It’s OK to wank over Foxy Knoxy now

Amanda Knox has won her appeal, and her conviction for the murder of her flatmate has been overturned.While I am no legal expert, it had seemed to me like much of the evidence against Knox had been circumstantial, and, considering further scrutiny found her innocent, it would appear that Amanda Knox is not a murderer.

Whether Knox was a murderer or not always seemed to me to be the important thing about the story: who killed Meredith Kercher? Was her flatmate somehow involved in the crime? Unfortunately, for many, this was not particularly relevant. Aside from the typical tabloid recounting of grisly scenes of murder, what was more salient was that Amanda Knox was an attractive young woman. The tabloids lapped it up. “Foxy Knoxy”, they called her.

It is immediately apparent that the interest had never really been in whether Knox killed anyone: after all, we never hear of Horny Hindley or Chesty Westy, as both Hindley and West were not deemed attractive or young enough to provide the fascination.

Amanda Knox, on the other hand, was reported on at times in a way that only omega-list celebrities going to the shops are reported. Take for example, the 2010 Mail article about Knox’s slander hearing: the headline read “AMANDA KNOX CHOPS OFF HAIR AND SUFFERS “DEPRESSION” BEFORE SLANDER COURT HEARING”. Here, the hearing–the actual, newsworthy part of the story–is added almost as an afterthought, behind the story of a young woman getting a haircut and suffering from mental health problems, which, with typical Mail sympathy, are hygienically sealed off with quotation marks as though they do not exist at all. The first line is even more telling: “The cool-headed composure and piercing blue eyes remain familiar from her murder trial.” Knox’s looks, to the Daily Mail, are far more important than the news.

The tabloids appeared to have quite the crush on Amanda Knox, and therefore desperately tried to crowbar in as many photographs of her as possible around slight allusions to the actual story. Never is this more apparent than in tabloid discussion of Knox’s sex life: gushingly lurid descriptions, followed by a slight tut-tutting, just so they don’t look too much like they’re cracking one out over someone who might be a murderer–except for those, like this tweeter, who actively preferred the idea that Knox was a murderer.

It must be an utter delight, then, for the crass media types to finally be free from the guilt of a crafty wank over a killer, following Knox’s appeal result. No-one was more open about this fact than Channel 5 televisual torture The Wright Stuff, who proposed as their phone-in question:

Parts 2 & 3: Foxy Knoxy: Would Ya?
So Amanda Knox has been cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. She’s entirely innocent. She’s also undeniably fit and loves wild sex. Or did. So if you were a guy who’d met her in a bar and she invited you back to hers, would you go? I’m being quite serious. Or would something in your brain make you think twice?

There are interesting, relevant things to be discussed around the story of Amanda Knox’s appeal. For example, what might be the impact of being imprisoned almost four years? How does this reflect on the Italian justice system? What about Raffaele Sollecito, who was also cleared on appeal?

Instead, though, there is the same old tired focus on Amanda Knox as a sex object rather than a human being, except now one can spunk on her photograph without having to fold the Daily Mail article over where it alludes to her crimes.

Our misogynistic media is thoroughly obsessed with two things: attractive young women and lurid crimes They must be utterly delighted that finally some legitimate wanking material has emerged from the story of a murder.

 


10 responses to “It’s OK to wank over Foxy Knoxy now

  • Roger Moore

    I agree entirely with you except for one thing – Myra Hindley is totally hot.

  • Ben

    The Mail and the Tabloids sexualise a young woman and ignore important aspects of a story? Whodathunkit.

  • Richard B (@Slacker_richb)

    The mail is the middle class equivalent of the daily sport.

  • Jess

    Completly agree. However. Myra Hindley’s face is now deemed so socially acceptable as a publicly owned cultural image, rather than a police mugshot of an eventually convicted serial killer, that there are art pieces made of it, and club fliers for ‘Club Myra’ night feature her image.

    So yes she didn’t get a derogotory nickname, but her face has been as used by the media just as much as Knox’s.

  • Media circus | newstantrum

    […] In the aftermath the tragedy has descended so far into farce that I’m surprised the news haven’t appointed some sort of jester to appear pulling faces and waving a stick every time the words “Foxy Knoxy” are mentioned. The Mail led with the uber cynical “Weeping Foxy is Freed To Make a Fortune” The Star Led with “Foxy Knoxy Walks Free” – in a day where there was actually some blessed fucking relief from X-Factor on the Red Top Front pages. Then Matthew Wright went and put his stupid mouth in his foot like he did years ago with the John Lesley thing by announcing that a topic for debate on his godawful show would be “Foxy Knoxy Would Ya” – a title so insensitively staged that I’m beginning to think that the man is a professional TV troll. (More on that here) […]

  • Steven Maclean (@Steven_Maclean)

    I followed the case very closely (studied criminology wanting to be a profiler for a while before realising I’d have to be a copper for a few years before being allowed to help catch the real bad guys) and it was pretty clear she was innocent.

    I totally agree with you. As I had a genuine interest in the case I was always pissed off with the diversion into her as a sex object, and on more than one occasion people I know who are for the most part decent made comments like “still would” when I talked about her.

    In a sense there is something interesting in the question The Wright Stuff asked about the prejudice towards people exonerated of crimes, but clearly that can be looked at without a scenario of potential sex. The difficulty she might face gaining employment for example, but in her case, with a well-off family and now this celebrity status it probably won’t have the same effect as it does on many others.

    As Matthew Wright was the guy who (quite rightly) outed John Leslie, perhaps I should phone up one day and ask him if he remembers what he got up to when I met him in India!?

  • little ershin

    I find it bizarre that the press focused on her sex life, her looks and jaunty nicknames. Actually, not bizarre; I’ve come to expect it from them. It’s just that there were so many interesting things about this case, from a criminology POV, that you would think they’d have more than enough to speculate about.

    Apparently not. Apparently, cultivating a ‘celebrity’ status for Knox was more important than, you know, the actual trial.

  • sianushka

    excellent post. sorry to link troll, but this was my take on it: http://sianandcrookedrib.blogspot.com/2011/10/angels-whores-and-witches-media-and.html

    I think she has inhabited the four roles the media allow women – angel, whore, witch and sex object, and the incessant use of sexist language to describe her, as you say, show:
    ‘Our misogynistic media is thoroughly obsessed with two things: attractive young women and lurid crimes ‘

  • This News in Mentalists – The Ireland Speaks Up About Madness Edition « This Week in Mentalists

    […] If you are alive and have any form of communication with the outside world, whether through TV, radio, internet (you must have internet or you’d not be reading this, right?) or whatever, you’ll no doubt be well aware of the news that Amanda Knox, formerly convicted of the murder of English student Meredith Kercher, has been acquitted and released from custody. For the first wildcard, stavvers at Another Angry Woman examines how Knox was presented in the media. […]

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