New feature: The epidemic of male violence against women

A spate of convictions has put femicide into the headlines again. But, as Jennifer Drew reports, the media is still blaming women – and ignoring ‘everyday’ incidents of male violence against women

It has been a particularly horrible few weeks in respect of UK’s men’s sexual and physical violence against women. On Friday, 22 February 2008 Steve Wright was convicted of murdering five young women. The same day, Mark Dixie was convicted of murdering Sally-Anne Bowman. On Monday, 25 February, 2008 Levi Bellfield was convicted of murdering Marsha McDonnell and Amelia Delagrange. Bellfield was also convicted of attempting to murder Kate Sheedy. All three men have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

So what is the connection between these male murderers. The answer is all three men hate women and all three men targeted women simply because of their biological sex. There is a term for this and it is not misogyny – it is femicide. Femicide means women who are murdered by men exclusively because they are women.

All three cases were high profile and received mass media attention. Steve Wright’s claim to infamy was that he targeted prostituted women and murdered five young women within a very short time frame. Mark Dixie’s claim to infamy is that he chose a young, white aspiring model to rape and murder. Levi Bellfield chose to target young blonde-haired women and he selected these young women while they were travelling home after dark on buses. All the ingredients of salacious sexual violence and murder which is always guaranteed to ensure newspaper sales will increase dramatically for a few days before reverting to normal.

Read on here