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A Petticoat Parley: Women in Ripperology

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Linotte View Post
    Coming to this late. Thanks so much! It was a blast participating in this with Ally and the other panelists.

    I’ve actually bounced this whole dialogue about HR and The Five off feminist friends outside the Ripperology community, and they’re all in agreement with those of us on the panel. Which is odd, because I would have expected more nuance in responses. So what we can gather from this is that HR and her approach to the book resonates with a very specific demographic. HR can only silence other feminist perspectives on the case for so long. That’s why she was so angry about the podcast. So we need to keep talking about this and including others in the discussion.
    That’s encouraging news Linotte. I suspect that it rankles with HR that she can’t throw out labels of ‘sexist’ or ‘misogynist’ to a panel of women? It’s important that the panel showed that to disagree in any way with HR is not a betrayal of feminism but a confirmation of it combined with a respect for truth. Up until now they’ve only heard male voices which they dismiss with labelling (unfortunately aided, I’m told, by some unpleasant comments on social media) but they can’t adopt the same tactic with a panel of women. Let’s hope that more people have their minds opened by the podcast and any future podcasts. If the balance is going to be redressed on this subject I think that it’s largely going to be redressed by women.
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes



    “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason – they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple about their wingnut delusions.”

    “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.”

    Comment


    • #32
      What Hallie is pushing is a classic white feminist narrative. She used Judith Walkowitz’s work from the 1980s and 1990s. Walkowitz’s work is valuable, but it’s dated and only explores the case through the bourgeois perspective of the “fallen woman.” Dr Katherine Crooks questions this perspective in her 2015 master’s thesis: https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/handle/10222/57214. I have reason to believe Hallie knew about the thesis while researching and writing The Five. If she knew about it and chose not to use it, then she has not been on the up-and-up and she knows it.

      That being said, we should probably be much more patient with and understanding of the laypeople supporting her. They’re being misled by someone who wants to silence criticism of her work because she doesn’t want people to see that she’s a lazy and sloppy researcher and that she didn’t do her due diligence. As for the scholars and academics in the UK who are supporting her, they should know better.

      And if she ends up reading this, I said what I said.
      Last edited by Linotte; 10-24-2021, 02:00 PM.

      Comment


      • #33
        Hi Linotte,

        Would the laypeople we should be more patient with include the one who wrote a piece in the Times where he described Ripperology as a ‘wanker’s holodeck’ or the ‘Dr’ who claimed to have spent 17 seconds on the boards and in that time had come to the conclusion that their contributors were all morons?

        Gary
        Last edited by MrBarnett; 10-24-2021, 04:38 PM.

        Comment


        • #34
          There was at least one U.K. academic who challenged HR, but he subsequently published and even more dubious Ripper book. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to doff our caps to ‘academics’.

          Comment


          • #35
            This gem comes from ‘Dr’ Katherine Crooks.

            ‘Newspapers identified the Ripper victims as members of the same class of vagrants from which Scotland Yard drew the majority of their Ripper suspects.’

            Is that right? Were the majority of Scotland Yard’s suspects ‘vagrants’?


            As for this sentence:

            ’Victorians’ conflation of this group of prostitutes with the men who also engaged in unconventional and unreliable forms of work suggests that Victorian prostitution might be reconceptualised not only as a gendered and pathologized form of sexual deviance, but also as a partially normalized form of labour.’


            What on earth does it mean?


            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
              There was at least one U.K. academic who challenged HR, but he subsequently published and even more dubious Ripper book. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too quick to doff our caps to ‘academics’.
              That’s why I said that academics and scholars should know better than to get on a bandwagon based on sloppy research.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Linotte View Post

                That’s why I said that academics and scholars should know better than to get on a bandwagon based on sloppy research.
                The research was his own and that of his co-author, I believe. And this was his particular field. Not only was he the head of history at a U.K. university, he was also a Ripperologist of sorts (whatever that term means).




                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                  This gem comes from ‘Dr’ Katherine Crooks.

                  ‘Newspapers identified the Ripper victims as members of the same class of vagrants from which Scotland Yard drew the majority of their Ripper suspects.’

                  Is that right? Were the majority of Scotland Yard’s suspects ‘vagrants’?


                  As for this sentence:

                  ’Victorians’ conflation of this group of prostitutes with the men who also engaged in unconventional and unreliable forms of work suggests that Victorian prostitution might be reconceptualised not only as a gendered and pathologized form of sexual deviance, but also as a partially normalized form of labour.’


                  What on earth does it mean?


                  1. I think she means the poorer classes by that.
                  2. The second sentence suggests to me that at that time it was understood that casual prostitution was a form of casual labor for poor women.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Linotte View Post


                    1. I think she means the poorer classes by that.
                    2. The second sentence suggests to me that at that time it was understood that casual prostitution was a form of casual labor for poor women.
                    Thanks Linotte. I had sort of figured that out.

                    But if an academic doesn’t grasp the meaning of the word ‘vagrant’ and suggests prostitution - allegedly the world’s oldest profession - and manual labour are ‘unconventional’ forms of work, why should we bother to wade through her almost impenetrable prose to try to work out whether she has anything of value to say?

                    ‘I know big words’ comes across very clearly. ‘I have a unique insight into Victorian East End life’ seems somewhat unlikely.

                    HR, or more often her acolytes, have played the academic card time and again when mere mortals have questioned her research.



                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Linotte View Post
                      2. The second sentence suggests to me that at that time it was understood that casual prostitution was a form of casual labor for poor women.
                      I agree. Which again drives home an inconvenient point for Rubenhold et al.: even though the victims were considered prostitutes, society still spared no expense in trying to catch the killer, and the political pressure was immense.

                      The police and other authorities actually did not care that the victims were prostitutes, they still did their best. Shocking - and at odds with Rubenhold’s narrative.

                      It’s funny how Katherine Crooks slips up and writes “reconceptualised”, this ends up implying she accepts understanding prostitution “a gendered and pathologized form of sexual deviance”.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
                        I agree. Which again drives home an inconvenient point for Rubenhold et al.: even though the victims were considered prostitutes, society still spared no expense in trying to catch the killer, and the political pressure was immense.

                        The police and other authorities actually did not care that the victims were prostitutes, they still did their best. Shocking - and at odds with Rubenhold’s narrative.

                        It’s funny how Katherine Crooks slips up and writes “reconceptualised”, this ends up implying she accepts understanding prostitution “a gendered and pathologized form of sexual deviance”.
                        We don’t always agree, Kattrup, but this time we do.

                        Just imagine if five young men had been brutally murdered in the East End in the space of a few weeks in 1888. Would we still be searching for their killers today?


                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Linotte View Post


                          1. I think she means the poorer classes by that.
                          2. The second sentence suggests to me that at that time it was understood that casual prostitution was a form of casual labor for poor women.
                          One of the things that ticked me off was HR asking how a ‘labourer’ like Louis Boekee* could have afforded to acquire a property portfolio. Leaving aside the fact that there’s no evidence that he was ever more than a tenant at 79, Pennington Street, the evidence suggests he was a gas fitter, not a ‘labourer’.


                          *The spelling I use after discussions on JTRForums with a descendant of the family.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                            Thanks Linotte. I had sort of figured that out.

                            But if an academic doesn’t grasp the meaning of the word ‘vagrant’ and suggests prostitution - allegedly the world’s oldest profession - and manual labour are ‘unconventional’ forms of work, why should we bother to wade through her almost impenetrable prose to try to work out whether she has anything of value to say?

                            ‘I know big words’ comes across very clearly. ‘I have a unique insight into Victorian East End life’ seems somewhat unlikely.

                            HR, or more often her acolytes, have played the academic card time and again when mere mortals have questioned her research.


                            Yes, but HR’s work is based on studies done in the 1980s-1990s, and the research is very dated. Crooks is suggesting a different viewpoint that actually reiterates what Ripperologists already know. It supports the standard narrative of the case. Hallie is relying more on 20th-century feminist thought about it, whereas I believe Crooks’s paper identifies why this is problematic.


                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Linotte View Post

                              Yes, but HR’s work is based on studies done in the 1980s-1990s, and the research is very dated. Crooks is suggesting a different viewpoint that actually reiterates what Ripperologists already know. It supports the standard narrative of the case. Hallie is relying more on 20th-century feminist thought about it, whereas I believe Crooks’s paper identifies why this is problematic.

                              HR’s work is based on decades of research undertaken, largely, by those she demonises as Ripperologists. It is not an academic feminist tract, it’s a work of popular history which uses feminism as a shield against those more knowledgeable than her who might challenge her conclusions. The TV mini series must have been discussed even before the book was published. Or perhaps that’s a cynical, uninformed, male non-academic view.

                              Perhaps we could discuss Rubenhold’s 35-page contribution to our understanding of Mary Kelly in terms of its academic significance.
                              Last edited by MrBarnett; 10-24-2021, 08:59 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                                HR’s work is based on decades of research undertaken, largely, by those she demonises as Ripperologists. It is not an academic feminist tract, it’s a work of popular history which uses feminism as a shield against those more knowledgeable than her who might challenge her conclusions. The TV mini series must have been discussed even before the book was published. Or perhaps that’s a cynical, uninformed, male non-academic view.

                                Perhaps we could discuss Rubenhold’s 35-page contribution to our understanding of Mary Kelly in terms of its academic significance.
                                I understand she got a majority of her work from Ripperologists and others who have studied the case. But she got some stuff from two of Walkowitz’s works, which Crooks has questioned. So not only is she basically taking a giant, steaming crap all over Ripperologists, but her work based on Walkowitz could be crap, too.

                                She actually referenced Walkowitz in one of her Twitter posts last week and added some comments based on it. Which was actually funny to me.

                                The biggest reason why I started looking for academic work is because she almost always pulls rank with her credentials and work in disagreements or when she talks about Ripperologists saying how wrong her conclusions are. So I was like, “Ok, smart***, let’s find some academic work on your book that refutes your conclusions and questions your methods.” I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I found something that shows she is dead wrong.

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