the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

Posted by rigorousm on November 25, 2012

DG: It’s true. I have fierce love for Aileen, I’ve always had—oh, call it solidarity—with female “deviants”, criminals and revolutionaries. …One of the reasons I think she’s so captivating is that she defies easy categorization—she is more than just victim, and more than predator. She doesn’t fit comfortably into either the “serial” or “spree” murder categories. She is and isn’t a lesbian. She is not the media’s monster, and is also a little too broken to be the feminist vigilante we need, a Joan of Arc for the Information Age. She is, absolutely, an outlaw….

LK: Aileen is more complicated than just the things that happened to her. That’s why I wanted to do the book. I wanted to show a more complete picture of who she was and how she became a “Monster”.

DG: Right. And it seems to me there are two ways she became a “Monster”—one is certainly through her life and her actions, but there’s also how she was constructed by every single media—everyone in the world, pretty much, has had a say in who Aileen Wuornos is and what she meant… except Aileen. There’s documentaries and Patti Jenkins’ “Monster”; there’s about four different books. There’s articles and TV. It’s signal to noise—I hope we manage to get a little of her voice out there. Maybe someone will hear it even through all the other yelling.

We build the monsters we need: police and politicians needed Aileen to embody evil; feminists used Aileen’s case to initiate a long-overdue conversation about both rape and sex work, the FBI probed Aileen for forensic data; her lawyer and the media needed her for a cash cow. The only thing that Dawn ever needed Aileen to be was herself. And the only thing that Aileen ever needed Dawn to be was there, writing back.

A Conversation Between Daphne Gottlieb and Lisa Kester, Editors of Dear Dawn: Aileen Wuornos in Her Own Words (link)

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