Soft-spoken, 32-year-old Jodi Arias doesn't look like a cold, vicious murderer. But she stands accused of killing her one-time boyfriend Travis Alexander in an incredibly violent way -- first stabbing him 27 times while he showered, then slitting his throat, and then shooting him. The Arizona murder case turns all our thoughts about men and women on their head and serves as a stark reminder that men can be victims, too.
Reportedly he told friends she would crawl into his bed and "seduce" him. One friend said he never saw her as "marriage material," but it was hard to say no when a woman just crawls into your bed.
Hmmm. As a woman, this comment gives me major pause and serves as a reminder that the world we live in is so very different from the one in which men exist. There is no doubt that if the roles were reversed, the woman would have felt unsafe and scared. Not just "seduced."
There is no doubt Alexander was a victim, and if Arias is found guilty, there is no excuse for her savagery and cruelty. But it isn't unprecedented. While women don't attack men as often as men attack women, it does happen, and this idea that men are "safe" needs to stop.
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I keep thinking as a woman, if a man I wasn't that into kept crawling into my bed at night, I would call that stalking. I would be terrified and tell the authorities. She converted to his religion (Mormonism) and generally sounds like she was obsessed with him, according to his friends.
There is no doubt that a woman in the same case would have been scared. She would have feared for her life. Did Alexander? I suppose we don't know yet. If she is guilty, then he certainly should have.
The fact is, men can be victims, too. It's less common, but it does happen. Men shouldn't feel weak about that. They shouldn't feel embarrassed if they are victimized. It would be good for both men and women to understand that violence like this can happen to anyone. That no means no. And that sneaking into someone's house and crawling into bed late at night is weird behavior whether that person is male or female.
It's a very sad case, but it's also a stark reminder. Women aren't the only victims of horrific violence. We must all be careful and wary of being victimized.
Does this case surprise you?