Now that someone has been accused of the death of these five women, and a trial is beginning, its very much back in the news. And the Daily Mail, true to form has produced this column:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/columnists/columnists.html?in_article_id=423549&in_page_id=1772&in_author_id=322&expand=true#StartComments (for a better analysis of this article go to http://feministfire.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/5-women-dead-richard-littlejohn-says-its-no-great-loss/)
I think its fair to say that this evil man is one of those enemies that I struggle so much to love! This article is almost unbearable to read. Firstly, like most of the news coverage it has defined these women by what they do, in fact, most of the coverage I saw when they died refered to 'five prostitutes murdered' and never 'five young women' murdered. And in the eyes of most people reading it, this actually changes something. Prostitutes aren't real women, not like your mother or your sister, they are disposible and there death doesn't mean much. As Littlejohn says, "in the scheme of things, the deaths of these five women was no great loss." I find it so hard to believe that he can understand so little. Yes, the lives of these women was a HUGE loss. It was a loss to their families, to their children, and it was loss to all of us who have missed out on all that they could have done with their lives. Death is always sad, in this case even sadder than usual as life had been so horribly unfair to these women.
Littlejohn's other classic (and I do hate this man, however much I try not to), is this: "We do not share in the responsibility for either their grubby little existences or their murders. Society isn't to blame." Yes, Richard, you do share the responsibility, everyone who can even suggest that women like this are worthless shares the blame. It is the fault of you, and people like you that the man who killed these women thought it was an ok thing to do. After all, they were just prostitutes, what did they add to society? Its not like they were doing anythings useful! And yes, it is the fault of society. Totally completly and utterly, and I include both myself and dear Richard in that. It is the fault of a society where some people (like me) are born with all the chances in the world and others are born with none. A society where womens value is so completly placed on their bodies that their body is seen as a valid thing for them to sell (after all, isn't it the most useful thing we have?). It is our fault that there is so little help available for women who are addicted to drugs, our fault that prostitution is so hard to leave, and our fault that lives our ruined and in this case are ended because we fail to do anything about it! And maybe things will actually begin to change when people like us not only realise our responsibility but begin to actually do something about it.
And I can't help but compare the views expressed in the Daily Mail, that good old right wing paper, filled with good, 'Christian' members of society, with the life of Jesus. Because one thing I am sure of is that Jesus did not think that the lives of prostitutes were worthless. He spent time with them, cared for them and loved them, because He was able to see all the good in them, was able to see past their "grubby little existances" and know that God loves them. Perhaps its time the mail took more of a lesson from the radical who began the religion that they claim our country is based on. I pray that they do, and I pray that it completly, utterly and totally changes them and gives them the grace and compassion to see beyond peoples awful circumstances and love them for the people they are.
And I'm not really sure what I can do to change a world that is so cruel to women, but I'm going to start by mourning Gemma Adams age 25, Tania Nicol age 19, Emily Alderton age 24, Paula Clenell age 24 and Annette Nichols age 29. May you rest in peace, and I pray that justice will be given to those that you leave behind.