“Monstrous Crimes, Framing, and the Preventive State: The Moral Failure of Forensic Psychiatry” - International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine
Monsters and predators frighten, entertain, and disgust us. The idea of a creature that is a volatile mixture of human and animal parts (the monster) triggers our visual and visceral imagination perhaps more than any other image. The fear of predation – literally, eating another’s flesh – disgusts and repels, but like rubberneckers who slow down to witness accidents, our voyeurism seems unconstrained by shame. The monster and the predator threaten us by threatening to rend the social fabric and bring about a state of nature in which, as Hobbes famously wrote, we are engaged in a war of all against all, and life is nasty, brutish and short. We demand that the government and its legal process protect us from the monsters and predators in our midst, which has resulted in a quest for security at the expense of the protection of the rights of citizens that runs parallel with the quest for protection from “terrorists,” as reflected in the epigram to this book. The referent of the “terrorist,” however, is often simply somebody who looks, acts, or talks in a way that is vaguely Middle-Eastern. Similarly, people who look, act, or talk like our vaguely sketched stereotype of what constitutes a sex offender, an image that has come to constitute a monstrous predator, trigger a panic as well (Lancaster 2011a, b). [via, img]
The idea being if dehumanizing terminology is eliminated, it would change our perception of offenders and how treatment or punishment is delivered, creating a more ethical justice system. Changing language so we see humans (not monsters) over educating why certain monstrous acts are performed by some humans…there might be a term for that already and a pair of tall boots to get you through it.