Monday, October 26, 2009

Not so cozy mysteries.

Don't you really hate it when people post just to tell you they are sorry about their recent lack of posts? But you know, life is really busy what with the kids cats,conventions,commuting, and...all.

Yeah. I hate that too. *looks about shiftily*

So, as a special treat I'm going to spout off for a moment on something that has been occupying my thoughts ever since I got back from Bouchercon: Misogynistic violence against women in crime novels. At one of the panels I attended at Bouchercon someone randomly through out the fact that women are actually LESS LIKELY to be the victims of violent crime in real life, but in crime fiction the victims are almost always female. I decided to check this out and found a tidbit, at least for American crime: According to the 2008 Bureau of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey "Females were more likely than males to be victims of rape or sexual assault. Males experienced higher rates of victimization than females in all other violent crimes measured by the NCVS."

Of course, these statistics have one major flaw, they only include reported crime (well, how would they include the unreported stuff, now really?) One of the things that I remember from back in the days of getting my degree in Criminal Justice is that most crime goes unreported, and most men who are raped never tell anyone. So, maybe the reported crime statistics can be extrapolated to all crime statistics, but maybe not. Either way, I do believe that crime fiction is really really still skewed inappropriately to violence against women (and, children too.) The question is, why? Why do so many books feature horrible horrible crimes against women?

I'll admit that this question didn't even occur to me until that panel at Bouchercon, but once it was asked I couldn't stop thinking about it, but I don't have any good answers for you. All I've got is a link to an article focusing mostly on Steig Larsson's supposed "feminism" that was originally brought to my attention via Twitter by Barbara Fister, one of the women on the panel that opened my eyes.