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What We Say About Her Says About Us

September 21, 2021

Why her? Why this story?

You’ve seen it. There’s a story that is currently making national news. A woman goes missing. Her boyfriend is suspected of hurting her. Sadly, they’ve now found her body and he’s now in hiding.

You’ve seen the story. You can’t have missed it.

Why? Why do you know the story? It took place in Florida, Utah and Wyoming. Maybe if you lived in one of those places, it has local interest. But, most of you don’t live in those areas. So, why the interest?

Some will say it’s because both her and her boyfriend had a large social media presence. I have never heard of either one of them nor their social media channel. And yet, I’ve also heard the stories about them, the fights, the run ins with the police, even the make and model of the van.

And look at me? I’m writing very carefully to avoid naming her or him, but still, I’m writing about them.

So, again, why? Why are we fascinated and what does it say about us?

Nothing good.

But, YOU are a good person. And you are rightly appalled at the conditions she went through. That’s why you are following the story right?

No, it’s not. You might tell yourself that, but it’s not about domestic violence. It’s not about missing persons. There are dozens of those cases everyday.

What makes this one different?

  • Pretty
  • Young
  • Blond
  • Female
  • Possible victim of a sex crime

If she was missing any of those five characteristics, the story would have just been one more of dozens that you and I never heard about. Remember JonBenet Ramsey? Of course you do. She was all over the news. She was on the cover of magazines. There are been stories about her on a regular basis despite the fact the crime happened decades ago.

Why did we, as a country become infatuated with her story?

  • Pretty
  • Young
  • Blond
  • Female
  • Possible victim of a sex crime

Remember Madeleine McCann? The little girl who went missing in Portugal?

  • Pretty
  • Young
  • Blond
  • Female
  • Possible victim of a sex crime

While the concern for the current victim and her families is real, the question of WHY we are being inundated with this particular story, when there are so many similar stories that happen daily, says less about the victims and more about what we value as a society.

To all the missing girls, to all the abused girls, to all the families that wait for word from their lost daughters, may your daughters and sisters be found safe. May those in abusive relationships find a way out.

But, realize that our obsession with where we put our outrage is not necessarily being driven by purely altruistic motives.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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