Every Man In Bristol Is A Murder Suspect says MP

Are you a man?  Would you mind being DNA tested if a woman was murdered in your city?

DNA samples from every man in Bristol should be screened as police continue to hunt for the murderer of Joanna Yeates, one of the city’s MPs has urged according to newspaper reports (click this link to read)

Is this a sexist request?

Most men would understand why they were being asked, said Kerry McCarthy, the Labour MP for Bristol East.

She added that DNA testing had proved critical in other murder cases.”Rather than taking DNA just from men in the Clifton area [where Ms Yeates was abducted], where the population is somewhat transient, the operation should be widened to include the whole of the city,” she added.

However, the former Labour junior whip conceded: “Quite how the police would organise this I don’t know.”Ms Yeates, 25, was last seen alive on 17 December. Her frozen, snow-covered body was found at the roadside by dog walkers on Christmas Day.Avon and Somerset Police previously used mass DNA screening in the 1995 investigation into the disappearance of 18-year-old Louise Smith. Officers collected 4,500 DNA samples from local men.

Is it sexist to make such a request? There are certainly sexist assumptions about victims and perpetrators that affect men and boys adversely.

We know, for example, that male victims of domestic violence  are twice as likely to suffer in silence and tell no-one about the abuse they are experiencing.

Furthermore, female rape victims are twice as likely to report the crime to the police as male rape victims are.

All the evidence suggests that if you don’t fit within the sexist assumptions of who is a perpetrator and who is a victim it is far more difficult to get help and support.

And just because most murderers are men, it doesn’t mean that all men are murderers or that all murderers are men.

And what’s nearly always overlooked is the fact that the majority of violence and murder victims are also men.  Globally, men account for two-thirds of the 1.6 people million people who die a violent death every year and in  2008/2009 in the UK 71% of murder victims were male.

More significantly, MEN ARE THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE MURDERED BY A STRANGER than women.

So even if you don’t think that DNA testing 50% of the adult population in this case would be excessive, you are left with the question, why are there no calls to DNA test all men in a city every time a man is murdered by a stranger?

Men are, after all, THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE MURDERED BY A STRANGER than women.

Maybe the people making the call to DNA test all men in this case are being a little bit sexist in that they think that the lives of the 71% murder victims who are male are less valuable than the 29% of victims who are female.

Whether this is the case or not, it is vital for people who care about men and boys to keep putting out the message that the majority of  the world’s victims of violence are  men and boys which is why we need a global campaign to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN AND BOYS and not just campaigns to stop violence against women and girls

About

Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at www.helpingmen.co.uk.

Posted in World News On Men's Issues
6 comments on “Every Man In Bristol Is A Murder Suspect says MP
  1. Doug Devaney says:

    Why not stop at Bristol? If it’s a transient population then surely the murderer could be anywhere in the country. Test us all, why not?

    Such sweeping generalisations smack of the sexual politics of the 80s to which so many of found ourselves hidebound. Are we going to have the “all men are rapists” line follow suit in short order?

    One could take McCarthy’s suggestion to its ultimate logical conclusion and test all the men in the world – after all, the murderer could have skipped the country.

    Then again, who says the murderer’s a man?

  2. Doug Devaney says:

    I really should read before I post.

    That opening line should be “Why stop at Bristol?”

    The point, however, remains unchanged.

  3. glenpoole says:

    Yes why not SHOP at Bristol – and if you do, you won’t mind being DNA tested at the car park pay machine before you leave the city? And then every time a few thousand football fans visit the city to watch Bristol City or Bristol Rovers play, better DNA test them too – yes, shop at Bristol – where every man’s a suspect! Thanks for you thoughts Doug – I’ve adde a few extra thoughts to the post since your comment

  4. […] children to sit next to men incase they abuse the child and a Labour MP for Bristol calling for every man in her city to be DNA tested to find the killer of Joanna Yeates, when it turned out the suspected killer live next […]

  5. […] children to sit next to men incase they abuse the child and a Labour MP for Bristol calling for every man in her city to be DNA tested to find the killer of Joanna Yeates, when it turned out the suspected killer live next […]

  6. […] Every Man In Bristol Is A Murder Suspect […]

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