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I think you're going a little far to think that the general public believes that a "ho" got what she "deserved." But I'm going to make some commentary that does not answer your (good) questions and will not satisfy your desire to get complete insight into this. In other words, I'll touch on what I can without answering, possibly, the main question.

I believe that people are slower to intervene and also less likely to be as shocked over violence occurring within lower social classes, and I think that's partially because people (including women) within those classes have been observed to both put up with (as in, it's halfway an accepted way of life) and dish out violent behavior in their personal relationships. This does not make it right to fail to protect anyone from harm, given the ability to do so, of course, but it might explain the tendency to be shocked by violence in one strata of society more than in another.

Here's an example of what I mean by "dishing it out." Another victimized group is children, and here's a less-serious scenario. Picture a Subaru Outback-driving L.L.Bean-dressed pearl-necklace-wearing well-off 45-year-old mom shouting at a toddler, "Get over here. You want a whupping? Get your ____ over here or I'll whip your heinie." (Smack.) (Yowling crying)

Now picture the same with a cigarette hanging out of one side of the mouth, hair in a sloppy bun, 99-cent flip-flop-wearing mom who might be 19 years old and is dragging toddlers along to the check-cashing place. Where I live, people would be a little aghast at the first example and wonder if someone has forgotten to take her meds or is having a breakdown. For the second example, people would just think "Poor kid," and look away. That's how many onlookers would react, anyway.

Laurie Essig


jake brodsky

The answer to this problem is not "My Fair Lady."

I can not imagine anyone accepting such training on social graces without a great deal of fuss. Fundamentally this is training on how to live. It is almost religious in nature.

Some learn this on their own as they become self made women or men. Some remain brash and boorish for their entire lives, with or without money.

Our society is quite amazing for the fact that people can still rise to greatness regardless of their background. Yet, despite this success, an awful lot of boorish behavior can still be found at every level.

In other words, even with all the successes people in lower classes can have, there are still classist behaviors that will not diminish. Frankly, I do not know what can be done to address the outcomes of assumed social class. I'll even agree that it is wrong. I just don't know what can be done to make it right.

Scott Ferrel

I also audibly said, "hmmm"

Good stuff.

Gregory Curtis

Sad but true.

Blase Kearney

There are just so many things. I . . . I just can't. Why do you come to this site?

Laurie Essig

It's actually far more complicated than that-- class mobility is at the lowest it's been in a century (there are a variety of sources on this- For instance the Pew Research Center has www.economicmobility.org--- and mobility in the US is lower than most developed countries- like France, Germany, or Canada. In other words, the idea that if we just behave like the bourgeoisie we'll become middle class is simply untrue. Also, the class revulsion felt at working class behavior (e.g. being "loud" or "impolite") is more of a response to our own class "habitus" than essentially true. As a culture "proper" behavior is decided upon by the ruling class that then distinguishes itself from those below it. My Fair Lady is a great example-- simply put, speaking with a certain class accent should not determine whether we receive full protection of the law or a chance to get ahead.


Before you go bashing the news outlets for following this crime, you need to a.) get your facts straight and b.) step off your soapbox long enough to look at the whole spectrum of what you're trying to speak about.

Yeardley and George played lacrosse, not rugby. If you're going to do a blog post and try to make a credible argument, at least get the most basic facts right. That is a large fact of the situation - they both played lacrosse at UVA.

Second, do you not remember the now infamous Duke lacrosse case? Where three young men were literally dragged across the coals because a poor black single stripping mother falsely accused them of gang raping her? The media was in a frenzy over that story for months, and despite the mounds of evidence in the lacrosse team's favor, media outlets supported that woman like nothing else. The NCAA posted false lies about the three young men and a false timetable that not only acccused them, but went as far as convicting them without any evidence. People were offering to pay for her college. Pay for her kids food. Pay for her car. Want to know what happened? The woman was a crackd out hooker who trie to make money off of putting three innocent men through hell by writing a book, then got arrested for attempted murder of the father of her children and attempted arson when she tried to burn the house down with him in it. No one reported on that.

Do I agree that cases like Yeardley's get more publicity? Absolutely. However, you're thinking in terms of activism. News companies liek CNN, NBC, the AP, they aren't looking to make a stand against anything - they are looking for stories that will bring hits to their websites and money in their pockets. Do you know how many women go missing, get beaten, or get murdered every day by their husbands/boyfriends, both black and white? This case and the case of Natalee Holloway etc all have a hook - two well to do kids with the world at their fingertips involved in a very UNUSUAL crime. And that's the catch. The crime is unusual, because kids who spend 300k to go to a great school like UVA, Duke, Maryland, Princeton, Cornell - they don't get into things like this that often. So it's a huge interest story. No one "cares" about the woman you mentioned, for example, because outside of her family and friends, the story has no real impact. Woman like her die every day because of situations like that. It's the bold faced, harsh truth. Women like Yeardley Love do not die every day like that.

It's journalism. If you want activism, go to non profits and blogs. CNN isn't looking to change the world. They are looking to get people's attention.

Also, tarnishing this girl's reputation and name like this is weak. Yeardley Love and, for that matter, Geogre Huguely, have nothing to apologize for in terms of the life they were given. People act as though being privileged in this country is a crime, or makes you a bad person. If your parents have a house in the Hamptons, or you have a car at 17, or you go to a great school and come out debt free, we are supposed to hate and loathe you, according to your view point. Privilege is nothing to dismiss. It was what every single person in this country works for. The ability to provide for their children, give them everything and make their lives easier than their own. You want to knock it, be my guest. But learn a little about it first.


"t was what every single person in this country works for."

Actually, Laurie Essig's parents work for that, but she is "waiting for capitalism to end." (see Whole Foods article referring to their hard work, which probably financed her ivy league college education or at least provided some setting for her upbringing and entry into the upper-middle-class liberal intelligentsia circuit.) She begrudges them their comforts and whines about her more contrasting modest trappings, all while plotting the downfall of "Empire."

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