Mayang Prasetyo’s murder and the problem with domestic violence reporting

Writer: Clementine Ford

This article from the Daily Life, October 2014 is a passionate critique of the media’s response to the death of Mayang Prasetyo and their focus on her trans history.

Ms Prasetyo – who, let us be reminded, was murdered, dismembered and then cooked on a stove – was unnecessarily and offensively described in the very second sentence of the Courier Mail’s article as being ‘a transgendered prostitute’ – as if the nature of her sexual biology or profession have any bearing on the circumstances surrounding her murder, or any relevance to a society of people who ought to be horrified by her death. The Daily Telegraph’s headline removed the murderer from the story entirely, screaming “Killed and cooked trans woman was high-class transsexual sex worker”. The Herald Sun declared similar, but swapped ‘transsexual’ for ‘shemale’, while the front page of the Courier Mail’s hard copy sexualised the murder by declaring “Monster Chef and the She Male”.

Read more: Clementine Ford: ‘Mayang Prasetyo’s murder and the problem with domestic violence reporting’