In this CNN story about a woman who is in prison for killing one man and has just been charged in connection with a bank robbery in which another man died, there is this rather curious paragraph:
Diehl-Armstrong, 58, was the valedictorian of her high school class, but her trial in Roden’s death showed that her life since was full of severe mental problems, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — and a deep hatred of men.
First of all, I’m not sure whether that’s meant to suggest that “a deep hatred of men” is itself a severe mental problem, or if “a deep hatred of men” is just another thing of which her life was full, in addition to severe mental problems. In either case, the proof of her “deep hatred of men” is that she’s killed several men—allegedly the one who was killed during the commission of the bank robbery, the one for whom she’s in prison for killing who was her former lover, and another one in the 1980’s of whose murder she was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense, as she claimed he had physically and sexually abused her. Well, that’s compelling evidence that she’s certainly hated a couple of men, at least one with what sounds like good reason. But it’s not exactly finding the SCUM Manifesto in her bureau drawer, either—by which I mean, nothing suggests she killed these blokes just because they were blokes. And if she killed them for greed or vengeance, that doesn’t make her a “man-hater” any more than Sammy the Bull.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to argue that she’s a good person. She’s a convicted killer. I just find it a little fucking obnoxious that she’s described as having “a deep hatred of men,” especially when male serial killers who are on trial for butchering multiple women they have targeted specifically because they are women are more likely to be described as “sexually obsessed” with women than as harboring “a deep hatred of women.” To wit: CNN wrote up this entire story in 2003 about an alleged serial killer (who has now been convicted) without once suggesting he hated women, despite the fact that he had also been previously suspected in not one but two murders. In fact, the opposite was suggested:
Derrick Todd Lee is described by those who recently encountered him as a charming man who started a Bible study class at a motel in southwest Atlanta, worked construction jobs for cash, barbecued for his neighbors and liked to court women.
“Lee also liked to invite women to his room for cognac,” we’re told, and he procured his victims by “smooth-talking” them. It was all just a wonderful romance until the stabbing began, I guess.
And let us not forget the recent story about the fashion designer who was charged with 32 counts of rape, sexual battery, lewd acts on a child, etc. against girls and women ranging in age from 14 to 23, which was headlined The Designer Who Liked Models. Yeah. Liked them so much he raped them.
Again, I’m not saying Diehl-Armstrong’s a good person. I’m not even saying she doesn’t have “a deep hatred of men.” Maybe she does, although this story doesn’t explain that. I’m just pointing out how vastly different the coverage is of women and men, and how it reinforces the disgusting narratives (beneficial to neither women nor men in either case) that women kill any man because they hate all men, but men kill lots of women because they love them so gosh dern much.
[Thanks to Peggy Sue for the link.]