Foxy Ladies or Con Artists?
South Florida police have started a nationwide search for four young women who rob wealthy individuals of thousands of dollars in cash and luxury items. The thieves met men at upscale bars, went home with them, and slipped drugs into the men’s drinks. Hours later, after the departure of the “foxy ladies,” the victims awoke to missing jewelry, watches and cash. The four women were identified as Johnnina Miller (25), Ryan Elkins (23), Subhanna Beyah (25), and Keisha Clark (27). While Clark already turned herself in to the police, the other women are still in hiding, presumably too “embarrassed” to come forward. Fort Lauderdale police surmise that the women are part of a larger “bling ring” and are conducting an investigation with the victims as well as the public.
The prolific Subhanna Beyah, who has an extensive criminal record, has been orchestrating heists in Manhattan clubs for over four years, conning numerous wealthy men. One of the more vocal victims, Giants defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, stated that he met Subhanna “Crystal” Beyah in a Miami club, brought her to his hotel room, and woke up hours later to over $400,000 worth of jewelry missing from his safe. Another victim said that after he brought Beyah to his home, she made him vodka cocktail. He woke up to over $100,000 worth of luxury watches and cash missing. Victim Scott Rosen alleges that two of the women paired up; they came home with him, and while one distracted Rosen, the other was fixing him a drink. The story repeated itself, as Rosen woke up hours later to find his gun, Rolex and diamonds, a grand total of nearly $250,000 vanished into thin air.
South Florida investigators are currently offering a $1,000 reward for any tips about the “foxy” con artists. According to a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, “We really want to get these women off the street … because they’re drugging their victims, presumably. We don’t know how long it will be before they end up killing somebody accidentally.”
What are the gender implications behind the “foxy” ladies’ crimes?
In other words, the question becomes whether the fact that these criminals are women, and attractive women at that, has some bearing on how they are perceived by the world. After all, flirting is legal. Here, these women’s looks were the primary reason why they received an invitation to the men’s homes or hotel rooms. The men expected to engage in sexual acts and the “foxy ladies” lead them to believe that they would be willing participants. Here, the foxy ladies are painted as gold-digging vixens that used their sexuality to dupe and rob unsuspecting men. If the gender roles had been reversed, women would not receive the same sympathy from the world for intending to engage into a one-night stand and falling prey to a deceitful partner.
Is the “foxy ladies” moniker glamorizing criminal behavior?
This case can be likened to the “bling ring” case, where teenagers looted celebrities’ Hollywood Hills homes, accumulating millions in stolen jewelry and valuables. The criminals felt excitement and glamour after stealing from wealthy and well-known celebrities because they could vicariously live celebrities’ lives through their material possessions.
Here, the four female suspects are of unknown material wealth but it is clear by their criminal records, that they yearned for wealth and used their feminine wiles to acquire it. The catchy and intriguing “foxy ladies” title seems to add an element of unwelcome notoriety and mystery to the four women’s criminal acts.
How would this case fare in a male or female judge’s court?
Given the long-standing debate about whether male and female judges are likely to come to different conclusions because of their gender experiences, it bears mentioning that this case might bring both a male and a female judge to the same conclusion.
Here, a male judge is likely to sympathize with the plight of the male victims, and show little mercy to the foxy ladies because they not only committed a crime, but they also manipulated and duped the victims. Accordingly, a male ruling might set precedent as cautionary tale for future dopes.
A female judge, however, could take two different approaches. On one hand, she could be persuaded by potential struggles in the young women’s lives, by prior abuse, or by their “Robin Hood”-esque attitudes. On the other hand, a female judge could show little compassion for a group of women who represent an unfortunate gender stereotype by using their looks in order to get what they want.
While Judge Sandra Day O’Connor has been quoted as saying that “a wise female judge will come to the same conclusion as a wise male judge,” recently retired New York judge Judith S. Kaye recognizes that women’s experiences are “just different.”