‘Sick entertainment’: London Dungeon slammed for gender-swapping Jack the Ripper on International Women’s Day

The attraction introduced ‘Jackie the Ripper’

Kate Ng
Wednesday 09 March 2022 14:42 GMT
(Getty Images)

The London Dungeon has come under fire for changing the gender of Jack the Ripper from male to female as part of its theme for International Women’s Day.

On Tuesday 8 March, the tourist attraction revealed its “Jack becomes Jackie the Ripper” exhibit and questioned if the “notorious killer [was] actually a woman”.

The decision to swap Jack the Ripper’s gender to female was based on the story of convicted murderer Mary Pearcy, who was posited as a “suspect” in the infamous killings by author William Stewart in 1939.

According to MyLondon, a spokesperson for The London Dungeon said: “With men often stealing the spotlight when it comes to the ghastly and gory crimes, we wanted to give ladies their dues for International Women’s Day.

“Rather than the usual honouring, we’ve given the day a London Dungeon twist while telling a story that many may never have heard before.”

But the stunt was criticised by women’s charities and people on social media as a “cheap marketing stunt” and “sick entertainment”.

At least five known women were murdered by the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, who has never been identified. Their names were Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly.

Kim Manning-Cooper, head of communications at domestic violence charity Refuge, told MyLondon that The London Dungeon’s exhibit “trivialises the systematic murder of women by a serial killer”.

She added that it made a “mockery of a day that is supposed to be about celebrating women’s achievements”, branding it a “cheap marketing stunt”.

The London Dungeon also received backlash for the exhibit on social media, with many people expressing incredulity at the attraction’s choice to mark International Women’s Day.

“Absolutely pathetic,” wrote one person. “Wrong on so many levels. As if any women would want to be associated with a rapist serial killer.”

Another added: “That London Dungeon thing, today. That’s mad. Really, really mad. So detached. Deranged, maybe.”

A third wrote: “Of course many women are calling the London Dungeon marketing today distasteful, on a day honouring women, they are trying to boost tickets sensationalising the butchering of women.”

Historian Dr Fern Riddell described the attraction as “the worst form of trolls”, adding: “Their campaign for Jackie the Ripper on International Women’s Day is just to enrage you for clicks.

“It’s f***ing grotesque and shows them for exactly what they are.”

The London Dungeon said in a statement that the exhibit was intended to “give air time to an existing and well-documented theory and was not intended to offend”.

“The London Dungeon apologises sincerely for any offence caused,” it added.

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