Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Detroit-bound terrorist is repeatedly referred to as a 'man,' and the heroic (male) passenger is referred to as a 'person'

The big news story this morning is an act of heroism: Passengers help foil attack on Detroit-bound plane.  The attempted terrorist attack was a frightening reminder that we still live in a dangerous world.  But the way it was covered by the news media is a sad reminder that we live in a world that doesn't appreciate masculinity.

As soon as I saw the headline, I figured that the heroes were mainly, or exclusively, male, and that this fact would not be highlighted by the press.  I was right.

The news media can't repeat enough that the terrorist was a "man."  But what about the folks who subdued him? In the above-story, early on, we read this: "At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man, who officials say was trying to ignite an explosive device." 

Did you get that?  A "person" was the hero.  Here we go, I thought.  Just as the news outlet decided to call the terrorist a a "man," it also could have referred to the heroic "person" by his or her gender.  The fact that it didn't, and that this sort of thing plays out in a thousand news stories every year, is not coincidence.

I had to read deep into the story to find the following:  "Passenger Syed Jafri, a U.S. citizen who had flown from the United Arab Emirates, said the incident occurred during the plane's descent. Jafri said he was seated three rows behind the passenger and said he saw a glow, and noticed a smoke smell. Then, he said, 'a young man behind me jumped on him.'" (Emphasis added.)

So, the principal hero not only was a man, he was a much-maligned "young man."  Funny, but the newspapers can't publish enough stories about the rudderless, underachieving young possessors of Y-chromosomes who can't stand the fact that that their undeserved male privilege has been stripped of them in the new "woman's world."  And every time I read one of those stories, I know that they are written for the amusement of a certain sort of angry woman, and that they don't reflect the young men I come across.  Funnier still. when I read the story about the Detroit-bound hero, I figured the hero was a young man, and I was right.

And, seriously, you'd better stop a minute before you accuse me of hypersensitivity.  It is palpably politically incorrect to equate stereotypical good masculine qualities, such as heroism and risk-taking, with men and boys.  Our enlightened news media, taking its cue from the crushing weight of a thousand feminist prevarications, insists that men and women are exactly the same and that nothing especially good emanates from masculinity.   The news media will do backflips to find a woman or girl exhibiting typical masculine virtues, but highlighting the sex of a hero is verboten -- unless the hero is a she

Recent case in point: The woman who shot Liberty Valence. The entire nation applauded Sgt. Kimberly Munley when everyone thought she was the one who brought down the Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan.  Munley was hailed in some quarters precisely because she is a woman.  Brave though she was, the news media initially got it wrong. It was Senior Sgt. Mark Todd who felled Hasan.  A "he."  Not much was written about Sgt. Todd, precisely because he isn't a woman. 

You see, a man being heroic doesn't fit with the preferred metanarrative that men and women are exactly the same -- except men are more evil.