Feminist Histories and the Sutcliffe Murders: Interrogating Fear, Race and the ‘Sex Wars’

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)


This chapter explores how the history of feminist activism and the development of feminist theory and research coincided with the Sutcliffe murders. It highlights how the murders galvanised local feminist activism in West Yorkshire in response to the murders and police and media treatment of many of the victims. The chapter analyses alternative histories from the time which critique feminist activism as insensitive to race whilst other commentators claim that sex workers and their advocates were denied any voice within feminist debates at the time. The latter section of the chapter draws upon research findings to unpack the dominant fear narrative surrounding the murders, revealing the complexity and ambiguity of fear experiences both in the context of this case and beyond.


Radical feminism Revolutionary feminism Reclaim the Night Feminist history Race Sex wars Women’s fear of crime 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences, Business, LawTeesside UniversityMiddlesbroughUK

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