Friday, December 15, 2006

Recent coverage about the Ipswich murders...

Here's a helpful comment piece:

The Ipswich murders: they were women, weren't they?
Matthew Parris,,173-2502129,00.html

This one was interesting as well:

Prostitutes deserve as much sympathy as any murder victim
Joan SmithTuesday December 12, 2006,,1970129,00.html

But I found this headline rather annoying...

Drugs are the curse of our land and turn women into prostitutes
By Simon Heffer

Really? Are drugs the sole cause of prostitution? Actually, I think it's men. Obviously not all men, but if there wasn't a market for anonymous sex-on-demand, these women would find other ways to feed their addictions and make ends meet. I also reject to the author using the term 'tart' to refer to prostitutes. Either treat people with respect or don't talk about them at all. How would he like it if I referred to him constantly as something very rude? Also, I wonder, how could he even begin to understand what might drive a woman (or a man, for that matter) into a life of prostitution? Blaming drugs is very handy - it's a faceless evil. Looking at society's constructions that lead people to take drugs and to move into this kind of lifestyle is much more demanding. Which is why no-one wants to do it.

Also, a friend pointed out that the news coverage constantly refers to the victims of these murders as 'girls' - they were not girls, they were women. How interesting that even though this is such a serious issue, the victims themselves are not being taken seriously.

My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims of these awful murders and to those who work and live in the area.


1 comment:

James Church said...

Don’t people take drugs because it gives them a high, that combined with the fact that their lives seem both worthless (low self-esteem), boring (frustration), and meaningless (goal-less) provides drugs with appeal... drug abuse is then sustained by addiction (psychological and physical), society sets the context but the individuals must choose to change (as anyone who has lived or worked with drug addicts will know).

Reading back over this comment- I am aware that I have portrayed context and character as totally separate entities but this is not true. Context includes everything from social deprivation, family upbringing, availability of drugs, youth sub-culture, etc. Character is formed by our beliefs (life is about happiness), moral or immoral examples of response to context, genetic predisposition, early developmental phases of life etc.

It should be noted that demand and availability are all linked this is a never ending cycle… both drugs and prostitution- it is not that men cause prostitution or that women cause prostitution rather it is context and character which are entwined.

Looking at men and prostitution, the context includes social deprivation, family upbringing, the availability of sex for money, and a sexually saturated culture or sub-culture. Character is formed by beliefs (expectation of rejection), moral or immoral examples of response to context, genetic predisposition, early developmental phases of life etc.

It is easy to play the blame game, its all men (or lust), its all drugs, its all this or that, but in reality it is a whole number of reasons- and they all impact upon the character of the individual, to excuse people from individual responsibility drug addict, sex addict, woman abuser is counter productive- but equally to blame the individual can make you a part of the problem as that can result in the disempowering of the individual (greater feeling of rejection and dependence upon substance).