In the discussion that followed my post on Charlie Manson’s cult (sorry, I still can’t add links to my posts, but you can find it easily in the list of the most popular posts in the right-hand panel), people concentrated on the death penalty issue. This is understandable since it is a complex and divisive subject. I wanted, however, to draw everybody’s attention to the fact that the female murderers are treated far less severely than the man who was not even present when the murders in question were committed and whose only crime consisted of telling the women to kill.
In her book The Dead End Feminism, Elisabeth Badinter discusses how difficult it is to conduct any research that demonstrates that women are as capable of violence as men. It disturbs our narrative of women as vicims and damsels in distress who never inflict violence but always suffer from it. Badinter mentions the research on female Nazis who committed unspeakale crimes during the Holocaust. She also discusses the contribution of women to the Rwandan genocide. Such research, says Badinter, is always ignored in the academic community of the Western Europe and the US. This was surprising to me since the post-war literature of Ukraine and Russia is filled with the images of depraved female SS-members. I had no idea that people still needed to be convinced that the Holocaust was not created by men alone.