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Whenever I read about true crime on the internet, men (and some women) like to show up in the comments to "Just put it out there- do you think there's a double standard in the way everyone talks about Aileen Wournos and male serial killers? Like, people feel SORRY for her, even sorrier for her than for her victims. Is this because she's a woman?"

I was talking about this with my dad and he's a conservative, mind you. He's always noticed this and found it annoying, too. First of all, Aileen Wournos was put to death. Plenty of serial killers, depending on the state where they are convicted, are not. So at the structural, material level, Aileen Wournos did not get any kind of legal perk for being a woman.

Other female serial killers, like Rose West, Myra Hindley, or those who kill family members for insurance money don't pull at our collective heart strings. In fact, they are considered especially revolting. So I don't think even at the social level, Aileen Wournos gets more sympathy for being a woman alone.

Aileen Wournos was pretty unique even among female serial killers. She wasn't a partner to a sadistic serial killer. She wasn't collecting insurance from family members. She was snapping on her nightly predators.

Sympathizers usually say "I believe she believed she was being raped." I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say I believe she KNEW she was being raped. Those men were not bringing her into their cars at 2 am to talk to her about Jesus Christ.

My dad is something of a radical feminist and doesn't know it. His attitude about Aileen Wournos is "What? It's true." He's rolled his eyes that her victims were all innocent, upstanding, loving family men. "I've never cruised bad areas at night when the wife is out of town."

(Yep, he said "the wife." Two steps forward, one step back).

Did these men deserve to die for their actions? I guess that depends on your views of crime and punishment. But Aileen's motive was what it was. It's impossible to apply critical thinking and view her the same way you do other female serial killers, let alone male ones.

It's not a p*ssy pass, you morons.

Whenever I read about true crime on the internet, men (and some women) like to show up in the comments to "Just put it out there- do you think there's a double standard in the way everyone talks about Aileen Wournos and male serial killers? Like, people feel SORRY for her, even sorrier for her than for her victims. Is this because she's a woman?" I was talking about this with my dad and he's a conservative, mind you. He's always noticed this and found it annoying, too. First of all, Aileen Wournos was put to death. Plenty of serial killers, depending on the state where they are convicted, are not. So at the structural, material level, Aileen Wournos did not get any kind of legal perk for being a woman. Other female serial killers, like Rose West, Myra Hindley, or those who kill family members for insurance money don't pull at our collective heart strings. In fact, they are considered especially revolting. So I don't think even at the social level, Aileen Wournos gets more sympathy for being a woman alone. Aileen Wournos was pretty unique even among female serial killers. She wasn't a partner to a sadistic serial killer. She wasn't collecting insurance from family members. She was snapping on her nightly predators. Sympathizers usually say "I believe she believed she was being raped." I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say I believe she KNEW she was being raped. Those men were not bringing her into their cars at 2 am to talk to her about Jesus Christ. My dad is something of a radical feminist and doesn't know it. His attitude about Aileen Wournos is "What? It's true." He's rolled his eyes that her victims were all innocent, upstanding, loving family men. "I've never cruised bad areas at night when the wife is out of town." (Yep, he said "the wife." Two steps forward, one step back). Did these men deserve to die for their actions? I guess that depends on your views of crime and punishment. But Aileen's motive was what it was. It's impossible to apply critical thinking and view her the same way you do other female serial killers, let alone male ones. It's not a p*ssy pass, you morons.

25 comments

[–] marmaladetoast 41 points (+41|-0) Edited

Aileen Wuronos is villainized because she was a truly victimized woman, and she didn't set out to kill anyone but the men who hurt her. The idea of that terrifies (a lot of) men. They don't see her as a person who was unfairly maligned to a terrible fate by abusive forces in her life and an uncaring society, they just want all and any emotion(al labor) and sympathy funneled back to themselves.

[–] RisingUp 39 points (+39|-0)

Imagine a world with more than one Aileen Wuornos. Imagine a world where there had been dozens, hundreds like her.

Men might be scared to rape us. That idea triggers the fuck out of them.

[–] AlwayswithWings 16 points (+16|-0)

I wonder why women don't carry guns. Small ones they wouldn't see coming. That is how you get gun control.

[–] wildpansy 11 points (+11|-0)

I understand why people are afraid of guns, but it really is the only thing that can cancel out the huge advantage men have in strength and size. Personally I believe carrying weapons should be made legal only for women, but unfortunately this isn't a view one can express wihout all of society freaking out. People have really swallowed the whole "women are exactly the same as men" nonsense even though it's incredibly obvious that it isn't true and never will be.

[–] Jellyfishes 0 points (+1|-1)

If the man points a knife to your throat or a gun to your head first, it will be useless.

[–] Spott8ni 20 points (+20|-0)

Did she get marriage proposals and a dedicated fan club comprised of men while she was on death row? Probably not huh?

[–] Killer_Danish 20 points (+20|-0)

Meanwhile, there are HUNDREDS of examples of sadistic male serial killers throughout American history alone.

Misogynists only seems to want to focus on the very few women, though, just so they can all caps in the comments: "WOMEN ARE JUST AS BAD AS MEN (IF NOT WORSE!)"

Misogynists purposefully don't attempt to understand nuance... Aileen killed men who were killing her soul through rape; that is nowhere near the depraved methods of sexual torture executed by Golden State or BTK. Yet there is a whole section of the internet dedicated to making mountains out of molehills where dispicable women are involved... Hey, that's why the male version of a "Karen" is "male Karen"!

[–] wildpansy 18 points (+18|-0)

It's already been proven women are judged more harshly for our actions than men. Even expecting this to be the case, one would still expect for people to have more empathy for someone like Aileen. She was always all alone in this world. How many women like her have been killed by serial killers and are still out there somewhere because cops can't be bothered to investigate missing prostitutes? And then one woman turns it around on them and she's the worst person to ever live. People use men's pasts to excuse their actions all the time and most of the time those pasts aren't half as tragic as Aileen's life. Just some nonsense about how their daddy left them and their mom nagged too much passes as an excuse for men, but women can have everything that can go wrong happen and are still expected to behave like saints. Sick of it. They killed her, what more do they want?

[–] chrysthefeminist 13 points (+13|-0)

Yes. This is not a society that tends to grant "pussy passes", but it gives penis passes galore. They're sick, lying disgusting parasites.

[–] SamuraiGhostCat 17 points (+18|-1)

Men can’t be feminists or radical feminists.

The rest of what you said is true though. Aileen had an awful childhood, and was raped and sexually abused. I can’t remember the whole story but it’s on her Wikipedia page. I honestly cried when I read it. :( And tbh, any woman that kills rapists is a hero to me. Supposedly the other men were “innocent,” but paid sex is still rape. They aren’t innocent if they buy women’s bodies!

(This doesn’t apply to the truly innocent bystanders though who didn’t approach her for sex.)

She’s misunderstood. After so many rapes, I would snap too. There’s only so much shit women can take.

[–] MsTig0 11 points (+11|-0)

She lived with her grandparents because her mother - who was just a child when she got married - abandoned her and her incarcerated father committed suicide. Aileen was repeatedly raped by her grandfather and at the age of 14 got pregnant when her grandfather decided to share her with friend of his. She was also sexually abused by her brother. When she was 15, her grandmother died of alcoholism and her grandfather threw her out of the house.

Her childhood was so awful, so traumatic, so full on horrid that she must have been a completely broken person.

[–] SamuraiGhostCat 9 points (+9|-0)

Holy shit I hate men. Monsters.

[–] MsTig0 9 points (+9|-0)

Uh huh. I've heard people call her a man-hater. Why wouldn't she hate men?? All, I mean ALL the men in her life treated her like she wasn't even human, like she was just a rag they could use and throw away.

[–] Verdandi 10 points (+10|-0)

Uffda, salty men downvoting you. Sorry dudes, not everything in the entire fucking world is for you. So sorry :'(

[–] SamuraiGhostCat 8 points (+8|-0) Edited

Yeah I wish the males here would just leave, they know 95% of us want them to leave anyway, but they don’t care about women’s wishes or boundaries. Oh well. :|

[–] MonstrousRegiment 14 points (+15|-1)

A phrase that comes to me whenever I read about her:

Aileen Wuornos died for our sins.

I'm not quite sure what it means, it just goes through my head spontaneously.

[–] IronicWolf 8 points (+8|-0)

When you read Aileen Wuornos’s history, it’s difficult not to feel sorry for her. I think it’s also probably true that she killed men who were raping her. This immediately sets her apart from other serial killers who killed purely for pleasure.

She was sentenced to death despite having psychiatric issues. I’m also pretty sure she wasn’t inundated with fan mail from ridiculous people who then got pregnant by having six in the prison visiting room (like a Ted Bundy groupie did). To say she was treated more leniently just isn’t so.

Rose West is an awful woman. But one thing I find interesting is that Fred West had actually lined her up to be one of his victims but he fell in love with her instead. So she could easily have ended up victim rather than perpetrator.

With the Moors murderers, Ian Brady was a paid up psychopath with all the usual traits apparent from an early age. Myra Hindley on the other hand was not. From my reading, I get the impression that Brady would have done what he had done no matter what whereas Hindley had she not met Brady probably would have ended up being the frumpy working class Manchester housewife of her nightmares. This does not excuse Hindley. She had agency. She chose Brady knowing he was a ‘bad boy’. She willingly helped him in his crimes. That is all on her.

[–] inTERFerence 4 points (+4|-0)

Let's look at the method of murder; she's killing people with a gun-aka a very non-intimate way. Are we really supposed to compare her to Jeffery Dahmer and BTK?

[–] Spuntime 2 points (+2|-0)

firing squad is apparently the most humane method of execution (though it can go wrong), so Aileen was pretty humane in dispatching men who where paying to rape her.

[–] Marmorsymphata 3 points (+3|-0)

lol, imagine seeing the horrible "I feel so bad for Jeffrey Dahmer you guys he was just so misunderstood" section of society and thinking Wournos got a special unique pussy pass