The Thanksgiving holiday weekend ended in a tragedy that’s shocked many Louisville residents, again. Cheryl Williamson, 24, was shot in the chest at a party early Sunday morning, allegedly after exchanging words with two men who haven’t been arrested as of this post.
In addition to SMH disbelief, I’ve also seen a lot of outrage and disgust expressed about this murder. But when I think about how much disrespect and violence against women is embedded and accepted in our culture—street harassment/stalking (you know what I mean; don’t mistake this for flattery, people), routinely calling women out of their names, proposed legislation to change the definition of rape, the terminology used to describe sex (hit that, beat that pu$$y up), the certainty that a woman deserves it/provoked it when intimate partner abuse escalates to noticeable levels (think how much support Chris Brown got for beating Rihanna)—this senseless loss of life isn’t that big a leap.
None of the violence I described reflects respect for women, their humanity, or their lives, so when this male—because as many have already expressed, the suspect doesn’t deserve to be called a man—shot this woman, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
I don’t mean to diminish the senselessness of Cheryl Williamson’s death, but I wish I saw the level of outrage and disgust being expressed about her homicide when a woman is murdered after intimate partner abuse; when she’s barked at, followed, or groped when she’s just trying to walk down the street; when she’s called derogatory names; or when she’s afraid to walk down the street alone because of the accepted threat of violence. All of that is senseless, too.