You know how people can watch violence against humans all day long but if someone kicks a puppy it’s a capital offense? I’m sort of guilty of this myself. I love action movies and Law & Order SVU, but if someone shoots a guard dog or a horse gets hit with a arrow meant for its rider, a teensy tiny part of my soul cringes. This happens in books, too. You know what else I see a lot of? People being more sensitive to violence against women, moreso than violence against men. Personally, I cringe for both sexes if the assault is particularly cruel and unusual.
Case in point? Russell Blake’s Fatal Exchange. It’s his first novel, and it’s about a female bike messenger who becomes entangled in an elaborate conterfeiting scheme meant to deplete the value of the US dollar while a select few make millions. If that wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s also a serial killer running around targeting female bike messengers in NYC. What a bummer for her, right? Anyway, I enjoyed the book. It was kind of like reading a Quentin Tarantino movie. Eventually I’ll add my thoughts to the Books I’ve Read In Bed page.
So, before I downloaded the book, I read some of the reviews. One review stuck out. It was a 2-star review that started off with this sentence:
“The amount of space and words dedicated to extreme violence against women was somewhat surprising to me.”
Now, I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone, but the serial killer does cut off the breasts and scalps of his victims, as well as cut out their eyes. That’s rough, fair enough. But it’s not described in detail. It’s mentioned when the victims’ bodies are found, that’s all. Here’s what I thought was amusing: there are no less than half a dozen MEN that get gruesomely tortured in this book. I’m talking ice picks through their eyes, certain reproductive organs removed inhumanely, faces melted off with boiling oil, etc. I mean, WAY more “space and words” were “dedicated” to these acts of violence against men. And this woman mentions it absolutely nowhere in her review.
A curious double standard, don’t you think?
People often look over violence against men in books, movies, and in everyday life. How many times do you read about a man being abused in a marriage? Not much. Men are supposed to be strong, while women are the weaker sex. Yet, women can hold women down just as much as men can.
The reviewer points out the violence against women, probably coming from the view that these women were defenseless against this serial killer. But, what about all the men that died, like you pointed out? Weren’t they just as defenseless as the women?
People need to stop putting gender labels on men and women. Women can be just as strong and capable as a men and men can be weak and defenseless. I definitely think there is a double standard there.
Omg, I forgot to mention that most of the men who were tortured were middle-aged/bordering on elderly. One was morbidly obese and could barely move or breathe. Another was in a fricking WHEELCHAIR. So, yes, women can be strong and men can be weak and defenseless. It’s a ridiculous double standard.
Thank you for your succinct agreeance with my post!
The harsh reality is that double standards exist in all forms, gender, race etc. On this point though, both sexes can and are abused and are victims of violence but the double standard does exist so violence against women will always be highlighted more or be expected to be highlighted more.
I’ll give you something to think on that was on another blog. When men get rape in prison, we laugh, make jokes and such, I guess because they are criminals right? WRONG!! They’re human but when a woman gets rape, well we all know the story. Both of them are human but I guess in this case some less human than others
Never thought about the prison rape argument. Well said.
So true. True, and sad.
Yes, it’s very sad. Thank you for stopping by!
I’m especially glad you just didn’t write me off as a jerk after my post that you disagreed with. That means a lot. Thanks again.