I was at a book presentation for a book about Bea Wyett and with Bea being a little girl that’s mostly who were in the audience; little girls. the little girls had some very deep questions but one question stuck with me.
One little girl asked, “Why are all the murder victims always girls or women?” And added. “I don’t like stories where they are always writing about killing girls.”
I was caught off guard without a real answer. I couldn’t say most mystery stories murder victims are not women and girls, because they are. I knew, I have always felt there was too much feminine violence even in a lot of ancient literature.
So what answer did I give?
Well, none at first for once I was flabbergasted when I looked down at their sweet little faces and saw how serious they were. I couldn’t explain to a group of seven or eight year olds that these are just stories. That no one is coming to kill little girls.
I eventually explained that these are make-believe stories. No one actually dies. She asked, “Supposed some people don’t know the difference and kill real girls?” The librarian and the original inquirer’s mother cut in explaining she’s an extra curious child.
I told them that killers like those in the books are very rare and if literature make them uncomfortable it put it down. It’s perhaps too advance for them.
They tweeted away at lighting speed on their phones and pulled up at least thirty books where were the murder victims were girls and asked me did I know the authors? And if so, tell them to quit writing about killing girls. I explained I didn’t know any of the authors.
As I drove home, I realized those little girls were right. All the raved over stories surrounding death or murder almost always involve a woman or a girl.
I knew there has always been lots of gender (female) violence in every form of literature. I had not realized it had become so horrible that it make little girls cringe.
I once heard called all the world major religions, Male Chauvinist Death Cults. I am wondering if he’s right.