In another startling example of whose bodies matter, convicted killer Wayne Ryczak was sentenced to one day in prison and time served since his March 5, 2007, arrest for the death of Stephanie Beck. Judge Stephen Glithero declared it to be the equivalent of 30 months in jail. The crown had requested 7-10 years in jail, and Ryzacks lawyer had requested two years less a day to be served in the community. While Becks mother weeps for the loss of her daughter, the construction worker from St.Catherines, Ontario is free to go on with his life. Does it matter that Beck was only 29 when she died, or that she was pregnant? Does it matter that he dumped her half nude body in a snowbank like used trash? All that the so-called blind justice system saw when it adjudicated this case is that the victim was a prostitute.
“Devastated, we’re devastated,” Beck’s mother, Alice Dort, said from her home in Nova Scotia, according to the St. Catherines standard. “She was a very loving person,” Dort said of her daughter. “She had a heart of gold. Her lifestyle, to me right now, this whole thing has judged her on her lifestyle, not as a human being.”
Yet Ryzack saw fit to strangle her to death and claim it was in self-defense after being hit with a lamp. Please explain to me how you can strangle someone to death in self-defense. Strangulation is active, you must continually apply pressure for an extended period of time to kill someone. If her death was so accidental why did he dump her body instead of calling the police?
Andrea Dworkin theorizes that , “When men use women in prostitution, they are expressing a pure hatred for the female body. It is as pure as anything on this earth ever is or ever has been. It is a contempt so deep, so deep, that a whole human life is reduced to a few sexual orifices, and he can do anything he wants. She is perceived as, treated as–and I want you to remember this, this is real–vaginal slime. She is dirty; a lot of men have been there. A lot of semen, a lot of vaginal lubricant. This is visceral, this is real, this is what happens. Her anus is often torn from the anal intercourse, it bleeds. Her mouth is a receptacle for semen, that is how she is perceived and treated. All women are considered dirty because of menstrual blood but she bleeds other times, other places. She bleeds because she’s been hurt, she bleeds and she’s got bruises on her. Prostituted women are women who are there, available for the gynocidal kill. And prostituted women are being killed every single day, and we don’t think we’re facing anything resembling an emergency. Why should we? They’re no one. When a man kills a prostitute, he feels righteous. It is a righteous kill. He has just gotten rid of a piece of dirt, and the society tells him he is right.”
In an act that can be be termed nothing less than patriarchal bonding Judge Glithero, confirmed Dworkins statements by denying justice to Beck and her family. How different would the sentencing have been had he killed a successful white male? In a patriarchal world wherein men make the laws, justice cannot help but be made to serve its master. Prostitutes know this, and this is why they do not report it when they are raped or otherwise physically abused. Their bodies are expendable simply because they must market them as a commodity. Ryczak walks the streets a free man, not because he is innocent of a crime but because he acted as an exterminator to a member of a class of women that society has declared undesirable and dirty. Judge Glithero affirmed the social stigmatization with his sentencing decree. Clearly murder is only truly worth punishing when the victim is deemed to be a loss to society. We will never know what Beck, or her child would have contributed to this world had they been given a chance to live. All that we can be certain is that their voices have been silenced for an eternity, forever existing as a cold testament to the disharmony of worth and value in a patriarchal world.
Note: I originally searched for a picture of Stephanie Beck for this post, but of course her image has been lost to the stands of time, whereas the image of Ryczak her killer is readily available online.
Reference: http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/MichLawJourI.html Accessed: May 17, 2008
http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1030820&auth=KARENA+WALTER Accessed: May 17, 2008