Friday, June 7, 2013

When the fuck did a human life become less valuable than $150?

Tombstone in the snow
Tombstone in the snow by Click at

Seriously, I’m puzzling over this question, and I’m also writing about this here because it is definitely something that becomes a question of feminism.  Because in this case, what happened is not contested.  It is absolutely horrific, though.

A total stand-up guy named Ezekiel Gilbert shot and killed an escort that he had contacted through Craigslist.  She was shot in the neck on Christmas Eve in 2009 and spent seven months, paralyzed, before finally dying.  Gilbert admitted to shooting her, and talked about how horrible this had been for him – “I've been in a mental prison the past four years of mylife. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel.” 

But why was it so horrible for him?

Oh, yeah, see, she didn’t have sex with him.


What happened was that he paid her $150.  When she didn’t have sex with him, he determined it was “theft.”  Because he believed that sex should have been included in that $150 fee, he attempted to retrieve his money.  Since Texas law says that people can “use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft,” he felt completely justified in murdering a woman simply because she didn’t want to fuck him. 

Well, fuck him! 

I am absolutely horrified to admit to living in Texas right about now.  That a law could be so misapplied in such a situation tells me that there need to be some massive changes in the state laws and in the world.  That her life could be tossed away simply because she didn’t have sex…

Now, don’t get me wrong – it was theft.  He thought it was a business transaction including sex, and I’m willing to bet she gave him that idea.  I won’t pretend she was a complete innocent.

But her refusal to have sex should not equal her death, and for him to pretend that he was justified in killing her to get his money back is insane.  If he had really felt that it was theft, why not call the police?  Oh, that’s right, because he was engaging in an illegal act – he was attempting to engage in prostitution. 

The big picture here, and the one that makes this part of this blog, is the fact that in prostitution cases, both parties are just as guilty (when it’s against the law).  Why is it that we only blame women?  Why is it that we only say that the prostitute was in the wrong? 

What if this case had been a guy who was buying crack and was sold fake drugs?  Would the jury have acquitted him for shooting the drug dealer to get his money back because it was “theft”?  No, I can’t see that happening.  In that case, I would expect the jury to laugh at him for being an idiot, complaining that he was engaging in an illegal act and then getting all uppity for not getting what he wanted.

But in this case…in this case, it was just a woman who wouldn’t have sex.  Of course she deserved to die, right?  Or maybe not so right…

So if we can’t do anything about this case, maybe we can do something about the next?  Let’s start by just making people aware of this.  Make them know that this happened, and that this is wrong.     That we need to keep it from happening again.

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