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Dec 13 2006

Ipswich spree killer: obviously dominated by women

Five women in twice as many days have been found murdered in Suffolk, UK, and the media are loving it.

Ipswich’s murdering psycho has been so obligingly villainous, the media have promoted him, in quaint British tradition, to ‘Ripper’ status. Men murder women all the time (about 11 times a day in the US alone), but ‘Ripper’ is the pet name reserved for a special class of male murderer who, in the popular imagination, is particularly evil, brilliant, fascinating, ruthless, predatory, depraved, cop-taunting, and of course, hooker-hating. He also has a grippingly seedy life history (“a loner who never fit in”), one that tabloid pop psychologists can modify into a reassuring, explanatory ‘motive’, or, even better, into a pyschokiller narrative revealing to a prurient public explicit, lingerie-ripping details of woman-hating violence.*

In a departure from Rippers past, the Ipswich killer doesn’t mutilate. He wins the exalted ‘Ripper’ crown in part because of the stunning dispatch with which he ‘works’ — he is, it is noted unfailingly, and with a sangfroidesque blend of awe and admiration, the fastest serial killer in British history — but mostly because all his victims appear to have been prostituted women, an important prerequisite for Ripperdom.

The Ipswich killer’s upgrade from random violent schlub to a mythic personage capable of waging “a campaign” means a concomitant downgrade for his victims. These people are demoted instantly from human women to ‘prostitutes,’ from ‘prostitutes’ ** to ‘vice girls’. From there it’s just a short hop to ‘heroin addicts’ and finally, to the lowest form of life imaginable, ‘single mothers.’ Their first names are always used as if they were children. Tabloids, as Guardian columnist Joan Smith notes with dismay, even allude to their hair color (“blonde Gemma”). It’s as though they were hotties in Hustler rather than murdered women; no report omits to describe the women’s corpses as ‘naked’ or ‘having been stripped.’

Why celebrate the murderer and dehumanize the victims as fetish objects? Because the public is enamored of the delusion that only nutcase criminal masterminds hate women enough to murder them, and that prostitutes more or less have it coming to them.

Joan Smith’s beef is that getting all hung up on the prostitute angle clouds the issue and hampers the investigation, and it looks like she is spot on. The English Collective of Prostitutes are calling for temporary amnesty so women can come forward with information without fear of intimidation or arrest. Naturally, men in positions of power generally display a profound reluctance to cut a gal a break, and the Suffolk cops are no exception. That they won’t grant this temporary amnesty suggests that their “big crackdowns and street sweeps” — all of which, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, target women rather than the pervs who pay to rape them — are somewhat dearer to the cops’ hearts than apprehending a serial killer in a timely fashion. They merely advise the sex workers to stay off the streets. But as one sex worker advocate points out, “Various schemes like zero tolerance, big crackdowns and street sweeps — where police try to clear the streets of prostitutes over a day or several days — force the women to work faster so they don’t have the time to check out clients, who are already freaked out by the police presence.”

Meanwhile, nothing titillates like a true crime story of naked young vice girl junkies murdered by psychotically clever deviants. Because there aren’t enough of these in the newspapers, American consumers of mainstream misogynist violence turn to the roughly 574 dramatic TV series devoted to the sexual-predator-fallen-woman theme, all of which are transparently vehicles for broadcasting cumshots of hot actresses in torn lingerie, bound, gagged, chained by the wrists. They all draw predictably high ratings. The evil psycho/tortured hooker motif is one of our culture’s most cherished entertainments.

But, as Geordi LaForge says on my favorite show “Reading Rainbow,” don’t take my word for it. Ipswich Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover, who is publishing minute-by-minute updates, has revealed a sudden Suffolk-Ripper-based “sales bonanza into Christmas.” His readers are exhibiting a “hunger for news [that] he [has] not witnessed since working on the Yorkshire Ripper murders in the 70′s and 80′s.”

Lucky Yorkshire Ripper, his picture in all the papers again! One of the perks of being coronated Ripper is that you get re-celebritized whenever some new deviant shows up waving your sceptre.
___________________________________

* The Sun’s ‘top criminal psychologist’ speculates that “the maniac [has a] history of being dominated by women.” Funny how every single woman on the planet has a history of being dominated by men, yet the world remains puzzlingly bereft of crazed chicks rampaging around on tabloid-quality murder sprees.

** “Prayers will be said at services this weekend for the prostitutes and their families.” Italics mine. Also mine is a great sneering optimism that inviting God to intervene will do at least as much good as the Suffolk coppers.

[Gracias, Urban]

66 comments

7 pings

  1. Sylvanite

    I have nothing clever to add to this. Yeesh.

  2. pippa

    I blogged about this today. On the news last night the women were repeatedly infantilised…the newsreader as well as Ipswich MP Chris Mole, kept using the term “girl” when talking about the victims. On tonight’s news one of the dead women’s partners took a news correspondent on a tour of the victim’s flat(apartment). As well as being treated to a good look atwhat were once her intimate surroundings, we were shown several crack pipes that she had once used. Coz, you know, that’s relevant.
    As I keep saying, it’s all about humiliation and degradation. That’s how it works.

  3. lydia_g

    Argh, I saw those ‘vice girl’ headlines on Monday on one of my (rare) visits to the capital. I saw so many people reading it, I spent most of the day fuming. Who the hell thinks that’s OK? I’m not easily shocked by the press, but that one shook me. Goddamn tabloids.

  4. Dot

    There seem to be only two themes today in popular tv plots: terrorists who terrify women and children, and terrorists who terrify politicians. They are, of course, the same testosteromoronicy.

    Producers like the titillation (sp?) of violence and sex.

    All that bullshit about athletes pumping up their games by using steroids! TV and the movies have been on a steroid high for at least the last decade.

    Twisty, this is the best blog on the internet. I celebrate your clear vision, your use of language, and your amazing humor. Thank you.

  5. samanthaphi

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    I completely agree about the thinly veiled peep-show-perv plot lines of the Law and Orders, the Special Victims Units (‘special’ meaning sexual crimes against scantily clad woman or child, apparently), and the CSIs. Sick-o’s all, yet I know plenty of people – women included – who watch all the time.

    And I love that you called LeVar Burton “Geordi LaForge” rather than “Kunta Kinte.”

  6. Jenevieve

    All the hype is even worse here in Edinburgh. One of our deeply concerned classmates said today, “Hey, don’t you ladies go all crazy during finals and dress like hookers or the Ripper will get you”. Or some such nonsense. If I had’t been walking into an oral final I would’ve popped him right in his arrogant mouth, but I had to make do with a withering glance.

  7. annared

    Thanks for covering this Twisty. I remember the “Yorkshire Ripper” times and believe me nothing much has changed. It was from the rampage of Peter Sutcliff that the UK organised its first Reclaim the Night march, of which I attended the most recent in London. They are still advising WOMEN to stay home and employing irresponsible and damaging press coverage. Tonight on the news, for instance while talking about the Police hunt – Oh yeah! They showed the stereotypical image of a street ‘girl’ bending over, short skirt and heels plying business with a John in his car.

  8. Katherine22

    I actually live very near where this is all happening. The newspapers had a statement by the police speculating about whether the murderer could have had “a bad experience” with a prostitute (because obviously one bad blowjob is all the excuse a man needs to start a killing spree)- and this was one of the more ‘sympathetic’ newspapers! And yes, there have been a lot of patronizing curfew-pushers urging us little ladies to stay indoors after it gets dark (which would be about 3.45 in the afternoon, at the moment)

  9. Bitey

    “It’s as though they were hotties in Hustler rather than murdered women; no report omits to describe the women’s corpses as ‘naked’ or ‘having been stripped.’”

    Well, you can’t blame them for that. This difference is just matter of degree.

  10. Galloise Blonde

    I used to live in Ipswich too. Besides the red light district by the football ground there’s quite a surprising number of massage parlours for a small town. Watching the news on Channel 4 today, I noticed that the chief investigating officer constantly referred to the victims as girls, but the murderer was always carefully described as a person or persons. If he can restrain himself from calling the murderer a man, not even once, then you would think he could be careful enough to call a woman, a woman. I believe there is talk of holding a RTN in Ipswich.

  11. teffie-phd

    Thanks for that link to the Guardian piece. It’s nice to see someone connecting the dots in the media. Of course, the rest of her colleagues won’t read it or understand it because blaming this on patriarchy isn’t really news for them.

    I kinda hope some women find this guy first and deal with him like a rapist in the Handmaid’s Tale style.

  12. Minerva

    When I read about how prayers were said for the “prostitutes and their families,” I instantly recall being urged to pray for the individuals dying of AIDS as a result of their own sexual depravity and promiscuity. Now, this was a long time ago–when AIDS had just really begun its scourge in the US and I was a naive adolescent still attending church with my family. What stands out in memory though, is the godly glee (and those who have seen it know what I’m talking about) with which the not so “sub” of the prayer’s text (they deserve to die) was offered. Why is it I expect the word “prostitute” was uttered with equal relish?

  13. Leigh

    “Prayers will be said at services this weekend for the prostitutes and their families.”

    I have nothing to add really, just needed to re-iterate how absolutely disgusted I am by this. I’m sure “their families” are incredibly grateful for the tact with which the newspapers have managed to villify and chastize their deceased loved ones in the wake of the tragedies. It’s always nice to realize that the cold, clammy grip of patriarchal judgment shall not release you, even in death.

  14. Clio Bluestocking

    In 1992, Joan Smith wrote an excellent book, Misogynies, from her coverage of the Yorkshire Ripper case. She goes into a lot of the same issues as in the article here, plus more. It’s a fabulous dissection of the biased assumptions that went into investigating the case, many of which placed the victims in the “she had it coming” role. Only the extreme violence done to their bodies as well as the general sick thrill that people seem to get from serial killer cases made the cases “newsworthy.”

    Notice how they are “prostitutes” not “women.” As if, had they been university professors, or doctors, or secretaries, or made their money any other way (except by maybe stripping), they would have been identified as such.

  15. Bitey

    “Notice how they are “prostitutes” not “women.” As if, had they been university professors, or doctors, or secretaries, or made their money any other way (except by maybe stripping), they would have been identified as such.”

    I think that if all of them had been doctors, they would have been referred to so, and I can see the headline now: “Five Female Doctors Killed by Person Unknown”

  16. Twisty

    You mean “Five Blonde Female Doctors”

  17. MzNicky

    Twisty: As usual, thanks for your post on this. As a sort-of academically-trained journalism professional (I guess that’s what I am, currently) and a Blamer, I’m of course appalled, but not surprised, at the media treatment of this latest linguistic assault on women. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

  18. Snk

    With regard to the curfew on women. I thought I should bring to attention the Julie Bindel article in the Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1970748,00.html

    particularly this paragraph:
    “Whether police have learned lessons from the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry remains to be seen. Certainly they seem to be taking each new development extremely seriously. However, some things – and not just the issuing of a curfew on women – remain the same. Police have not thought to advise men not to go out to buy sex in Ipswich, but they should have done, just as the police during the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry should have. Men need to be told that their presence can mask and protect men who go out in order to harm and kill.”

    The following brought a brief smile to my face: (referring to the Yorkshire Ripper case)

    “My women’s group mocked up police notices and flyposted them all over the city. “Attention all men in West Yorkshire,” the notice read, “there is a serial killer on the loose in the area. Out of consideration for the safety of women, please ensure you are indoors by 8pm each evening, so that women can go about their business without the fear you may provoke.” For one night only (until the police discovered our scam and the posters were taken down) the Chapeltown area, where many street prostitutes worked, was free of foot punters.”

    It was extremely chilling to learn that one of the women who was interviewed last week on TV, Paula Clennill is now almost certainly a victim (body needs to be formally identified).There is never ANY kind of amnesty for prostitutes. I can’t help think that they were denied protection which almost any other segment of the population would have been granted, e.g. help in dealing with their drug habits at least until the killer was caught (e.g. a least be advised by the police to go to their GP and get prescribed heroin, for instance – this is possible in the UK). If they had not been prostitutes, I bet there would have been some kind of public financial appeal to protect for for at least a few days, in the face of such acute danger. This of course will lead to me ranting about the insane “War of Drugs”, but it is very late here in Germany and I ought to go to bed.

  19. Galloise Blonde

    Jon Snow, the host of Channel 4 news, suggested prescribing heroin to addicts until such time as the murderer was apprehended tonight but this was shot down by Suffolk police.

  20. norbizness

    I have nothing to add to the excellent points about zero tolerance, perverse fascination with death on prime time airwaves, dehumanization of the victims, etc. We look back at the late 19th century, bemused of the hysteria of the yellow press, only to relive it again with no sense of self-recognition.

    I only add that the first modern serial killer (of “servant girls,” not “prostitutes”) was in Austin, 3 years before Jack the Ripper. The name of the never-caught perpetrator was coined by none other than O. Henry, who was working for the predecessor to the Austin American-Statesman.

  21. plum

    Long time lurker, first time blamer.

    I can’t believe how horrified I am at the way the UK media is talking about these women. Of course, if Twisty and all you regulars on the comments page have taught me anything (and I’m so grateful to you all) is that none of this should be surprising to me. Not the fact that to the media these are ‘girls’ not ‘women’, not the fact that they cannot be defined as anything other than ‘prostitutes’ or ‘heroin addicts’ and of course, not the fact that as such these women are to blame for being murdered.

    I also wanted to mention (and it may have been in Julie Bindel’s Guardian piece) that when Peter Sutcliffe, aka ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’ murdered a woman who was not a prostitute, the police instantly assumed that he had made a mistake. And of course, the language used to talk about that woman was completely different to the language used to describe other women he had murdered.

  22. mel

    1. Prayers will be said at services this weekend for the accountants and their families.

    2. Prayers will be said at services this weekend for the engineers and their families.

    3. Prayers will be said at services this weekend for the delivery boys and their families.

    4. Prayers will be said at services this weekend for the prostitutes and their families.

    Say! No. 4 really has a RING to it, doesn’t it?? Print it!

  23. Urban

    And it is getting worse by the minute. Today I heard a Scottish reporter (apologies, I didn’t get the name) declare that “…after all, it is hard to get away from the fact that these *girls* are drug addicts, who need to get money by being on the streets.” [I may have misquoted very slightly].

    NO it’s not hard to get away from: just don’t include the words in your report. And how the victims arrived in such a situation? Of course, not expanded upon. In my view, the women were victims long before they were actually murdered.

    Twisty and the other commenters here have discussed the situation in a much more cogent way than I ever could: suffice to say I completely agree.

    And I can’t even think about The Sun without feeling my blood temperature rise.

    Wasn’t it Peter Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire Ripper) who police actually had in custody at one point, and then released? I think I recall reading a case at university about how the family of one of the victims sued the W. Yorks police for negligence.

    I suppose we will see exactly how much the police learned from that whole experience in the coming weeks. Sadly, I expect the outcome to be dire.

  24. mearl

    Gavin de Becker, in that book I recommended in a previous post(The Gift of Fear), makes it very clear that media should NOT sensationalise killers, bombers, school shootings, etc., the reason being that these men are looking for fame and attention and public fear that they would not otherwise get in their lowly, unremarkable lives. If the media and police want to help citizens, they would denigrate the murderer and relegate the story to Pg. 12 or something. I have actually seen this method used in some Canadian papers, most recently about the case of Kimveer Gill and the Dawson College shootings in Montreal.

    Twisty nailed everything else about the way the media portrays this latest pile of patriarchal bullshit.

    I’ve also noticed a trend that Kay Lee Hagan pointed out in one of her essays, that you don’t see ads or reports with this wording:

    “Every ten minutes, a MAN rapes a woman.” Instead, it’s “Every ten minutes, a woman is raped.” That way the man who is committing the crime is invisible while the public can drool over the idea of what is being done to the women. In Hagan’s words, “She’s walking down the street and then what? She just BECOMES raped?”

    There’s actually a campaign out in my city about child prostitution that uses this exact formula. “Every 15 minutes, sex is being bought from a child,” these ads say. No mention of the sickos who are doing the buying, or that those sickos could very well be your husband. I am tired of this crap where the johns, the wife-beaters, the murderers, and the rapists all get to stay faceless and anonymous. Good for that women’s group with the fake police posters. I had to snort with laughter over that.

  25. Violet

    In one CNN segment on the case, a woman interviewed on the streets of Ispswich bemoaned the fact that “the ripper” would move on to non-sex workers and start killing “ordinary moms”. Among the five women already murdered, I don’t know how many had children, but for this woman, true victim status, and indeed motherhood, was the exclusive domain of “nice” women.

  26. No Blood for Hubris

    Yo.

    Waaay too much soy.

    That says it all, does it not?

  27. Pony

    No no NBfH. According to this commenter on the Globe and Mail story about the Ipswich murders, it’s lack of organized sports that causes the problem. Or something.

    jimmy mccray from New York Boston, United States writes:

    “#18: Nature gave men testosterone which makes them physically and psychologically agressive (which can be used in good, poductive ways or in bad ways.) This is one reason why it’s necessary for outlets to exists,such as sports,for males to work through their natual aggressions.

  28. mearl

    …or violent vid games, or the military, or rape-fantasy porn. To ask men to control themselves is asking WAY too much, apparently. And women, naturally, are just a bunch of wet noodles that NEVER feel like axing people when they have PMS (or any other time of the month).

  29. I Heart Twisty

    Fuck, at least they caught on a lot faster than the cops did here. Picton murdered over 60 women and fed them to his pigs over a period of years before the Vancouver police even started to take the community outcry seriously. Even America’s Most Wanted, that bastion of Saturday night patriarchy titillation, profiled the cases numerous times as a single serial predator before the Vancouver cops ever thought in that direction.
    It is to weep.

    addict, prostitute, vice girl, sex trade worker, victim – words to remove woman from human.

    And the pigs? Made into sausage. Talk about the ultimate removal of woman from human. Made into food.

    Leslie – knitting therapist

  30. Dlunch

    It is too sickening really. The press in the UK also becomes a bunch of vicious sharks for “school girl murders”. Back about a year ago I was reading in one of the better UK papers about two teenagers one who was murdered, and the other left for dead. As I read along I could not believe that the article seemed to be looking for evidence or imply, that they asked for it. You know the old “it was not rape they really wanted it” line of bull. Because one of the girls tried to call her boyfriend, but did not tell him that she was being held against her will. And I was just like, she is fucking dead, shithead. What are you thinking? But then I know the answer to that. All women considered of screwable age have to defend their right not to be raped and murdered,even after they are dead.

  31. slashy

    One of the unfortunate requirements of my otherwise lovely job is having a large-screen TV permanently tuned to cable news in my office. I leave the sound off most of the time but turned it on for a little while to watch coverage of the Ipswitch murders: Horrifying!

    The barely-concealed glee with which the presenter discussed the likelihood of another attack, the concerned-judgemental ‘interview’ with a street worker, the ‘Oh no! How terrible if real human beings begin to be targeted!’ statements from local residents- both nauseating and unsurprising.

    The suggestion that people who do sex work are less than human, and their murders in some way deserved, is such a common line of patriarchal bullshit. In Australia today, this report. Shock! Horror! A person who killed a transgendered sex worker is actually punished! Says the headline, anyway, but reading the article would suggest that he is in fact being jailed for murdering a real human (a normally-gendered man), and that the fact that he also killed a transgendered person/sex worker is scarcely relevent except in the drumming up of headlines. The continued references to ‘he’ are additionally infuriating, but you know, who actually expects anything better in the news media?

  32. Catherine Martell

    Phew! The Daily Mail has identified the killer. Apparently, it’s Kate Moss. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=422504&in_page_id=1770

    Didn’t you just know there’d be some way in which a woman would be responsible for all this?

  33. scratchy888

    I can see how the killer was definitely Kate Moss. But what does Kate Moss and the man’s mother have in common as The Essential Pathological Denominator? Once the detectives can find this hidden metaphysical ingredient they will then have the recipe to prevent all future killings from occurring.

  34. Dr.Sue

    If all of the victims were doctors, this would be used to argue that women should be prohibited from higher education, to protect us, of course.

  35. ruxandra

    well you’ll be happy to know that in romania, in one of the few “serious” non-tabloid newspapers and then on various internet portals, the story was covered as “entertainment” for some reason, with a movie-still photo and the headline “jack the ripper returns” (and subtitle: “after 118 years, british prostitutes are again in danger”)! arrrrgh. i’m thinking of writing to the editor that it might be just a little unprofessional and unconscionable to glamorize murder like that, even if it is “just prostitutes” who are in danger (?!?!)… though i might just ask them what the hell they can be thinking. unbelievable.

    does anyone have more info about a reclaim the night being organized?

  36. Twisty

    Dr Sue:”If all of the victims were doctors, this would be used to argue that women should be prohibited from higher education, to protect us, of course.”

    Nah, it would just mean that only women could be doctors, and they’d turn doectoring into a low-status chick profession, like teaching 8th grade.

  37. Twisty

    What that article blaming Kate Moss — for setting a bad drug example to impressionable future prostitutes — neglects to grasp is that Kate Moss’s drug problem wouldn’t be cool or glamorous at all if the fucking tabloids would knock it off already with the constant “Kate Moss’s drug problem is so glamorous and cool” crap.

    Celebrity worship is almost as gross as Jesus worship.

  38. educe

    Ugh.

  39. Galloise Blonde

    ruxandra, for developing discussion of the RTN in Ipswich join the London Feminist Network Yahoo Group. I don’t think you need to be approved or anything, just sign up and you’re in.

  40. slade

    Regarding chic professions: As a student in the Women in Politics class (the only class offered at my university in the early ’70′s that had a feminist bent), we learned the the USSR had a majority of women in the medical profession. Many, therefore, looked upon the USSR as more open and fair-minded…but when I scratched below the surface a bit, I found that doctors were considered nothing more than Body Mechanics…equivalent to a Grease Monkey, I guess.

    I always wondered if car mechanics made more $ than the doctors….

    I have no idea about today…maybe the medical profession has been masculinized since the break up of the USSR…

  41. grrr kitty

    This is truly vomiticious. They describe this guy as if he were an artist. And you just know he’s getting off on this kind of press.

  42. cycles

    I don’t like to think of bad things happening to regular folks like me (unless it results in me buying some kind of expensive security device), and if it’s true that the prostitutes have families, I’m just going to assume that their parents and kids wanted this grief to be brought into their lives.

    I mean, they already owned some black garments that they wore brazenly in public; they essentially taunted the killer into causing a funeral to occur. The poor boy could hardly be expected to restrain himself under the circumstances, could he?

  43. Mar Iguana

    “Why celebrate the murderer and dehumanize the victims as fetish objects? Because the public is enamored of the delusion that only nutcase criminal masterminds hate women enough to murder them, and that prostitutes more or less have it coming to them.”

    It’s even worse that that. From “Femicide: The Politics of Woman Killing” by Jill Radford and Diana E.H. Russell:

    “Whether such a killer is “demented” is beside the point. Fixation on the pathology of perpetrators of violence against women only obscures the social control function of these acts. In a racist and sexist society, psychotic as well as supposedly normal men frequently act out the ubiquitous racist, misogynist, and homophobic attitudes with which they are raised and which they repeatedly see legitimized.

    “Lepine’s murders were hate crimes targeting victims by gender, not race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. In cases of lynchings and pogroms, no one wastes time wondering about the mental health of the perpetrators or about their previous personal experiences with African-Americans or Jews. Most people today understand that lynchings and pogroms are forms of politically motivated violence, the objectives of which are to preserve white and gentile supremacy. Similarly, the goal of violence against women – whether conscious or not – is to preserve male supremacy.

    “Early feminist analysts of another form of sexist violence – rape – asserted that it is not, as common mythology insists, a crime of frustrated attraction, victim provocation, or uncontrollable biological urges. Nor is rape perpetrated only by an aberrant fringe. Rather, rape is a direct expression of sexual politics, an act of conformity to masculinist sexual norms (as “humorist” Ogden Nash put it, “Seduction is for sissies. A he-man wants his rape”), and a form of terrorism that serves to preserve the gender status quo.

    “Like rape, most murders of women by husbands, lovers, fathers, acquaintances, and strangers are not the products of some inexplicable deviance. They are femicides, the most extreme form of sexist terrorism, motivated by hatred, contempt, pleasure, or a sense of ownership of women.”

    http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/book-sum/femicide.html

  44. elle_hudson

    * The Sun’s ‘top criminal psychologist’ speculates that “the maniac [has a] history of being dominated by women.” Funny how every single woman on the planet has a history of being dominated by men, yet the world remains puzzlingly bereft of crazed chicks rampaging around on tabloid-quality murder sprees.

    A-fucking-men.

  45. ruxandra

    @Galloise Blonde: thanks very much!

  46. KTal

    I have come to believe that the patriarchy will never end violence against women, obviously as it is a core to the belief that women are inferior.

    The popularity of not only the killers, but their deeds and the rehashing of all them on television serves to keep the patriarchy in action. The stories, whether new or rehashed serve to keep women in compliance with patriarchical norms (dress that way, act that way and you get killed — with shame), by offering the comfort of othering themselves from the ‘bad’ women.

    Also they serve to remind men that they do in fact have license to ‘lose it’ against women and even if they do beat, rape or even kill, they still have the patriarchy’s blessing and unconditional love.

    If women didn’t have to fear violence of men, the patriarchy just might begin to crack.

  47. jc.

    After reading your post I heard/watched a CNN (mtv news for “adults”) newswoman anchor call this a “…fascinating story, more from blah-blah in Ipswich…”
    I sometimes forget just how much I dislike the societies we live in.

  48. joolya

    Dude, Twisty makes a great point. Where are all the hookers who murder their, uh, clients and then take their cash? This seems like a great idea! I mean, not that I advocate murder … but then the press could be all “black widow spider” etc.

    I guess hookers do have hearts of gold.

  49. HermitWithAVengeance

    Joolya, you inadvertantly pushed a button. I know this wasn’t your main point, or your intended meaning. However, buttons do not care about intent. I kindly advise you to stand back.

    Sex work is a demeaning, last-resort and often initially non-consensual option for the vast majority of women who enter into it globally. Some underage Iraqis, for example, whose menfolk (or moms) can’t get to their old jobs or schools because of increasing violence, have the option of feeding their families in this way, or perhaps leaving home altogether for who knows what violence and poverty in order to not be a strain on their households. Some American women face different but similar circumstances. Sure, sex work can be conceived of in many different ways; but this is the socio-economic reality underlying much of it globally.

    Under a patriarchal world economic order in which “women’s labor” is devalued unless it involves explicit male domination and ownership (i.e., sex work), YEAH, A LOT OF “HOOKERS” DO HAVE HEARTS OF GOLD. No, they’re not greedy. They’re not manton winxes. They are not going to murder their clients for cash, because that would not give them a viable, renewable source of income to feed their families. To even jokingly give them such personality traits and motives is disgusting.

    “The hooker with a heart of gold” is not a cliche because a bunch of hack Hollywood dipshits wanted to fool themselves into thinking they were getting blowjobs for a good cause. It’s a cliche because the dynamics of gender, sexuality, dominance, and desire in late capitalism make it all too commonly ring true.

    Chump.

    This has been a test of your inclimate rage early warning system. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blaming.

  50. Pony

    I imagine hookers have the same personality traits and motives as any other woman. It’s just johns (all men are johns) who gloss them with “hearts of gold”. And john apologists the likes of some here in this thread.

    My personal hooker-hero:
    http://www.ccadp.org/aileenwuornos.htm

  51. Twisty

    I believe Joolya invokes the stereotype in a satirical manner, Hermit. “Chump”? No.

    Not that your points aren’t excellent.

  52. HermitWithAVengeance

    Dear Twisty-la (and I say this with the most endearing fake Russian accent), I believe I prefaced my comments with a note on Joolya’s likely intent. Inclimate rage, in which “chump” is a legitimate — nay, a *necessary* term, knows no satire. Cliches and media circuses push our buttons thusly. The answer I would ideally perceive as lightening out of the fog on this thread is on the matter of how to fight off those button-pushings. I took a breather from the States during the Kobe circus, it hurt me so to see in every supermarket checkout line and on every reputable* news website, television station, or newsprinted front page, the degradation of women and of crime victims everywhere. I have work on Monday, so that’s not really an option this go ’round.

    How do you (or do you) keep your pulse rate from rocketing or the more tender parts of your obstreperal lobe (all of you) from sending shooting pains here and there when this sort of misogynistic claptrap explodes in some puerile, 24-hour news cycle episode of glorified snuff? If it’s pushing your buttons and you have the distance to be effectively satirical about it, you’ve got one up on me. And I want the one that you got. So give it, please.

    * though I was not yet a blamer, so this term must be qualified. Reputable to whom? To an Anglophone capable of critical thought but not yet plugged into networks of like-minded folk.

  53. ginmar

    It’s not just there, though. There’s a serial killer at work in Atlantic City, and not only the press but the concern trolls are making the killer disappear. http://ginmar.livejournal.com/959752.html

    You’d think they were killed by frostbite or something, with all the passive voice going on.

  54. ginmar

    Also, here’s a good book that despite the title talks about the language everybody uses in describing women so that we always seem to be asking for it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Virgin-Vamp-Helen-Benedict/dp/0195086651/sr=8-1/qid=1166211132/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-4718983-3303058?ie=UTF8&s=books

    Ya know, I’ve asked for decent treatment, justice, respect, and all sorts of things that men take for granted, but I’ve had to fight for every one of them. Meanwhile, the only thing women supposedly ask for and get is rape, assault, violence, and murder. Who’s the problem here? The people doing the asking or the people with all the power?

  55. amananta

    Hey, yeah, I’ve been dominated by men my whole life. Can I now go about killing men who bear some faint resemblance to those who dominated me and blame it on my childhood when I get caught so I get the maximum sympathy possible and the tabloids will print stories warning men about how this is why they should treat women and girls with respect?

  56. Pony

    “How do you (or do you) keep your pulse rate from rocketing {…}.”

    Exercise is good for you. Your heart doesn’t know pulse rate from pulse rate. Enjoy.

  57. ginmar

    I wish, Amananta. I wish. Of course trolls will of course seize on this as an example of…..the fears that their behavior is no longer quite as hidden as they think? These guys who protest that women hate men seem to be endorsing that hatred, even if it doesn’t exist, because they know what men are doing.

  58. Cast Iron Balcony

    Here’s a nice one from our local rag The AGE:

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/jewellery-links-serial-killings/2006/12/14/1165685825333.html

    With most prostitutes now staying off the streets, fears are rising that the killer may look elsewhere.

    “What may be an issue is that when he starts running out of prostitutes, he will see any woman who’s out on the street at night on their own as a prostitute and target them as a possible victim,” Dr Ian Stephen, a consultant forensic psychiatrist told the Independent.

    In other words, after the ripper’s run out of prostitutes, the danger is that he may, y’know, be forced to go after real women. Non-prostitutes, that is. Which would be, you know, worse.

  59. Galloise Blonde

    Headline from today’s Daily Mail: Ipswich Murderer’s 6th Victim!(An autopsy showed that Annelli Alderton was pregnant.)

  60. antares

    The wikipedia main page is my default home page, so every morning I see a few news headlines and learn something interesting.

    A few days ago, the headline read :
    Police in Ipswich, UK are hunting a possible serial killer after five prostitutes are found dead within the last ten days.

    Today it says :
    Suffolk police launch an investigation on five dead bodies discovered near Ipswich in Suffolk, England.

    I wonder if someone woke the fuck up and realized that these are _people_ being killed, or if someone sent them a heads-up message.

  61. Pony

    Wales launched Wikipedia with the money from Bomis, thepornography portal he started. When that was found out, and there was enough stink about that, he dropped out of Bomis ownership. He tried to edit that out of his Wikipedia bio.

  62. womensrevolution

    I was on BBC Radio 5 Live talking about this issue on a phone in show – The Stephen Nolan Show on Friday 15th.

    Trying to put the blame back where it belongs.

    If you are feeling bored or suffer from insomnia you can use the Listen Again facility on the BBC Radio 5 Live website to, well, listen again! I’m on for about the last 15 mins of the show.

    Here is the link -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/programmes/nolan.shtml

    PS: I love your website. ‘I blame the patriarchy’ used to be a saying of mine, spill the milk in the morning – blame the patriarchy etc. Its all linked!

    In Sisterhood

    F

  63. phonelesscord

    Someone has been arrested in connection with these killings.

    And in response, this UK Rush Limbaugh character has written an article about how he is sick of hearing about how men are bad and responsible for the ills of prostitution, when really the dirty whores brought in on themselves. If you feel like being outraged visit:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/columnists/columnists.html?in_article_id=423549&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=322&in_check=N

    or

    http://phonelesscord.wordpress.com/2006/12/19/thoughts-on-the-peoples-prostitutes/

  64. justtesting

    Littlejohn is scum. There’s a whole collection of such journos over here who do the whole shock-jock thing. Mostly aimed at women, immigrants and other such “lesser” humans. Any objection is met with cries of PC-gone-mad-guardinistas-have-no-sense-of-humour. They are filth.

  65. Mar Iguana

    “A woman’s health center organized a candlelight vigil on the Atlantic City boardwalk where the bodies of four murdered prostitutes were found near a drainage ditch. The action was meant to bring attention to violence against women, the Trentonian newspaper reported Dec. 19. “A lot of the press coverage, because of the women’s lifestyle, has made it sound as if they were somehow throwaway victims,” said Claudia Ratzlaff, executive director of Atlantic County Women’s Center. “We are here to give a voice to the most recent victims of crime against women, to mourn their deaths and to acknowledge the value of their lives as mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.”

    From Women’s eNews

  66. Dorothy Gail

    The entire matter is so repulsive and satanic. Robert Pickton is a beast that has been accused of murdering countless women, charged with many counts of slaying some of those women…not to mention having charges dropped against him for sexually assaulting a woman years back whom was accused of stabbing him in her self defence. He was the host of parties on his property where many were no doubt victimized also by him besides those he has been charged and accused of committing horrendous crimes against. The law let him slip thru the cracks once before for serious violence against women and he went onto charges of murder against numerous women. This is the Government’s lack of judgement for allowing this creep to have charges stayed against him in the beginning of what the public now knows his violent rampages.
    The people he obviously hung out with other wierdoes, odd balls that partied with this loser obviously and preyed on other women as well should be given a look over too. No doubt some of these weirdoes brought women over there by forceible methods, drugging them up…etc. Names like Dinah Taylor and Gina etc….have been tossed around as accomplices to a lot of this horrible dilemma. Those too have been let off the hook for murder charges, but what sort of person would hang out with a scum bag like this guy? What sort of person would drug up women or a woman by force and bring her to that place? What sort of woman would do that to another woman? Names like Willow Knott and
    other reptiles she hangs out with and is related to have not been tossed around in the media yet..
    Scummy slime like Willow and her appetite for drugs and violence against other women and even men. Evil flying monkey she is and everyone else involved in her machinations of satantism against innocent people. This is a woman who apparently keeps mice in a cage in her kitchen all the while
    being involved in the occult and dressing in Elvira black…a real nut that was familiar with that Piggy’s Palace and wanted to show her victims where her brother was bringing young girls..funny way to show someone or some people that the way she behaved…a serious criminal she is that should be locked up for a long time

  1. sonitus.org » Blog Archive » Ipswich spree killer: obviously dominated by women

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