Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Finally

Before today, I had only seen this addressed on another blog. I don't remember which one, and if I find it I will edit this post to give credit.

Those of you who live in and around Chicago have no doubt heard about the sexual assaults that occurred in the Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, and by now know that there has been an arrest. Unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you have heard all you want to on the topic.

Not to belittle or take the light away from the terrible crimes that occurred, but the coverage has made me angry. I thought about it a little bit at first, and then when I read the aforementioned blog, I became much more angry, even irate.

A number of women get sexually assaulted in upwardly mobile, trendy, yuppy neighborhoods and it's all over the news. As it should be. But how come, when there was a serial rapist in my neighborhood a few years back, it didn't get a mention on the news until the number of attacks was about 9? (Note: I'm relying on my memory here, it may have been a few more, a few less, whatever. I don't remember anything in the paper or TV news until there were quite a few.) And even then, it was only mentioned briefly and received no where near the coverage that Wrigleyville/Lincoln Park rapes received. Or the Wicker Park ones a year or two ago.

How come, when there was an attempted sexual assault in the lobby of my apartment building, the news didn't cover it until weeks later? And then, the media's main focus wasn't on the fact that an attempted sexual assault occurred, but on the fact that given that it occurred so close to a university, yet the university didn't warn the student body about it. It was during the summer when there aren't many people on and around campus, that was the university's defense. Anyway, the news story I saw described the assailant in passing. The main thrust of the item was slamming the university.

If it had happened next to DePaul, I wonder if the media would have jumped on it much sooner.

Finally, today, an article in the Chicago Tribune discusses how the media doesn't cover sexual assaults that occur in the poor neighborhoods on the West and South Sides, where they are much more frequent. Note: I don't live in one of those neighborhoods either; I live in a sort of in-between neighborhood. In some areas of the city there were over 100 sexual assaults last year. That is much more than the trendy areas that get reported.

Again, I don't mean to imply that what happened in Wrigleyville/Lincoln Park isn't horrible or doesn't warrant the attention. My point is, don't these other areas deserve attention too?

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