The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Crazy People Are Dangerous

Posted on | September 28, 2019 | Comments Off on Crazy People Are Dangerous


Last week, feminist writer Sofia Barrett-Ibarria wrote an article for Vice headlined, “How Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos Became a Cult Hero.” This caused an uproar, and not merely because making heroes of serial killers is a bad idea. The article included this paragraph:

“I think part of her appeal to me personally, in this cultural moment, is that Aileen Wuornos was a woman that men feared,” said Bailey. Wournos’ memory offers hope that terrible men like Jeffrey Epstein, Brett Kavanaugh, and countless others will ultimately get what they deserve. “A prostitute hunting men instead of being hunted is a deeply comforting story.”

Lumping in a justice of the Supreme Court with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein with the suggestion that “what they deserve” is to be murdered? After this raised an outcry, editors re-wrote the paragraph:

As reports of powerful men who abuse vulnerable women continue to surface, it’s hard to deny that survivors are craving stories of revenge — stories where victims not only live to survive the abuse, but fight back. “I think part of her appeal to me personally, in this cultural moment, is that Aileen Wuornos was a woman that men feared,” said Bailey. At a time when we are constantly inundated with stories like that of Jeffrey Epstein and Brett Kavanaugh, her story is an example of men facing repercussions for their actions. “A prostitute hunting men instead of being hunted is a deeply comforting story.”

This is still deeply wrong — Kavanaugh was the victim of a partisan smear, and there is exactly zero evidence that he ever abused anyone.

The real problem with the article, however, is that the underlying theme is morally reprehensible. I am willing to believe that the first man Wuornos killed, a convicted rapist named Richard Mallory, may have attacked her, but he was shot multiple times. How many times do you have to shoot someone in a self-defense situation? Normally, we would be astonished to find “progressives” making a pro-Second Amendment argument, but in the case of Aileen Wuornos, the pistol-wielding prostitute becomes a “cult hero,” and never mind the absence of evidence in support of her story of being attacked by Mallory. The other men murdered by Wuornos were less easily demonized. Peter Siems, for example, was a 65-year-old retiree who devoted himself to Christian ministry; Charles Humphries was a retired Air Force officer. It would appear that the motive was robbery in most of these cases, although it is difficult to determine any rational motive in the case of someone like Wuornos, who was diagnosed as a psychopath by the psychiatrists employed to determine her fitness to stand trial.

Aileen Wuornos, in prison interviews before her 2002 execution.

Yet this murderous psychopath is celebrated (as in the “I’m With Her” T-shirt) by leftists who certainly would not have applauded her had they lived in central Florida in late 1990 after police announced they were hunting a serial killer, a report that terrified residents. Decent people recoil from the claim that a “prostitute hunting men” was somehow justified in killing seven men — most of whom perhaps were guilty of nothing more than offering a ride to a hitchhiker — because of the abuse she had suffered from others. But feminism!

“It’s really easy for society to paint women and other oppressed people as villains when they react in unhinged ways that are often violent, but it’s important to look at how capitalism, cis heterosexist patriarchy, and misogyny really put her in many of the positions she was in that made her murder,” [lesbian activist Dani] Love said. “She was a victim of so many structural oppressions. Sex workers in her field lack protection, which allows violence to happen. Sex workers cannot go to the police for help because they are directly connected to the oppression of so many marginalized groups who often are sex workers: women, black and other people of color, LGBT people.”

Let us stipulate, arguendo, that Wuornos could fairly be described as a “victim of so many structural oppressions.” Was she the only such victim? Had a committee of victims appointed her their avenging angel? Did Wuornos herself articulate any such understanding of her crimes? Or is it rather the case that her latter-day admirers have projected onto Wuornos an interpretation of their own manufacture? Yet this political interpretation is preferred by “progressives” over the ugly truth of who Aileen Wuornos was, and how she became such a monstrous killer. In 2014, I traced her biography briefly:

The other day, I saw a TV documentary about serial killer Aileen Wuornos: She started having incestuous sex with her brother when she was 9 and he was 10. By age 11, Aileen was selling sex to neighborhood boys for pocket change and cigarettes. She got pregnant at 13 and gave the baby up for adoption.
At 15, Aileen’s behavior was so out of control that her grandparents kicked her out of their home and thereafter she supported herself as a prostitute, while also accumulating a criminal rap sheet that included charges like DUI, disorderly conduct, car theft, assault, forgery, armed robbery and resisting arrest. Somewhere along the way, she also became a lesbian and by 1987 she was living with her lover, Tyria Moore.
By then in her early 30s, Wuornos supported the couple by prostitution. In 1989, Wuornos and Moore went on a murder spree, killing seven Florida men in less than a year. Moore agreed to testify against Wuornos in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
So, yeah, if pedophiles want to argue that “consensual” child sex is harmless, maybe they should ask Aileen Wuornos about that. Except she’s been dead for nearly a dozen years. She was 46 in October 2002, when the state of Florida put her down like a dog.

The same “progressive” movement which now wants to make a “cult hero” of Aileen Wuornos has, at various times, supported the abolition of age of consent laws, and argued that children should be included in the “sexual liberation” they so vociferously advocate. But we cannot expect the Left to make logical connections between causes and consequences, because otherwise they wouldn’t be the Left, would they?

And so they celebrate a serial killer, and falsely impugn Brett Kavanaugh, and we can only hope that when some impressionable fool acts on the Left’s rhetoric, no innocent people with suffer.



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