Content Warning: sexual assault, rape, violence You sabotaged my ass! Society, and the cops, and the system! A raped woman got executed, and was used for books and movies and shit! - Aileen Wuornos Aileen Wuornos has been read as both a monster and a feminist hero. She’s been called “Florida’s lesbian hitch hiking prostitute,” “damsel of death,” and “feminism’s first serial killer.” Monster, the 2003 film about her life featuring Charlize Theron, grossed nearly $35 million. Kicked onto the street at the age of 15, after years of sexual violence in her home, Wuornos survived in the woods near her home through sex work. Years later, she met and fell in love with Tyria Moore, and supported them both through sex work. Wuornos killed seven men in Florida between 1989-1990 and said that the men had either raped or attempted to rape her while she was working. Her partner Moore testified against her, ultimately helping the prosecutors sentence her to death. Wuornos’ story is one of class, gender, and queer rage. Wuornos wasn’t the only one inflicting violence, she was deeply embedded in a culture of violence from a young age. Where her family should have protected her, her family was often the cause of violence in her life. Her story brings up the violence in our ancestry, and the pain that it continues to cause. What does it mean to be a victim in the eyes of the court? How does poverty and sex work contribute to being treated as less than human? The courts sought after justice for the middle aged white men Wuornos murdered, but what about justice for the years of inhumane treatment that Wuornos experienced? Wuornos refused to be complacent in the midst of her traumas—she fought back when she was raped, she flipped off the judge when she was sentenced, and she spoke out about the way she was used for her story. Damsel of Death (Aileen Wuornos)