Saturday, July 21, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Sexism in Victimology

A man deals drugs in his neighborhood and gets shot and killed in a gang war. The newspaper does not simply say he was the father of three, helped out at the shelter, and had a secret life as a medicine distributor. He is called a drug dealer who got murdered because he was breaking the law and got wasted by his criminal associates. A man breaking into a home gets shot by the home owner. The newspaper does not write that he was a father of three who went to church on Sundays and had a secret life as an unauthorized enterer of homes. He is called a burglar who got shot because he threatened the life of an innocent citizen.

Yet, when a woman is breaking the law, the papers often soften her criminal side and if one dares state what her lawbreaking was about, it is seen as cruel by many. But the law is the same for both males and females and if females break the law and act badly, there is nothing wrong in pointing this out, both for the purposes of honesty and for the purposes of being properly informed so that all of us can react appropriately.

For a profiler, the police and the public, we cannot search for suspects properly or turn in information unless we know the truth and don't water it down. There is possibly a killer out there that we need to get off the streets. It may be a serial killer who targets prostitutes or a ticked off ex-husband who is disgusted with Paige Birgfeld's behaviors. She could have ripped off a john or gotten involved in yet another illegal activity that cost her her life.

As far as blaming the victim, one has to be realistic. Becoming a victim of a murderer can be just bad luck or the victim may have worked overtime to get herself into the murderer's hands and brain. Paige created one very long list of possible killers for the police and public to sort out. She is responsible for who she is and what she did that might have gotten her in trouble or, worse, gotten her killed. Paige likely has already paid the ultimate price for poor decisions and there is a killer out there who needs to pay the price for his.

Let's keep it real and not be sexist when women commit crimes and those crimes do them in. People who live by the sword often die by the sword; the truth may be painful, but it is illuminating.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

1 comment:

Ronni said...

I am getting so tired of hearing the "men get death, women get nothing" mantra from the scared chauvinists.

I think Mary Winkler should have received a stiffer sentence. That sort of thing just fuels the fires of resentment that burn beneath the veneer of equality.