In a latest episode on Aileen Wuornos within the docuseries, Catching Killers, one speaking head investigator is baffled by her actions. He can not perceive why this lady has dedicated such brutal crimes towards males. He says it’s “like a piece of fiction” whereas the opposite detective on the case says, “Nobody can perceive why she did what she did.” However I disagree.
The explanations for this killing spree that these males can’t account for are clear to me given America’s historical past of male violence. Within the 2003 movie Monster, we see Charlize Theron enter right into a trauma response each time she will get right into a automotive with a person: She is paranoid and on guard. From what’s insinuated of Wuornos’s lengthy historical past of experiences of abuse by males, this response is to be anticipated. A triggered lady is just not a thriller. Monster succeeds the place this docuseries from the angle of the investigators fails, as a result of it comprehends the ache and abuse that made Wuornos into somebody the Catching Killers detectives can’t wrap their heads round.
In distinction, the cishet male assassin holds a coveted spot within the cultural creativeness. He’s usually depicted as worldly smart, having nice style in music and artwork, for instance Hannibal Lecter — as performed by Anthony Hopkins or Joe Goldberg as performed by Penn Badgley on the televised sequence You. These male murderers have instincts to violence that they can not resist. They’re offered as an inevitable evil; they can not change their predatory nature.
Once I consider Wuornos, I believe additionally of Elisabetta Sirani’s portray “Timoclea Killing Her Rapist”(1659). Timoclea forcing her attacker down the nicely is a putting picture. His legs are unfold aside, mimicking a pose maybe much like one he might have compelled her into when he assaulted her. With this swift motion, Timoclea shifts the ability dynamic. Male violence makes approach for the revenge of the oppressed lady. Wuornos might not have chosen the suitable males for the nicely, however her anger can positively be understood.
We’ve too many depictions of male murders, males who kill as a result of they’ve a compulsive tendency to violence. I need to see extra girls whose rage is aware of no bounds, who refuse to show their hatred into self-destruction. We have to see the cultural historical past of feminine violence as a historical past of retaliation, a fuck-you to the patriarchal violence girls persistently expertise. We want an area for our anger. Ladies’s rage deserves to be unpacked and understood as greater than bunny boiler hysterics as a result of like Serani’s Timoclea, a lady killing her rapist flips the patriarchal hierarchy, upending the male violence that also dominates views on girls in our visible tradition.