Some women are natural-born victims. Everybody takes advantage of them. Panhandlers cross the street to demand
their money, clerks shortchange them, traffic cops write them tickets even though they're on foot, children make
rude noises when they walk by, and construction workers make ruder gestures. Just to watch them cringe, you see.
Grace was a victim nonpareil, the sort of person even other victims liked to pick on. It was bad enough when she
was a child, but then she sprouted breasts and the suitors showed up! Hunch-backed, frog-legged, condescending
each one worse than the others. They took her out to restaurants and expected her to pay. They came to supper, and
they brought their friends. They borrowed money, which they never repaid. They begged and begged and begged for a
date and then when, out of pity, she gave in, never asked her out on a second.
Men are just no damned good! They all expected her to have sex with them, and when she wouldn't, they acted
affronted. But if she did, they called her a slut to her face. What can you do with people like that?
Grace's mother suffered through several years of this. After each disastrous date, Grace flung herself down on
her bed in a torrent of tears and wrung her hands and bemoaned her fate, and prayed to an unheeding Providence for
mercy. "Why me?" she would wail, "Why?" until it was all the dear old lady could do not
to hit her.
Finally, her mother had had enough. "I'm going to sell you to the brothel," she told her stunned
daughter. "You'll get better treatment as a whore."