Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Off-Topic: Male Youths Singled Out For Massacre in Syrian Raid--Did You Hear the Outrage?

Did you even hear that it happened?

"They concentrated on male youths and whoever did not manage to escape was to be killed." See here.  They were rounded up and shot in cold blood.

A cursory glance at the news stories reporting this atrocity reveals that the the victims are called "young men." Some call them "male youths." I suspect the latter description is more accurate, meaning teen males -- more commonly known as "boys."

So, again, did you hear the outrage over this atrocity, this gendered massacre? 

Cue the crickets chirping.

In Google News this morning, you will see story after story after story about the two journalists who were killed as part of the same Syrian rampage that took the lives of the 27 "male youths." The boys who were killed were captured and killed in cold blood. The two journalists, on the other hand, were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet, the deaths of two Western journalists are considered the bigger news story.

In the news reports about the 27 "male youths," this is typical of the headlines: "Syrian troops kill 27 in village raids." See here.  Just "27," not "27 boys."

Do you wonder how this story would be covered if 27 girls had been rounded up and murdered in cold blood?  Do you think it would be the lead news story today? Do you think the word "girls" would appear in the headlines about the stories?

You can bet your left arm on both counts.

But surely the Obama administration is condemning this massacre, right?  I mean right??

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the US didn't want to “take actions that would lead to the further militarization of Syria,” but said “additional measures” would be used to put an end to the conflict.

The fact is, the Syrian conflict has been particularly harsh on boys. See here.  But when it's boys, the news media generally calls them "male youths," or better yet, "children," as in "women and children."

This is not to suggest that females are not singled out for harm because of their gender. Far from it. Nor is this to engage in an Oppression Olympics and to whine that "males have it worse." The point is that males are also singled out, but because of a twisted PC double standard, we rarely hear it. And if you think it's because females suffer more in war, you'd be wrong. Victims of war, both combatants and non-combatants, are more likely to be male: ". . . it is not surprising that far more men get killed on the battlefield than women, since they make up the overwhelming majority of combatants. But case study evidence also suggests that women are less likely to be victims of ‘collateral damage’, and non-combatant males are more likely to be subject to mass killing than non-combatant females. Further, some recent epidemiological survey evidence finds that males are more likely to die from war-induced malnutrition and disease than females." See here.

Yet, the US Secretary of State is permitted to make an outlandish statement like this one without any challenge: "The fact is that in today’s wars around the world, the primary victims are women and children." See here.

Maybe we've reached the point where we need to ditch the gender rhetoric altogether. Maybe we need to insist that our news media and our government stop focusing on the genitalia of the victim and start focusing on the victim.  The public discourse on gender has been taken over by paranoids, hysterics, and boodlers. The result is absurd double standards.