''Stopping the Stalkers''

File Name: 0015.FEM

  Msg#: 802                                          Date: 07-20-98  06:38
  From: Donna.                                       Read: Yes    Replied: No 
    To: All                                          Mark:                     
  Subj: "Stopping the Stalkers"
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From: "Donna." 
Reply-To: "Donna." 

Speaking of popular culture and women's issues, did anybody happen to
catch the FOX special "Stopping the Stalkers" which aired last April?  (So
I'm a little more time-shifted than VCR makers ever imagined.  Live with
it.)  I'm just amazed by this show.  After introducing the general subject
of stalking and itemizing the list of (female) celebrities who have been
stalked -- some of whom were killed -- the voiceover said that, once L.A.
instituted an anti-stalking law they discovered that the majority of
stalking victims were ordinary folk, not celebrities.  So far so good, eh?
I mean, women have known for =centuries= that most stalking victims are
ordinary folks, but let's give law enforcement a break for a second;
they're only as powerful as lawmakers make them.

Anyway, right after saying that most stalking victims are ordinary
mortals, get a load of the presentation of cases:

 . a woman is stalked, but more screen time is given to her husband
 . a man is stalked, with his girlfriend threatened, but he
  gets most of the screen time
 . another man is stalked, this time by a man, and this time even
  though the victim mentions other family members at risk,
  they get no screen time at all
 . the ex-wife stalking victim of her ex-husband
 . the videotape a (male) stalker made while preparing the 
  death of his (female) victim

Reality is that anybody's a potential stalking victim, and stalkers are
not all one sex or the other, nor can one immediately look to heterosexual
(sexual or romantic) relationships gone wrong to find the only incidences
of stalking.  Not only did this stalker focus on romantic obsessions on
the part of stalkers, but they managed to dominate the screen with male
faces, voices, and stories for most of the hour.

No wonder the show was light on factual information, like statistics. 
Granted, a lot of stalking never gets reported, especially considering
that some states still don't recognize stalking as a crime, but there are
=some= numbers they coulda shared.  Like the fact that women are more
likely to be stalked than are men.  (They did say "1 in 12 women will be
stalked within her lifetime", but they didn't give the corresponding rate
for male stalking victims.) 


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