nicely with my theory on the rise of zombie fandom since 2002 (“28 Days Later” and “Resident Evil”), the stoked gratification in killing people who don’t count as people.”

    Well, there’s more to it than that, but it certainly is part of the appeal. Same reason as why the bad guys in movies tend to wear identical uniforms and full face helmets, to conceal their humanity.

    “I used to watch crime shows, the vast majority of which feature a mostly-naked dead/carved-up co-ed in a “sexy” pose as the central plot motive. Nine times out of ten, when the dude finally admits to the rape-murder, his motive was “She laughed at me”.”

    Argh, yes. Ok, yeah, there’d be legitimate reasons for doing that story once or twice well, but not over and over the same way, except for new exciting murder methods and poses.

  16. gretcheneade January 30, 2012 at 8:59 AM #

    This reminds me of that awful torture porn apologist coverage of the John Hauff case in the Seattle Weekly, it was the biggest pile of sensationalist crap i’ve ever read. Couldn’t help but feeling the author of it was getting off on recounting the tale of the torture endured by a kidnapped prostitute. Skin-crawls galore.

  17. finmagik January 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM #

    I like true crime for the opposite reason. I never see the victims as disposable, I see the killers as monsters who strip their victims of humanity. No one ever mentions that nearly all of Jack the Ripper’s victims were also mothers. The chilling and terrible inhumanity towards a person’s human beings: Men, women, children. Always makes me sick inside and I have to see why they do it. I wrote a horror piece where the victims come back as sentient zombies and rip their killer limb from limb after telling him their life story. The BTK killer and The Green River killer were the worst. Also Dahmer, To me it’s not about men who kill hookers, it’a about people who strip others of their humanity in order to kill them, because they themselves are not human inside.

    • Nine Deuce January 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM #

      You seem to be trying really hard not to take the next logical step, which is connecting dehumanization with male supremacy.

  18. gracemargaret January 30, 2012 at 10:42 PM #

    @blue
    “and which gender by far reads this genre the most? oh yeah, women. darn”
    Right.
    Care to back up that with actual facts?

  19. Bore February 3, 2012 at 5:26 PM #

    Nice new format.

    I see Gacy has already been mentioned, I think he’s a counterpoint to your argument about why people revel in it (as I read it, anyway, sorry if I misconstrued).

    My mum does this sort of thing all the time: if there’s a gory story or whatever you’re sure to hear about it from her. I’d suggest it’s mostly about the horror of it

    Speaking of which, there’s plenty of black metal and horror which isn’t mediocre…There’s a lot of it that is, but there are very few genres where that isn’t true. Let The Right One In and Satyricon come to mind.

    Beyond that: I think you’re being a little off, here. Serial killer fandom is the kind of stuff you can see the appeal of in bookshops like Waterstones, over here, with a hefty set of shelves. Also, similar sales techniques to the “Abusive childhood” genre, I always thought…Although in their case instead of some pale faced shade which is all eyes, it’s a “cold” death stare mugshot. You can read articles about it in any newspaper from the tabloids through to magazines in The Times or Guardian (I believe the same’s equivalently true in America).

    You’re entirely right that a lot of this flirtation with respectability almost certainly comes from the victims being not “respectable” people, though.

  20. Bore February 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM #

    Sorry, my third paragraph was a little unclear…I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like, then forgot to put it in. Basically:

    A lot of this is to do with the spectacle, and the grotesque, and deviancy. Serial killer stories are part of a wider set of narratives about horrible things happening to people. You can read every day in newspapers about things like buckets falling on people’s heads, people jumping out of windows, animals savaging people…On some level it doesn’t matter who the victim is, or exactly what happens, as long as something horrible has happened, it’s interesting.

    Obviously serial killers aren’t an undifferentiated part of that, because it’s murder rather than mishap, but a significant chunk of their appeal seems to come from that; rather than from misogyny or armchair psychology, or whatever. People just seem to enjoy reading about nasty things happening to other people.

    • Nine Deuce February 4, 2012 at 2:54 AM #

      Yeah, but people particularly love reading about bad things happening to women. Because everyone hates women.

  21. lizor February 4, 2012 at 8:04 AM #

    “people particularly love reading about bad things happening to women. Because everyone hates women.”

    And also because bad things happening to women is sexxay. In fact, it’s not just sexxay, it IS sex.

  22. Bore February 4, 2012 at 6:44 PM #

    I guess a lot of the attention Gacy got came from him dressing up as a clown.

  23. Angiportus February 5, 2012 at 12:01 PM #

    Good post and thread, confirming my own theory about the appeal of zombies.
    I must be unusual in this culture because I don’t like reading about or watching violence, abuse, misfortune and so on. Never got used to it and don’t plan to.
    I have at times thought that sickos who like to kill people would find male druggies and winos just as easy prey as prostitutes would be, so the disproportionate number of the latter getting killed must indeed reflect some misogynist garbage floating around.

  24. MM February 5, 2012 at 2:34 PM #

    One quick correction: it’s Pickton, not Pickford. I live in Vancouver and I know people who went to his parties and thought he was just a nice guy in the neighbourhood. It’s terrifying stuff, made even more awful by the fact that the police were incredibly slow to investigate when the evidence was right in front of them. (I guess even in a liberal city, women’s lives are less important than busting pot grow-ops.)

    Your point about serial killers and the macabre is really, really compelling. As a gothy teenager, my friend circles growing up were into horror films and serial killers. We always figured it was because we were interested in humanity’s “dark side.” I do think that evil is interesting, and that it’s not evil to think so, anymore than one becomes a Nazi by watching the History Channel. But as you’ve pointed out there’s a definite cultural fascination with violence against women that can’t be ignored. Films like “Suspiria” wouldn’t work if they showed men being murdered artfully. They’re playing on undercurrents of misogyny.

    • Nine Deuce February 5, 2012 at 5:37 PM #

      Yikes, thanks for that. I wrote this quickly and probably wrote in the name Pickford because I had never heard the name Pickton before and was probably not being careful enough.

      • Silent Agony (@DiscordantFlesh) February 23, 2013 at 9:19 PM #

        I’m scared because I live in Canada what if I ate dead women pork? :O I cant think of anything more terrifying like feeding a woman to pigs like she was feed. I dont know how people can find this anything other than scary. As for your comment on Norwegian death metal I am a feminist who likes extreme metal but I like it for its complexity and intensity I mostly cant understand the lyrics anyways and dont always look them up.

  25. Emilybites February 6, 2012 at 7:53 AM #

    Nice to have you posting again, ND.

  26. skeptifem February 7, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

    I don’t think this is entirely true. People are interested in the most horrible, diseased parts of the human psyche, and how they get that way. I have read true crime for as long as I can remember, and it doesn’t seem like male victims are afforded noticably different treatment. The focus has always seemed to be on what killers think/feel when they kill or torture. Most true crime fans I know have a serious interest in psychology or sociology and read these stories because of the insight they provide into abnormal, anti-social behaviors.

  27. RadFemPornBasher February 9, 2012 at 2:29 PM #

    I haven’t read more than the first few posts and became too angry to read on.

    This post is about serial killers killing marginized people, the killers being so overwhelmingly MALE and the victims being overwhelmingly FEMALES. And how prostituted women are so often the victims of the murderer.

    I don’t *care* if this frakking male supremacist killed a man or two because, again, we are talking marginalized men who are often at least *feminized* in the minds of the murderers- who may be chosen by not only that marginalized status, but as considered as worthless as women are; aboriginal, prostituted men or males who are seen as weak or helpless- like women in their minds.

    A rad fem blog taken over by *what about– the poor menz!!* in comments. Sad times, that.

    I wish to say that I DO care about men killed by serial killers, of course, but the point of this post wasn’t how sick those individual murderers are, but about how we’ve all become inured by the constant steam of accusations of male bashing, appeals that stripping down and sucking are *empowering* and oh, so feminist, our media in general and, yeah, as Andrea Dworkin pointed out: hearing about women raped *turns them into pornography* in the minds of others. In other words yeah, they’re getting off on reading and writing about it.

    Men… Who still want to masturbate to watching women submissive and jumping through their sick little hoops.

  28. LyssatakeaBow February 9, 2012 at 5:34 PM #

    great post and i know what you mean. I had a friend use a photo of Ted Bundy as a facebook profile and i commented something like “that is pretty offensive dude” and in return got back strangers calling me an arrogant feminist that should be killed by a serial killer (yeah the 2nd half was a “joke” i’m sure but you know). That said can’t say I haven’t read some serial killer books myself in the past, they are still interesting, but my perspective has changed. With the Ted Bundy thing specifically I lived in Olympia, WA one of the areas he did and a young woman basically exactly my description/going to the school i attended was one of his victims maybe that makes it seem a little more real. Also I’m shocked at how little the current case of the Long Island serial killer gets mentioned in the news etc, i hardly ever hear anything about it, I know the answer though is simple and that it’s cause he’s killing prostitutes and no one cares about prostitutes. It’s awful. I lived in Portland, ME til fairly recently too and one of the victims was from there and usually Maine is small enough when a young person dies in an extraordinary circumstance it is remembered but that story just came and went like nothing (she was 22). Also most of these women are advertising on craigslist these days not that that makes any difference in how a prostitute SHOULD be viewed but can’t people see someone advertising for work on craigslist as just like themselves these days? not some weird non-human thats different from them who hangs out on corners. Once again not that it SHOULD make a difference but I get so surprised at this fictional view of prostitution that people just can’t break out of it to the point where they don’t think it’s the same as they get killed as someone else.

  29. Alina February 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM #

    Loved this post, coincidentally enough thats something I have been researching myself in the past months. I have had an interest in serial killers and morbid things as of lately. I came across a serial killer site, where they do pretty much idolize the sk, but they also condemn them. What stuck out for me is, that there were often people making a point like “but he also killed children” so therefor he is a monster, i.e him just killing and raping women wasnt enough. Comments like this are very common, if he killed a woman yeah he is sick blah blah.. if he killed a child then he is a monster and ther real outrage starts.

    Furthermore, I have come across a site who I think finds dismembered dead naked women appealing there was not only a video of a dead girl in some Eastern Europian suburb, but also alot of pictures of dead women. Now one could say that nowadays you find literally anything on the net and it is true, but this site and the comments to dead women are not as rare as one would expect. The comments on the images of the dead women, often wehre something like ” I would” or “great ass” or the finder of the body was lucky etc…. I think that alot of comments are purely for reactionary reasons but not all. On the same site there are also several anime pictures of dead, often dismembered naked women in a sexual way….its a whole thing, I think its called guro or something like that. So basically there is a whole niche dedicated to naked, dismembered dead women. I was yet again shocked by what the abyss of the net had in for me.

    I will say this tho, there is also a fascination with Gacy and he mostly killed men. But I do agree with the fact that people are desensitized to women being killed and for someone to be despised by everyone he needs to kill some kids and men killing women doesnt do it nomore….

    As for them killing prostitutes because they hate them, even tho it is the men who themselfs are responsible for prostitution demand suppy. I mean really not many people believe this at all, I have approached the same issue with porn and I have been shut down by other women claiming that I portray women as helpless and that they dont know what they are doing. It is hard to make people understand things when the mainstream is telling them something else. The hate of prostitutes is basically slut shaming. But another reason why so many prostitues are killed, I think is also because it is easier to get a prostitute to come with you then a non-prostitute.

    One big problem is females who conform to male ideals in order to fit more in, or be more liked, I see this a fucking lot and also all the women who feel the need to emphasize how much they “hate the feminists of today”…..god Im so sick of it. We women are brought up and indoctrinated to go against our best interests, wtf why does this work so well???

  30. CPB February 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM #

    Great discussion. I’m wondering what everyone thinks of the latest string of men killing women novels “The Girl with the…..” by Stieg Larsson, self proclaimed male feminist. I read the first book and couldn’t even bring myself to read the second or third, or even see the movie. Obviously this guy has figured out the bestselling formula: “violence + women = $$$”. Calling yourself a feminist is a great way to cover your ass, though.

    Also, men who kill women are talked about but never placed on that ‘legendary’ pedestal. Just tune into an episode of any crime show lately, or even Family Guy, and behold all of the gruesome violence and deaths the female characters endure; plenty of evidence male authors and screenwriters have issues with women there…..

  31. Alina February 27, 2012 at 4:23 PM #

    @CPB I will say this the original swedish movie was called “Men who hate Women”. Also I liked that it was Lisbeth who started the sex with the guy but other then that there was alot of nudity more femlae then male….

  32. erin March 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM #

    I think if women were the majority readers of books about serial killers it would be becasue these men who murder, rape and torture women are acknowlwdged as bad. Whereas most of the time exscuses are made for men and the women are blamed for putting themselves in a sitaution where it could happen instead of blaming the guy for his actions.

  33. Aileen Wuornos March 21, 2012 at 5:51 AM #

    “Great discussion. I’m wondering what everyone thinks of the latest string of men killing women novels “The Girl with the…..” by Stieg Larsson, self proclaimed male feminist. I read the first book and couldn’t even bring myself to read the second or third, or even see the movie. Obviously this guy has figured out the bestselling formula: “violence + women = $$$”. Calling yourself a feminist is a great way to cover your ass, though.”

    Someone in my personal life (who is aware of my radical feminist beliefs,) informed me of this “great new feminist film” I had to see – it was the first one of this shitty fucking series. I’d heard about it but watching a woman getting raped I can hardly say is a feminist, let alone, great film.

    Someone upthread (CBF checking who, too tired from uni, sorry.) mentioned gothaliciousness + horror + serial killer fascinations. I too was quite gothalicious when I was younger and my fascination for serial killers was born out of the sexual abuse when I was a child and the multiple rapes I endured as a teenager.
    At the time I found it cathartic, fascinating and all that pretentious crap; then when I got into radical feminism I realised what it was – a sublimation/outlet for the violence I’d received and a coping mechanism that was slightly less alarming to my therapists than self harm (!!!??!!!)

    I posit that for women at least, the fascination for serial killers, violent media et cetera (Dexter, CSI and all that tripe,) comes from a place of knowing just how vulnerable we are and a way of desensitising ourselves to it. Possibly. I could also just be tired.

  34. Bitter root August 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM #

    Very interesting. Thank you for writing this. I’m a woman who has an obsession with violent crime and serial killers. I used to justify this by claiming that I was learning from research. Now i’m not so sure. I am interested in mentally disordered people and criminal psychology, but reading about and watching the gratuitous killing of women is something that I can not support. I have decided not to watch movies and television shows that cheapen women’s untimely deaths. I will continue to study criminal and abnormal psychology in the hope of creating a better future for the women in my life that I love.

  35. gracemargaret April 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM #

    “I think if women were the majority readers of books about serial killers it would be because these men who murder, rape and torture women are acknowlwdged as bad. Whereas most of the time exscuses are made for men and the women are blamed for putting themselves in a sitaution where it could happen instead of blaming the guy for his actions.”

    That’s a great point.

  36. theoreticalgrrrl April 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM #

    I really can’t stand the liberal ‘feminists’ who blame anti-exploitation feminists for violence against prostitutes/sex workers. The ones who try to get people to buy into sex work as the new “empowerment” for women. Because serial killers and society in general would totally care about violence against sex workers if it weren’t for us feminazis.

    This article about women who say they freely choose to wear the burka and hajib so as not to offend male eyes reminds me of that mentality, and how defenders of the same old patriarchal crap love to paint themselves as ‘rebels.’

    http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/04/12/comment/columns/thank-you-dear-muslimaat/

    “It takes volumes of bravery and valour to bow down to the status quo, and toe the lines that have been forced upon you. It takes unbelievable amounts of gallantry to act out a script that someone else has written for you.”

    “Dear ‘feminist’ Muslimaat, thank you for being a ray of hope for bacon-eating vegetarians, god-fearing atheists and peace-loving terrorists. Thank you for reiterating the fact that your mehrams choose to overlook the divine orders and allow you to think freely and take your own decisions. Thank you for citing your personal example to highlight how you wear the hijab by your own choice, ignoring the fact that an overwhelming majority of Muslim women are coerced into doing so. Thank you very much for making the whole debate about you, when it was always about the torment and suffering that most of the Muslim women are going through.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pickton and the humanity of sex worker victims | Sex Work, Sex Trade - February 16, 2012

    [...] involved in sex work or the sex trade use, just anti-prostitution academics and their lackeys), this is actually a very good post.  Sex workers are human, sex workers deserve love and respect, sex [...]

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