This weekend two women were murdered in Glasgow in what appear to be separate incidents. In one instance, a woman, Moira Jones, aged 40 (but described as a ‘young woman’ by police- patronising??), was raped and battered to death in a park near her home. She was a businesswoman who worked as a sales consultant for Britvic. In the second incident, trainee manager, Eleni Pachou was stabbed to death, apparently attacked as she closed up the restaurant where she worked. These are both horrible murders and probably not that typical of Glasgow, though hardly untypical experiences for womenkind. But what has bugged me is how these women are described by the press and officials over the case.
The BBC described Moira as a ‘respectable’ businesswoman, while Detective Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson commented yesterday:
To have two decent, respectable women murdered in such a short period of time is very, very unusual and not something I would want to be repeated in the force.
Decent and respectable?? Now, I am sure these women were decent and respectable, but why the need to emphasis this point? Does a woman have to be ‘decent and respectable’ for her murder to matter; for people to care whether such an incident is repeated? Do the police not realise what they are saying about the numerous other female victims that have been murdered this year? Are the police actually saying they care more about these victims than, for example, the several women who have been killed in Maryhill over the last few months? Do they matter less because the police did not deem them respectable; because poverty ensured they lived in a deprived area?
Is a woman's value forever to lie in her 'respectability'?