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"Asking for trouble"

There's a crime story that has two major cities in the Northeast gripped right now. Imette St. Guillen was a 24-year-old Boston woman, a grad student studying criminology in New York City. She was last seen alive in a Soho bar, alone and very drunk, at 4 in the morning. Her body was later found in Queens, nude and wrapped in tape. She had been brutally raped and murdered.

The circumstances of Imette's death have provoked a great controversy. On the one side are those who say that she was "asking for trouble" by being out, alone, and drunk at that time and place. On the other are those who say that Imette had every legal right to be there, in that state, and to say such things is tantamount to blaming the victim.

I agree with both sides. Both are right, but they are arguing past each other. The difference is that one is arguing legal and moral grounds, while the other is taking the pragmatic approach.

LEGALLY and MORALLY, Imette did nothing wrong. Likewise, a few other examples:

A woman has the right to walk through a frat house party in a bikini without being touched unwillingly.

I have the right to walk through the streets of my city, even the allies, with money hanging out of my pockets.

Children have the right to wander their neighborhoods, looking around.

Pedestrians have the right to step forthrightly on to a crosswalk of a busy street without looking in either direction.

No one is legally obligated to lock their homes or cars.

In each of these cases, the folks have not done anything wrong. They should suffer no legal consequences for their actions.

But in the real world, each is inviting a disaster.

We all have a duty to ourselves to protect ourselves. We are all obligated to avoid harm, or at least to minimize our risks.

This is in no way exculpatory to those who exploit those who chose unwisely. "They were asking for it" is, in my fantasy world, justification for adding even more to the penalties of a crime. The crux of civilization is that we are all capable of controlling our baser instincts, of mastering our impulses and desires, and acting in a mature, responsible fashion. (This even includes Muslims who might be inflamed by the Evil Hair Rays emitted by unshrouded women, or who catch the slightest glimpse of a woman's skin.)

In Imette's case, the police believe they have a likely suspect in the bar's bouncer -- a guy with a long criminal record. And if he is convicted, I would be delighted no end if he got the needle or met an untimely demise earlier.

But the tragic part of the whole story is that while her killer might have murdered anyone, Imette -- through her own choices and actions -- placed herself in harm's way, and suffered for that decision. And I hope that some good can come from her death, as a cautionary tale to others who might also be placing themselves in dangerous situations.

No, you are not doing anything wrong. But you are being stupid -- and in the real world, sometimes that is a capital offense.


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Comments (42)

Well said, nothing to add. ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Well said, nothing to add. Thanks.

Terrific post. ... (Below threshold)

Terrific post.

what a despicable post, bla... (Below threshold)
steve:

what a despicable post, blaming the victim of a horrible, brutal crime.

in the real world, so called "journalists" have the right to write columns, even when every word they've written indicates an utter lack of intelligence or understanding.

let the poor woman and her family rest in peace.

I think another tragedy occ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

I think another tragedy occured when someone failed to teach steve reading comprehension.

Great post. It defines the... (Below threshold)
interstate:

Great post. It defines the true meaning of common sense. Something that the poster (steve) of the thread above... doesn't seem to possess.

Hmmm.what... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

what a despicable post, blaming the victim of a horrible, brutal crime.

There's always at least one asshat in every crowd.

Try reading the post and comprehending it.

There are many cities in th... (Below threshold)
Sheila:

There are many cities in the world (and countries for that matter) where women have very little fear walking around at night. The US is probably the most dangerous city I have ever lived in, and I am AMERICAN! I have traveled extensively around the world (and this is debatable I know), but the place I feel least safe is the US---of course I love the US for other reasons, but the cities are not safe. The mentality of the MEN is wrong. They are the ones coming after the women, they are the ones making it not safe for the women. So I ask the men (who are doing criminal acts against women in the US)...why are you creating this hostile atmosphere?

No I don't believe a women is asking for trouble walking around at any hour of any day. NEVER!!! What we should be studying is a phenomenon that has men persuing and hurting women in the darkness. Why is this????? It's not the women's fault at all. It's the men. Men need to wake up and look at themselves. What's with you?

I agree with the post. To s... (Below threshold)
yeatanothejohn:

I agree with the post. To say that one person took unnecessary risks and let that be a warning to others is in no way releasing the perpetrator from what they did. It is not blaming the victim, but warning other potential victims to learn a lesson. In a court of law, we should be jealous of her rights as a victim to see that justice is done to the person or persons who raped and killed her. But to simply acknowledge that common sense would not have let her put her self in that position does not impinge on her rights as a victim.

I think Steve is just pushing the left's position of 'no personal responsibility for anything' when he calls a common sense warning 'blaming the victim'. I do join him in wishing peace on her and her family.

People confuse surprise tha... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

People confuse surprise that something happened with criminal guilt. If you walk down a dark alley you shouldn't be surprised to be mugged, but it doesn't make it legal. If they catch the mugger (or in this case the murderer) their defense isn't going to be "it's ok, because she was drunk and in a bad section of town". They are going to be charged with murder.

I feel bad she died. I hope the murderers who killed are executed. given the scenario, however, I'm not surprised something bad happened.

Sheila, as long as you think the US is a city (rather than a large country comprising of many, many cities) the rest of rant is a little hard to take seriously. US cities are no safer or more dangerous than other large cities, and yes I've lived more of my life out of the US than in it so I do know what I am talking about.

Jay Tea, a most excellent post.

Stupidity cannot be cured w... (Below threshold)
Cro:

Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.

- Robert Heinlein

I agree entirely with Jay's... (Below threshold)
Ms. B:

I agree entirely with Jay's position of having the common sense to keep yourself out of harm's way.

I disagree with Sheila's position that it is more dangerous for women to walk at night in the U.S. than in any other place. Gee, maybe you didn't hear about the group of women American tourists who were raped and killed in Guatemala a few years ago. I have been to Guatemala several times -- it is my "second home" -- and while I love it there, I know damn well that it is very dangerous for women to walk alone at night in certain parts of that country. Duh....

If I park an unlocked sport... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

If I park an unlocked sports car in certain parts of Detroit, I should not be surprised when it's not there upon my return.

Doesn't make the thief any less of a thief. But parking there wasn't the smoothest move possible, either.

That has irritated me for a long time. The idea that pointing out simple precautions a crime victim failed to employ (WITHOUT, in ANY WAY, exonerating the criminal) is "blaming the victim" for the crime is silly. Until all humans are perfect, common precautions against crime are prudent. Duh.

The fact that the vast majo... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

The fact that the vast majority of us are perfectly willing to live our lives within society's legal and moral confines, does not mean that everyone else is willing to do so. And to assume otherwise is to invite danger.

Its hardly surprising that those who would absolve the predators and miscreants at the local or neighborhood level, are just as inclined by their unrealistic optimism, to the detriment of us all, at the international level.

I hope all/any of you who b... (Below threshold)
nick:

I hope all/any of you who become the victim of a crime will subsequently come back and write a post about how irresponsible you were in bringing it upon yourself. What assholes!

Perhaps this was (Republican) Rudi Guiliani's fault for constantly harping about how "safe" he'd made NYC. Oh no, that's right - republicans are never responsible for anything that goes wrong - just look at the Bush administration.

Jay Tea hit it on the head<... (Below threshold)
Village Idiot's Apprentice:

Jay Tea hit it on the head
And the Heinlein qoute is dead on.
Only a liberal could twist either post into blaming the victim.
Criminals make their living preying on victims.
If you don't want to be a victim, take steps to reduce your chances of falling prey to them.

But then, liberals are surprised when some guy who lives with bears gets killed by a bear.
It's just what bears do.

I agree with ninety-nine pe... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

I agree with ninety-nine per cent of Jay Tea's post.

However, this particular instance, because of it's brutality and the location of the abduction take it a bit out of the norm.

While the victim did make herself an easy mark, she was in familiar territory in a neighborhood bar that normally could be thought of as safe in her thinking. She ran into a monster who could have done this to anyone. The things he did to her are not those of a sane person.

While she did put herself in his path, he was going to do this to someone eventually. While she might have been drunk and alone, she was also very, very unlucky. This was not a normal crime.

I've lived in two major cities for most of my life -- Chicago and Detroit, with stints in D.C. and Mexico City. I've walked all over them -- during the daytime without feeling unsafe. At night I stay away from the so called "danger" areas and usually have no problems.

My point is, that I won't give into this mentality of fear. If we do that the criminals win. Twice people have attempted to mug me, and once I found that they were unarmed they instantly regretted their efforts (I don't suggest that anyone else do this -- I'm lucky enough to have some special training and skills). I guess they were used to people being so afraid that they would just hand everything over. But, in neither case had I done anything to put myself in danger -- though some might think walking alone in Detroit might be enough. I was in relatively safe areas -- I didn't do anything to find trouble, it found me. The criminals were so used to getting away with intimidation that they became very brazen and went after someone that would not usually be an easy target.

Personal responsibility is great, but to go too far is to give up. In Detroit, many people will not venture into the city because it is perceived as unsafe. In some areas it is. But, in others, it is no less safe than any other city. The people here that tell me how unsafe it is are usually the ones who never go there.

If this woman had been staggering drunk through a row of crack houses I'd be more inclined to say that she did something stupid. But, in this case, while she could have taken better precuations -- stupid is too strong a word.

You can't stop crazy people from committing horrible crimes, but you also should not spend so much time worrying about it that it takes away from your quality of life. The only way to beat the criminals is to prove to them that we won't tolerate them.

Sheila wrote (March 7, 2006... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

Sheila wrote (March 7, 2006 12:10 PM):

What we should be studying is a phenomenon that has men persuing and hurting women in the darkness. Why is this????? It's not the women's fault at all. It's the men. Men need to wake up and look at themselves. What's with you?

I hope that you are not lumping us all together with the handfull of sickos and psychos who prey on women. Most men would agree with Jay's sentiment and "be delighted no end if he got the needle or met an untimely demise earlier."

Personally, I think that our lax laws are to blame for most of the crime in our country, including crimes against women. Why was this bouncer "with a long criminal record" not in prison? The creep who kidnapped and murdered poor little Polly Klaas some years ago had a long record of kidnaps and sexual assaults; why was he not in prison (or in a prison graveyard)?

I recall an article I read some years ago about Singapore. An American newspaperman was grousing to his Singaporean counterpart about Singapore's harsh criminal penalties. "It's so uncivilized," the American sniffed. "That may be true," his host replied. "But, then again, my secretary can walk alone through any part of Singapore after dark without having to worry about being robbed, raped or murdered. Can your secretary do the same in New York or any other major American city?"

NO ONE is saying this woman... (Below threshold)

NO ONE is saying this woman was "asking for it" or was somehow responsible for the actions of the person who killed her. Probably she had good reason to feel safe. Like most really appalling crimes, it does come down to being very unlucky.

Someone brought up Polly Klaas. She certainly didn't do anything wrong, nothing to bring herself to that man's attention... and even if she *had* it wouldn't make any difference because it was not her fault at all.

But what do I tell my daughters? Well by golly I'm gonna tell them that if some man shows up in your room and says not to make a sound or he'll hurt you, you scream bloody murder!

Is that saying Polly did something *wrong*? Or is it saying that her best chance would have been if she and her friend started screaming?

What am I going to tell my daughters? I'm going to tell them that getting very drunk or high puts them at risk... I've known too many girls who have no memory of sex they had or with whom or even if they consented or not. I'm going to tell my daughters that there *are* predators out there and probably they won't ever meet them, just because most people are decent. But that the predators *hunt*... they look for victims, for girls (or boys, sometimes) who are alone, who won't be immediately missed, who are unlikely or unable to fight back.

I will tell my daughters that it's better to be shot or cut than to allow themselves to be taken anywhere. *Never* to let themselves be taken anywhere, to fight back with maximum force and as much noise as possible, no matter what they are told.

Hmmm.1. Frankly I'... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1. Frankly I'm amazed that women don't take greater precautions with their personal security particularly with gruesome examples such as Natalie Holloway.

2. IMHO we need to vastly increase the penalties for violent crime here in America. It might not deter criminals. It might not stop crime. But it would sure as hell keep a bunch of criminals off the damn streets.

3. I plan to teach my neices how to shoot firearms just as soon as they grow a little older. Then I'm going to buy each of them a nice compact ladies model .45 shorty semi-auto loaded with lead wadcutters or hollow-points.

4. IMHO I think the law should be changed so that anyone attacked in his or her home should be legally free to do anything he or she wants to the attacker. If that means hanging the bastard from a flagpole or using him for sharkbait then I'm ok with that.

I am a young woman who live... (Below threshold)
stephanie:

I am a young woman who lives near the bar at which St. Guillen was drinking. Mesablue is right in saying that that area (Soho) is generally considered to be a very safe, almost ritzy, artsy area. The Falls, the bar St. Guillen was drinking in, draws a largely white, somewhat preppy crowd. That's why what happened there is such a huge shock. It is extremely unlucky what happened to Imette St. Guillen, but Mesablue hit it on the head that it's not like she was walking through a row of crack houses.

She had her cell phone on her, she was in familiar territory, generally considered to be very safe. She probably planned on hailing a taxi home right outside of the bar or on asking the bouncer to help her to hail a taxi. Little did she know that the bouncer (not proven to be him yet, but evidence is quickly growing) would torture, rape, and murder her. The bars are legally supposed to check the criminal records of the bouncers they hire, so clearly the Falls bar was negligent in this respect. The Falls employees then covered up what happened, remaining tight-lipped to cops for a week about the muffled scream they heard when the bouncer took St. Guillen outside.

Another point - I find it offensive that some poster's are amazed at women's stupidity in going out, etc., etc.

If some men cannot control themselves when they see a woman (by the way, she was wearing a grey, knee-length ski jacket), then maybe they should be the ones with curfews. Why should women be restricted? Why should women have to stay home out of fear? Is that the answer? Is that the best America can be? Women - you better not go out alone or you might get raped?! Men can enjoy an evening out alone - it is one of life's pleasures. Women should be able to enjoy the same thing.

What we need to do instead is to create a responsible culture and climate in which women can be free and men can be respectful. Otherwise it will be like some of the stricter Muslim countries where women have to cover up so as not to tempt the men.

There will always be sickos, but to live in fear of them gives them the power. St. Guillen was enjoying her life. She was not too different from most twenty-somethings around here. She was in a safe area, having a little fun. But tragically St. Guillen was the victim of an evil crime - and the murderer is 100% to blame for this crime. It does not get much clearer than that.

If some men cannot contr... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

If some men cannot control themselves when they see a woman (by the way, she was wearing a grey, knee-length ski jacket), then maybe they should be the ones with curfews. Why should women be restricted? Why should women have to stay home out of fear? Is that the answer? Is that the best America can be? Women - you better not go out alone or you might get raped?! Men can enjoy an evening out alone - it is one of life's pleasures. Women should be able to enjoy the same thing.

Actually, in Ann Arbor in the mid-90s, a guy was jumped by 3 people and raped. Rare, but not never.

Steph, I should be able to park my car unlocked and leave it for a week and come back and not have it stolen. But it wouldn't be smart. We should have a world where I can do that--BUT WE DON'T.

And, by the way, nice way to suggest that all men have curfews. No one here suggested that all women be shut-ins after dark.

And, even when reasonable precautions are taken, crime STILL happens. Then, all we can do is:
1. Punish the guilty
2. Comfort the victim (or victim's survivors)
3. Learn from the incident. What might have prevented it?

You seem to be aiming for some utopian world, and raging every time something bad happens that the WORLD SHOULD CHANGE RIGHT NOW DAMMIT to prevent its ever happening again. Well, that's not how life works.

You all have to remember th... (Below threshold)
Tina:

You all have to remember that this happened in MANHATTAN.

Maybe it would be considered "irresponsible" for a young woman in Kentucky to be out drinking alone at 4am, but it certainly isn't in nyc! The sheer number of people around at all times makes it a lot safer to walk around by yourself (as a woman) than most places in the country. This should be viewed in the CONTEXT in which it happened- and at 4am on Lafayette St. in manhattan, a woman can certainly walk down the street BY HERSELF and not have to worry about being murdered!

Wow. Some people just don'... (Below threshold)

Wow. Some people just don't seem to get the difference between plain old common sense and blame.

Tina and Steph - did either of you go to college? Because I'm pretty certain that there isn't a college campus anywhere in this country where the administration, campus safety, and student groups would say to you, "No problem, walk home by yourself. You SHOULD be fine."

While we all wish we wouldn't have to ever fear for our safety, and while this instance is - as are all instances of violent crime - a case of "wrong place wrong time" that doesn't mean that you should go around thinking that it will never happen to you. There is, unfortunately, a lesson in this girl's death. There are psychos out there and it's probably better to be safe than to be sorry.

Actually Maureen, I did go ... (Below threshold)
Tina:

Actually Maureen, I did go to college- New York University. And I graduated cum laude. For your information, walking home in manhattan BY YOURSELF is commonplace. I've lived in manhattan for the past 6 years and have walked home late at night (alone) countless times- as have millions of other new york women. Being raped and murdered on one of these walks home is something I should not "expect". To suggest Imette was "asking for it" is incredibly disrespectful to her family and to female victims everywhere.

If she were with a friend when she was kidnapped, raped and murdered- would you then be suggesting that women should travel in PACKS??

Being raped and murdered... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Being raped and murdered on one of these walks home is something I should not "expect". To suggest Imette was "asking for it" is incredibly disrespectful to her family and to female victims everywhere.

Please point to anywhere anyone here said that you should "expect" to be attacked or that Imette was "asking for it."

"Rare" isn't the same as "never." Being prepared for rare events is called prudence.

JohnAnneArbor- that is the ... (Below threshold)
Tina:

JohnAnneArbor- that is the implication of saying things like "what was she doing out at 4am?", "what was she doing drinking alone", "this should be a lesson to all young women".

Actually, the last one was exactly what DePetro said. The point is this- the focus should be on the psychopath who raped, tortured and murdered this bright young woman. Whether or not you privately think she should not have been out alone, focusing on the choices of this poor girl is incredibly disrespectful and accomplishes nothing! It is one thing if every mother starts telling their daughters "remember what happened to Imette" privately in their own homes, but we start going down a VERY dangerous road when the public focus starts being placed on the actions' of crime victims and not the perpetrator.

Do you understand what I mean? It may seem subtle, but it is really a very very different ballgame.

that is the implication ... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

that is the implication of saying things like "what was she doing out at 4am?", "what was she doing drinking alone", "this should be a lesson to all young women".

So, you took these phrases and twisted them, I see. Learning lessons from what happens to others is generally seen as intelligent. Only in cases of rape are we asked not to.

but we start going down a VERY dangerous road when the public focus starts being placed on the actions' of crime victims and not the perpetrator.

That implies we should take no precautions at all against crime. Do you lock your doors at night? DO you lock your car? Do you think airport security should be eliminated entirely? Look, as I said earlier in the thread, I should be able to park an unlocked car anywhere (with the keys in the ignition) and expect it to still be there when I return. But we don't live in a perfect world, so I don't do that, even though it would be convenient for me to do so.

Maureen --That's a... (Below threshold)
stephanie:

Maureen --

That's a coincidence, I have a very similar background to Tina. I also went to New York University in downtown Manhattan and have lived in NYC for 6 years.

I'm going to second Tina's comments that it is commonplace here for women to walk home alone late at night, and I have done it a million times without incident.

-Stephanie

Sometime pseudo-copper in t... (Below threshold)
llamas:

Sometime pseudo-copper in the metro Detroit area.

Some of the posts above remind me of a common mindset among young people - that there are places where it is 'safe' to get drunk and stupid. And that therefore this poor unfortunate woman did nothing 'wrong', because she chose to get drunk and stupid in place where things like this 'shouldn't' happen.

A similar mindset prevails in the case of the unfortunate young woman who has now been missing for many months in Aruba - I'm sorry, her name escapes me, for all that she was the only thing on TV news for weeks at a time. Aruba is supposed to be a happy party town, with everyone just wandering around with a gentle buzz on enjoying wet T-shirt contests and trying to talk with a Caribbean accent.

If there's one thing I learned in my time as a sorta-copper, it's that there are bad people out there. Not many, but they are everywhere, and there is virtually no place where you can consort with strangers and be guaranteed that there's no-one like that around.

All this talk about how she did nothing wrong and how she had the 'right' to do what she was doing is perfectly true, but omits one vital detail - all that talk of her 'rights' (an outgrowth of woolly-headed feminist rhetoric of the 1980's and '90's) only has resonance with a population that is sane and rational. 99 men out of a 100, seeing a woman in that condition, would try and help her and keep her safe, because they understand that she doesn't deserve to have bad things happen to her. I've done it myself, as many men have. The trouble is that the 100th man doesn't give a toss about her rights. He's just a bad person, and you can talk about her right to go where she likes, drunk on her ass, and how 'No Means No!' and "Take Back the Night!" until you're blue in the face, but it won't make a damned bit of difference to him. To him, she's not a person, she's a victim.

Like the wise old sergeant told me - out of 100 strangers that you meet, about 10 will be feckless idiots, and one of them will be a dangerous sociopath. Best learn to pick him out of the crowd. It's almost always a 'him'. Maybe if more young women got this sort of sage advice, there would be less of these sorts of terrible cases. Yes, I know it's dreadfully judgemental and un-PC, but it's the world as it is, and not as we would like it to be.

llater,

llamas

You can blame the victim fo... (Below threshold)
Dan S:

You can blame the victim for being a victim, as Jay does, but that is not the same as blaming the victim for the crime which victimised her. The latter is nonsense.

But it's too fine a point for most libs.

But I would question whether it's "moral" to get drunk :P. That is not to say I would question if it's moral to drink. Just picking nits with Jay. (Not saying I've never BEEN drunk either...)

You can blame the victim fo... (Below threshold)
bennito:

You can blame the victim for being a victim, as Jay does, but that is not the same as blaming the victim for the crime which victimised her. The latter is nonsense.
But it's too fine a point for most libs.
Posted by: Dan S at March 8, 2006 12:52 PM

Dan,

Who said anything about "libs"? You're a real fucking idiot, aren't you?

Hmmm.If s... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

If some men cannot control themselves when they see a woman (by the way, she was wearing a grey, knee-length ski jacket), then maybe they should be the ones with curfews. Why should women be restricted? Why should women have to stay home out of fear? Is that the answer? Is that the best America can be? Women - you better not go out alone or you might get raped?! Men can enjoy an evening out alone - it is one of life's pleasures. Women should be able to enjoy the same thing.

Reminds me of my neice who wails "But WHY!" when she's forced to clean her room.

If you're not getting the concept of *prudence* then I've got nothing more to say.

Ed - I can see you... (Below threshold)
stephanie:

Ed -

I can see you are a complete male chauvenist. Who are you to judge women's sexual mores - *prudence*? How dare you? I'm sure if a man were out enjoying himself you would think nothing of it.

go back to the 1950's where you belong

Heh.Prudence is st... (Below threshold)

Heh.

Prudence is staying sober and in possession of a concealed carry permit and the weapon that goes with it.

Thing is, stephanie and whomever. Biology says I'm smaller and weaker than men. Always will be. Women aren't disproportionately victims because of society's attitudes toward women. We are disproportinately victims because when someone *looks* for a victim they look for someone unlikely to effectively fight back.

The difference between myself and my stupid little brother who sleeps on the beach alone overnight or delivers pizza in the not-so-good part of town (he did get held up with a gun once) isn't *just* that he's a boy and I'm a girl. It's that he's 12 inches taller than I am.

The opposing side of that is while no one would see *me* as a threat, *he* gets treated like a potential rapist because he's male. He can't even stop to *help* someone without getting hostile or fearful looks from women.

Nothing about it is fair.

I'm going to stir the pot a... (Below threshold)
Ms. B:

I'm going to stir the pot and add my own observation that none of you have bothered to mention:

Lots of women in the U.S. get raped and murdered. The only reason Imette's getting any press over this at all is because she was a pretty WHITE girl. And I just LOVE that Stephanie made a point of saying that Imette was hanging out at a bar of mostly "preppy white kids," as if hanging around with white people made her feel safer than hanging around with... non-white people.

and what if the scumbag who... (Below threshold)
diversity day:

and what if the scumbag who raped this poor girl was a devout muslim who thought that it was ok to rape and murder un-hijabed infidel whores?

would the same posters blaming the victim this time, also blame the poor girl because she wasn't wearing a headscarf?

they sure would, methinks.

"I'm going to second Tina's... (Below threshold)
Chris:

"I'm going to second Tina's comments that it is commonplace here for women to walk home alone late at night, and I have done it a million times without incident.

-Stephanie"

Just because people often do something w/o incident doesn't mean it's safe. There are plenty of drunk drivers who will tell you they have never been in an accident. They think there's no risk. But the problem is that if we engage in some undesirable behaviors (say, eating junk food) we slowly accumulate negative consequences (e.g. gaining weight, cavities...etc.). Unlike eating crappy food, driving drunk or hanging out alone drunk at a bar has either no consequences or dire consequences, not a gradual accumulation of negative experiences, so we don't learn as easily. (This is why people are often crappy at planning for these kinds of events.) With drunk driving, you're either perfectly safe or have been arrested/have killed someone.

So you can kid yourself that walking drunk and alone through a major city late at night is safe, or admit that you've been lucky so far (the kind of luck that we'd wish on every woman), but that luck is just luck. Honestly, it sucks to have to think about your own safety I'm sure, but nobody else can do it for you, like many other adult endeavors. We can't control the behavior of every psychopath, but we can minimize our own risk level.

Wow, diversity day... way t... (Below threshold)

Wow, diversity day... way to fan the flames of racial fear and hatred.

Bravo.

This again points to my the... (Below threshold)

This again points to my theory of whenever you are sent to jail, the general public should be made aware of when you did. I'm damn skippy that someone in there would have a sister, or a daughter or a friend that drinks alone in a bar. One way or another, when you leave jail, you'll be far less likely to do it again.

As for me, i have little doubt that if i went down to the Jack of the Wood in Asheville adn got sloshed, then tried to walk back to campus, somebody might try to roll me, even though i am 300lbs. And Asheville is about as Bohemian as it gets. Occupational hazzard for an easy mark. That's why i don't do it. Same reason i wear steel toed boots in the warehouse. Probably won't drop something on my foot, but shit happens.

Aww, hell, go ahead, find something to get pissed off about in that. Seems that's all most folks want to do anyway.

Tommy

Go Chris! I actually agree ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Go Chris! I actually agree with you!

Ms. B -Actually Im... (Below threshold)
stephanie:

Ms. B -

Actually Imette is not white - she is Latina. But I will agree with you that because she is pretty and seemingly successful (college grad from a nice family), that this story is getting a lot of coverage. It SHOULD get a lot of coverage, but so should all the rapes and murders committed against all women.

It's quite telling, on that note, that while investigators were scouring the area where her body was found, they found the remains of a black teenage girl in a bag. This was mentioned as a brief sidenote in the Imette case. Can you only imagine if it had been a white teenage girl that had been found?? It would have been 6 inch headlines.

As far as my comment about the "white, preppy neighborhood", allow me to explain. i am totally not preppy, i teach african-american children, i've dated an african-american man for 3 years. when i was reading the postings on this site, i found them to be very conservative. i myself do NOT actually prefer to hang out with preppy white kids, but i posted that because i thought it would resonate with most of the audience i was reading on this site, who seemed to think that imette was hanging around in a dangerous neighborhood. still, i suppose i should not have compromised my views for the sake of some who may be ignorant.

still, although i am all for the empowerment of people of color, it is a fact here in nyc that most neighborhoods with higher numbers of people of color have higher crime rates. this is, in my opinion, due to the fact that people of color have been oppressed and denied economic opportunities, and a whole can of worms of reasons.

please ask before judging someone's words, because the last thing i intended Ms. B was to imply that preppy white kids are better than other groups of people

Ms. B -Actually Im... (Below threshold)
stephanie:

Ms. B -

Actually Imette is not white - she is Latina. But I will agree with you that because she is pretty and seemingly successful (college grad from a nice family), that this story is getting a lot of coverage. It SHOULD get a lot of coverage, but so should all the rapes and murders committed against all women.

It's quite telling, on that note, that while investigators were scouring the area where her body was found, they found the remains of a black teenage girl in a bag. This was mentioned as a brief sidenote in the Imette case. Can you only imagine if it had been a white teenage girl that had been found?? It would have been 6 inch headlines.

As far as my comment about the "white, preppy neighborhood", allow me to explain. i am totally not preppy, i teach african-american children, i've dated an african-american man for 3 years. when i was reading the postings on this site, i found them to be very conservative. i myself do NOT actually prefer to hang out with preppy white kids, but i posted that because i thought it would resonate with most of the audience i was reading on this site, who seemed to think that imette was hanging around in a dangerous neighborhood. still, i suppose i should not have compromised my views for the sake of some who may be ignorant.

still, although i am all for the empowerment of people of color, it is a fact here in nyc that most neighborhoods with higher numbers of people of color have higher crime rates. this is, in my opinion, due to the fact that people of color have been oppressed and denied economic opportunities, and a whole can of worms of reasons.

please ask before judging someone's words, because the last thing i intended Ms. B was to imply that preppy white kids are better than other groups of people




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