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Shannon Mathews

(392 Posts)
user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 07:36:41

This was a shocking case. The child was without a doubt a victim in terrible circumstances. Her own Mother stashing her away under the bed of her partner...drugging her, lying to the public and to her friends about such an awful thing.

But.

Does anyone here think that the press and the public demonised her in a far worse fashion than criminals who do worse have been?

She was pilloried, called terrible names...really made into a sort of figurehead for everything "unwomanly" when there are plenty of men who commit arguably worse crimes and who get away without the public disgrace.

Yes she did a truly awful thing but the fact that she was

A: A woman
B: Working Class
C: Ignorant
D: Unattractive

All added up to ensure that she was the perfect example of a demon woman. Can anyone expand or tell me more about this sort of thing? Do you agree with me? Are there other cases which are similar?

aquabluepool Mon 12-Dec-16 07:38:02

Loads, I guess it started with Myra Hindley? I could be wrong.

CadleCrap Mon 12-Dec-16 07:47:36

I always thought she was demonised as it was not long after MM went missing and and the Mum thought she could make a bit of cash.

user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 07:49:51

Aqua Myra Hindley was surely far worse than Karen Mathews though?

cadle yes...I think the fact that the press was initially outraged at the lack of press Shannon's case got when she was first reported missing, went a long way to feeding the flames once it was realised what happened.

There'd been comparisons between both families and papers were saying how unfair a working class child wasn't given the same attention.

user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 07:51:35

It's a tricky subject because of course there can be no denying that what went on was shocking...but so many factors come into play.

A huge amount of naivete on the parent's part. The plan was to release Shannon and then "discover" her themselves, thus claiming the reward. They were actually going to take her to the police station having "found" her.

That's almost childlike in it's simplicity and lack of understanding.

HardLightHologram Mon 12-Dec-16 07:54:15

Yes it's a very good example of how the press treat people differently.

They did a terrible thing, but why was it deemed worse than leaving three small children alone in an unlocked hotel room, really?

It comes from the same place as the DM including people's house prices in every article.

MorrisZapp Mon 12-Dec-16 07:55:17

I'm really sorry but I thought it was dodgy from the start. And thus it proved.

I see what point you're making, and I agree to an extent, but you can't have a 'working class Madeleine McCann' story unless the child is truly missing. Poor Shannon was the victim of her own horrifically disfunctional family.

In the course of the investigation, her latest stepfather had illegal images on his computer.

This isn't the 'salt of the earth'.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 12-Dec-16 07:56:45

She wasn't working class. She was Benefits class. Never worked.

MorrisZapp Mon 12-Dec-16 07:57:30

This thread won't last if it's for attacking the McCann. One wonders what more punishment would be acceptable for some people.

Boogers Mon 12-Dec-16 07:59:55

'Benefits class'. Wow, there's a new one, and so early in the morning too. Nice.

SexTrainGlue Mon 12-Dec-16 08:00:07

Missing children for whom there is a high profile search and public appeal are very rare.

I can't think of any others in which the child's own mother was involved in the disappearance.

Child killers are pilloried by the press, irrespective of their sex. It's just a case of how high profile the case was in the first place.

user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 08:00:30

Morris hmm Its not. I never brought the McCanns up. Another poster did.

user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 08:02:03

Hang on a minute. I do NOT want this to be anything to do with the McCanns.

It's about women being demonised for crimes which whilst bad, aren't half as bad as those committed by men...I asked for specific cases like that of the Mathews case which might be similar.

I can't believe some of these posts. This is in FEMINISM!

user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 08:02:39

So again...lets' not discuss the missing child aspect of it. But rather the way in which Karen Mathews was demonised.

SexTrainGlue Mon 12-Dec-16 08:06:54

You cannot possibly have any proper discussion of how Karen Matthews was "demonised" without looking at what she had done.

And how others in those circumstances (can't think of any) were 'demonised'. And - if no other examples of parents kidnapping their own children - then the closest examples of others who have abused their DC were reported on.

MorrisZapp Mon 12-Dec-16 08:07:50

I think you're going to struggle, sorry. Nobody can see past what Karen Matthews did. It was truly a unique crime, of outrageous cynicism and venality.

I agree that men have committed eg murder and rape and yet we don't remember their names, but the sad fact is that men do that shit with such depressing regularity it doesn't have the power to shock.

As others have said, this case was unique. That's why it had such high news value. And yes, mothers always get more flak than fathers. Even if the dad is the perpetrator, the public want to know 'where was the mother?' .

Lottapianos Mon 12-Dec-16 08:09:09

I remember that the lead detective described Karen Matthews as 'pure evil' after she was found guilty and thinking it was pretty outrageous. She did a truly dreadful thing, and was extremely stupid and greedy, and had no empathy for how terrified her young daughter would be, but 'pure evil'????

MorrisZapp Mon 12-Dec-16 08:09:30

And every unfair judgement of her turned out to be true. She was exactly what she looked like.

user1477282676 Mon 12-Dec-16 08:12:26

Morris I agree it was a unique case...I suppose that's what's led me to start a thread about it.

I can't think of anything similar now you've pointed it.

TheHouseOfIllRepute Mon 12-Dec-16 08:14:21

It is true they are not working class
The clue is in the name Working
Sadly we do have an underclass of families who have several generations of family member who have never worked

MorrisZapp Mon 12-Dec-16 08:17:31

Maybe a man wouldn't have the idea in the first place as only a mother would be believed in the way that KM was. A dodgy looking grieving dad wouldn't have made it onto the national news, whereas society assumes no mother would lie about such a thing.

Thisjustinno Mon 12-Dec-16 08:24:34

I don't think she was evil. I think she was neglectful and abusive though.

And Myra Hindley was rightly demonised. But she also had many, many supporters campaigning for her release because she was a woman and women are nurtures so she therefore 'must' have been controlled/manipulated into murdering children by Ian Brady. When it seems that Myra was a highly manipulative individual herself; to the point a prison officer went to prison for trying to help her escape.

Ian Brady didn't have people campaigning for him to be released with a new identity.

I understand what your saying OP. I just googled the case and came across a Sun article following her release which goes into huge detail about her weight, haircut, 'makeover' etc. I can't quite put my finger on what I find uncomfortable about it, but it's almost as though the crime she committed is somehow worse because 'she's a woman wearing make up'. I'm not articulating it very well,but I do think women are judged differently to men for similar things.

MorrisZapp Mon 12-Dec-16 08:30:22

Of course she was manipulated by Brady. Clearly she had deep deficiencies in her character, but if she hadn't have met Brady I cannot believe for a moment she would have set about harming children on her own. My mum told it about it, as an early lesson in feminism. Her crimes were a fraction of those committed by Brady but more people could remember her name, and she was considered the more evil of the two.

WhisperingLoudly Mon 12-Dec-16 08:31:12

They did a terrible thing, but why was it deemed worse than leaving three small children alone in an unlocked hotel room, really

Hardlight you think drugging and restraining a child for 24 days, including leaving her with a noose around her neck is the same is leaving DC in a hotel room for an evening?! FFS! hmm

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