Creative Destruction

October 1, 2006

Evidence of Male Dispensability Part 1 – the News Media

Filed under: Blogosphere,Debate,Feminist Issues — Daran @ 4:57 pm

In preparing my response to Jeff’s comment to my recent post on Women and the Draft, I seem to have wondered rather far from the topic.

Jeff:

I was pointing out the relationships between the general oppression of women (i.e. they’re not allowed to participate in some jobs, don’t make as much money as men do, etc.) to the fact that they aren’t required to register with SS. You can deny a connection, but there is one–if women were thought of as equals of men, you can be pretty sure that the SS would require them to register as well. Instead, they are generaly thought of as not able to handle combat situations (which, of course, they are handling in Iraq and Afghanistan as we speak), or being as valuable for some jobs, etc. If this weren’t the case, they would likely be required to register with the SS. Thus the connection.

I agree with Robert’s analysis. Women are excluded from SS not because they are regarded as incapable, but because we live in a culture which regards men, but not women as expendable. It simply doesn’t matter to us if men are slaughtered en mass. We care about women; we don’t care about men. Gender-selective conscription is one manifestation of this cultural “value”, but we can also see it in the attitude of the news media, of humanitarian organisations, in the sanctioning of discrimination in national and international law, and of course, in feminist discourse. I’ll deal with these other issues in another post. In this one I look at the media.

Consider the following news report (cited by Dr. Adam Jones):

The Death March of the Kosovo Refugees
MORINA, Albania, April 18 (AFP) — Among the thousands of refugees fleeing Kosovo, none suffer worse than those forced to travel for days and nights on end on foot. While many cross the border into Albania and Macedonia in cars or open trailers drawn by tractors, the rest have had to walk, harried by Serbian troops on what for some became a death march. Staggering up to the red barrier marking the frontier, carrying children and baggage, and supporting the elderly, they sob as they gulp down food offered by humanitarian organisations. Their accounts, consistent, precise and detailed, describe a Kosovo that has been turned into a hell, criss-crossed day and night by columns of refugees expelled from the Serbian province in ferocious “ethnic cleansing.” “We walked almost without stopping for four days and four nights,” groaned Hysnije Abazi, 22, from Kladernica in central Kosovo. “We were escorted all the time by Serbs in vehicles or on foot. We were not allowed to drink, stop, rest or shelter from the rain. Before we set off they set fire to our cars and tractors and ordered us to march in columns.” They also took away all the males aged 15 or over [!]. Crinkle-haired Afertita Kajtazi, 23, her eyes ringed with fatigue, said their [i.e., the refugees’] treatment was deliberately harsh.

Dr. Jones’s emphasis. What was happening to those young men is they were being massacred, but the point I’m trying to make here is not the treatment by the Serbs, but by the media. As Dr. Jones notes this ‘”genocidal cull of ethnic-Albanian males”(7) takes place in the blink of an eye, amidst a torrent of frankly lachrymose descriptions of the convoys of helpless “worthies.”‘

Compare and contrast the above with this report about a massacre of women in East Timor (due again to Dr. Jones)

Michael Valpy,
“Rape and Murder in Sight of Our Lady”
The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 November 1999
(originally in The Globe and Mail, 1 November 1999)

THE heart of darkness in East Timor is the Catholic Church compound in this coastal market town – so still and empty, a silent statement on the evil that was done here.

What took place on the day and night of September 6 is not known in detail to Australian Army investigators. The number of victims and their identities are uncertain. What is known is that most were women and girls.

The evidence attests to that: the jumble of bras, underpants and sanitary napkins on the steps leading up to the church; the children’s leg bones; a hank of a woman’s hair; the scorched skeletal remains of two women behind the church; the thick bloodstain on a schoolroom door, covered by bougainvillea petals baking beneath the sun.

Certainly what happened was male savagery as old as history – rape, killing, burning, razing – in a church, a school, in the adjacent huge, grey, concrete shell of a cathedral called Ave Maria under construction to the glory of God. Savagery against the defenceless, as women and children usually are; vengeance on a people who voted for independence from their Indonesian military overlords and landowners.

[etc., etc., etc.]

The story of what happened in the compound is incomplete. The investigators have not found many witnesses. Most of the Suai region’s population, between 10,000 and 14,000, is still missing. Women and children were carted away on trucks to Indonesia’s neighbouring West Timor province, about 30 kilometres away, where they are still being held. The whereabouts of many of the men is not known.

This is what the Australians have pieced together. The evil began a few days after the August 30 independence referendum. Indonesians owned many of the coffee and agricultural plantations around Suai. The town was a stronghold of the pro-Indonesia militias, most of whom were from West Timor. Some of the militiamen, mainly local officials, had been recruited in town.

After the vote result became known, soldiers and militia gangs began rounding up people from the outlying villages, bringing them to Suai’s district military headquarters.

Father Hilario Madeira, pastor of the church of Nossa Senhora de Fatima (Our Lady of Fatima), went to the headquarters and got permission for the people to move to the church compound.

Several thousand, mostly women, set up a shanty town there. Many of the men, prime targets of the militias, had already fled to the hills, Lieutenant Mayne said. The women were thought to be safe once they got inside the compound. Safe from murder, he emphasised. No-one was safe from rape.

At dawn on September 6, militia and some soldiers took up positions along the front wall of the compound, across the street from the market in the centre of town. They began firing at the crowd inside. There was panic. Most people ran helter-skelter from the compound. Some didn’t. Some went into the partially built cathedral to hide. About 200 ran to the church. It is believed that children were in the classrooms of the adjacent school.

[etc., etc., etc.,]

The first emphasis is Dr. Jones’s. The second is mine.

This massacre of women was unquestionably an appalling crime, but set against the backdrop of even greater attrocities being perpetrated against men which, again “take place in the blink of an eye”.

These are hardly exceptional pieces. The marginalisation of male victimisation is a standard trope in the news media. It cannot be explained by a cultural attitude the see women as “less capable” than men; clearly the men are no more capable of defending themselves from slaughter than the women. The value that is reflected here is the low value our culture places on male lives. I strongly urge you to read Dr. Jones’s papers in full.

Edited for typos, spelling and markup.

Edited to trim the Herald article. If you wish, you can read it in all its tear-jerking detail here.

15 Comments »

  1. Ok, let’s look at Adam Jones’s article. Jones argues that most accounts of the 1999 Kosovo war failed to remark upon the fact that a disproportionate share of the victims were male, or that men were targeted based on their gender. Because we now have evidence that Kosovars specifically targeted battle-age Albanian men for death, the war provides an opportunity to observe how people discussed, or failed to discuss, this dynamic.

    Jones characterizes the war as –

    an ideal opportunity to analyze the representation and rhetoric of gender in western mass media…. It is my conviction that the strategies are of relevance far beyond the Kosovo case, and indeed beyond the theme of gender and international conflict; they speak to the typical means by which male victims of violence are marginalized or “effaced” from the prevailing media….

    1) It is not obvious to me that the conclusions Jones draws about discussions of war apply more generally to all “representation and rhetoric of gender in western mass media.” Metaphors notwithstanding, the experience of war does not generalize to most other phenomena.

    2) Moreover, it is not obvious to me that the conclusions Jones draws about journalism apply to all “the representation and rhetoric of gender in western mass media.” Journalists operate under constraints that bias their discussion in ways that don’t apply to the rest of us. In particular, journalists aren’t supposed to spout off whatever they believe; they tend to report on things they observe (and, in this TV age, can provide for the rest of us to observe). Thus it is hardly surprising that journalists would report on refugees arriving at the borders, but not on the people that didn’t arrive: the journalists observed the former but not the latter.

    Compare: During the Iraq war, journalists embedded with US troops reported on the activities of those troops. You could conclude that the type of reporting we received reflected the journalist’s nationalist bias. Or you could conclude that it reflected the constraints of journalism: journalists report on what they observe (and film), and people embedded with US troops tended to observe US troops.

    If journalists had access to the war from the perspective of Iraqi troops, would they have used it? Similarly, if they had access to the Kosovo war from the perspective of hiding or captured Albanian men, would they have used it? I don’t see why not. But we’ll never know.

    3) There is another reason for female victims receiving disproportionate media attention that may be only tangentially related to Jones’ thesis: titillation. All else being equal, more consumers may derive an erotic charge learning about female victims – especially rape victims – than male victims. Some editors may feel this charge, or may believe that some readers feel it. Some reporters may feel this charge, or believe that editors feel it, or believe that editors believe that consumers feel it. If any of this is true, then we would expect to see female victims as the focus of a disproportionate share of stories, even if none of the rest of Jones’ hypotheses applied.

    Comment by nobody.really — October 2, 2006 @ 4:15 am | Reply

  2. Ok, let’s look at Adam Jones’s article. Jones argues that most accounts of the 1999 Kosovo war failed to remark upon the fact that a disproportionate share of the victims were male, or that men were targeted based on their gender. Because we now have evidence that Kosovars specifically targeted battle-age Albanian men for death, the war provides an opportunity to observe how people discussed, or failed to discuss, this dynamic.

    There was evidence then that ethnic-Serbs were specifically targeting “battle-age” ethnic-Albanian men for death. All we have now that we didn’t have then is confirmation – we’ve found some of the bodies, and we can do some orders-of-magnitude calculations based upon population deficits.

    There is nothing special about the massacres in Kosovo. Exactly the same dynamic had occured before in Timor, in Rwanda, it Sri Lanka, in Kurdistan. It’s happening now in Darfur, in Iraq, in Rhodesia. There is no excuse for the media not to have suspected then, that many of the disappeared men were being murdered. No excuse for them not to have made the connection between the disappearances, and known and reported atrocities committed against men.

    It wasn’t lack of evidence. It was lack of interest.

    Jones characterizes the war as –

    an ideal opportunity to analyze the representation and rhetoric of gender in western mass media…. It is my conviction that the strategies are of relevance far beyond the Kosovo case, and indeed beyond the theme of gender and international conflict; they speak to the typical means by which male victims of violence are marginalized or “effaced” from the prevailing media….

    1) It is not obvious to me that the conclusions Jones draws about discussions of war apply more generally to all “representation and rhetoric of gender in western mass media.” Metaphors notwithstanding, the experience of war does not generalize to most other phenomena.

    If you study other representations and rhetoric of gender in the media and find a similar pattern, then yes it does generalise.

    2) Moreover, it is not obvious to me that the conclusions Jones draws about journalism apply to all “the representation and rhetoric of gender in western mass media.”

    Jones can hardly be expected to cover the entire gamut of western media. He’s just one man, after all, and one of only a handful of people exploring this area.

    In any case, I’m citing Jones for the proposition as applied to the news media – see the title of this piece. My next blog in this series will look at the response of humanitarian and human rights organisations, which are also media organisations, whatever else they may be. I find the same pattern there.

    I also find it in the entertainment media. Feminists often complain, with justification, about the underrepresentation of women as protagonists in books, films, etc. But women are also underrepresented- or rather, men are overrepresented – as cannon-fodder. Indeed one of my earliest recollections of consciously recognising the gender-norming process was as a child when I realised when watching TV that women don’t get eaten by monsters. They don’t fall into pits of lava, they don’t get gunned down in western shootouts, and the natives never kill them. If they get into trouble, then someone will rescue them because they’re not dispensable, unlike the numberless nameless men.

    Journalists operate under constraints that bias their discussion in ways that don’t apply to the rest of us. In particular, journalists aren’t supposed to spout off whatever they believe; they tend to report on things they observe (and, in this TV age, can provide for the rest of us to observe). Thus it is hardly surprising that journalists would report on refugees arriving at the borders, but not on the people that didn’t arrive: the journalists observed the former but not the latter.

    Journalists have far more opportunity to observe things than the rest of us. They certainly operate under constraints, but that doesn’t explain the three dynamics – incidentalisation, displacement and exclusion – that ubiquitously govern the framing of these issues, regardless of what the journalist had the opportunity to observe. It doesn’t explain, for example why the writer of this report neglected to mention the majority victim group – Men – in the title or first paragraph. He knows about them, because he mentions them later; he just doesn’t consider them to be a priority. It doesn’t explain the near complete lack of interest the Kosova journalists showed toward the obviously missing men. It doesn’t explain why they privileged rape over murder. Nor does it explain why there was so little second-order and third-order analysis of what was happening to the men there.

    If journalists had access to the war from the perspective of Iraqi troops, would they have used it? Similarly, if they had access to the Kosovo war from the perspective of hiding or captured Albanian men, would they have used it? I don’t see why not. But we’ll never know.

    You’re doing it yourself. “Hiding”. “Captured”. We’re talking about tens of thousands of men being murdered.

    Journalists may not have had access to the Albanian men in particular, but they do have access to male victims of atrocities. There’s so much male victimisation that they have to pick through the bodies, metaphorically speaking, to find the females.

    3) There is another reason for female victims receiving disproportionate media attention that may be only tangentially related to Jones’ thesis: titillation. All else being equal, more consumers may derive an erotic charge learning about female victims – especially rape victims – than male victims. Some editors may feel this charge, or may believe that some readers feel it. Some reporters may feel this charge, or believe that editors feel it, or believe that editors believe that consumers feel it. If any of this is true, then we would expect to see female victims as the focus of a disproportionate share of stories, even if none of the rest of Jones’ hypotheses applied.

    I agree that the gutter press caters to a sometimes prurient interest, often blatantly so, and frankly, that sickens me. But I see no evidence that this applies to the mainstream, which was the subject of Jones’s study. Neither of the two news items I cited, nor any others, seem remotely erotic, the reference to underclothes and sanitary wear notwithstanding. Rather, the overriding trope is to present the worthy victims as pathetic.

    This seems more an attempt to come up with ad hoc hypotheses capable of explaining away individual aspects of the phenomena, while dismissing the theory which explains the whole of it. This is creation science.

    Edited for spelling and minor wording.

    Comment by Daran — October 2, 2006 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  3. A few things come to my mind. The first is that being “valued” may mean several different things. It may mean being treated as a full human being, for example, or it may mean being treated as a valuable piece of property or like seed for replanting or something similar. Thus, the idea that women might be “valued” more may not be good news for women should it be true (which I don’t really believe).

    Second, the massacres usually first get those who are seen as most likely to fight back. This is why it is the young men who are killed first.

    Third, note a shared component in both of these stories: The culprits are predominantly men. So in a way the first example is of men killing other men and the other example is of men killing women.

    Comment by Echidne of the snakes — October 3, 2006 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  4. Echnidne said:
    A few things come to my mind. The first is that being “valued” may mean several different things. It may mean being treated as a full human being, for example, or it may mean being treated as a valuable piece of property or like seed for replanting or something similar. Thus, the idea that women might be “valued” more may not be good news for women should it be true (which I don’t really believe).

    True. Where female lives are valued more than male lives, it is often not because they are being treated as human beings. Since women have wombs, and a few men can get many women pregnant, losing women threatens the continuity of your tribe (as Robert has pointed out). The woman isn’t valued as a human being, she is valued as a womb on legs. Yet often a man’s life is treated as even less valuable than a woman’s womb. We shouldn’t forget that being treated as property or as a baby machine is better than being treated as cannon fodder (i.e. being dead).

    Third, note a shared component in both of these stories: The culprits are predominantly men. So in a way the first example is of men killing other men and the other example is of men killing women.

    Yes. Of course, the fact that the slaughter of non-combatant men is perpetrated by other men doesn’t make it any less an example of gender oppression. There are many examples of female oppression that are perpetrated primarily by women, such as female genital mutilation. If women can be oppressed by other women, men can be oppressed by other men.

    Comment by Aegis — October 3, 2006 @ 2:50 am | Reply

  5. Aegis:

    Where female lives are valued more than male lives, it is often not because they are being treated as human beings. Since women have wombs, and a few men can get many women pregnant, losing women threatens the continuity of your tribe (as Robert has pointed out). The woman isn’t valued as a human being, she is valued as a womb on legs. Yet often a man’s life is treated as even less valuable than a woman’s womb. We shouldn’t forget that being treated as property or as a baby machine is better than being treated as cannon fodder (i.e. being dead).

    It is a fallacy to assume that such iron-age logic lies directly behind the “kill the men and rape the women” motif. The iron-age logic is what created the cultural values, and the cultural value persists long after changing circumstances have rendered the logic inapplicable. The Serbs weren’t fighting for wombs; they were fighting for lebensraum. The Albanian women had no commodity value (except possibly as a bargaining chip with the west); they were just as much pests in need of elimination as the men, but the iron-age cultural values made it difficult for the Serbs to murder them. So they were eliminated in a different way – by expulsion.

    Deborked.

    Comment by Daran — October 3, 2006 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  6. Echidne:

    A few things come to my mind. The first is that being “valued” may mean several different things. It may mean being treated as a full human being, for example, or it may mean being treated as a valuable piece of property or like seed for replanting or something similar. Thus, the idea that women might be “valued” more may not be good news for women should it be true (which I don’t really believe).

    Second, the massacres usually first get those who are seen as most likely to fight back.

    Massacres happen to people who are defenseless at the time. Don’t ever forget that.

    This is why it is the young men who are killed first.

    You are missing the point. My claim is not that the women were valued and men devalued by the agressors, but by us in our judgements about these events. The Kosovar women could have no value to us as property or as seed for replanting. Yet the near exclusive attention they got in our news media, i.e the western news media (as I have shown in this post) and in other western and west-lead contexts (as I intend to show in future posts) is evidence of the value we placed on them. (I actually think these attitudes are universal, and not just restricted to the west, but I’m confining my claims to what I can justify.)

    You could argue – with some justification – that the “value” to the journalists is just the commodity value of human misery, of which they are wholesale merchants. They focus upon women’s suffering because that’s what sells papers. But that explanation merely shifts the problem. Why would the readers be more conserned about women’s suffering than men’s if they didn’t value women more than men?

    I hesitate to characterise anything in this as “good news for women”. When the lack of interest in men manifests as lack of action to save them, then it certainly is bad news for men.

    Third, note a shared component in both of these stories: The culprits are predominantly men. So in a way the first example is of men killing other men and the other example is of men killing women.

    Indeed this argument is invariably raised by feminists in any discussion about male victimisation, but it’s worth noting that it’s only ever made about men. We do not hear feminists pointing out that while the victims of the Rwanda genocide were black, so were the perps. Nor, as Aegis points out, do we hear FGM dismissed as just “women cutting women”. And when Mr. Smith beats Mrs. Smith black and blue, a dismissal along the lines of “That’s the Smiths. That’s how they are” would be condemned by feminists.

    The purpose of this argument is to extend the blame for these attrocities from the individuals who commit them onto “men” collectively. In the context of a discussion about male victimisation “blame men” amounts to “blame the victim”. The fallacy is that the victims and the perpetrators are not the same men. A second fallacy (or at least an unjustified ad hoc hypothesis) lies in taking an gender-essentialist view of men-as-perpetrator while regarding all female gender-norms as socially-constructed.

    Comment by Daran — October 3, 2006 @ 3:44 pm | Reply

  7. Women are excluded from SS not because they are regarded as incapable, but because we live in a culture which regards men, but not women as expendable.–Daran

    Why would anybody think that the causes have to be limited to one or the other of these? I think it’s both–and they’re related. Which doesn’t mean they ought to have equal weight, of course, and we can argue about how to weigh them, but I think it ought to be made explicit that one doesn’t preclude the other.

    Comment by jeff — October 3, 2006 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  8. Daran said:
    It is a fallacy to assume that such iron-age logic lies directly behind the “kill the men and rape the women” motif.

    It would indeed be a fallacy, which is why I’m not claiming that it lies “directly” behind that behavior.

    The iron-age logic is what created the cultural values, and the cultural value persists long after changing circumstances have rendered the logic inapplicable.

    Yes, that is the point I am making; thanks for clarifying it.

    The Serbs weren’t fighting for wombs; they were fighting for lebensraum.

    You are actually making the same confusion here about my point that Echnidne made about yours: I am invoking the different male and female roles in reproduction not to explain the behavior of the Serbs, but to explain the greater sympathy for women in our culture (though as you say, the iron-age logic did seem strong enough to influence the Serbs and give them qualms about killing Albanian women).

    My main reason for bringing up the differing male and female roles in reproduction was to provide a plausible explanation for why there can be contexts in which male lives are devalued, since so much feminist theory seems to insist that men are always valued over women. Indeed, it is often in patriarchal and androcentric societies that males are seen as most disposable.

    A second fallacy (or at least an unjustified ad hoc hypothesis) lies in taking an gender-essentialist view of men-as-perpetrator while regarding all female gender-norms as socially-constructed.

    But we all know that when men victimize men, it’s just boys being boys, and when women victimize women, it’s because men made them do it.

    P.S. Is there an email address I can reach you at? I’ve been looking for one somewhere on this blog. I’ve been quite impressed by your blogging, and I have some books to recommend to you.

    Comment by Aegis — October 4, 2006 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

  9. Aegis:

    My main reason for bringing up the differing male and female roles in reproduction was to provide a plausible explanation for why there can be contexts in which male lives are devalued, since so much feminist theory seems to insist that men are always valued over women. Indeed, it is often in patriarchal and androcentric societies that males are seen as most disposable.

    As far as I can tell, we are in complete agreement on the substantive matters of this topic, and our discussion has been merely one of clarifying our shared position.

    In that light, I take issue with the “androcentric” and “patriarchal” designations as applied to societal structure. “Androcentric” is simply wrong: a “disposable” status is a marginalised position, not a central position. “Patriarchal” is logically justified – the patriarchs aren’t disposable – but it is still prejudicial. Feminist discourse attributes the world’s problems to the status of men, not merely of patriarchs.

    You have mail.

    Comment by Daran — October 4, 2006 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  10. Me:

    Women are excluded from SS not because they are regarded as incapable, but because we live in a culture which regards men, but not women as expendable.

    Jeff:

    Why would anybody think that the causes have to be limited to one or the other of these? I think it’s both–and they’re related. Which doesn’t mean they ought to have equal weight, of course, and we can argue about how to weigh them, but I think it ought to be made explicit that one doesn’t preclude the other.

    I agree it’s both, and withdraw anything I said that implied otherwise.

    My objection, and what I think was Jim’s original objection is the feminist framing of such issues invariably as “male privilege”. Clearly if men are (correctly) seen as capable of doing a job, and women are (incorrectly) regarded as incapable, and this results in women who want to do the job being denied access, then this is a relative advantage to men. On the other hand, if men are seen (incorrectly) as being able to look after themselves, while women are (correctly) regarded as needing protection, and as a result, men who do need protection are left unprotected, then it is the women who have the relative advantage. Since this can play out in both ways, the framing of universal “male privilege” is both flawed and prejudicial.

    Comment by Daran — October 6, 2006 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  11. Also because women and children (particularly women with children) are vulnerable highlighting their abuse, murder and degradation is an easy journalistic trope for demonstrating the cruelty of their oppressors.

    In coverage of conflict in Africa you probably get far more articles on very young male children conscripted into militias and women repeatedly violently raped than of adult males killed outright by those same militias. Women and children make better props because of their weakness not because they are considered more human than dead men. Also being not dead means they have stories to tell. The argument that the biases of oppressors don’t matter is flawed because the biases of the oppressors make it possible for women and children’s stories to get told in a more personal way.

    Comment by ellenbrenna — October 9, 2006 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  12. Also because women and children (particularly women with children) are vulnerable highlighting their abuse, murder and degradation is an easy journalistic trope for demonstrating the cruelty of their oppressors.

    In what way are men being targetted for massacre not “vulnerable”?

    Comment by Daran — October 9, 2006 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  13. I think ellenbrenna is making a similar error to the one I made in using the terms “patriarchy” and “androcentrism.” I think both she (?) and I are joining you in trying to reveal gendercide against men, though we are still bogged down by the fact that thanks to feminist framings of gender oppression and privilege, we lack a conceptual language to discuss situations in which males suffer from oppression (in this case, where males are vulnerable). It seems like common sense to think of women and children as more vulnerable than men, but this assumption is part and parcel of the system which makes the oppression of men analytically invisible.

    When on the receiving end of an AK-47 or machete, everyone is vulnerable.

    Comment by Aegis — October 9, 2006 @ 8:33 pm | Reply

  14. I cannot follow all the political details about this argument on the expendability of males compared to females but as as a male human being who has been around for just on 60 years it seems that pretty obvious that – in the scheme of things set up by good old Mother Nature – the male of the species has always been more expendable than the female.
    On the most basic biological level the male can produce thousands of seeds – or is that millions – whereas the woman can produce only a few ovum. Given some unforseen world crisis in which the population of the world was whittled down to just a few people its more than obvious that the female would then be far more valuable to human survival than the male.
    As soon as I reached puberty I realised that in popular culture – movies, books and comics -especially in violent adventure yarns its the men who get mown down in “droves” never the women. One of my all time favourite books is the Illiad but theres no mistaking the “joyous” relish that Homer takes in describing a ten year war over the abduction of one woman – even though she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

    Comment by John — December 27, 2006 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  15. In the scheme of things set up by good old Mother Nature, we move about on our own two feet. In the modern world, we drive cars and even fly in planes.

    There is no ‘natural’ reason for men to be treated as expendable. It’s a societal norm.

    I noticed the casual wasting of men in huge numbers in the movies long before puberty. It was my first conscious recognition of a gender stereotype.

    Comment by Daran — December 27, 2006 @ 1:30 pm | Reply


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