In each case, the report was brief and merely stated that a 57-year-old woman, Marina Peter Diva-Shem, exposed herself in Glebe House car park on 25th April and was remanded to Swansea Crown Court.
Is Marina Peter Diva-Shem really a woman?
Thanks to the insane upside-down world in which rapists with five o’clock shadow are referred to in the press, in court and on social media as ‘she’ and described as ‘female’, it is impossible to tell from these articles.
But it seems highly unlikely that the person accused of exposing themselves in a hotel car park is a woman. “Flashing” is a crime almost exclusively committed by males.
There is next to no information available about Marina Peter Diva-Shem online but there is a Twitter account linked to this highly unusual name. Whilst we can’t be entirely sure that this is the same person arrested for indecent exposure last week, their tweets from a couple of years ago do mention Haverfordwest and were clearly sent from that location.
The account’s bio simply states, “I’m a t-girl”.
And if, as seems likely, this is the same person, it also seems likely that they are not a woman at all.
If only there was a way to be absolutely sure. Like reliable media reporting.
(We will, of course, keep an eye on this case and bring you more information as we can.)
This week Gareeca Gordon, the woman who murdered Phoenix Netts, was sentenced to life imprisonment at Bristol Crown Court.
Gordon murdered Phoenix Netts last April when the women, both 28 years old, were sharing accommodation at a women’s hostel in Birmingham. She them dismembered Netts’ body and tried to dispose of it in the Forest of Dean.
The court heard that Gordon moved to England from Jamaica aged seven and was bullied at school. She suffered an abusive relationship with an older man, was forced into prostitution, and pursued several relationships with women which caused her mother to throw her out of the family home. She was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and a personality disorder which, according to her psychiatrist, impaired her ability to empathise with others.
At the time of Gordon’s arrest and throughout the subsequently reporting, there has been speculation regarding her true sex. Such violent crimes are rarely committed by women and it seemed to many that this tragic murder was yet another case of a male perpetrator claiming a female identity with the press and legal system perpetuating that falsehood.
But Gareeca Gordon is a woman. A bullied, abused, broken, mentally ill woman who murdered her friend.
It is extremely rare, but it can happen.
The confusion and suspicion around this crime and its perpetrator were unhelpful and distracting. But they were entirely understandable. The myriad examples of false reporting, of violent and predatory males being allowed to present themselves to the world as women, have made us all wary and jaundiced.
We can no longer trust journalists to tell us the truth, even about something as basic as the sex of rapists and murderers. And this has to change.