Interesting, Richard. I’d heard some of the reviews/hype/chat about the book, and liked the idea of presenting the women as three dimensional people – something other than just another dead whore. By the the sounds of it though, Rubenhold equates the women sleeping alone with them being absolved of any contributing blame for what happened to them, which is absurd to the point of fucking awful. It reinforces society’s implicit assumptions that being a whore somehow makes women partially complicit in their own rape/murder. Which is the same as telling a young woman that wearing a short skirt meant she was ‘asking for it. Victim blaming.
I saw a descendent of one of the victims saying that the book made them feel ‘better’ about their relative, that it reassured them. Which is nice, but made me think why on earth did they think badly of that woman in the first place. I mean, really? My gran was in a workhouse as a child. I am proud of her, and hate the system that put her there. I can’t imagine feeling ashamed of her.