Sunday, January 16, 2011

Noooo, not the women and children!

I'm sure you've heard about the recent killings of journalists in Pakistan. Actually, I'm not sure about that at all. You probably haven't, in fact.

Well, just think about any event in which a lot of innocent people died. Civilian casualties in war, for example.

Think about how the news is often reported in the media;




I don't know about you.. but innocent women and children dying don't fill me with more horror than innocent men dying. I don't particularly see any reason why it should.

I can't imagine anybody going, "Did you hear about that mass killing?! Lots of people died! Some of them were small, and others had vaginas!"

It's a little ridiculous. Yet, that's what people are essentially saying when they see fit to specify the gender or age of victims.

Why does the media assume that civilian men are less innocent than civilian women and children?! I wonder if men are miffed by this, or if they notice it at all.


  1. That reminds me of the recent killings at a school in America. They said a certain number of people died (can't remember how many), including a nine year old girl. THEY PUT THE TWO TOGETHER.

    I agree, a death to a husband and father is going to hit a family just as much as their little girl dying. It's just women and children are more likely to draw in the readers I guess.

  2. I've always thought the same thing. I've never understood why the news has to say "including women and children." It doesn't change anything.

  3. For me, I always think killing is more gruesome when it includes children. Grown-ups die every day, adults at some point are supposed to die, after having had a life. Children aren't. They are still all the way at the start.

    Somehow, hearing children've died somewhere always gets me more worked up than just 'people'. We as grown-ups have a responsibility to the wellbeing of kids, grown-ups better go fend for themselves for all I care. Of course, they shouldn't just get killed. But killing children, especially deliberately, by other people, just adds a gradation of 'badness' to the whole for me. You have to be pretty damn messed up to kill a child of all people, right?

  4. Well...IMHO...I think women and children have been singled out and mentioned in these situations because, typically and historically, only men fought in wars (women, children, and the elderly were considered "innocent victims" if they were killed). Of course, now times have changed and we know that women choose to participate in war (sometimes as suicide bombers). However, children are still children--easily manipulated--and in fact, entire societies are corrupted by governments that "educate" them to accept war as necessary, dying as an honor. So, I don't think people like us who do not live in a war zone and enjoy so many freedoms should be so quick to judge news coverage, in light of the historical and societal contexts.

  5. Kate; Well, since times *have* changed, it's a little (read: a lot) obsolete to be mentioning women as though they are necessarily uninvolved in war.

    Besides which, I'm talking about CIVILIAN casualties, not soldier deaths or child soldiers. Men, women, and children in civilian casualties are as innocent as each other, generally.

    Stories; Lol, I think you have to be equally messed up to kill innocent women and men as you have to be to kill a child.

  6. Here were I live, there are big poster things hang on main streets.
    "Our men need bulletproof vests, not a .....", with the photo of, apparently, a model who never saw a real gun.
    There's no opposition as of now, so as we get those guys back (it's not "our" war, they dont fight for homeland), keep the money for vests, put them in Education and teach the next generation not to be so blatantly stupid!
    Ignorance is the enemy, not terrorists!

  7. haha, that was funny. It is an age old phrase which has been passed down through various media like movies, books and of course the press. It was most probably invented as a euphemism for 'the helpless'


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