Thursday, 15 July 2010

Because according to The Mirror, Cross-Dresser = Killer

Has anyone read The Daily Mirror recently? No? Well, I don’t blame you, normally I wouldn’t either. But recently there was a rather interesting article on Raoul Moat, the gunman who killed himself and shot three others over a period of seven days. With a history of violence, steroid abuse and an eighteen week sentence for assaulting a relative, he was indisputably dangerous. Within three days of his release he had shot his ex-girlfriend’s new partner and a police constable. Clearly, the man was volatile and twisted – that cannot be contested.

The Daily Mirror reported as much. The article condemns him as ‘a living monster’ who, according to a previous partner, ‘made her life hell with a string of beatings that almost killed her, a vicious rape and mental torture during jealous rages fueled by a cocktail of steroid drugs.’ Fine. Dandy. I’m not going to argue with that. Why would I? I have no doubts that she’s telling the truth. The man sounds absolutely horrific; every inch the maniac that the article portrays him as.

What I am going to argue with is this: “Marissa Reid, 32, told of the killer’s kinky cross-dressing… he made her life hell with beatings, rape and mental torture.”

I’m sorry, but what? What, pray tell, does cross-dressing have to do with killing? The two don’t belong in the same sentence! Here was a sick, twisted and evil man who ruthlessly abused his partners before proceeding to shoot three people in cold blood. He was a demented, vile individual and I’m glad he’s gone. But the fact that he cross-dressed, that he “[dressed] up in [his ex-partner’s] clothes and make-up, even parading around in a mini-skirt… loved trying on [her] skirts, dresses and even [her] thongs” is utterly inconsequential. It is a tiny, insignificant fact about a malicious murderer and bears about as much relevance to his actions as the fact he has blue eyes.

What exactly are they trying to say? That cross-dressing has a direct correlation with homicidal tendencies? That his fondness for woman’s clothing was a sign of his mental instability? Because that’s what it seems like to me. And, of course, that’s absolute rubbish. It’s merely statistics: there’s a section of people that enjoy cross-dressing, and a section of people that enjoy killing. Despite the thankfully minute proportion of the latter, the two groups will, at some point, inevitably and tragically overlap, thus opening the floodgates for the bigots and zealots who declaim different as dangerous. Of course, it’s not true. I’m willing to bet a whole lot of money that there are more killers and madmen who write with their left hands than cross-dress. Are we then to assume that being left-handed is a mark of the liable killer? That all left-handers are prone to sudden and bloody murderous riots? No, of course not, because that would be stupid. We ditched the theory that the left hand was a sign of evil when we moved away from the repression of the Victorian era, and I think it’s high time that The Mirror did the same.

(The article in question can be found here).