Wednesday, September 16, 2009

And yet, I leave the apartment

Because I wasn't already paranoid enough... Amber voices my thoughts exactly. Just about every news story I've read about the Yale murder (too many for my own sanity) makes a point, or so it seems, of mentioning the grad-student victim's size. Tiny. Given the tough spot small men and large women are in, it's understandable that nobody pities the small woman, but Amber's point about physical vulnerability holds.

5 comments:

Miss Self-Important said...

On the other hand, if someone is set on killing you, it probably doesn't matter what size you are. Weapons have pretty much evened out the playing field for small murderers. I'd be willing to bet that remaining unkilled in this world is disproportionately due to not being targeted rather than being large.

Phoebe said...

This is true. However, in everyday situations, people don't necessarily have guns on them. If you're small and particularly small and female, all it takes for someone large and male to threaten you with physical violence is to speak to you in a certain tone, using intimidating body language. Also, if the question is heat-of-the-moment, non-premeditated crime, or domestic violence in a gun-free household, the tiny woman remains at a disadvantage.

Andrew Stevens said...

I'd be willing to bet that remaining unkilled in this world is disproportionately due to not being targeted rather than being large.

Since men make up 76.5% of all homicide victims from 1976-2005 in the United States, you'd win that bet. (Men are three times more likely to kill another man than to kill a woman and women are four times more likely to kill a man than to kill a woman.) On the other hand, women are twice as likely to be killed by a spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend than men are by their intimates, so there is definitely something to Phoebe's domestic violence hypothesis. And it is probably true that the main reason men kill their spouses or girlfriends more often than women kill their spouses or boyfriends is because men are more capable of doing the killing on the spur of the moment.

PG said...

Yes, I think we'd need to break out spur-of-the-moment killing from premeditated-and-came-armed killing in order to see the effect that the size of the victim relative to the aggressor may have.

Petey said...

You are missing the upside here. Being small enables you to hide inside walls to avoid potential murderers, not to mention enabling you to hide behind oversized hardcover books or inside tea cups.

Being tiny confers a crucial anti-murdering advantage, if you know how to use it.

Also, I'd like to note the baffling lack of the "TOUR D'IVOIRE" tag on this post. If ever a post cried out for it, this is the one. If they hadn't found the body, she'd have been literally stuck in the ivory tower forever. It'd be like something out of Brothers Grimm...