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Monday, May 12, 2008

Chron on Homeless Women: Not a Pretty Picture.

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2008 at 10:39 AM

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Chron columnist CW Nevius had a piece in Sunday’s paper about the plight of homeless women in SF, focusing on the frequency of sexual assault and the difficulty these women have finding assistance. So far so good.

Nevius writes about one woman’s plight, Carla Crandall, a 32-year-old college graduate who’s battling a heroin addiction. He interviews Carolyn Ritchie, who was a social worker at the Tom Waddell clinic for 17 years. Ritchie expresses frustration at the lack of resources for women in Crandall’s situation. And then there’s this:

"You can see by looking at her that she'd be a target," Ritchie said. "In this case, her good looks are almost a disadvantage."

Because only women who conform to certain beauty standards are targets for rape, right?

A few paragraphs later, Nevius returns to the subject of looks, writing, “ But the life takes its toll. Their hair falls out, their skin withers and scars. Without dental care, the women lose their teeth. And then who wants to take care of you?”

I didn't realize that one of the problems homeless women face is that they are too unattractive for people to care about. Nothing is more frustrating then when a discussion of women's rights and needs gets bogged down with a needless appraisal of their appearance. -- Andy Wright

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Andy Wright

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