Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hatespeak Disguised as Journalism

Against my better judgement I glance at the paper. Headlines say a brothel was busted. Immediately I see the sentence. The sentence that makes me howl and throw the paper to the ground. The one that enrages me and then reignites the desire to publish a new blog called Sour Grapes and therin report on the way women and women's issues are represented or not in the Bahamian media. In this story the "reporter" enrages me by remarking that the women arrested in this raid were "more concerned with their picture being printed rather than their impending deportation" .

What kind of mysogynistic, totally unprofessional, maybe even slanderous rubbish is this from a newspaper report?

Firstly, you're damn right the women were concerned that their photographs not be taken. Surely it is illegal to publish photographs of detainees at a police station at the time of their arrest. I don't recall any such photographs appearing in the papers of male detainees at the station. The first photographs we see of them are at court. Obviously this reporter threatened them with cameras, and how did he happen to be at the station at the time the women were brought in? Someone called him, I suspect, some male , uniformed conspirator wanting to add to the trauma and humiliation for the arrested women. I smell the stink of patriarchal collusion.

Secondly, what kind of judgemental tone is this for the reporter to be taking? His job is to convey free and clear information, not muddy up the report with his hyper moralistic opinion. We don't give a rat's tail about what he thinks about the attitude of the women, whether he thinks they were behaving appropriately or not. This is shameful abuse of his position as a journalist. And how can he speak of "impending deportation?" The women have not even been charged yet. The paper would not dare condemn a moneyed man in this way, but a poor women is everyone's scapegoat. This "reporter" in my opinion is guilty of infringing upon the human rights of these women.

Thirdly, instead of his nasty, lascivious reporting of one woman's tattooed buttocks this excuse for a journalist should have been getting the woman to drop the names she was threatening to drop regarding the men who frequented the brothel. (It sounds to me that she was implying that senior police officers were among the clientel.) Indeed, why were their no men arrested? You can't have a brothel without men. Who and where are the guilty men? Why didn't the "reporter" ask this question? He was obviously too busy enjoying the spectacle. Nothing the patriarchs like more than women in shackles.

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