My phone was off this weekend. When I turned it on today, it exploded with notifications about this headline blaming a murdered woman for a man’s choice to kill her and their 7-year-old daughter. Their names were Emma and Lettie. They were killed by a man who was supposed to love them and care for them, but instead chose to murder them. He is the only person responsible for this choice. 

It struck me, as I was reading through all the furious responses to this headline, how much our understanding of the media’s role in men’s violence against women has changed since FixedIt started in 2015. 

Back then, any suggestion that a man who killed his wife and child can never be described as a “good guy” was met with rage and contempt. I was told by (male) journalists that I didn’t understand journalism, by (male) readers that I didn’t understand men, by (male) trolls that I am too fat to write and too ugly to have an opinion. 

Oh, the good old days of using death threats and rape threats to stop a woman saying that committing rape or murder gets a man voted off the “good guy” island.

Back then, a man who married the woman or fathered the children he killed would get sympathy for “being driven” to killing them. He was still a “good bloke” and a “loving father”. Only if he killed another man’s women and children was he a murderer, and then he was a monster, immediately and easily distinguishable from other men. 

The Daily Mail headline proves these attitudes still lurk in some dark corners of the tabloid swamps, but the overwhelming response also proves how much has changed. Very few people needed convincing that this headline was egregiously disgusting. Fewer needed the reasons explained. And most of us were shocked because it’s no longer common to see such overt victim-blaming in a headline.

The MailOnline is the deep-fried twinkie of journalism. Cheap, mass-produced, overly processed pseudo-food. It might look attractive if you’re having a rough day, but no-one feels good after consuming it.

The Mail doesn’t care how you feel though, they just need clicks and eyeballs for advertiser. Hate readers have eyeballs. So, be angry about this headlines. Push back, tag the Daily Mail and associated publications. But share screenshots, not links.

Don’t reward them for serving you putrid twinkies. 

Want to know more? Buy the FixedIt book direct from my website:

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

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Books by Jane Gilmore

Fairy Tale Princesses Will Kill Your Children

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