Anna Gristina, the woman who allegedly ran a million-dollar brothel in her neighborhood on New York's Upper East Side and subsequently earned just about every pejorative "madam" epithet that tabloids could gin up, is currently being held on $2 million bail at Riker's Island after being arrested on a single count of promoting prostitution.
If you think Gristina's bail seems pretty steep, you can join her husband Kelvin Gorr in criticizing a justice system that seems to weigh sex and violence on the same scale the MPAA uses. After Gristina's attempts to get her bail lowered failed, Gorr shared a bemused social observation with the New York Daily News:
This is another case I'll have to try to justify to the kids. They'll see Zimmerman get bailed out after being charged with killing a 17-year-old and ask why Mom, who didn't hurt anyone, can't get out, too. I have no answers.
Think of the poor, impressionable children who have to grow up in a world where self-deputized gunmen get to walk the streets while alleged sex workers languish behind bars! Though Gorr may in fact be circling around the observation that, in American pop culture, sex is often treated more punitively than violence, it bears mention that Gristina and Zimmerman were arrested and charged in different states, each of which has its own labyrinthine codes of law and order. Gristina, who is Scottish-born, is also considered a flight risk, so there's that, but the mere contiguity of these two high-profile cases illustrates a potentially unsettling national sentiment, which is that sometimes it really seems that Americans are more comfortable sleeping with guns than sleeping with each other.