Targeting women

Whether it’s killing pregnant women, targeting young females, sexually assaulting college students or terrorizing widows, women and girls are often targeted and preyed upon. Not until relatively recently has gender-based violence been recognized, have laws been passed, or has it been recognized as the public health epidemic and human rights violation that it is. We still have to fight for funding (and get attacked by Men’s Rights advocates), speak up to raise awareness and change the culture that accepts misogyny as a norm.

In Man gets life term for vicious attacks, the Washington Post does a good job in framing this story as one where the man actively sought out widows. This was not just any old attack. He specifically wanted to target females. And this fact was not glossed over by the Post.

A Hyattsville man who instituted what prosecutors called a “reign of terror” in parts of Montgomery County was sentenced to life in prison without parole Thursday for breaking into the homes of four widows, hogtying them, gagging them and killing his final victim.

Here’s the account of the victim and survivors:

Mason made note of “truly remarkable” victims in the case, all of whom lived alone and charged into their later years with pluck and independence: Mary Frances Havenstein, 63, found beaten and dead on her bedroom floor; Margaret Arnold, 94, who is legally blind and was attacked in her basement; Betty Tubbs, 79, who tried to whack Garcia-Perlera with a flashlight; and Ann Wolfe, 79, who chewed through a duct-tape gag while bound in her basement for 2 1/2 days before she was found by her daughter.

He targeted females – strong ones at that – but he still chose to prey on females –

For whatever reason, [Garcia-Perlera] derived some pleasure or satisfaction from inflicting pain and humiliating these women,” Mason said. “Now, the remarkable thing is, as a result of the trial, we’ve come to learn that they’re not nearly as vulnerable as they may have seemed. . . . If there’s any good that can come of even something as evil as this, the one interesting thing is I think that these women have come to be recognized and celebrated for what truly remarkable people they are.”

The Post did a commendable job in writing about these women as human beings, not victims or statistics. They noted how strong the women were and included quotes that helped demonstrate this. They noted and villified the guy for targeting females – a fact that is too often ignored in the media. Perhaps the tides are changing…


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