Or are they??
A friend sent me a link to this article on CNN, Robbing banks no longer just for guys, FBI statistics show. First thing of note: that’s not actually what the statistics show.
Nationwide, 6.2 percent of all bank heists today are committed by women. That’s up from 4.9 percent in 2002 — a 25 percent increase, according to the most recent FBI crime statistics.
Just to be clear, it wasn’t exclusively before, but women still make up only a tiny percentage. That’s more like, “More women robbing banks, still in minority.” But I guess it’s a more interesting lede if you make it sound like women are suddenly entering a “new” industry, like we’re supposed to be proud, like it’s some kind of feminist achievement. Yeah, break that glass ceiling! And then steal it!
Also interesting: the requisite gender essentialist crap. And the fact that they totally can’t figure out where they’re trying to do with it.
“Here’s a crime that you can commit easily and its an equal opportunity crime,” crime historian Robert McCrie said. Banks have become so customer-friendly and open, they’ve become “a safe place to rob,” he added.
In Long Island’s Nassau County, Detective Sgt. John Giambrone says he came across not one female bank robber in his first 25 years in law enforcement. He has seen 15 in the past three years.
“For a woman, especially a woman, to take that step … you’re crossing a big threshold,” said Giambrone, who heads up the Nassau County police department’s robbery squad.
So… it’s an equal opportunity crime, which is why women have never been doing it before. Also, it’s especially hard for women to rob banks because committing a crime is “crossing a big threshold” and… women are short, so our legs aren’t long enough to cross thresholds in one step? Those paragraphs are totally unaltered and in their original order, by the way. Yeah. The writer thought that was a logical progression of thought.
Well, I don’t know what’s up with those first two paragraphs, but that third one actually has something of a grain of truth to it, probably. Women are supposed to Play Nice and to depend upon men for their money– to just steal some is too aggressive, too transgressive; it requires crossing a number of thresholds that are specifically feminine barriers. Generally they’re barriers to promotions and equal housework, but they’re probably also barriers to bank-robbing.
The best part, though, is when they get to this (immediately after the paragraphs quoted above):
In Giambrone’s experience, the women who are captured in bank heists usually say they’re doing it to “pay bills, get a little extra cash.”
It’s different for the men, he added. They usually say they rob banks for the thrill of it, or to get money for drug, alcohol or gambling addictions.
Giambrone said women tend to carefully plan their holdups, and prepare the notes ahead of time.
“Women are more pragmatic,” forensic sociologist Rosemary Erikson agreed. “They need diapers for the baby that kind of thing.”
They’re just doing it for their BAYBEEZ! It’s totally selfless and caring! A female bank robber would never be aggressive or thrill-seeking or dudely!
The really hilarious part? This is not borne out at all by the female bank robber they built the article around.
Jane Smith, who is trying to rebuild her life after serving five years in a maximum security prison, agrees that while the holdup was exciting, it wasn’t worth it.
Still, she couldn’t help smiling as she recalled how the tire blew on the getaway car while she and her accomplice made their getaway.
“I kept going on the rims, sparks flying on the highway,” she said.
When she could drive no farther, Smith recalled, “I started flagging people down. All the money is on the floorboard of the car. One lady did pull over to pick us up and so I got the money and I stuffed it in my purse and could barely zip it. She took us to a convenience store close by and I called a taxi.”
She went on wild spending spree, going through most of the money before her arrest several days later.
She said she would never again rob a bank, because her arrest and incarceration nearly destroyed her parents and two kids.
But Smith admitted that the thrill was addictive. “I loved the danger in it. I wanted to get more money. I wanted to keep doing it. That’s how it really felt — an adrenaline rush. Perfect.”
Yeah. Totally a self-sacrificing madonna figure there. Totally.