Everyone complaining about how “we shouldn’t bring race into this” and how “women are making it a competition/political” should take a good hard look at their own biases. And, not to put too fine a point on it, kindly sod off.
A lot of this smacks of “All lives matter”.
I’ll throw that back at you: ALL LIVES MATTER. Including ours.
People are pretty fucking quick to forget about that. People are pretty quick to get on their high horse and insist that it’s become a “racial thing”.
No. No way. It hasn’t suddenly become a racial thing. You’ve just been given new evidence and you don’t like it. It’s been racial all along. Gabby’s case is the timer that sheds the light on a much, much more systemic and ongoing problem (MWWS).
If I, gods forbid and touch wood, got my throat slit tomorrow night, I know for a fact I wouldn’t get as much media attention as Jill Bloggs, white woman.
This is commodification at its finest, my friends.
With all due respect to Gabby and her loved ones, WOC have been commodified for far too long. When a white woman goes missing, everyone talks about it, spreads the word and understands. All of us have empathised, understood, stood together in solidarity. Yet how many of you white women reading this would do the same for us? How many of you have an unconscious bias, or privilege, towards the stories you hear about every single day? To those who look like you? These are implicit messages we are being sent every day - that we are worth less.
We are not commodifying Gabby’s case - we are taking her overspill of light and shining it on others too. It is a net positive - raise awareness of WOC who are victims of domestic violence and you help prevent future victims.
Using her case to help raise awareness of other cases is the opposite of women creating divides. It’s women of colour (and white women) breaking down the barriers that currently prevent us WOC from accessing the sorts of stratospheric publicity that William Tyrrell, or Daniel Morcombe, or Jacob Wetterling, all received. It’s making us more visible and more equal in the eyes of the law and of the news anchors and mainstream media outlets that choose which cases to report. It’s sending them the message that we exist and we are worth reporting on.
I am tired of seeing primarily white missing persons in the media. Our lives have value. All lives have value. We have been told we are second-, third-, fourth-class citizens for time out of mind. While the media exposure of missing/murdered WOC/POC has improved vastly over the years, we have a long way to go.
Please remember that when you accuse others of tearing down Gabby, or of taking Gabby’s case and using it for their own agenda. No one has an agenda here. It’s not just her gain, it’s everyone’s.
For the record, I do have some inkling of how Gabby’s family must be feeling with all this discourse around her death. Gabby was a victim of horrific DV, as so many are. But Gabby’s family was able to find closure for her. So many families are not. This does not invalidate Gabby’s story or those of other women who are killed as a result of DV. It does not make Gabby any less a victim. And it absolutely does not make her the object of blame.
But it does ensure a silver lining: her case can be used to help others.