Just a small detail missing

July 29, 2006 at 4:41 pm (Crime)

There’s a nice post over at Feministe about Jennifer Moore – The young woman who was abducted, raped and killed in New York City. The main suspect is the taxi driver she ordered on behalf of her boyfriend.

Zuzu discussed the Post’s and Daily News’ coverage but the commenters didn’t care.

A poster called rebecca had the following to say about the issue:

I don’t know about the whole race thing you’re getting at, but I agree that the coverage seems to be trying to force her into the victim role. It’s tragic what happened, but Jennifer made a number of really stupid decisions that are not terribly sympathetic (to me, at least). Driving into Manhattan to get tanked (while underage no less), then not calling parents or authorities for help when she and her friend got stranded was profoundly bad judgment. I shudder when I see these girls all over new york getting blackout drunk…don’t they know that they are putting themselves in horrible danger? Beyond alcohol poisoning, they’re basically hanging a “fuck with me” sign on their backs. It’s unfortunate that we always have to be cautious, but I firmly believe women should never get so drunk that they cannot take care of themselves–no matter who they are with. It’s incredibly stupid and I get so angry when I see it.

First, a correction: Jennifer Moore was not “blackout drunk” as rebecca states, her friend was. Jennifer Moore did drink alcohol and therefore avoided to call the police but called her boyfriend instead when a stranger stalked her (she was too young to be allowed to drink alcohol, aged 18). Her boyfriend told her to call a taxi…

rebecca is focused on alcohol as others like ginmar already discussed.

What made me wonder was the fact that a small detail is missing. Just a very small one. Something you can easily lose sight of….

Everything’s there: The young woman (or “girl”, “gal”), her misbehaviour (going to town with a female friend, doing things boys do (drink alcohol) and the punishment (abduction, rape and murder or “tragedy” as rebecca would say)). The good old story of a girl that doesn’t behave the way girls are supposed to. She acts like a boy and then the inevitable happens. All of this could have been avoided if she’d stayed at home and learned how to cook and wash while daddy’s looking for the right guy who’ll make her some babies… But she didn’t want to listen…

Now what’s the small detail i’m referring to? It’s the rapist, the murderer. He doesn’t play a role in rebecca‘s post. Does rebecca think he was just the tool needed for the girl’s punishment? rebecca talks about alcohol and the girl’s “several mistakes” and even confuses rape with sexual intercourse (“basically hanging a “fuck with me” sign on their backs”). But there’s no place for the rapist and murderer in her little rant.

This is quite typical cause the actions of boys and girls are not judged in the same way. Girls and women behaving like men or boys don’t experience the same reaction towards their behaviour most of the time.

Sex: A man who sleeps with a lot of women is admirable. He may not be regarded as the best husband and father but the perception is mainly positive. He is the man who makes women loose their minds. A woman doing the same is a slut cause women aren’t supposed to enjoy sex and if they do it’s unnatural. Anyway, what does a woman have to do to have sex except for broadening her legs (insulting to men, isn’t it. and this is also not the right moment to mention the fact that women have to do sports all day in order to stay attractive and even have to rely on plastic surgery to please the boys – their body is all that counts, you know) and the perception is therefore purely negative (especially if it comes to rape).

Alcohol: Boys who drink too much – well, they are just boys! That’s just the way it is. Of course, it’s not that good and can be dangerous but we all made stupid things during our adolescence, didn’t we? A girl getting drunk – man, she could  be raped and then she was to blame (and the alcohol)! What a risky behaviour! But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Strange to see that some things never change.



  1. Austin of Sundrip Journals said,

    Here here! Nope, they didn’t mention the murderer either did they? It was horrible what was being said about that woman. Somehow if she’d “just been smarter she would have lived.” the whole AOL discussion of that made me sick. I stopped commenting cause like you I could see that they didn’t totally blame the killer. They threw in a few words of sadness for the family and her but they mainly focused on the fact that she went against what society says she should have done.


  2. Austin of Sundrip Journals said,

    #19 by Bryan is a good comment too. he said: I don’t think anyone would argue that as a girl, getting drunk in a potentially vulnerable situation is a dangerous idea. But just pointing fingers in that direction looks like blaming the victim to me. Telling girls to wise up and stop drinking is just like putting a band-aid on the open, festering wound of sexual violence. Women shouldn’t have to moderate their behavior because some men think it’s okay to violate their implicit trust. It’s certainly easier to tell girls to quit drinking so much, but is it the right solution to a much bigger problem?

  3. Vito Corleone said,

    Yes, that’s true. I think there were quite a lot of good coments on femiste after that. Bryan is right about the girl’s/women’s behaviour not being the problem (and changing it not the solution) at all.

    What i found interesting about rebecca was also that she is not angry because a girls was abducted, raped and murdered (merely a “tragedy”) but ANGRY because the girl drank alcohol.

    Sure, i don’t know this person. She might have had severe problems with alcohol (or knows someone who has/had) which would make her more sensitive in regard to drinking alcohol (the only excuse i can imagine). But this was not the right place/time and case to talk about it. So this person’s either stupid (not knowing when to stop knowing her agenda) and insightful or merely evil (blaming the victim and everything else except for the criminal).

  4. sistasatan said,

    One thing I noticed was that in every news report I read (I wasn’t able to read the NYTimes because you have to pay to do so) that she wore a halter top and mini skirt was mentioned. How often do reporters record the ensembles of people who’ve died in a car accident? Rape and murder happen to women regardless of what they wear and how they are dressed. It even happens during the day and in their own homes.

    As for “rebecca’s” post, why didn’t Moore call the police? Why didn’t the NYPD officers at the tow pound help her? Severe intoxication affects your judgement. This is a fact. The NYPD’s job is to serve and protect. Where was the protection? Where was the help?

    Drinking and being alone in the city at night is not a punishable act. Rape and murder are. Don’t blame the victim. We should be outraged that the night isn’t be a safe place for women. We should address this. We should make it safer for women, so that mistakes don’t lead to dying.

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