Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When Will It Be Taken Seriously?

From the beginning, the fact that police and school officials defended their actions by dismissing the initital shootings at Virginia Tech as a "domestic issue" has shocked me. From BfP:
The most horrible thing I’ve heard throughout the coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting has been that police did nothing after the first shootings because they had believed it to be “just” or “only” a “domestic” issue. Nobody will even call it for what it is. They thought some crazy asshole had killed his girlfriend. Sad, but not important enough to shut down a thriving campus. Disturbing, but not urgent enough to send swat teams up and down the hallways, banging on doors, pushing people out of classrooms at gunpoint.
This window they provided of how people, fuck it, how police still think about "domestic" abuse--unimportant, only between two people, normal--I just don't have the words to express my disgust.

Her name is Emily Jane Hilscher, and she was not just a "domestic" abuse victim and she was not, as this vile account tries to fetchingly entitle “The girl who led to massacre.”* Why, why, why are we still having to assert and defend women's humanity?

Then, as I am/was typing this post, I click more links (in the comments here) and find that the shooter may have actually been stalking Hilscher, that their may never have been a romantic relationship. Thus the dismissal of her death is further problematized by the fact that it was based on assumptions and undoubtedly, the purview of people who think they've seen it all before. I can't wait for the articles that discuss how she led to her own stalking.

I know that I am not being coherent; I just can't right now, because I am so fucking angry. So, so, damned mad.
*I included the link so that you could go leave a comment. Please leave a comment.


Zelda said...

exactly, right on. great post. i was just trying to express this same point to another student this morning.

Gwyneth Bolton said...

Excellent post, Elle! It is astute and right on point. I'm apalled that the media is treating this young woman's lost life so horribly. And the fact that the cop's blatant sexism caused them to misread the danger does not surprise me at all. I'm so disgusted!


Mon said...

Thanks for sharing this coverage--I haven't been following the story from that angle. The first picture I saw was of the young man who died in the dorm--an outstanding Black male student. I thought the police had assumed that a "Black male suspect" had violently killed this woman in a "domestic" situation. I took their silence on her name and identity as a protection of an "innocent White woman"--especially given the quickness with which they released the photo of the Black male student. I appreciate you illuminating this story further. I was equally angry and disgusted but from the other side of the story. Unfortunately, I still am. So many things about this event are just beyond upsetting.

Anonymous said...

that is the sound of a perfect point being made.

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