Who has heard of a bunny boiler? This is a woman who becomes obsessed by a man and goes on to kill or become violent. So called from the female character in Fatal Attraction. She was having an affair with a married man, and was demonised in the film, whilst the married man was depicted as a victim and hero, even though he was betraying his wife.

The term ‘Bunny Boiler’ has recently been used again for the murderer Sarah Williams who murdered Sadie Hartley. Read the ‘bunny boiler’ article. This was an HORRIFIC murder where an innocent, much loved and respected business woman was killed in a premeditated, savage way. What has been brushed over is that her partner had also been seeing Sarah Williams, and there is no doubt this contributed to Hartley’s murder.

I live in a country where 2 women are killed by their partners or ex-partners. There is even a popular song which is essentially a man murdering his wife – Delilah by Tom Jones. A ‘Crime of Passion’ is often used to describe these situations, not that they are obsessed, or ‘bunny boilers’.

There are also HORRIFIC stories of fathers murdering their children, and usually wives, and the reporting is often that he was a lovely man who ‘snapped’: not a monstrous killer who denied his family of their own lives. Of course there is a case that these fathers are mentally ill, but they COULD be monsters who for a long time have created hell in their homes behind closed doors, but sympathy is given to them.

I NEVER condone murder, violence or hurting people, and I have every sympathy for individuals suffering from mental illnesses. However, there seems to be a system of stereotyping murderers based on their gender; giving women a far harder time for their crimes, and providing sympathy for those who triggered the evil acts. Interestingly when men kill women and their children, there is often a hanging question “Did she annoy him triggering the assault?”

We are all guilty of stereotyping individuals or groups. How often do we catch ourselves saying “Young people don’t listen” or “He’s old so I won’t employ him for this job”? Do we have pre-conceived ideas about people from different regions of the country, gender, nationality or even education?? It is a dangerous route to go down. We are all human beings and it is a way to protect ourselves from people not like ourselves.

But in this digital world, the universe is opening up, and surely it is time NOT to stereotype individuals based on their gender, age, nationality, education. Instead of lazy journalism where journos use gender stereotyping to describe murderers, they could focus instead on the victims and their families. Instead of disregarding talent due to your pre-conceived ideas, open your mind to the possibility of someone working with you who has different experiences that can enrich your life and work.

So let’s stop the bunny boiler stereo typing and look at the bigger picture. This means you too Daily Mail “journalists”.

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Susan Heaton-Wright
About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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