This story makes me sick.
What also makes me sick is the paragraph that the Globe and Mail decided was all that this story deserved.
The Globe snippet fails to mention any details about the woman whose life has already been so marginalized that her killer received an absolute joke of a sentence. The article fails to mention that the woman was pregnant or that after Wayne Ryczak, 55 strangled the 29-year-old, Stephine Beck to death, he drove her “heavy” body to the road side, dumped it and then before he left, for good measure, exposed her vagina and breasts.
They did however, make sure to let the readers know that he only got one day punishment for killing a prostitute.
Excuse me for asking, but in Canada, are prostitutes considered less than human? Apparently they are. Which is why we let serial killer Robert Pickton kill more than 50 women on the streets of Vancouver before trying to catch him. I was living in Vancouver at the time and trust me, if the missing women had been blond housewives from North Van, there probably would have only been one killed, not 50.
When families of the missing Vancouver women started organizing and putting pressure on the media to report that there was a serial killer loose in the city, and coverage, mainly from the Vancouver Province, started to detail the extent to which women were disappearing from the downtown east side, a response from the police was literally forced. The response: a tactical team set up to investigate the murders which resulted in the arrest of Pickton within months. Amazing what you can find out when you actually look.
A former worker of Pickton’s later told the press that he had gone to the police YEARS earlier and told them he was sure Pickton had been murdering prostitutes on his pig farm. Good thing the police did nothing which then allowed Pickton to kill several other women and feed them to his pigs.
Now Stephani Beck had an addiction problem. And she would not win any mother of the year awards since she was pregnant and consuming enough cocaine to potentially kill her, but does that mean that killing and dumping her body is o.k. If a man jumped at a passerby in the street and that passerby beat him to death, drove him out of the city and dumped his body, exposing his penis before he left, would we think that was alright?
Prostitutes are the most marginalized people in our society. We treat their lives as if they don’t matter at all. It truly horrifies me that time and time again, whenever a violent or sexual crime is committed against a sex worker, we turn a blind eye. Women are no longer even called women in the headlines. They become solely defined by the title of prostitute.
Can we try and remember for a moment that if there was no demand for prostitutes, they would not exist. Men go to hookers. They always have and sadly always will. Women who are poor, have mental health problems or addictions, have physical disabilities, families to provide for, they sometimes turn to prostituion to make money the one way they know they can and we treat them as disposable.
It is fucking time to legalize prostitution so that the murder and abuse of young, poor and marginalized Canadian women, on our Canadian streets, stops happening. And maybe if we make their profession legitimate and provide them with the health and physical protection that they deserve, as they work to satisfy men who will seek them out regardless of the law, we will make our society a better place and we will force men, women and journalists to acknowledge that prostitutes are people, doing a job, and maybe you don’t like it, but hey, I don’t like pharmaceutical reps but if someone killed one, even if they were pimping estrogen supplements, I would still want their killer to face more than one fucking day in prison.
Write to Justice Canada if you believe in Justice and not Judge Steven Glithero’s form of justice that supports the notion that if your a drug addicted, pregnant, prostitute, your life is worth time served, plus a day.