I can’t remember if it was three or five or 10 years ago that I first heard the word “f*ckboy*, but I know at some point it flipped from a specific epithet for men with dangerously immature habits to a casual insult for dudes with dislikable dating behavior–which is basically every dude at some point.
I hate ruining good pejoratives by rendering them common. Nobody cares anymore if you call them a lame, no matter the context but it’s not too late to save f*ckboy. I propose we reclaim it, and I’ve found the perfect test case right in my hometown.
Ronald Steave is accused of being the shooter in a New Year’s Day triple-murder in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood. I went to high school there in the 90s (yup, I’m one of the olds now) and recently wrote about the wrongful conviction of my friend in a triple homicide case from that era.
Unfortunately, Homewood remains too familiar with tragedy. The neighborhood has an awful recent history with triple-homicides. There was this one, an arson in 2016. And this one, an ambush in a restaurant in 2002.
Even by that standard, though, Steave’s alleged crime is fantastical.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Police were called to the 7500 block of Hamilton Avenue around 4 a.m. on Dec. 31. At the scene, Nandi Fitzgerald, Tatiana Hill — both 28 — and Denzel Nowlin Jr., 12, were pronounced dead.
In reviewing city security footage from the area of the shooting, Pittsburgh police identified a vehicle that had driven away from the crime scene around the time of the incident, according to the criminal complaint.
Police later found the vehicle, which is registered to Steave, in McKeesport, court documents said. A search of the vehicle yielded shell casings that matched those found at the scene and Steave’s fingerprints, police said.
During their initial investigation, police found photographs and videos of Steave, Ms. Fitzgerald and Ms. Hill together the night of the murder at the scene of the crime.
An anonymous tipper told police that after the triple murder Steave and an accomplice had left the state, the criminal complaint said.
You read that right: Steave allegedly killed two women and a 12-year-old boy on New Year’s Eve. One of the women he killed was the mother of one of his children, according to a different report.
It’s important to note that Steave’s child with his alleged victim wasn’t the child who was murdered on New Year’s Eve. That’s a critical detail because a different Steave son, only four-years-old, died in a shooting back in November. Cops say Steave hasn’t bothered to talk to them about it.
Steave was also charged with a Christmas Eve 2015 murder in Homewood. Cops suspected the victim was connected to an attempted sexual assault and his death may have been retaliatory; those charges were dropped.
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Anybody see where this is headed?
Steave is the perfect specimen for my f*ckboy etymological reclamation project. If there’s anyone who can save the word from being eviscerated of all meaning, it’s a dude who allegedly killed the mother of his child, another woman and a 12-year-old as they brought in the new year, a guy who, a month after his own child horrifically dies, flees the state to save his own ass without talking to the authorities about what happened, a guy for whom “protect Black women” allegedly equals a brutal retribution killing for a sexual assault that was thwarted but not stopping himself from allegedly snuffing out the lives of two black women and a young boy who won’t grow up to see his own potential.
It’s time to make the word f*ckboy great again, elevating it to its proper place by applying it to men who kill women and children and generally rip the hearts out of communities already suffering from decades of trauma inflicted by other f*ckboys.
Let’s remember alleged triple-murderer Ronald Steave as we elevate “f*ckboy” back to its proper glory, and pick a different word for the common jackass who just doesn’t want to pay for extra Cheddar Bay Biscuits on a first date.