Mother. Wife. Sister. Daughter.
Murderer. Rapist. Captor. Thief.
Why is it that the juxtaposition of those two sets of terms evokes a palpable shock wave of conflicting emotions within the reader? It is almost as though the groupings are automatically processed and classified by our brains as incongruent.
Since the dawn of time, women have played many roles in society, and have been depicted in many different ways in the theology, art, and literature which has defined our culture through the ages. Very rarely has woman been depicted as a creature who is equally capable of the viciousness and brutality which is so often associated with the masculine realm.
Most people accept that violence can be senseless, and carnal, and base. We acknowledge that there isn't always a valid or justifiable explanation for criminal behaviour; sometimes, some people do unspeakable things to one another purely for the physical and emotional satisfaction they obtain from domination and inflicting pain. It has been well-documented that for a small sub-section of our society, doing terrible, awful things feels good.
It is interesting to note that cases in which a woman was characterized in this way are rare to non-existent. Rarely (if ever) has a women been awarded complete licence and agency to commit cold blooded murder. The women in our court systems are presented as victims (direct or indirect) of their male-dominated society, without the will or the way to think and act for themselves. Women are presented as the victims of coercion, and they commit "crimes of passion." And women don't go to jail; they rehabilitate.
Could it be that females are born without that inherent "evil" gene, or is it rather a widespread societal reluctance to accept that women are capable of exemplifying what it perceives as perverse duality?
Fractured, vicious, beautiful.
She is a rare creature, indeed.
Contained herein is a collection of articles, essays, books, reports, and letters which seek to explore the psychological, sociological, and cultural environments associated with the violent female offender.