Saturday, May 23, 2009

“Body of Woman Found” by Anthony McCarthy

Echidne once said here that she wanted to be able to walk down any street without fear of being attacked because she is a woman. That is an entirely reasonable desire, to not have your life restricted because you have to take into account the reign of terror that is so prevalent. But year after year you live with it and you know it would be dangerous not to. It generally goes unmentioned or is taken as if it was some natural phenomenon, like the weather. Don't go there, is advice given as casually as a reminder to wear a raincoat. "Or you might get killed" is so well understood, it's not said.

Some of Suzie’s recent posts made me stop being distracted from the issue of the terror campaign against women. They have stuck in my mind and have been making me brood over an unpaid obligation.

In the aftermath of the murders of the Amish school girls, in October 2006, noticing how that horrible crime was covered by the press, the real nature of the murders of women due to their gender became obvious to me. Women are the target of a lynching campaign just as black Americans and others were in the 19th and 20th centuries. A woman is lynched somewhere in the United States almost every singe day, it’s been going on for decades.

The results are not only the deaths of a horrific number of women and girls just about every single day, it is in the terror women live under and the depressing, damaging effects of the intended demoralization. A boyfriend or husband who murders a woman doesn’t’ only target her, the clear message is that men have the right to use women as objects and to dispose of them if they want to. A man who murders a woman due to her gender believes he is within his rights to do so. The society we live in has instilled that belief through constant and pervasive, generally subtextual though sometimes explicit lessons. The movies and TV are full of them, there to be seen any time you watch.

Here are two pieces recovered from the blog I tried to start the week after the school girls were murdered, I will explain that doomed effort in a footnote.


Every day four women die in this country as a result of domestic violence, the euphemism for murders and assaults by husbands and boyfriends. That's approximately 1,400 women a year, according to the FBI. . The number of women who have been murdered by their intimate partners is greater than the number of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War.

Don't Say Tragedy, Call Selfish, Cowardly Hate Crimes What They Are

The news readers keep saying that the murders of Naomi Rose Eversole, Marian Fisher, Lina Miller, Mary Liz Miller, and Anna Mae Stoltzfus, and the attempted murder of other, still endangered girls is a tragedy. It isn't a tragedy. Tragedies are not planned in detail, they are not planned with everything including toilet paper for the comfort of the murderer taken into an Amish school from which adults and males are released before the murderer begins to carry out his plans. This was a hate crime planned and committed by a man who felt he was entitled to murder little girls he didn't know. He felt that his gender entitled him to terrorize, humiliate and murder them.

This wasn't a tragedy, this wasn't a story set into motion for the entertainment or revenge of the gods, this was one man who believed his being born with a penis gave him the power of life and death over these girls. Maybe over all girls. He could have chosen any girls to murder. This man choosing to murder girls from what he would certainly have known was a pacifist sect is everything anyone needs to know about his sense of entitlement and his cowardice. His name and identity are useless except as a study in that particular type of cowardly, selfish man. After what there is to know about him has been collected and studied he deserves to be erased from the collective memory of the world.

Lynchings are not tragedies, they are crimes, sordid murders by self-centered cowards who believe that their gender, race, religion, ethnicity or class entitles them to murder other people. Knowing the murderers for what they are is all anyone needs to know about them. Using that knowledge of their taste in entertainment, their hobbies, their upbringing and their other pathologies in order to avoid producing more of these defective human beings is all that they are good for. None of this should be anything but a scientific study in pathology.

Dwelling on the names and lives of these cowards risks turning them into something they aren't. While studying their psychological flaws the fact that they were selfish and cowardly should never be forgotten. People with mental illness can sometimes be selfish slime too. Normal people might see them memorialized on TV as examples of evil, potential killers will see them as heros to be emulated or topped. Ignoring that possibility even as the programs talk about the "copy-cat" nature of a lot of these crimes is a crime in itself. It is the same crime the neighbors of Kitty Genovese committed when they ignored her as she was being murdered. It is cynical indifference. It is time to put an end to sensation murder used as profit driven entertainment and entertainment posing as news. It is part of the problem in the age of TV and video.

Call these crimes what they are. Don't memorialize the criminals. Don't instruct their admirers and fellow degenerates.

* Note:

The blog died in the difficult and confusing change from the old blogger to the new one that happened just after I began it. My old blog started acting up at the same time and eventually died, largely due to my technical incompetence. I still have no idea why that happened.

I think it’s a good idea to put these lynchings in the face of society on a continual basis and to call the crimes what they are. I’m not so sure that one person trying to maintain a blog dedicated to that purpose will do the job. I think every blog should document the extent of the terror campaign through posts or in the comment threads. That is a task that everyone should be involved in. Just as in the piece about the suppression of sexism on the blogs, we’ve all got to do it.

To the person who asks why I’m bringing this up now? The headline in a newspaper wrapping something I ordered through the mail says that police suspect that a woman. was murdered by her husband. She isn’t named, it just says “ the body of a woman was found”.