For we editors used to making a quarterly magazine, it’s been revelatory to hear back directly–instantly!–from Ms. Blog readers in the comments section. This week you mused about gender bias in the media, schooled us with your knowledge of Piers Morgan’s resume and questioned your faith in humanity after a 14-year-old girl was flogged to death in Bangladesh.
Enough chit-chat, let’s begin!
Plenty of readers had something to say in regards to our assessment of Larry King’s replacement, Piers Morgan.
In response to OK, Piers Morgan, That’s Enough, noneedforaname wrote,
I’m sorry, but this is factually incorrect. How can you say he lacks any journalistic credibility when he was the editor of 3 major magazines all before he was 28?
Never in my wildest would I think that I would come to the defense of someone that I utterly dislike. And all because you didn’t do enough research. At least you both have something in common, neither of you will ever be “no Barbara Walters.”
Holly was less impressed with Morgan’s long resume,
This is a guy that before becoming a TV presenter, was sacked from his job of editor of the Mirror for publishing faked photos of british soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3716151.st… somehow he seems to have shaken this off in the glory of celebrity journalism and sexism. What a model journalist!
Readers were solutions-oriented in commenting on our report of a gender bias in the media.
In response to Why There’s Gender Bias in Media–And What We Can Do About It, Crystal Smith writes,
The Woodhull Institute is an excellent initiative that will undoubtedly help a lot of women. Another thing that will help is to recondition males to believe that stories about or by women are of value. From the time they are toddlers, boys are surrounded by stories about males: book lists for boys recommend books with male protagonists almost exclusively; the most popular movies are about males who are generally surrounded by a supporting cast of male characters (unless it is a princess film); and even TV shows for a male or mixed audience are anchored by male characters. In fact, it is exceedingly difficult to find any animated TV shows with female leads that would appeal to boys.
Having boys grow up with the knowledge that women and girls make relevant and important contributions to our world would lead to a more welcoming environment for women writers. It would also go a long way toward lessening the intimidation factor that so many women feel.
How can a culture harbor honor killings? Some of our readers asked that question after reading our report of a young girl flogged to death for “adultery” in Bangladesh. Others cautioned against cultural stereotyping.
In response to Bangladeshi Rape Victim Flogged to Death, Anuj writes,
Shouldn’t society pause at moments like this before the executioner drops the blade to think about the basics of the situation. Does a 14 year old have the capacity to walk into an affair on her own? Does the man have an equal punishment for the affair (it was after all his vow to his wife that was broken)? Do they pause to think about the magnitude of the punishment–can a young girl survive 100 lashings?
What is usually part of the [Western] stereotype that forms about [honor killings] is that the family of the victim is usually in on it, if not factually fully complicit.
This girl’s story is also about a family’s powerlessness in the face of religious “law.” And it proves that these families in spite of culture, religion, geography, or poverty, are quite like families everywhere–and perhaps do not love their daughters less than we do ours, do not see their daughters as subhuman (even when accused).
There’s news that may go toward restoring our commenters’ faith in humanity and civil society: Anushay Hossain reports that Bangladesh has now opened a murder investigation.
Have more to add? Join the conversation by commenting below!