Something That Makes Me Uncomfortable

I am not sure if it right to write this post, but I have nagging feeling in my body that is demanding that I write.

I am very uncomfortable that a tiny minority of women who do commit extremely violent crimes are justify by some feminists, when their crimes are inexcusable.

I do believe the vast majority of women who use violence are pushed into it. I believe it understandable to kill a man who has battered you for long period. I understand girls joining gangs for identity and protection.

But I believe to be a feminist it sometimes important to see that woman are capable of crimes that are inexcusable. That they are responsible for their actions.

Otherwise we infanticides women.

I am uncomfortable with the excuses made for Mrya Hindley especially.

I would never make an excuse for any man who kidnapped and took part in the torture of children. I would not care if he claimed he was manipulated.

I would not take his word as the truth.

But I am told to believe the word of a women who kidnapped and take part in the torture of children.

I am told I should sorry for her.

But every day women and girls are mentally, physically and sexually tortured by men. The vast majority of those women and girls do not torture children.

I do believe she was manipulated by Ian Bradley. But I do not think that is an excuse for her actions.

Part of my abuse, was hearing the tapes from the Moors Murders.

I heard the child being tortured. I heard the coldness from both Ian Bradley and Myra Hindley.

She was no outsider to those murders.

I believe all abusers will play the pity card. Their word has no importance.

I do not think feminists should fall into the trap of making women like Myra Hindley into a cult heroine.

It is important to say if we say that men who rape, batter, torture cannot be excused. Then we should not make another rule when women kill or torture the innocent.

I feel very strongly the focus should on why the majority of women and girls who do not turn to extreme violence.

I had so much anger in me, I imagine many ways of murdering. But I like many women and girls was non-violent.

I suppose there was a conscious in me that said there be would no excuses for violence.

For when reasons are given for violence they are all excuses to get away with the crime.

“I was abused, so I know no better.”

Utter rubbish. Most people that are abused never want to inflict that misery on another.

“I was drunk/drugged/mentally ill.”

Rubbish, you choose to abuse. 

“What’s the harm. It is just society doesn’t understand my needs”.

Your needs for raping children, torturing prostituted women. Yours needs to mentally damage all that you come in connect with.

Hell, society is so backward.

I can on and on and on with excuses abusers make.

I feel as feminists we need a clear eye.

99.9999% of abusers who do extreme violence are men. But the tiny minority that are women who are not innocent.

They did plan their crimes. They did pick on the weaker.

They do use manipulation and lies like men to get away with their crimes.

I will always stand up for those who are abused or tortured.

I have no feelings or time for abusers and torturers.


8 responses to “Something That Makes Me Uncomfortable

  1. Dear Rebecca,
    Thank you for the clarity and candor in this piece. As feminists, I believe that it is important to understand womens’ violence as violence regardless of their likely history of harm. Yet, because women, globally, do not have the same social status/power as men their acts require another context than mens’ violence. I have struggled deeply with this issue. My mother sexually abused me when I was a baby. I am convinced that she was acting from the damage done to her by male violence: I was her 12th child and she had not wanted to become pregnant (again!) for many years already. I believe that she was was doing to me what my father had done to her, rape. Whether I want to or not I do possess an understanding of her pain and desperation. Of course this understanding does not from any perspective make what she did to me any less than wrong, harmful, reprehensible and unforgivable. What it means to me is that women, especially feminists, unfairly bear a responsibility to wrestle with questions of context without ever, ever okaying violence, abuse, torture against women and children. Our lot under male dominance is that we endure male violence directly from men and too often from women acting as patriarchal foot soldiers. Our victimization and oppression can not ever serve as an excuse for our mistreatment and/or abuse of other women or children. As feminist warriors we are responsible for our actions.
    As always thank you for your thought provoking writing. I love your fire. It helps me get through. Also, thank you for doing the work to remain nonviolent.
    your friend,


  2. Another excellent post Rebecca. I’ve always had issues with the way Myra Hindley has consistently been portrayed as a deranged, evil monster who is the epitome of evil. Hindley was most certainly not a ‘monster’ and yes she was responsible for actions but for me it is the double standards which still apply. Women are still subjected to being either ‘good or evil’ unlike men. Therein lies the difference because women who deviate from the so-called passive, submissive feminine role are perceived as being more violent more cruel, more callous than violent men. It is a no-win situation for women in general. But, I do not believe all women are ‘good’ because yes, there are women who commit violent acts and enact cruelty but they are not worse than men who commit these acts.

    It has been a very difficult task for many feminists to understand how dynamics of power operate and how women who commit violent crimes are subjected to far harsher judgement than the men who also commit vicious and utterly appalling crimes.

    I am not condoning women who do commit crimes but what I do see is often these women are attempting to gain a piece of power denied to them. This is why women who abuse will usually abuse their children of either gender because it can be a way of taking some power or by committing violence against a dependent child the female abuser is indirectly taking revenge on the male who abused her previously. However, this in no way justifies or excuses any woman who does commit sexual and/or physical violence. We just need to see how patriarchy operates and why those who have less power will abuse another person who has even less power than them. For example, a husband beats his wife, the wife cannot fight back because she will suffer more violence, so she attacks one of her children in order to regain some power. The child who is beaten then attacks another sibling who is younger and perceived as weaker. So the cycle continues. But – and this is a huge BUT – it does not follow that this will always happen. Many, many women who suffer male violence do not in turn sexually abuse or physically assault another woman or child who is perceived as being less powerful than the woman.

    It is very complex but patriarchy wants simple answers and one of them is the belief that violent women such as Myra Hindley, Rose West and women (whose names escape me at present) are personifications of evil – supposedly far worse than any man who is a serial murderer, or a man who systematically engages in multiple rapes.

    Of course it all comes down to the patriarchal belief that men are human with individual traits and characteristics, whereas women are inferior to men and are either ‘madonnas or whores.’ Why else do male-centered myths always portray some women as being sexually dangerous to men, sexually insatiable, whereas other mythical women are portrayed as pure, passive and submissive. It is all about men wanting to believe they alone are separate individuals whereas women can be collapsed into one big misogynstic stereotype.

    After thought – whilst we might sometimes understand why a woman commits sexual violence against her child or children in no way should the survivor be expected to forgive the woman because the survivor ‘understands’ what the mother did. Understanding does not mean we must and should always forgive the abuser. Abusers must take responsibility for their actions but unfortunately far too many violent men refuse to do this and instead fall back on ‘it was her fault because she provoked me.’


  3. Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
    Jennifer – I have thought or would say that Myra Hindley is evil, for i think that glamoursies her crime. She is no better or worse than male abusers that use extreme violence.
    I do believe deeply that that vast majority of women who use violence are very unfairly by the the law and the media. For the majority of female is after being provoked or self-defence. Also, I think women who use violence against children when in an abusive relationship is understandable.
    But, the minority of women who use extreme violence I personally feel should not made into cult heroines. As I said I would not make excuses for men who use extreme violence, so I would feel a hypocrite to excuse women who use extreme violence.
    It is quite personal to me, for too much of my life I made excuses for my mother’s neglect. I excuse her for knowing I was being abused and putting my abuser first.
    I thought Iet her off the hook because she was a woman.
    But when I see my mother with a clear eye, I see she did not care I was abused. Instead, she protected her lifestyle. She protected my abuser.
    Her only excuse was that she was selfish.
    So, I do believe that the vast of women can understood if they are violent.
    But, like any group that will be a tiny minority of women who do have a conscious and can damage those around them.


  4. Personally I think women are as capable of being psychopathic as men are. It’s true that the world is patriarchal and many women get pushed into a bad place mentally and emotionally and maybe that causes them to be abusive, but then again men do too! I think abuse is abuse and man or woman it’s not excusable. Maybe understandable, but there’s always a window where people can choose to get help or to act on their horrible feelings. That’s just me, and I’m not a feminist! I think, woman or man, people are people – sometimes they’re good and sometimes not so good. (hope you had a good hol!)


  5. One more thing! I don’t think your mother can be excused for allowing you to be abused! She had a responsibility and she sold out because she didn’t want to be alone. I can’t respect that or understand that. To me, that’s crap! I know yr stepfather did it, but she enabled him. Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but I do feel that she let you down, and probably herself as well. You don’t need to be a man to say enough is enough, and women are not that chained up that they can’t leave when it gets that bad.


  6. Rebecca – I agree with you women such as Myra Hindley and Rose West should never able be turned into ‘heroines.’ They committed extreme violence and have/are paying for their crimes. But patriarchy maintains a sexual double standard or perhaps gendered double standard wherein women such as Hindley & West are portrayed as evil monsters whose crimes are supposedly far worse than male serial killers. Truth is there is no difference, if a man commits rape and murder he is a rapist/murderer and if a woman commits rape and murder then her crime is not worse than the man’s. But, of course women are held to a far higher male-defined moral standard than men are. So, I am not challenging you Rebecca but I think we are in fact agreeing.


  7. Pingback: The Fifteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists! « Rage Against the Man-chine

  8. Pingback: Women who Abuse « inametheviolence

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