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Anorak | Bunting For Wimmin With Sharon Shoesmith And Karen Matthews

Bunting For Wimmin With Sharon Shoesmith And Karen Matthews

by | 15th, December 2008

KAREN Matthews. Booo! Sharon Shoesmith. Hissss!

Do you know why you don’t like them, why it is you bang on the van as it leaves court, sign a petition to call for Shoesmith to be sacked and want both women to be flayed alive?

Madeleine Bunting knows why:

Sharon Shoesmith, the disgraced former Haringey director of children’s services, went to Pret a Manger last week and then out for a pizza with friends. Who knows, and who cares? But it still warranted a substantial picture and story in the tabloids, to whom this woman has become a hate figure. This is how the 21st century does voodoo: instead of sticking pins in wax dolls, newspaper reporters crawl all over the victim’s life – relatives, in-laws, homes, and even their trips to a sandwich shop.

Several hundred miles away and a million miles in life chances, another woman’s life has been mercilessly exposed to public vilification: Karen Matthews. She was “pure evil”, a slob who had never done a day’s work in her life. Matthews behaved appallingly to her daughter and she will rightly go to prison for it, but her life story was one of such desperate inadequacy that it demanded pity alongside our judgment, not demented mob hysteria.

These two have almost nothing in common – one the professional high flyer, the other an unemployed, unemployable mother of numerous children by different fathers. But they are both women, and the way their stories have been covered in many parts of the media in recent weeks is tantamount to deranged. What goes completely overlooked is the context that the vast majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men on their wives and children; instead, the moral outrage is whipped up to fever pitch and a few women are singled out to be subjected to its onslaught.

Gary Glitter is now known as Geraldine Tinsel…



Posted: 15th, December 2008 | In: Reviews Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink