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Victims of purse-snatch shootings suddenly realize that, uh, they need men to protect them

February 7, 2014

A wave of fatal nighttime purse-snatchings in Philadelphia:

AS TYEMA SANCHEZ of  Northern Liberties got dressed yesterday morning, she carefully considered which purse to carry.

Given the recent spate of purse-snatch shootings, she wondered whether she should carry her Louis Vuitton with the short straps. Under the circumstances, maybe a wiser choice was the brown Marshalls knockoff with the long strap that goes across her chest and keeps her hands free. Better yet, perhaps the smartest thing was not to carry a pocketbook at all and instead tuck her money into her bra. Anything’s better than toting around what she’s begun referring to as a “death ticket.”

Women across the city are having similar conversations with themselves lately, as Philadelphia reels from yet another senseless purse snatching/homicide. The latest happened early Sunday as two women left the Tropical Heat nightclub at 53rd and Market streets following a night of karaoke. Two men in hooded sweatshirts confronted the women about 2:35 a.m., took their handbags, then opened fire, killing Melissa Thomas, 29, and injuring her friend.

***

In the past two months, according to police, three women have been shot by thieves over their pocketbooks.

***

On Jan. 19, Amber Long, 26, was fatally shot after refusing to let go of her “death ticket.” She’d been walking with her mother about 10:30 p.m., on her way to retrieve her car, when they were approached by two men.

One man reached for Amber’s bag and the other for her mother’s purse. Amber was shot once in the chest with a small-caliber handgun. Just 45 minutes later, she was pronounced dead.

And here is what Sanchez is saying:

“Where are our men? Why are they not protecting us?” Sanchez continued, her voice full of frustration. “Men are failing us. I feel as though we are not being protected.”

Good question, isn’t it? For decades we’ve been hearing that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Men “protecting” them? That’s patriarchy! Men stronger and more aggressive than women? That’s a “gender construct”!

So we’ve thrown away not just biological reality–the physical and psychological differences between the sexes–but hundreds of years of Western tradition that encouraged men to be protectors of women, using their strength and aggressiveness in positive ways. Worst of all, we’ve thrown away moral reality: that there will always be the strong and nasty to prey upon the weak and vulnerable.

And so we give women the illusion that it might not be dangerous to walk home from a bar in a dicey neighborhood at 2 a.m. without a male escort–or even from a party, as Amber Long did, at 10:30 p.m. In big cities, night is a dangerous time. We tell women they have a “right” to be wherever they want to be at any time of night or day. Maybe that’s true, but it ignores reality: most violent criminals are men, men who look around for easy targets. Since most violent criminals didn’t go to college and learn that that gender is just a social construct, they pick on unescorted women–because they can. The company of a man while walking in a big city at night is no guarantee of safety (one of the Philadelphia victims had a boyfriend who got shot while chasing her assailant), but it helps. Nonetheless, we continue to tell women that they have more to fear from dates, boyfriends, and husbands than from strangers on the street who actually aren’t afraid to rob, rape, and kill them.

Even Tyema Sanchez doesn’t seem to have learned much:

Sanchez, though, is turning her outrage into action by reaching out to other local women, urging them to gather with her at 9 a.m. Saturday at the site where Thomas was killed, to call on city officials and also on their communities to protect them. The demonstration is being billed as “Handbags 4 Peace.”

“This should be about women saying enough is enough,” said Mannwell Glenn, a political consultant advising Sanchez on Saturday’s event. “When women get pissed, they get things done.”

Right, because waving your purse around angrily at a City Hall demonstration will make violent criminals magically go away.

It would be nice if Sanchez instead thought through what she blurted out about men–and considered that men might be “failing” women because women have been failing for decades to honor male virtues. A little less getting “pissed off” and a little more respect and appreciation might actually accomplish something.

H/T: Vox Day

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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