Bad news, folks: A new iteration of “I’m not like other girls”(/guys/they’s) has dropped, and what makes them unique, interesting, cool, and fun is that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer does not bother them that much. In fact, some of them find him very hot. I’m not usually one to yuck another person’s yum, but I feel confident saying that if you are publicly thirsting over a cannibal serial killer who targeted and preyed on young, low-income men and boys of color: YUCK.
Last month, Netflix released the miniseries, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, about the serial killer who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys, primarily Black and brown victims. The show has faced backlash from families of the victims for retraumatizing them, not contacting them about their on-screen portrayal, and exploiting their pain for streaming views and profit. But on the other end of that backlash is an appetite (pun unfortunately intended) for the cannibal murderer. Twitter user @uhhmmily pointed out the trend of women disappointed that Netflix didn’t show the more gruesome parts of Dahmer’s murdering sprees. User @liliandaisies captured screenshots of people sympathizing with Dahmer.
In a nearby corner of Tiktok, as well as across Twitter, other users are creating thirst-edits of Dahmer. People are suggesting Dahmer possesses a certain je ne sais quoi, which is true if “that certain something” is psychopathy and bloodthirst.
People finding serial killers attractive dates back further than the advent of DNA testing. There’s a real and delusional “I can change them” or “they wouldn’t murder me” mentality at play. And while the true crime genre has rightly received its fair share of criticism for transforming gruesome crimes into entertainment at the expense of the well-being of survivors, people announcing they they are “unbothered” by Dahmer’s crimes feels like a new level of desensitization. These two reactions seemingly go hand in hand, showcasing that consumers of serial killer content are eager to express that they not only think there’s attractive qualities to Dahmer, but that the stuff the series is showing him doing really ain’t that bad! Dahmer’s but a little doe eyed boy, misunderstood by everyone except for me! I’m not like other girls, I can handle watching a 14-year-old boy be dismembered! These people are right, I guess, in that they aren’t like others, because most people don’t find themselves horny while watching human beings be tortured and eaten.
I could maybe excuse finding Dahmer physically attractive, in a vacuum, if you were brainwashed at a formative age by indie sleaze Terry Richardson campaigns. But you really don’t have to publicize it if you think a serial killer is attractive. That can be an inside thought! Better yet, you can distract yourself from having the thought entirely by considering the massive, unfathomable pain that this man caused his victims and their families and entire communities of gay men of color, all of whom have been ignored by our racist justice system since always.