Big Debate: Does publicising the Jack the Ripper murders glorify violence against women?
Last week, this newspaper published a 12-page supplement marking 125 years since the country’s most famous serial killer - Jack the Ripper - first murdered in the East End.
The tale is still shrouded in mystery and the Ripper’s identity unknown but our supplement kicked up a historic stir last week as some readers claimed coverage of the murders glorifies the gruesome and violent deaths of the women.
"Does publicising the Jack the Ripper murders glorify violence against women?"
Well, it certainly guarantees the sale of shed-loads of books, magazines and comics, various trudges around East End schools, breweries and car parks, TV documentaries masquerading as fact and various fictional serial-killer movies.
Plus it keeps a lot of otherwise unemployable pundits in business.
So I suppose the answer to your question is "Yes".
I wrote this some time ago to defend someone who was accused of misogyny for writing about the Ripper. I think it still applies here:
There's something intrinsically slimy about people who, lacking any understanding or interesti in a subject, immediately jump to the conclusion that anyone who DOES have an interest is obviously, inevitably motivated only by the basest, morbid, or prurient aspects. Such people overlook the fact that it is this community of "misogynists" who have kept alive the memories of these women who would otherwise have been long forgotten. They have been the ones to expose and dispel the myth that all the victims were worthless, broken-down wretches whose lives had no value. They are the ones who have shown the awful conditions that these and other women of the time struggled under. And it is thanks to these horrible, heartless people that many of the victims' graves have been rescued from obscurity and neglect, and are now maintained to any degree. What complete and utter bastards they must be--how dare they!
__________________ “Sans arme, sans violence et sans haine”