By: Chloe Catrow
There’s no doubt that men have been given precedence over women for millions of years. Our accomplishments and impact as women is constantly being denied by our male counterparts. However, when it comes to issues that impact women negatively (such as violence, sexual assault, misogyny, etc.) these issues often aren’t deemed important to those who have assumed power (which are a lot of times men). A lot depends on who exactly is being affected by this. I understand that not every case of sexual assault, abduction, violence, or any other form of abuse directed at women is reported. However, when these crimes are reported, it seems that cases involving Black women do not receive the same coverage as other races. Even in cases of injustice that affect the Black community as a whole, the unfortunate events which happen to Black men seem to overshadow the unfortunate events of Black women.
After the murder of Michael Brown at the hands of police in 2014, there was a significant amount of media coverage in addition to protests surrounding this incident. A few days later, Michelle Cusseaux, a woman suffering from mental illness, was shot and killed by police. Instead of major protests and news coverage, a few articles were written, a couple of mini gatherings acknowledged her death, and there was one small (local) news story dedicated to her. Unfortunately, all this came a year after her murder.
On December 2, 2012, 16 year old Darnesha Harris was shot and killed by a Louisiana officer. Harris crashed into a patrol car, reversed the automobile, and rode into a ditch. Having taken her hands off of the wheel before the officer even got to the car, he proceeded to shoot her. The officer (before this incident) had previously been accused of disorderly conduct during his career, though a grand jury failed to indict him. Again, there were few gatherings and calls to action for this case. In February of that same year, a young man, Trayvon Martin, was murdered by a self-deputized individual. Protests around the country commenced, in addition to an entire movement having been created as a result of his (apparently) racially-motivated murder.
Again, these protests should occur, as they are combating injustice; however, why are the men and boys usually the focal point and these women and girls are given little to no coverage? Why don’t we hear as much about the women and girls?