Today Show shows bias towards mothers and ignores domestic violence claims

The Today Show has featured several fathers who’ve had their kids “abducted.” Today they had Michael McCarty on. There was an allegation of domestic violence, but the Today Show blew right by it. Meanwhile, recent research shows most of these abductions DO involve domestic violence.

Here’s a Time Magazine article on it: Protecting kids: Rethinking the Hague convention 

Notice the comments by Christopher Savoie on the Time piece. (I think he was on the Today Show too). He keeps ranting about the “women are just as agressive as men” crap that the Men’s Rights Advocates and misogynist Fathers Rights guys use to paint women as violent and evil. They’re using cherry-picked data, of course, that even the researcher who finds mutual violence –  Gelles – warns against doing because it doesn’t represent the whole picture or the fact that women suffer the most.  A lot of these guys in the Fathers Rights movement have had charges/convictions against them (see XY Online; the Liz Library).

These guys are portraying themselves as innocent victims and the media is believing them, without question. Ignoring domestic violence claims is despicable. Please write to the Today Show 

Bias and more bias

Why is it that women make false allegations (making them sound vindictive and malicious) but men frame people (which sounds like they need intelligence and talent)?

Seemona Sumasar spent months behind bars after ex orchestrated elaborate frame-up to silence her

Sumasar was sprung last week, and yesterday, her conniving ex, Jerry Ramrattan, was charged as the mastermind of a stunning scheme. He was desperate to get her to drop the sex attack charges she filed in September 2009 after the two split up, officials said. So he paid two pals to concoct the armed robbery lies, authorities say.

Sumasar said cops thought she was crazy when she proclaimed her innocence and recounted the months of hell the spurned Ramrattan put her through.

“They acted like I’m just trying to blame somebody else for something I did,” Sumasar told reporters. “They did not want to look at it at all.”

Before the Far Rockaway woman was arrested in May by Long Island cops and held on $1 million bail, she says, Ramrattan, 38, was behind a massive campaign of harassment and intimidation.

She suspects he filed a series of anonymous complaints that prompted health and building inspectors to descended on her Golden Crust bakeshop.

Once she landed in jail, the business went under and her home is now threatened with foreclosure. The most painful part was being away from her 12-year-old daughter, Chiara.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/12/08/2010-12-08_seemona_sumasar_spent_months_behind_bars_after_ex_orchestrated_elaborate_frameup.html#ixzz18ngeV2tU

And bias in the criminal justice system (no surprise there):

Sumasar and her lawyer call it all a miscarriage of justice.

They complain that investigators refused to check out her alibi that she was at a Connecticut casino when one of the armed robberies supposedly happened.

Everybody looked at me as a drama queen, like I’m giving them a Lifetime movie story,” she said.

Sumasar, who spent a decade working on Wall Street before launching her own business, had never been in jail before.

“I did everything I could to keep my mind from going crazy,” she said. “I was praying somebody’s going to listen.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/12/08/2010-12-08_seemona_sumasar_spent_months_behind_bars_after_ex_orchestrated_elaborate_frameup.html#ixzz18nh1jma2

Media abusing female candidates

Media, stop abusing female candidates by Magan Tady, in In These Times Oct. 21, 2010

Excerpt:

People should be angry that our media so often fails to report the track records of female politicians, and place them on a level playing field with male opponents. A platform, for those in the media who don’t know, is a list of issues a politician runs her or his candidacy on; it is not a type of shoe that reporters should be comparing with stiletto heels.

When vitriolic and disparaging comments about women become normalized in our national political dialogue, they harm us culturally. They create deep wounds in women and girls and have a chilling effect on those considering a run for office.

Sam Bennett, president of the Women’s Campaign Forum, put it well during an interview with C-Span’s The Washington Journal: “We have to come out in outrage when comments like this are made—irrespective of the party, irrespective of the situation—because what we have to do… is de-normalize these types of comments. No candidate—male or female—deserves to be on national television being referred to in a sexually explicit way.”

Despite the abuse, more and more brave women are stepping up every year to run for office and endure the media gauntlet. Politics shouldn’t be easy and women should be prepared to defend themselves, but they should be defending their platform, their positions and their views, not their gender, appearance or sexuality.

Ball is refusing to let the negative attention derail her campaign, saying: “We are young women. And we are dedicated to serving this country. And we will run for office. And we will win.”

Media bias regarding female violence

I’ve made similar posts before – the headline makes it sound as if the woman is also violent or it exaggerates her use of violence, but when you read the story she was the victim of violence, not the perpetrator. Here’s another one:

Clarksville police:  Husband, wife had history of violence

Jennifer Nations had taken a warrant on her husband exactly three months before he allegedly killed her.

According to an arrest warrant filed on June 9, Jennifer Nations said her husband assaulted her on May 25 at 8 p.m. at their Bunker Hill home.

Jennifer said her husband had jumped off of their bed and attacked her, grabbing her head and slamming it into the walls and doorways of their bedroom.

Jennifer told police she was hit in the head and face with his fists while he had her pinned down on the floor, according to the warrant by Officer Brian Mayes.

Gary Nations continued to throw her around in their bedroom and hit and kick her, the warrant said. He then allegedly shoved his wife back onto the bed and choked her to the point she couldn’t breathe.

Did the woman have a “history of violence”? If she did, so be it. If she did not, don’t say that she did. From the article, I can’t discern that she used violence. From what I read, she was the victim of violence, which resulted in her death.

The article describes how both the police and domestic violence advocates offered her help. It does not state why she declined it – of course, she can’t be asked, but it can mention why victims would decline help – such as, lack of trust in the criminal justice system, threats of retaliation for seeking help, shelters that don’t allow teenage male children or pets, etc. This woman declined help for a reason — the community where she resides deserves to know the answer.  When people turn their back on services or products, usually people find out why so it doesn’t keep occurring. It would help to start with the police department – why did it take 3 months to issue the warrant?

Media bias in the global south

Gender and media misrepresentation in the global south

FRIDAY FILE: In the struggle for gender equality, the media should a powerful ally. Unfortunately it strongly reinforces the status quo, particularly in the Global South.

By Kathambi Kinoti

Fifteen years after the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) was adopted, women’s voices are still largely absent from the mainstream media. Recognising the powerful role of the media in shaping perspectives, the BPfA makes comprehensive recommendations to improve the visibility and voice of women and promote balanced and non-stereotypical portrayals of women. Some of the recommendations are:

  • To change the continued projection of negative and degrading images of women in programming.
  • To enhance women’s skills, knowledge and access to information technology in order to improve their ability to combat negative portrayals of women.
  • To mainstream gender in media programming and policy.

Slow progress

A media monitoring study carried out in twelve southern African countries found that stereotypes abound and are actively promoted by the media. The report’s authors write: “Potentially having a huge role to play in this ‘liberation of the mind,’ the media has more often than not been part of the problem rather than of the solution.” Women are typically portrayed by the press as sex objects, temptresses, mothers or wives. When newspapers, radio or television stations need an expert on a subject, they are less likely to call upon a woman. The study found that women politicians, who on average formed 18 percent of the region’s parliaments, were rarely news sources, being quoted only 8 percent of the time.

And –

The majority of workers in the media at all levels are still men whether they be reporters or decision makers. The only area in which women achieve a level of parity is as television presenters – but they have an expiry date; they are usually aged 34 or below. Women over the age of 35 become invisible in the media according to the southern Africa study and the GMMP findings. This reinforces stereotypes about young women’s desirability and older women’s lack of it, something that does not affect male presenters on the same levels.

The voice and visibility of female journalists has improved somewhat since the BPfA. However they are more likely to be assigned “soft” news reporting: the arts, entertainment and lifestyle, while “hard” news – politics, the economy, government – remains a largely male domain. The figures reported by the GMMP make a solid case for increasing the numbers and influence of women in the media. Female journalists are more likely to feature female subjects and to rely on female experts than are male journalists. They are also more likely to consider a gender dimension to stories that would otherwise be gender-blind.

Recommendations –

The GMMP report makes a number of recommendations that urge a greater leading role for civil society in promoting positive representations of women in the media. Some of these are:

  • Compile regional directories of women experts on diverse thematic issues. Women are typically portrayed as being experts only on gender equality, beauty, fashion and home-making, but in reality, they are present in all other fields of human endeavour and should be recognised as such.
  • Create gender and media curricula in journalism schools. Gender and women’s rights awareness should be infused into all aspects of journalists’ work, so that women’s empowerment is not only covered in special interest stories but is an issue that is understood thoroughly and is actively promoted.
  • Media decision-makers should receive gender-awareness training that challenges the deeply ingrained – and often unconscious – biases against women.
  • Adopt and apply policies on gender parity in the media. There needs to be an equal presence of men and women at all levels from reporters to management.
  • Support women in the media by offering them training and visibility.
  • Establish gender-sensitive media codes of practice that hold media houses accountable for their reporting. It is unethical for them to continue to peddle skewed representations of women.
  • Encourage media monitoring by civil society organisations.

Nagging thoughts

Okay, so I often discuss myths, stereotypes & lies (oh my!).  I’ve had a nagging thought, thanks to an email communication, about nagging wives (see the recent post called ‘A nagging headline’). The emailer sent various links from a Google search in regard to nagging wives. I decided to Google it myself and take a gander.  Here are some results (the good, the bad & the ugly!):

A brief history of nagging

It is this utter powerlessness of the wife which is the source of nagging. The dictionary defines the word “nag” as “To annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging.” Bereft of economic, physical or political power, women only had words to defend themselves. They have had to walk the thin line between nagging enough to get their point across and nagging which got them thrown out of the house or beaten or worse, killed. Nagging was the only weapon the wife had, whose constant grating could cut some of the bonds of oppression under which she lived. By its very nature of being constant and repetitive, nagging also becomes unbearable for the person it is directed towards – the husband. If the woman has been a prisoner of the patriarchal cage, her constant scratching at its prison bars with her nagging words, has been her husband’s scourge. Marx’s famous saying about nations, ““any nation that oppresses another, forges its own chains”, can easily be transposed in this context to argue that any human who oppresses another forges his own chains (of nagging).

How to avoid being a nagging wife

Open this link, if you dare! It sounds like it’s straight out of a 1950s Good Housekeeping magazine on how to make your husband happy – you know, by bringing him his slippers and making him a martini.

Husbands who kill wives can no longer claim they were provoked

Okay, well at least now we’re moving into this century. Here’s an excerpt:

Following several years of consultation, the Government will next week announce the end of the “crime of passion” defence of provocation used by virtually all male defendants pleading not guilty to murder of a female partner.

Around 100 men a year kill their former or current partners, and provocation – such as failing to cook a meal, or persistent nagging – is the main form of defence used by barristers.

Relatives have complained that they have found it upsetting when murder suspects invoke lurid allegations about the victims’ private lives.

Umm, it’s not just the murder suspects, it’s also the media that’s responsible for using “nagging” or any other negative trait as a type of “defense” – we must hold them accountable too.

Indian husbands seek refuge from nagging wives

There are nagging husbands too, but not as far as a particular group of Indian husbands are concerned. They are demanding that the local government create a male protection society to address their grievances.

The men have claimed that they have had enough torment from their spouses and they marched through the streets of the northern city of Lucknow dressed as grooms and demanding a National Commission For Men.

“We are asking for equal rights. We want somebody to listen to the grievances of men,” said Subhash Dube, a medical doctor who described himself as a victimized husband.

For sale: nagging wife, very high maintenance

A British man fed up with his wife’s complaints advertised her for sale – and got a number of offers.

Hmm, apparently there’s a demand for nagging wives – seems some can appreciate them.

Nagging wives

A study lends credence to men’s claims of being nagged by their wives .

You’ve heard it before and you are bound to hear it again. Men’s claims of being bugged by nagging women aren’t going to end any time soon. For, if a recent study is to be believed, women spend 7,920 minutes in a year nagging their husbands about household chores, drinking and health.

A study? Are they really trying to get “scientific evidence” that women nag? (Kinda like when researchers measured female craniums and said scientific evidence indicates that smaller heads were less intelligent?) Do they try to find scientific evidence in any other stereotypes?! Now, that’s going to be a nagging thought tonight…

Here’s what I have to say about nagging –

It ain’t nagging if you do it the first time!