Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Media Won’t Acknowledge Hate Crimes Against Women And Girls

The media’s sexist reporting of yesterday’s Bridgeville, PA murder rampage is another example proving they won’t acknowledge hate crimes against women. A male blogger wrote for months about his problems relating to women then walked into an all-female dance class and shot twelve women, yet none of the articles I read mention the words hate crime, bigot, sexist and the reporters didn’t call feminist groups for a quote.

The media reports the details of hate crimes against women and girls when they are very gruesome and horrible because that will increase readership. But they avoid reporting the violence is a hate crime because the media is extremely male dominated, thus they promote male domination which is threatened when the public is informed about the enormous damage sexism causes. So they’ll write things like: “…Sodini wrote rambling messages about his hatred of women and how he was tired of being rejected by them” without actually stating he was sexist.

They’ll write, “a gunman walked into a fitness center near Pittsburgh, firing up to 52 shots only at women” without actually using the term hate crime.

Earlier this year Marilyn Ferdinand wrote an article for Feministing criticizing the media for generally ignoring the fact that the German school shooter targeted women and girls (Gender "disappeared" in Albertville school shooting).

When a man went to an Amish schoolhouse, separated the boys from the girls, bound the girls and shot them the media avoided calling it a hate crime. I read many articles about the shooting but none of them stated the man was sexist, and they apparently never contacted feminist groups for a quote and they framed the story as a revenge crime for something that allegedly happened to the shooter 20 years earlier but all the victims were age 13 or younger.

Complaining to the media will help motivate them to stop being prejudiced against half the population of the world. If the new hate crime bill gets passed that will also help to increase awareness of hate crimes against women and girls because it would protect victims of violence based on hatred of a person’s gender as well as other demographics. Currently the law only protects people who are victims of violence motivated by hatred of a race, color, national origin or religion.

A fair press is essential to democracy so citizens have the knowledge necessary to rule. If a gunman had targeted blacks then this would be reported as a racist incident and black leaders would be constantly on the news talking about racism in America. But when there’s a hate crime against women and girls the media does everything in their power to block out the feminist community from speaking out in support of our own.