Today’s reporting of the Robert Pickton murder trial includes hundreds of newspaper articles with headlines like these:
According to these reports, videotaped interviews show Pickton telling police the allegations against him are “hogwash.”
This is the dictionary definition of “hogwash”:
hog·wash [hawg-wosh, -wawsh, hog–]
1. refuse given to hogs; swill.
2. any worthless stuff.
3. meaningless or insincere talk, writing, etc.; nonsense; bunk.
Robert Pickton is a pig farmer. A hog farmer. We all know this– this is how these murders have been reported from the beginning. We’ve heard about the remains found on the “pig farm,” and about murder charges against Pickton, the “pig farmer,” and about parties at the “piggy palace.” We’ve read now about the remains found in the pig pens and near the slaughterhouses.
Pickton, pig farmer that he is, knows what “hogwash” is. It is “swill”:
1. liquid or partly liquid food for animals, esp. kitchen refuse given to swine; hogwash.
2. kitchen refuse in general; garbage.
3. any liquid mess, waste, or refuse; slop.
4. a deep draught of liquor
5. contemptibly worthless utterance or writing; drivel.
It is “refuse.” It is garbage. Refuse, garbage, swill that is fed to hogs. Which by all the evidence described so far is unavoidably what Pickton reduced women’s bodies to, after he’d raped them, tortured them and murdered them.
Pickton describing the charges as “hogwash” makes sense. He also told the undercover cop in the cell where he was being held that he didn’t get caught sooner because of shoddy police work, which is the kind of statement serial killers often make. They pride themselves on being smarter than the police, being able to outwit them. In using that word, he’s outwitting them again, denying the charges with language which, in fact, admits them, in a manner that is virtually a signature of the way abusers fuck with the minds of their victims.
What is horrible is that the news media either: (1) never thought of this, in which case why wouldn’t they? We are talking about, wordsmiths, people who make their living writing articles and headlines; or (2) thought of it and kind of liked participating in the mind fuck themselves. Kind of liked calling these women garbage and refuse and swill, and getting away with it, the way they got away with calling them “drug addicts” and “prostitutes” only this is even better; (3) thought of it and used the language anyway, to titillate, to enrage, to provoke. Absent acknowledging Pickton’s possible intentions in using that word, reporters participate in Pickton’s mind fucking. Nobody can say for sure what they mean in using the word. They can deny any accusation that comes their way.
Well, I’m calling it out. Imagine what the news might look like, honest to god, if women’s sensibilities were taken into account, if women had real power to influence the way it is reported. Imagine what police work might look like, for that matter. Imagine what justice might look like.