That’s another lie nailed

The debate on Woman’s Hour this morning about women and crime writing was really interesting. As previously mentioned, it followed a comment by Ian Rankin in an interview with me that women write the most graphic violent crime – and the most violent of the lot is by lesbians. It is a comment that has been made to me before, always off the record, by other crime writers, male and female. Like other generalisations, it seems to be without much foundation, which is why I wanted to discuss it in the open. Anyway, you can listen to the piece if you click on this link: Woman’s Hour
One thing we didn’t have space to talk about – I was sat alone in a studio in London, so it was hard to raise fresh angles – is that of the reluctance of many male crime writers to write graphic scenes of violence involving women or about paedophilia.
What these writers say is that they feel uncomfortable with the subjects and flinch at allowing such darkness into their imaginations. I also think there is a degree of fear among male writers that they can’t touch these subjects without somehow being sullied by them.
Of course there are male writers providing challenging and different viewpoints of the male experience of crime, but I would like to read more, as I think there is a lot to be said for reading about men not as perpetrators of such crimes, but as victims of them, as father, son, brother, lover of the victims and as victims themselves. That, of course, is a whole other can of worms….

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