Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blame Society

Julie Bindel argues that the Yorkshire Ripper should never be freed. So far so good.

She then goes off on one:

If the murders of Ian Banyam, the gay man kicked to death in Trafalgar Square, and Stephen Lawrence, the young black man stabbed to death by racists, are viewed as hate crimes, why are the sex murders of women seen as the actions of individual madmen, rather than an expression of deep-rooted, institutionalised hatred of women?

Actually she isn't wholly wrong, if one does take other individual murderers and use them as evidence of society's hatred of the killer's victims then it does make sense to view Peter Sutcliffe in this way. However this just demonstrates the foolishness of using murderous individuals as proof of society's attitudes. For all her nonsense about making men take the blame for crimes committed by men, she doesn't seem to mean the actual men who commit the crimes should take responsibilty but rather men in general.

The attitude of society to Sutcliffe, as opposed to the attitude of the legal and medical profession, is that he is a deeply evil man who should have either been executed or put in prison with no possibility of parole.

(via Julia in the comments)


TDK said...

I wonder if this lot (also here) can be accused of promoting hate crime. Perhaps there's some get out clause for the Valeries of this world.

Senior said...

I agree that the Yorkshire Ripper's murders should be viewed as hate crimes, because his victims were killed for being women.

Hate crimes and incidents should be seen as a reflection of the views of the people who commit them, not society in general. Even though there are thousands of people who hate people because of their colour, sexuality, disability or even their genda, their views are not shared by all of society. So the Yorkshire Ripper's actions may be a reflection of the hatred against women some men feel, but his actions don't reflect the feelings of the majority of men.

Ross said...

Well if you are going to have a category of hate crimes then there is no reason not to include Sutcliffe's murders.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest, and let's take it as read that Sutcliffe hated women (although seemingly not his wife), name me a murderer of strangers, who didn't have a animus against his victims.

The logic of hate crimes is that the physical events are identical to other crimes but are driven by some collective hatred that somehow makes it worse. How does it differ?

banned said...

In almost all premeditated crimes of violence there will be an element of hate, even if it only about football teams or jealousy because the victim owns what the criminal wants.

DJ said...

To quote the great Gene Hunt: 'as opposed to an "I love you" crime'?