The Five

 

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I know it’s been forever since I blogged, but I miss it and will try to blog regularly going forth. I’ve got a lot going on in my personal life and have had to sideline a lot of stuff, but I miss writing so I will do as much as I can.

I have been reading a lot. I just got back from vacation and I read this book. The Five is about the five victims of Jack the Ripper. I’ve long been a fan of true crime, and used to listen to a lot of true-crime podcasts. With my growing consciousness as a radical feminist I’ve been examining my interests in this genre.

Almost all the victims are women killed by men, and most of the true crime podcasters are men. I have a major problem contributing financially to men profiting from the murder of women by other men.

The infamous ‘Ripper Tour’ has long been on my bucket list should I ever find myself in London–unlikely, but you never know. This tour has become controversial of late as being the glorification of male violence. An opposing tour has started, highlighting the victims which is what led me to this book.

The Five is an indepth look at the lives of the Ripper victims. It’s shockingly indepth given that these women were purportedly prostitutes, born 150 years ago the author was able to find an astonishing amount of information about them. The most amazing fact she discovered is that of the five, only two had records of being prostitutes. The other three were assumed to be streetwalkers because they were out-of-doors at a late hour. Never mind, that it was common for poor people who didn’t have the price of a bed to ‘sleep rough.’ The author further speculates that it’s possible that the Ripper attacked his victims while they were lying on the ground, sleeping.

And that’s another aspect of the story that’s so very striking. The issues that led to these women being available to killer are very common to anyone with even a passing interest in social services today. The speed at which a woman could go from being a respectable working class wife and mother, to a homeless alcoholic sleeping on the ground is breathtaking. Having worked in social services, this is remarkably familiar. And that’s a damned shame.

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