On September 30, 1888, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes were murdered by the man known to us as Jack the Ripper. Finding news articles about these two women is difficult, in spite of the fact that their murders are two of history’s most notorious and are commented on in the news to this day. Indeed, according to the author of The Real Mary Kelly, Wynne Weston-Davies: “There have been many other serial killings before and since of much greater magnitude and—in some cases—of equal ferocity, but none have dwelled in the popular imagination as firmly as the Ripper murders.” The trouble is that news outlets only ever focus on Stride and Eddowes’ killer and to a large extent ignore his victims. It is not my intention to paint a portrait of the lives of these two women, but on this day in particular I think they should at least be named and remembered. I have not read much about them but did find some information on the Internet (as well as in Weston-Davies’ book) which appears to be factual.
According to Weston-Davies, Elizabeth Stride "had moved to England from her native Sweden 22 years previously." According to Dave Yost, the author of Elizabeth Stride and Jack the Ripper: The Life and Death of the Reputed Third Victim, she was born on November 27, 1843, on a family farm in Stora Tumlehed, the second daughter of Gustaf Ericsson and Beata Carlsdotter. She was baptized as Elizabeth Gustafsdotter, and she had two younger brothers. Again according to Weston-Davies, Elizabeth Stride “married John Thomas Stride, a ship’s carpenter, in 1869 at St. Giles in the fields.” She was 45-years-old when she was murdered.
Catherine Eddowes was born April 14, 1842, in Staffordshire and had 10 brothers and sisters, including one sister named Eliza Gould. According to Weston-Davies, her family moved to London when she was a baby. “After the death of her father the family was split up and Catherine spent much of her early life in the workhouse or being looked after by relatives […] At about the age of 20 she took up with Thomas Conway, an army pensioner, and bore him three children although she and Conway were probably never formally married.” They eventually separated, and her partner for the seven years before her death was John Kelly. She was 46-years-old when she was murdered.
 Wynne Weston-Davies, The Real Mary Kelly, 2015, Blink Publishing, London, p. 110
 Wynne Weston-Davies, The Real Mary Kelly, 2015, Blink Publishing, London, p. 116
 Dave Yost, Elizabeth Stride and Jack the Ripper: The Life and Death of the Reputed Third Victim, 2008, McFarland & Company, Inc. Jefferson, p. 3
 Wynne Weston-Davies, The Real Mary Kelly, 2015, Blink Publishing, London, p. 138
 Wynne Weston-Davies, The Real Mary Kelly, 2015, Blink Publishing, London, p. 142
 Wynne Weston-Davies, The Real Mary Kelly, 2015, Blink Publishing, London, p. 142
© 2016 Alline Cormier
For the past few days I've been editing a part of my book that focuses on gynocide. I've reported on Helen Betty Osborne and other Canadian victims, as well as victims in other parts of the world. Below are some interesting facts about violence against women in Canada that I've taken from Statistics Canada's website.
As of today the book is 441 pages long (or roughly 265 000 words).
“According to police-reported data, just over 173,600 women aged 15 and older were victims of violent crime in 2011 […] Common assaults accounted for about half of all police-reported violent crimes against women. […] The rate of police-reported violent crime against women was about 5% higher than the rate for men in 2011. […] Women were 11 times more likely than men to be a victim of sexual offences, and 3 times more likely to be the victim of criminal harassment [stalking]. […] Among women, rates of dating violence in 2011 were 60% higher than the spousal violence rate. […] Rates of intimate partner homicides against women rose 19% between 2010 and 2011. […] The police-reported rate of violent crime against women aged 15 to 24 was 42% higher than the rate for women aged 25 to 34, and nearly double the rate for women aged 35 to 44. […] Police reported that in 2011, about 8,200 girls aged 11 and under were victims of violent crime […] Over half (56%) of the violent crimes against girls were committed by a family member, and males were the offender in about 8 of 10 incidents. In addition, nearly 27,000 female youth aged 12 to 17 were victims of violent crime in 2011; casual acquaintances were the most common offenders.”
 Statistics Canada, Violence against women, 2011, Feb. 25, 2013
It's time to celebrate! I have nearly finished editing the first part of my book, which is just over 100 pages long. To celebrate I have assembled a small team of women to take a look at it with me and let me know what they think. I have reorganized the book into three parts, and it looks better this way. (Before it was divided into 13 chapters.) As of today the book is 432 pages long (or 258 971 words), but I'm not losing hope that the further along I get the more I will be able to edit out.
One year ago today three women's lives were stolen from them on the same morning in three different locations of Renfrew County, Ontario, by a man who had previously slipped through the fingers of our criminal justice system on many occasions. In the section of my book that discusses sexism and misogyny in Canada I examine the failings of our courts and police services and the lack of regard for women that ultimately led to the deaths of Carol Culleton, Anastasia Kuzyk and Nathalie Warmerdam on September 22, 2015. Their names have been added to the Renfrew County Women’s Monument in Petawawa, Ontario, which already listed 15 women killed by men--many of whom were current or former husbands or boyfriends.
I spent all of yesterday editing a section of my book that focuses on sexism and misogyny in Canada. I had a look at a 2012 report entitled Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (as one of the many reports I discuss). This report lists 67 murdered women from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and covers the case of Robert Pickton, the serial killer and pig farmer who was responsible for a significant number of these murders. In the report inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal also recounts the case of 'Ms. Anderson', who is likely the only woman to have ever survived an attack by Pickton. Unfortunately, after he handcuffed and stabbed her on his Port Coquitlam property in 1997 and she miraculously managed to escape him the police failed to conduct proper follow up. Astoundingly, he was released on bail and later the charges that had been brought against him were essentially dropped (they were stayed). He wasn't arrested again until 2002, which means that from 1998 to 2002 he was free to rape and murder more women--and he did.
The inquiry commissioner focused on police failings in the deaths of these 67 women. This was what drew me to the report because one of the things I discuss in the section of my book that covers sexism and misogyny in Canada are the ways in which the police (including the RCMP) fail women and girls by not protecting them.
As usual I spent my sleeping hours writing my book, which unfortunately adds nothing to word count. However, I woke up with many ideas to incorporate and am very happy with my day's work. A section of my book entitled Sexism and Misogyny in Canada now has a new subheading: How parliaments, governments, the courts, the RCMP, police services and the military endanger women and fail to protect them. This afternoon I finished writing up a discussion on the conduct of several Canadian judges, including Robin Camp, John McClung, Robert Dewar, Pat McIhargey and Keith Yamauchi.
As of today the book is 421 pages long (or 251 899 words).
Today I edited a section of my book that discusses the National Sex Offender Registry. The more I look into this ineffectual tool the more I see cause for alarm. This thing that could be an effective mechanism to protect women and girls from violence (sexual or otherwise) has far too many built-in faults. To a lesser extent I also examine the Ontario sex offender registry--which was launched three years prior to the federal registry--and some of the shortcomings of Correctional Services Canada. The main focus is on pointing out the specific ways in which these tools and agencies fail to protect women from violence perpetrated by men (the overwhelming majority of sex offenders).
Sixty pages into Gail Dines' Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality it is perfectly evident that she and I are on the same page (i.e. the pornographization of pop culture is well under way). She has been researching the pornography industry for twenty years, which is incredibly useful to me since I wasn't born until the mid-70s and have little knowledge about the ins and outs of Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione and Larry Flynt's feuds from the 60s and 70s, as well as how they paved the way for today's pornography industry.
Her figures concerning the big business of the pornography industry are older than mine--which is natural given that her book was published in 2010--but they demonstrate the same conclusion: Wall Street companies that are household names, like Time Warner Cable, are now significant players in this industry. Furthermore, the pornography industry now wields "direct political and legislative influence." (Dines, 2010, p. 58)
As of today the book is 418 pages long (or 248 436 words). I have been reading various versions of and amendments to the Criminal Code and will shortly post something about the first version (1892) on my Excerpts page.
A book I ordered finally arrived! I have been impatient to read Pornland by Gail Dines (2010), and I finally got my hands on a copy. Books arriving in the post is one of my favourite things.
Last night I wrote a few paragraphs about women's shelters because every six days in Canada a woman is killed by her current or former intimate (male) partner, according to a Statistics Canada report published in 2014. In spite of there being over 300 women's shelters in Canada 73% of women and children who sought shelter to escape male violence in 2015 were turned away due to a lack of resources and capacity. Male violence against women really is endemic in Canada.
As of this morning the book is 413 pages long (or 246 211 words). I'm starting to think this edit will get me closer to 500 pages, and I will have to take it from the beginning to chop more out.