The newly opened Jack the Ripper Museum in Whitechapel, London, has been at the heart of a media frenzy, with many people advocating that the museum should close. But why is everyone so angry and upset?
When plans for the museum were originally drafted, the idea was to create exhibitions which celebrated women of the East End of London. So when a museum focusing on something entirely different appeared, everyone was somewhat confused and a lot of people were livid! Many activists are claiming that the museum is now sensationalising or celebrating violence of men towards women. Some argue that there is no way to justify or defend a museum about Jack the Ripper when women are still being abused and murdered by men.
In my opinion, this is nonsense. A museum about slavery does not sensationalise slavery or condone the fact that slavery is still in practice in many forms today, nor does a museum about war celebrate war or excuse the horrendous conflicts which still take place today. From my perspective these campaigners have missed the point, and haven‚Äôt quite hit the nail on the head with the issues they have raised about the museum. For me the concern isn‚Äôt that the museum is about Jack the Ripper. For me the concern is that the museum is not about the women it promised to be about. The museum could now be on cutlery of the 14th century or hats of the 1950s, its present subject is irrelevant. The problem isn‚Äôt what is featured, the problem is what is not featured.
Why is it that the developers of this museum felt that a museum about women was not worth their time or money? Why did they believe a museum about women and their contributions to the world would not be enticing and intriguing to the general public? Why is it that in the UK in 2015 the lives of women are still not considered to be of great importance? These are the questions I would like answers to and everyone else should want answers to them, too.
Girl Museum Inc.