‘Death by fire’

I want to address some of the complaints I have received after posting this tweet on another blog recently as an example of online misogyny:

I haven’t included the name of the tweeter of this particular statement since I have seen similar statements tweeted out with increasing frequency recently. I find these statements offensive and misogynistic. I don’t think it matters who says it or who it is directed at: the statement “death by fire” is misogyny.

People get angry. They say stupid shit deliberately to harm others. When we lash out, we can be very cruel. But, there is a huge difference between lashing out in anger and wishing a specific group of people should die in a horrific and violent way. Wishing people dead in such a painful manner isn’t an acceptable response to anything. 

“Death by fire” isn’t a meme: it is triggering. 

It’s a common way women have been murdered throughout history. From the murder of Joan of Arc through the witch-hunts to the murder of women by abusive men today, “death by fire” has been used to control and punish women who step outside the bounds of acceptable female behaviour. Using this language at a group of women you disagree with is just another patriarchal control tactic.

I understand that many people disagree with me on this issue but I am not going to change my stance. It is never acceptable to wish a violent and horrific death on anyone. It is never acceptable to name specific women you want to die in such a violent manner. 

Women are oppressed. We experience oppression in a multitude of ways depending on our race, class, sexuality etc. We should not be compounding the oppression of other women by excusing the use of violent languages and images. 

6 thoughts on “‘Death by fire’”

  1. agree completely that this phrase is totally out of order. It’s in the same category as rape ‘jokes’. 4 people died the other night in a fire as it is now a common way of ‘punishing people’ this phrase should never be used.
    If it was the youth and anger of the users this is a good time to educate them why this isn’t acceptable in a loving and informative manner.

    1. I keep thinking of Mick Philpott who set fire to his house with his 6 children in it to punish his “mistress”. He murdered his six children to get back a woman for leaving him and yet we’re supposed to believe this phrase is just “letting off steam”?

  2. The hindu tradition of a surviving wife being burnt on her dead husbands funeral pyre comes to mind, that is women being punished for surviving their husbands. Women, fancy them surviving men, what a crime against humanity hey. ( yes, intentionally ironic)

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