Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fatality and Femmes, Women in Crime Fiction

Christa Faust talks murder, dismemberment, and gender politics. Super fun article. 


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  2. Very fun article.

    One thing that immediately occurred to me was that while women may not fetishize murder victims, a shocking number of them fetishize murderers, especially serial killers. So the gender dynamic put forth here makes an interesting point. If female victims are fetishized due to the perception of helplessness, are male murderers fetishized because they come across as powerful? And does the other part of her theory hold true? If a man who pursues the murderer is confronting the same potential for violence in himself - is a woman who pursues a relationship with a known murderer looking to confront her own desire to be victimized?

    I think I agree that women do not tend to objectify the male body to the degree that men generally do to the female form, so the idea of a woman developing an immediate romantic attraction to a male murder victim strikes me as unlikely. And the perception of the victim's helplessness may indeed play a part. I think the idea of 'male-as-protector' is pretty deeply engrained. However, I could see other factors overriding that assumption of weakness. If he died performing an heroic act. Or If he were a well-known celebrity with a particularly masculine persona. Or if the woman gained more knowledge of the victim in the course of an investigation that showed him to be uniquely appealing to her particular romantic sensibilities.

    In that case, I'd be tempted to make it a ghost story, so they'd ultimately have the opportunity to connect and communicate.