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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sisterly love

'When the bodies of five women turn up in the space of 10 days, it is bound to send a shudder of fear through any town. All five were working as prostitutes but the shock and anxiety has spread to the wider community in Ipswich.
"Every woman is now asking themselves the same question - what if he runs out of prostitutes and starts attacking other women?" said Jean, who works in a petrol station near the Portman Road red light district.'

Yes, Christ, we couldn’t have THAT, could we Jean? Then it’d REALLY be a problem that dead women are turning up all over your town. “Runs out of prostitutes”? Jesus, it’s like the woman is talking about toilet tissue.

Wonder whether people would be more horrified if the women in question had all been accountants, or nannies? Let me think: I suspect they might. Or how about if the press simply referred to the murdered women as ‘women’ with no ‘but…’?
Peter Sutcliffe (to whom this killer is being compared) was routinely referred to as having both ‘innocent’ and ‘prostitute’ victims, a distinction that was not only morally abhorrent, but was part of a pervasive attitude within the West Yorkshire police force that actually delayed his capture.
Sutcliffe hasn’t – thank god – been in a position to murder anyone since the early 80s but rather worryingly for the women of Ipswich (all of them), it doesn’t seem that our essentially misogynistic society has moved on at all since then.

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