Is it really too much to ask of the media that rape be reported with sensitivity, accuracy, and care? Is it really too much to ask of a journalist employed by one of the most respected news outlets in the world, to be mindful that minimising rape by barely even using the word and failing to consider the perspective of the victim, or uncritically reporting victim blaming, is harmful? Is it really that unreasonable to ask that journalists and editors consider who hears them when they speak about rape?
Apparently, it is too much to ask.
There has already been much written in response to this appalling article from the New York Times, ostensibly reporting on the horrific rape of an eleven year old child by up to eighteen men and boys in Texas (but really reporting on how rough it is on the small town in which this occurred with little consideration given to the devastating effects of such an attack on the child who survived it.)
It’s worth reading this piece at Mother Jones which demonstrates just how shitty this excuse for journalism is.
And check out this piece at Shakesville which shows how instructive such articles are as examples of rape culture.
I’ve been suffering from gastro the last few days but I have to tell you, nothing made me feel as violently ill as reading that an eleven year old girl was fond of wearing make-up as if that was even a partial explanation for why almost twenty men and boys allegedly chose to abuse her so horrifically, take video of their actions for posterity (and then share it around, presumably also traumatising the elementary school girls who were exposed to it). I’ve signed this petition to ask The New York Times to apologise but it’s going to take more than that to get the bad taste out of my mouth.