Missing Women: Keep that same energy

I know that everyone is shocked and saddened by the Gabby Petito case. As we should be. A 22 year old woman who blogged about her van life lifestyle, that was unknown to most of us just a few weeks ago. But, she was known and loved by her family. loved by her followers on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. By all accounts she was vibrant, she was happy. Watching her "Beginning Our Van Life Journey" video on YouTube is harrowing, because you know the end.

You know that this pretty, smiling, ambitious young woman was taken from the world. And you know that the likely culprit, her 23-year-old boyfriend Brian Laundrie, is still on the run. Still being sought by police.

And if you’re like me, you hope that when they catch him, they throw his ass under the jail, lock the door, throw away the key and forget he’s there (as my Grandmother used to say).

Im sure this is something we can all agree on, in this world where currently we all don’t agree on much.

Because Gabby was someone’s friend.

She was someone’s family.

She was someone’s princess.

She was someone’s baby.

She deserves justice.

My message to you, as it has been for anyone who brings this case up to me over the past few weeks, is simple. Very simple.


According to the FBIs National Crime Information Center (NCIC), in 2020 alone 209,375 women and girls under 21, and 59,369 women over the age of 21 were reported missing. Over 268,000 women. MISSING.

And keep in mind that, like the quote at the end of the movie Wind River states, “While missing person statistics are compiled for every other demographic, none exist for Native American women.” So, we know that the number above pales in comparison to the REAL figure.

So keep that same energy.

Seriously. Imagine, for just a second if we looked at ALL missing women, the way our country looked at Gabby. Because, I hold no illusions about why the FBI and so many local law enforcement agencies fairly tripped over each other to investigate this case. The answers are quite simple:

Missing white woman syndrome + The internet.

These two scenarios worked hand in hand. Missing white woman syndrome is a term used by social scientists to refer to the disproportionate media coverage of missing persons cases involving young, white, attractive, middle class to upper middle class women or girls, when compared to the relative lack of attention towards women who are not white, come from lower social classes, or live on the fringes of accepted white society. The fact that Gabby was young, white, pretty, clean cut and from a good background, made this instant tabloid fodder. The 24/7 news cycle cant get enough of it. No matter which new source you follow, the Gabby updates are almost constant even when there is no update.

As the stories grew, the interest online grew. The r/GabbyPetito subreddit was created on September 13,2021 and had over 100,000 members within its first two days, so much so the reportedly the discussion has spilled over into other subreddits such as r/TrueCrime and r/TrureCrimeDiscussion. The hashtags #gabbypetito, #findgabbypetito, and #gabbypetitoupdate had hundreds of millions of views by the end of September. Although some may take offense to the fact that the case has attracted so many onlookers, movies like Don’t Fuck With Cats show how this interest can help solve crimes and simply turning on your cable news can show how this interest can help drive a news cycle, and drive law enforcement to act.

And you KNOW the police were hell bent on this case because the news was hellbent.

On the positive side, this news coverage has drawn more interest into how the news media itself facilitates “missing white woman syndrome” but, at the same time, it allows the same news companies that perpetuate this idea, to come up with cop-outs. Blaming the national interest on social media or on interest in true crime. Insider even talked with a psychologist, to explain why WE are “hardwired to become fascinated with true-crime cases like Gabbys“. “WE” as if “WE” are the ones making the news stories.

So its obviously not the medias fault that over 30% of reported missing women are Black, yet none of them get the coverage that this case does. Right? We cant blame the media for this right?

Fuck them. And fuck you if you buy this horseshit.

Keep that same energy.

Erika Marie Rivers went so far as creating a website called Our Black Girls to call attention to this disparity.

Keep that same energy.

And entire 501 (c)(3) foundation exists to help find missing women of color, called Black and Missing (BAMFI).

Keep that same energy.

Native Women’s Wilderness created Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) to help spread the word and find the missing. As of 2016, the NCIC reported 5,712 cases of missing Native American and Alaska native women and girls. How many were in the US DOJ database? 116. I’m mean….700 indigenous people missing in the state of Wyoming, where Gabby was found.

Keep that same energy.

Missing or murdered trans women are very rarely reported, if we hear about them at all.

Keep that same energy.

Listen…..I’m not saying that the anger and outrage over the Gabby Petito case is wrong. I’m saying the exact opposite. I’m saying that it is RIGHT. It is morally right. Frankly, I think that anger is natural. We should be angry about ALL violence against women. We should be working together to find ALL missing or endangered women and girls.

And we should do it with the same energy we had for Gabby.

So, keep that same energy.

Keep that same energy when the woman is indigenous.

Keep that same energy when its a woman of color.

Keep that same energy when the woman is poor, or comes from your idea of the wrong side of the tracks.

Keep that same energy when the woman is trans.

Keep that same energy the woman may have substance abuse issues.

Keep that same energy when the woman is a sex worker.

Keep that same energy for ALL women.

Because they are ALL someone’s friend.

Because they are ALL someone’s family.

Because they are ALL someone’s princess.

Because they are ALL someone’s baby.

Because they ALL deserve justice.

Keep. That. Same. Energy.


  1. https://apnews.com/article/gabby-petito-social-media-tiktok-investigation-d2e9a5d627c2f39b5633174239c3beaf
  2. https://www.insider.com/gabby-petito-brian-laundrie-missing-found-true-crime-tiktok-2021-9
  3. https://www.the-sun.com/news/3715986/what-gabby-petito-reddit-page/
  4. https://mashable.com/article/gabby-petito-disappearance-tiktok-reddit-instagram-youtube
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/sep/21/gabby-petito-brian-laundrie-missing-internet-sleuths
  6. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Gabby-Petito-case-What-one-witness-saw-near-the-16474626.php
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/30/us/missing-girls-women-black-latina-indigenous.html
  8. https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-hawaii-e3e85515d3c393a940825ff7c9980060
  9. https://www.axios.com/local/tampa-bay/2021/10/05/missing-women-raise-consideration-concerns-florida
  10. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/24/1040048967/missing-black-women-girls-left-out-media-ignored
  11. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lack-awareness-data-hinders-cases-missing-murdered-native-american-women-n1235233
  12. https://www.statista.com/statistics/240387/number-of-missing-persons-files-in-the-us-by-age/
  13. https://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/in-the-news/look-missing-murdered-indigenous-women-featured-dateline-nbc-s-missing-n1277762
  14. https://www.hrc.org/resources/fatal-violence-against-the-transgender-and-gender-non-conforming-community-in-2021
  15. https://www.insider.com/710-indigenous-people-missing-in-wyoming-where-gabby-petito-disappeared-2021-9
  16. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/petito-case-captivates-us-missing-native-women-ignored-2021-09-22/
  17. https://theblackwallsttimes.com/2021/09/22/media-outlets-overlook-missing-black-hispanic-indigenous-asian-women/
  18. https://www.insider.com/spikes-in-missing-black-latina-women-gets-little-media-attention-2021-9
  19. https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/gabby-petito-case-missing-white-woman-syndrome-experts/story?id=80144611

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *