Monday, 3 October 2011
I write this as the verdict has just been announced and the prisoners freed. There is live TV coverage of the crowd who are shouting 'Murderer' outside. Stephanie Kercher, the sister of the murdered Meredith, fears that her sister is being forgotten in all the fuss about Knox. Whether this means she believes Knox is guilty or that someone must be guilty is not clear.
I am making no guesses about what happened for the very good reason that I have no idea, but it is clear that there is only one story here and, as Stephanie Kercher feared, it is Knox. Why?
There are two contrasting ways of reading this. The first is the conventional feminist way, regarding Knox as a representative female victim, whether she is guilty or not. Knox is pretty, Knox is photogenic, Knox is an aspect of the scandalous feminine. Knox is a symbol. She was called 'a sex-loving she-devil' by the prosecution. She is a devil. In any case she is a scarlet woman or a virgin. And this is Italy where scarlet women and virgins still count for something. The fact is people are interested in her.
There is another person involved, Raffaele Sollecito, but no one is interested in him or ever has been. Who he? He too has served four years in prison, apparently innocently. He's a blank. He's handsome enough but that's all. People care what happens to her, either way. Very few care what happens to him.
Meredith Kercher continues dead. Rudy Guede, convicted of her murder, is in prison and has been for close on three years.
In the meantime the news frenzy continues. It is as if Amanda Knox were leaving the Big Brother house.
I predict a shower of doctoral theses.