Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Pakistan terrorist attack was essentially a massacre of boys

The terrorist attack on children in Pakistan was horrifying by any measure. Throughout the day on Tuesday and this morning, we saw news report after news report stating that the school under siege is one that is attended "by boys and girls" from both military and civilian backgrounds.

What's not been a focus of attention is that it was essentially a massacre of boys.

"Boys and girls attend, though witnesses said the assailants primarily targeted upper classes made up only of boys." And: "The dead included 123 male students, as well as nine staff members, including a female teacher."

It just so happened that the victims were almost entirely male, and this wasn't considered newsworthy. I find that curious.

If the assailants had targeted girls, would the media have underscored the victims' gender? Remember the "Bring Back Our Girls" hashtag?
Boko Haram gained worldwide infamy in April when its members kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria. The incident was "just a drop in the bucket in the context of the total number of people kidnapped in recent years," . . . .. But it put the global spotlight on Nigeria, driven by the social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. This online movement gained support from Michelle Obama and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, among others.