Sunday, October 11, 2009

Survivor Sunday: The Myth of Males

So, I'll be trying a little something different and special for weekends...Sundays will be "Survivor Sundays" which will give some (admittedly sometimes tongue-in-cheek) information on how to stay just a little safer, or at least a little more aware of potential danger.  For the first try at this I'll be looking at male-victimhood and how the idea that men can't, or are rarely, victims of serial killers is a big ol' myth.  Beware boys!

Myth #1: Men aren't really victims of serial killers.

Au contraire mon fraire, they most certainly are!  The reasons they become victims are varied, some are just the guy between the killer and the girl while others are, in fact, very much the target.  Their murders just happen to be seriously downplayed or overlooked.  A series of murders in which the victims are all gay men strangled to death may be attributed to a series of lover's spats or sexual encounters turned violent without a connection ever being made.  And a woman who loses a few hubbies might be considered to just have terrible luck instead of being a suspect.

Myth #2: The men that are victims, aren't victims of serial sexual homicide.

It's cute to think that, but also totally wrong.  Anyone remember Jeffery Dahmer?  He murdered 17 males between 1978-1991; murders that included a number of sexually charged acts beside the kill itself - such as rape, torture, dismemberment, necrophilia and cannibalism.  Even without those sexually charged acts Dahmer's own quote concerning what he did makes it a sexual homicide: "I would cook [the body], and look at the pictures and masturbate."  He killed, it got him off, so Dahmer was very much committing serial sexual homicide and his victims were exclusively male.

Myth #3:  Only gay men are victims of those types of murders.

Not at all.  True Dahmer targeted gay men...but then he was a gay man himself and it was simply very easy for him to pick up a gay guy at a bar, bring him back home for sex, and then attack.  Honestly the victim's sexuality has little to do with whether or not they're a's more about the sexuality, or apparent sexuality, of the killer.  John Wayne Gacy, bisexual, killed straight men - straight men to keep up an appearance of heterosexuality in the community.  He frequently offered his targets jobs to lure them to his place where he would then ply them with liquor and (straight) porn to get their guard down before attacking.

Myth #4: Men can fight off their attacker.

Well so can women, but that doesn't always mean they'll win.  Just like the serial killer targeting women the serial killer targeting men is going to pick the guy he's pretty sure he can take.  The little guy's a pretty frequent target, so's the overly drunk or drugged (which can happen before or after the victim and killer meet).  A killer might also blitz attack first - it's kind of hard to fight back if you're smashed over the head with a bat beforehand - to ensure they have total control.  The killer wants to be successful no matter the victim he chooses so he'll do just about anything to make sure he is.

Myth #5:  Men only have to fear female serial killers who are "black widows".

One name, two words:  Aileen Wuornos.  She shot and killed seven men, all of whom were her "johns".  Think of it this's a little hard to avoid becoming the victim of a female killer with your pants down and a gun in your face.

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