Media bias

When women’s use of violence is exaggerated in order to get attention, it’s media bias.  Check out this headline:

Yeardley Love, George Huguely fought days before her death, court papers show

University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love was so angry at George Huguely V in the days before she was killed that she hit him with her purse, spilling its contents all over the floor…

While I realize purses come in all sizes and have varying weights, this headline and opening sentence seem pretty exaggerated to me. Hitting a Lacrosse player (capable of murder) with a purse wouldn’t warrant being called a fight – but hey, the media is also prone to using “dispute,” which does the opposite – it minimizes the extent of violence. One commenter on this article believed the Washington Post writer acted as though Love somehow deserved to get her head bashed into the wall. I’m not sure if I believe the writer felt that Love was ‘asking for it’ but I do think he played up her use of violence.

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3 comments on “Media bias

  1. miss j says:

    Considering violence against women was just acknowledged in the 1990s and that it still faces backlash – for example, by those saying violence against men is greater & therefore we should again ignore violence against women – we are talking about finally acknowledging the extent of this violence. Nobody is trivializing female violence – certainly not to the extent of those that trivialize rape to murder, for example. If you’re referring to domestic violence, sure, but statistically, women suffer more often and more severely – but that’s not to say men don’t suffer.

    And, to mention being “hit by a purse is potentially very painful –that someone is a lacrosse player has nothing to do with the issue” – Well, considering this lacrosse player was a very big guy and that he bashed her head into a wall in a very painful death – well, I think your idealogy is doing the talking and your humanity has taken a backseat somewhere.

    • You make a number of incorrect statements. At least:

      o Incorrectly claiming that violence against women was only acknowledged in the 90s. On the contrary, some degree of acknowledgement has been present for a very long time, with a strong acknowledgement since at least the 70s. Currently, there is, if anything, an over-acknowledgement and an exaggeration of the problem.

      o Incorrectly implying that there is a backlash wishing to ignore violence against women. On the contrary, the backlash is directed on the over-focus on women and the neglect of men. (And, yes, women are the perpetrators of domestic violence more often than they are the victims.)

      o Incorrectly implying that female violence is not trivialized. On the contrary, this is a common problem in the justice system, media, and (according to some) fiction.

      o Incorrectly claiming that rape is trivialized. On the contrary, rape is often, in particular in feminist propaganda, entirely blown out proportion. It is a serious crime, but to e.g. focus on war as a rape of women instead of a killing of men (as some feminists try to do) is inexcusable.

      o Your claim that women suffer more or more severely is at least likely to be wrong. Please provide a reference.

      Concerning your last paragraph: Muscles make one strong—not impervious to hurt and harm. What you do here is a perfect example of the trivialization of violence, implying that if someone is strong enough, it is acceptable to beat him. In addition, while there seems to be a strong case here, the case is not closed—and you should wait to state the player’s guilt until the jury has had it say. To claim, finally, that my ideology would be talking or that my humanity would be taking the backseat—now there is an act of extreme hypocrisy. You are the one who is ideologically blinded (cf. e.g. your analysis of the article).

  2. I am not familiar with the details of this case, but, generally speaking, trivialization of women’s violence against men is a greater problem. The use of the word “fight” is certainly not an exaggeration, considering that it is very often used (by men, women, and media) to include purely verbal situations. Specifically, being hit by a purse is potentially very painful—that someone is a lacrosse player has nothing to do with the issue.

    You may want to read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_media_effect

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