Shrien Dewani case: The "bi murderer"


“The media seems to be suggesting that Dewani’s bisexuality is a motive for murdering his wife”

Last week British businessman Shrien Dewani went on trial in South Africa for arranging the murder of his wife. He gave a statement to court admitting that he was bisexual. Read by his barrister, the statement said:

“I consider myself to be bisexual. My sexual interactions with males were mostly physical experiences or email chats with people I met online or in clubs; including prostitutes. My sexual interactions with females were usually during the course of a relationship which consisted of other activities and emotional attachment.”

The internet went wild, The Times went tabloid with its headline “Bisexual Shrien Dewani denies honeymoon plot to murder wife” (later pulled), and the real tabloids focused on the revelation rather than any other, one might suggest more important, detail. Indeed, everything the defense has said since has been overshadowed by his coming out, at least in the world of reporting.

Should the fact that Dewani is bisexual matter? When the media are using it as motive for murder, yes, it very much does. His sexuality has been suggested as a reason for him wanting to have his wife killed – it is click-bait at its worst online, and total money-mindedness in print. We don’t know if he was involved in the shooting of his bride, that is why he’s on trial, but my goodness does sexuality stir up some strong feelings. That he was, allegedly, in love with his wife means little when he also described himself as “perverted” on Grindr (good publicity for them, eh?) – or so we’re led to believe. Once again it all falls back to his persuasions and the implications that his sexuality led him to (allegedly) commit the crime, which is patently ridiculous.

Many voices online were guffawing away at his swinging both ways and biphobia was rife, positive discourse hard to come by. I will continue to follow the story, hoping against hope that someone soon will realise this tiny aspect of this man’s personality has very little, if anything, to do with the tragic death of his wife.

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A Jill of all trades, mistress of none, Kate has tried everything: prison psychology, volunteering with homeless people, teaching English abroad, and editing a magazine in China (thankfully not in Chinese!). A born procrastinator, she's been working on her autobiographical sex book for the past four years and has got nowhere. She's hoping to find some motivation on the open road - a born traveller she's hoping to leave for America very soon. Happiest performing her comedy poems at spoken word nights and getting inordinate amounts of attention, Kate is a whirlwind of a woman.

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