Women and crime do match, sometimes and men are abused, sometimes.
A new article titled “Lethal Ladies: Revisiting What We Know About Female Serial Murders” is in Homicide Studies by Farrell, Keppel, and Titterginton. It’s a good article. And I get the need to draw people in with catchy titles, even in an academic journal. But language matters.
My problem with the titling of this article is the word ladies. Ladies carries such heavy connotations of gendered expecations. A lady should be nice, sophisticated, stylish, feminine, polite, unobtrusive, sensitive, caring, classy, and quiet. It is the juxtaposition of these connotations with the term lethal that makes the title catchy.
I understand that female offenders occupy a strange place in the imaginations of academics and the general public. There is the sexualization of female inmates, the invisibility of the typical female offender, and the demonization of non-gender conforming killers like Aileen Wuornos. Don’t think that gender-conforming female convicts have an easy time…
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