...private school pedigreed from well-to-do communities, talented on the lacrosse playing fields and popular with friends. Yeardley Love and George Huguely should have made the perfect pair."How can we not feel sympathy for what should have been a fairytale but ended up a nightmare? And of course we do, and should, but why don't we feel as much sympathy for another young woman who lived nearly and who was also murdered by her ex-boyfriend- this time in front of her young children? In this case, young Crystal Snipes, a 27 year old mother of two, white like Love, but with a job as a home health aide, no husband, and quite honestly, no sunset into which she could ride off, was shot down by her ex-boyfriend, Douglas Enroughty, Jr. Snipes had attempted to get a restraining order against Enroughty and accused him of raping and threatening her, but a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence for a protective order two weeks after it was filed. At this exact same moment that People asked us to protect young women like Ms. Love while ignoring young women like Ms. Snipes, ABC's "What Would You Do?" aired an episode about battered women. In the episode two actresses, one white and one black, were put into a restaurant and played out scenes with their "boyfriends" who acted out the role of abuser. The producers wanted to see if race played a difference, but they also had an idea that class might be important as well. So in one scene the actresses looked bruised, but middle class. In the other scene, they dressed "provocatively"- or as my 8th grader would put it- like skanks and hos. Not surprisingly, fewer diners intervened on the more conservatively-dressed black woman's behalf than the similarly dressed white woman's. Translation: white ladies deserve more protection than black women. But here's the interesting twist: NO ONE intervened in either woman's behalf when they were dressed in a more sexualized manner. I realize this is not exactly good data (I mean, we have an n of 4), but the ABC show is getting to the exact same cultural impulse that the Snipes-Love cases gets to. This impulse can best be described as the Lady/Whore divide that has long haunted patriarchal cultures but became more intensified in the class and race hierarchies established at the beginning of the Modern Era. At the birth of modernity, as the ruling classes separated themselves from the working classes and poor, they marked poor women as not as good as middle-class women, who were also known as ladies. Ladies were better because they were more pure, more innocent, and sexually blank. In other words, ladies (like children) were the perfect victims. The lady was also marked as more evolved than non-white women, especially African and African-American women. The lady was more evolved because she was less like men (more gender differentiated in evolutionary terms). The lady was not aggressive or violent or sexual or even an active agent. Again, the perfect victim. And so, when a working class white woman like Snipes is murdered by her ex-boyfriend, we shrug because what could she expect? And when we see sexualized women being abused in a restaurant, we look the other way. That's because only a lady deserves protection, but the ho got what she deserves.