Why did we care so much about Amanda Knox? Clearly it’s not only me – on my browser, on the news websites I visit regularly, stories about her featured regularly in the top five most read. It was a bit like the Madeleine McCann obsession. Something terrible happened, and even when there was no news, there was this thirst for reaction; anything, in the absence of real information, would do; speculation, hyperbole, fantasy. These were iconic stories going far deeper than bare facts; they illustrated something we all knew but often couldn’t quite verbalise . .
I can’t speak for everyone. But regarding Knox, in my case, and I bet I’m not alone, it was pure feminist rage. That such fabrications, and a consequent life-sentence, could be concocted about a person whose main crime appeared to be being pretty, foolish and a bit self-centred while living abroad. There but for the grace of God could have gone any of us, in our youthful folly, for what sexy young girl isn’t the constant object of an abundance of ludicrous speculation from myriad deluded males?
And why do supposedly objective reporters highlight the bereaved family’s grief as though their feelings had any place at all in the appeal court? No one denies their right to grief and closure, but what had that got to do with the solidity or otherwise of the case against Knox and her former boyfriend? And why did Knox’s fate constantly suffer comparison to that of the murder victim? It sounds like stating the obvious, but if not guilty of her murder, she needed no more atone for it than you or I.
What’s scary, though, is when the deluded males occupy positions of administrative power, and are backed by many like-minded in the lower ranks. I like to think it wouldn’t happen here, or anywhere in northern Europe or America. But I am not really so sure.