Double standard watch: the “gay panic” defence

Yet another lowlife who murdered a man and stole things from him has claimed that the victim made sexual advances, and that he became “enraged” and “had no other choice” than to slay the victim. He’ll probably end up being charged with manslaughter rather than murder, if similar cases are any guide.

As Pam Spaulding asks:

When are they going to allow women this “he made a pass at me” defense when she knocks off some pathetic sleazebag pawing at her?

Note that actually I don’t think anyone deserves to be killed for merely making sexual advances, but if such a defence is OK when a man makes it, why isn’t it acceptable for a woman to make it?



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, law & order

8 replies

  1. This anecdote is not in the same league, but it seems relevant.
    I remember many years ago having a chat over drinks with a colleague – he suspected his manager was gay. He was appalled at the idea – he claimed because he was worried his manager might make a pass at him.
    The manager in question wasn’t someone I could imagine harrassing anyone (male or female), so I remember thiking two quite contradictory thoughts – thinking he was pathetic for worrying so unnecessarily, and thinking that he finally understood what it was like to be female in a workplace full of male hierarchy.
    I still think I was right not to be sympathetic, but it was an interesting set of contradictions.

  2. Yes, very relevant. I wonder how many of these men who are “enraged” or “panicked” at the thought of a man making sexual advances to them have opined many times that women ought to be flattered when men make passes/catcalls?

  3. Bloody well put there, tigtog.

  4. I also wonder why it never occurs to any of them to say “I’m not gay” rather than beat the guy to death. Obviously that is what is screaming through their head. Perhaps merely saying it is not enough to convince themselves.
    Arianes last blog post..There has to be a better way

  5. Yes, very relevant. I wonder how many of these men who are “enraged” or “panicked” at the thought of a man making sexual advances to them have opined many times that women ought to be flattered when men make passes/catcalls?
    As it was explained to me by one young man who was appalled that I didn’t see that his reasoning was so right as to be axiomatic: Men making advances to women is normal sex, everyone is having normal sex, why get all upset about it? But a man making an advance to a straight guy is perverted. It’s not “normal,” so it’s right to be horrified and grossed out when a gay man makes a pass at (male) you, but you should be flattered and pleased when a straight man makes a pass at (female) you.
    He was unable to get it. He just kept bleating “But it’s NORMAL!”

  6. The defense isn’t OK when a man makes it though. It’s still a homophobic ruse for hate crimes and murders.
    I understand what you’re getting at tigtog, I really do. And the answer’s that the judiciary and society are homophobic as well as sexist and those forms of prejudice are mutally reinforcing in hetero-patriarchy.
    That privilege to have concerns about my own sexuality taken as seriously as someone who can invoke homophobia- as well as patriarchy- is one I don’t want though [says the queer woman].
    I get what you mean, really.
    I prefer the telling double standard for women of the fact that women hardly ever kill straight men who rape, while straight men often kill the women they rape.
    Yet, stereotypes about violent retaliation for sexist crimes remains directed at feminists in general and Aileen Wournous in particular.
    It only takes 1 rape surviving woman who kills per every few thousand rapes and murders to keep people treating the man hater paranoia as totally defensible. Same with the ‘strong women are castrators” paranoia in light of actual Female Genital Mutilation practices.

  7. the answer’s that the judiciary and society are homophobic as well as sexist and those forms of prejudice are mutally reinforcing in hetero-patriarchy

    Yes, that is exactly what I was getting at.

    I prefer the telling double standard for women of the fact that women hardly ever kill straight men who rape, while straight men often kill the women they rape.
    Yet, stereotypes about violent retaliation for sexist crimes remains directed at feminists in general and Aileen Wournous in particular.

    You’re right, the discrepancy is utterly bizarre.

  8. I have said out loud and thought it many times when some male gets all thing about the vague possibility of another man making eyes at him.
    “Look, you aren’t attractive to most women, why do you think you would be attractive to men…”
    Its so far from a excuse to harm someone, it would be funny if it wasn’t true and still deemed reasonable by some.

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