Women Aren’t Valued or Taken Seriously Until We’re Dead

The tragic death, and assumed murder, of influencer Gabby Petito has gotten people talking about how the media treats missing and murdered women and how domestic violence is systemically downplayed. But there’s more to it than that.

Rachel Presser

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Goth woman with short hair holding a single red rose, sobbing on a grave marker
Licensed via Adobe Stock

I’m so fucking sick of women being treated as collateral damage.

Domestic violence is systemically underplayed in this society. It is reduced to “tumultuous relationships” which quickly falls down the slippery slope to “what did she do to provoke him”.

Look, there isn’t much I can say about Gabby Petito and how the media treats missing and murdered pretty young white women that hasn’t already been said a million times by now. But the reason why I’m adding my take to the growing rage-filled commentary is because I feel the need to point something out that people have been glossing over.

It’s that we don’t recognize how women “have so much potential” until it has been completely extinguished.

We are vaunted more when we are dead than when we are living, breathing, and full of hopes, dreams, fears, and plans.

Plans that constantly get waylaid by harassment and people who systemically shut women out through mansplaining while telling us we’d get ahead “if you’re just REALLY GOOD at what you do” until the goalposts shift to the point they’re no longer on the goddamn field, making us chase something that will forever be out of reach on purpose.

We only talk about how women had such bright futures ahead when they are taken before their assumed time, and become just another labeled box of human remains. A photo to be circulated in the news and on social media. An avatar. A cautionary tale that still places the onus on women to save our own lives rather than addressing men who abuse them.

This is something I learned early, when I lost my mother at 15.

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Rachel Presser

Game dev, writer, small biz & tax consultant to indie devs. That loud socialist Frog Slut from The Bronx, now in Angel City. https://linktr.ee/sonictoad