Not far from where I live there is a woman who shot an intruder at 3 am. She was protecting her husband and children. What caught my attention is that there is no story here, or rather that one sentence is the whole story, the beginning, the middle, and the end. There is no victimization here, no legislation to write, no problem to be solved, no heated on-line debates to be had.
I like to imagine how difficult it would be to try and squeeze a story out of this situation, as if, “tell me what happened?” “Somebody tried to get into the house, so I shot him.” And then what happened? “They hauled him off for surgery.” And? And what? That’s it, that’s the whole story. There simply are no biological bliss hits to trigger, no self righteous indignation, no feelings of persecution, no injustice to wallow in, no closure to seek. We can’t “fix it,” she already did.
But there ought to be a law! There is already. It says, don’t try to force your way into people’s homes in the middle of the night. This tends to frighten people and many are willing to defend themselves.
People defending themselves is not an uncommon theme in my neck of the woods. It happens with some frequency and almost no media attention. While much of the country is focused on castle doctrines and self defense in places like Florida and Texas, it is completely unquestioned here. I don’t know why, politics perhaps and the blueness of this state.
Self defense can be a deadly business so I don’t mean to make light of that fact, but the juxtaposition between women successfully defending themselves versus the media’s perpetual obsession with female victimization, makes me laugh sometimes.
A while back there was this rapist on the lose, or rather a wannabee rapist, because when they finally caught him, they could only charge him with ATTEMPTED rape and assault. While the media was selling fear and telling women to be afraid, be very afraid, they left out the best part of the story! This guy physically attacked 7 random women and came out the worst for it, losing each confrontation. The guy was not the sharpest tool in the shed, but the media still tried to honor him with the title of “dangerous predator.”
Bit of humor here, but I think if the media and the community genuinely cared about protecting women, they would have simply allowed the guy to remain on the lose and just reported on all the times he got himself creamed trying to attack women. We could have engaged in endless mockery and ridicule and sent a powerful message. Perpetrators be afraid, be very afraid, you’re likely to encounter a hostile victim and get yourself hurt. Bad guys, we advise you don’t leave your house at certain hours of the night, stay in well lit areas, and be careful not to frighten people. Frightened people can be unpredictable, especially women. Take some responsibility for your own safety and don’t try to attack people.
Of course we’ll never say that. Those stories don’t sell well because they lack the feelings of persecution, the knee jerk emotionalism, and the endless selling of fear and legislation and political solutions. A story without a victim is simply the end of the story.