An illustration of the Butcher Baker and a rifle
Illustration by Olivia Bermingham, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Thoughts x
An illustration of the Butcher Baker and a rifle
Illustration by Olivia Bermingham, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

These infamous serial killers illustrate that sexism can be life-threatening.

Trigger Warning: Mentions of Suicide, Sexual Assault and Abuse

Robert Hansen, also known as the Butcher Baker, was a serial killer who lived in Anchorage, Alaska, and owned a well-known bakery in town. Though Hansen abducted, raped and killed 17 women, he initially evaded any suspicion due to how well he blended into society. When he was later arrested, Hansen admitted that he murdered the victims because he wanted to punish all women for the romantic rejections he experienced in his youth. Unfortunately, he is not the first or only misogynistic killer. In 2014, Elliot Rodger murdered six people near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rodger intended to kill women and “good-looking” men, as he hated being rejected, and despised men who could maintain a relationship. Hansen and Rodger struck fear into their communities and revealed how dangerous misogyny can be.

How the Romanticization of Serial K...
How the Romanticization of Serial Killers Hurts Us All

In his youth, Hansen was a shy child with a stutter and severe acne that left his face scarred. Throughout his school years, he did not receive attention from girls; this constant rejection spurred his fury, and fueled his revengeful fantasies. In June 1983, Hansen picked up 17-year-old sex worker Cindy Paulson and brought her to his house where he raped and tortured her. He then planned to take Paulson to his isolated cabin by plane. Luckily, she escaped and told police the location of his house and airplane.

Four months later, Hansen was arrested after an FBI profiler proved that he was the Butcher Baker. Hansen confessed that he would lure sex workers into his car by claiming to be a professional photographer. Once the women were in his car, he would the handcuff them and take them to his house, where he raped and tortured them before killing them in his isolated cabin. At the end of his confession, he attempted to justify his actions by blaming the women. Hansen was eventually sentenced to life in prison without parole. He never showed any remorse for his crimes.

Over the years, other men have murdered women for similar “reasons.” For instance, after growing increasingly frustrated about his inability to attract a girlfriend, Elliot Rodger murdered the women who rejected his advances. He had a YouTube channel in which he recorded his thoughts on why women turned him down, claiming that they preferred men who later became horrible partners. In May 2014, he plotted to kill the sorority sisters and men whom he deemed desirable at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Instead, however, he murdered six people before killing himself.

Rodger regarded himself as a “supreme gentleman” and felt by enacting his “revenge” on women, he would regain his reputation as a man. Rodger believed that he would get a girlfriend if he had a great car, dressed nice and was respectable toward women. However, his lack of confidence, strange personality (and murderous tendencies) prevented him from ever finding a partner.

Rodger also wanted to harm men who had success with women, as he viewed them as competition. Unfortunately, Rodger never faced the consequences of his massacre; he left the community and his victims’ loved ones in mourning.

Throughout history, society has deemed women fragile and submissive. Some men think it’s natural for a woman to obey them; for example, if a man asks a woman on a date, he expects her to accept. However, when a woman does not properly adhere to her “role,” some men inflict emotional or physical abuse as punishment. Nevertheless, feminist activists continue to fight tirelessly for equality in the workplace and the rest of society, as well as petition for new laws and policies to prevent violence against women. Misogyny can be prevented in the future if parents teach their children how to treat and respect women; these lessons could very well work to save a life.

Writer Profile

Caroline Ocampo

The University of Texas at Arlington
Creative Writing

I am a down to earth person that loves reading books, spending time with my family and nieces. I also love animals and have a 1-year-old pug named Coco who I love playing with. I am a history major who loves reading about how people lived back then and using my research skills to write an informative article about past events.

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