Thursday, 13 March 2008

Women Blaming 101.

Today, a man was found guilty of the murder of a woman. Not particularly surprising. Neither is the fact that despite this murder being carried out by a man, a woman was held to blame. In this case, it was not the victim, Krystal Hart, but the victim’s neighbour, Angie Brewer, with whom she had a long-standing feud. Angie Brewer had made a number of complaints against her neighbour to the council, many of which the police felt were nuisance complaints. The row between these neighbours had escalated to the point where they had CCTV cameras installed on the doorways and noted the number plates of vehicles parked outside the house. It was a bad situation.

A male friend of Angie Brewer, of whom the judge noted:
It is a sign of your warped mentality that you took the rantings of that demented woman seriously...and thought you would curry favour with her by carrying out those threats yourself,
killed Krystal Hart, in the hope that he would impress Angie Brewer.

Did Angie ask him to do this? No. Did the police find her in anyway criminally responsible? No. And yet, the prosecuting lawyer argued:
This defendant did what he did precisely because of the underlying animosity and him empathising with Angie Brewer. She will have a huge moral responsibility.
Why is Angie Brewer morally responsible for this? Did she ask him to murder her neighbour? No. Did she expect him to murder her neighbour? No. Did she arm him or suggest to him that this was a good idea? No. Did she report him to the police when he confessed to her? Yes. Now, I am not arguing that Angie Brewer was a good neighbour or against the fact that her complaints about her neighbours made their lives miserable. But, there is a fundamental difference between being a bad neighbour and murdering someone.

Why is it when a man murders a woman that a woman has to be held to blame? She is not responsible for this murder, morally or otherwise. A man killed Krystal Hart because he was obsessed with another woman. He killed her because in his sick mind that would ingratiate him to Angie Brewer. This is not Angie Brewer’s fault and to suggest otherwise is to blame a woman for the actions of man. This places women in an intolerable social position where they are not only responsible for their own behaviour, but those around them. Would we ask the same of man? Placing the responsibility of this murder on Angie is anti-woman and it is cruel. A man murdered Krystal Hart and he is morally and criminally responsible for her death.

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