The media coverage surrounding Ashling Murphy has been the first story in a while that the media has designated as more important than Covid. This is a relief to many, but it leaves us with the question of why the media-class has highlighted this as such a consequential story.
Is Female Homicide a Growing Trend?
The Irish Times published an article titled, “One-third of homicide victims in 2021 were women”, with its sub-heading as, “Proportion is highest since 2017, with most allegedly killed by partner or ex-partner”. This title is reminiscent of a quote from Hillary Clinton when she stated that, “Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat”.
Although this quote has more context to it, it does reveal the hyper-female oriented worldview that some people have. To someone with a more balanced perspective, this quote is self-refuting as it is obvious that the gender that’s dying in war is clearly a bigger victim than the gender that has to cope with the other gender dying at war.
Similarly with the Irish Times article, if one of the genders is one-third of the homicide victims, that would imply that the other gender is two-thirds of the homicide victims. I feel the writer doesn’t even comprehend this self-refutation and proceeds to publish this title as if this one-third figure is unacceptably high.
The sub-heading creates even more alarm as it states that the already excessively high ‘one-third’ is the highest since 2017. The article unfortunately doesn’t show the full context of these statistics, so I’ve posted the full context of these statistics below using their own source, Women’s Aid.
These statistics slightly conflict with the statistics provided by the Irish Times. I presume this is due to the different terminology used. The Women’s Aid, Femicide Factsheet, uses the term “died violently”, which presumably doesn’t include women that died ‘peacefully’. The CSO uses the term “Homicide and related offences”; the Irish Times article just uses the term “homicide”.
I don’t want to bog you down with these semantics, what would be more beneficial for us all would be to look at the graph and conclude whether female homicide is a growing issue as claimed by many. The graph, surprisingly to some, shows a gradual trend downwards. No doubt, an astute and reputable publication like the Journal.ie will publish a fact-checking article soon that will relay this information to a wider audience.
Tullamore Murder and Media Manipulation
I haven’t seen anyone make the comparison, but there seems to be many similarities between the deaths of George Floyd and Ashling Murphy. Both gained extensive coverage from the media-class, and both of their murders were portrayed as part of a untalked about trend in society. George Floyd’s murder was used as an example of white people, especially white American Gardaí, oppressing black people. Ashling Murphy is the gendered version of this; it’s an example of men oppressing or abusing women.
The interesting thing behind these stories is that these stories aren’t representative of what the statistics say. The statistics show that the people that kill African-Americans the most is their own race, and as I have shown above, using their own sources that they provide, that female homicide isn’t a growing trend.
This gets us further down the rabbit hole where we have to ask ourselves the question, “Why is the media-class promoting these unrepresentative stories?”. I feel like the only honest answer to this question is that the media-class are trying to push an agenda.
Our media-class have a certain worldview that differs from the masses. In order to inculcate the masses with their viewpoint they use an array of techniques. People like Noam Chomsky have written extensively on this topic. The main techniques used by the media class, according to Chomsky, are the media-classes “selection of topics, distribution of concerns, emphasis, framing of issues, filtering of information, and their bounding of the debate”.
These techniques are used continually, but the media-class have learned that the masses respond better to their messaging when only one issue is focused on at a time. Instead of climate change, feminism, racism, homophobia etc. all being promoted equally at the same time, the media class lock in on one issue if an event happens that suits the narrative. Just as the masses become bored of this issue, the media-class shift over to another issue and the cycle continues. In this way, the passions of the masses are continually kept at a fever pitch as they are consistently being exposed to a new shocking event that cries out to the heavens for vengeance.
The purpose of these campaigns is less to do with changing laws and more to do with changing the perception of reality in the masses and promoting conformism to the media-classes point of view. This conformism is especially potent in the young when a social media campaign, like last summers ‘Blackout Tuesday’ or the current Ashling Murphy version that has been going around on people’s Instagram stories, is incorporated into it.
What is the End Goal of this Campaign?
Michael Healy-Rae recently advocated for the legalisation of pepper spray in response to the murder of Ashling Murphy. Most comments were generally in favour of it. If there is a growing threat against women, an easy solution would be, as Michael Healy-Rae pointed out, to help women better protect themselves. Another simple solution, that was mentioned in the comment section, would be to increase the legal punishment for those that murder or abuse women.
The interesting thing about these suggestions was that the feminists in the comment section disagreed with these suggestions. “Completely missing the mark there Michael”, one commenter said. The solution they suggested instead was to for men to be “educated”, and I feel this optimises the end goal of this campaign: education. Or in other words, the masses need to alter their behaviour and their perception of reality. Women should become more resentful and afraid towards men, while men need to become more submissive towards women.
What Does ‘Educating Men’ Entail?
Another aspect that gets overlooked when it comes to his concept of ‘educating men’ is the underlying belief that the reason men harm women is because men hate women. Therefore, according to their logic, if we can educate men not to hate women, then these crimes will cease to exist. This line of reasoning has no basis in reality; it’s completely delusional.
This line of reasoning can be seen in the Women’s Aid Femicide Factsheet. All male-on-female homicides are assumed by default to be caused by the man’s hatred of women. Their opening line states that, “Femicide is broadly understood as the killing of women and girls by men”. This sounds like a reasonable, although unnecessary, definition. Further down the introduction, a conflicting definition is given. This definition defines femicide as “a term used to describe killings of women and girls precisely because they are women and girls”.
Although this is just my assumption, I feel the second definition is the definition they have internalised and is the definition they promote. I suspect this because the introduction goes on to state that “femicide is both a cause and result of gender inequality and discrimination, both of which are root causes of all violence against women”. This is an astounding assertion to make. It takes a few rereads to truly grasp what they are saying.
Gender inequality and discrimination causes men to murder or harm women. Therefore, only feminist men aren’t a threat to women, or if you want to take this further, even the existence of men is a threat to women.
This campaign was undoubtedly a success as there was no counter narrative to the one espoused by the media-class. No doubt, there will be campaigns similar to this in the future.