Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I guess they mature faster over there

The double standard in the American media is astounding sometimes.

There is a horrific story unfolding, where an American soldier (with others at the scene who helped him cover it up) allegedly raped, and then killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl. You may have vaguely heard something about it, but if you read the American press or listen to the TV news, you may also have been unaware that she was only 14. A young girl.

What's a 14-year-old in the U.S. usually - a 9th grader?

The rest of her family (including a 5-year-old) was killed too and their bodies burned to try to hide what was done, and to blame insurgents. The soldier who raped and shot the girl is up on charges now, and could face the death penalty, and four others are being charged too. Another soldier is charged with failing to report the crime, but not with participating.

But this 14-year-old has repeatedly been called an "Iraqi woman" by the media, or at best, a "young woman."

How the fuck can a 14-year-old be called a woman? She was a kid. An adolescent.

But the right-wing press sure had a field day when Monica Lewinsky was giving Bill Clinton a hummer. She was 22, she was an adult, she voluntarily shared those little Oval Office hijinks with him. Hell, her friends later said she had went to Washington bragging she was going to put her presidential kneepads on. But the media insisted on continually calling her an "intern," and you would hear some of the blowhard commentators saying, "She's no older than my daughter," trying to give the impression she was somehow just a young girl, not 22.

But a 14-year-old Iraqi kid? Well, she's a woman, of course.

By the way, just to be clear, it doesn't matter if she was 14 or 64, rape is pure evil, and this particular incident, if what's charged is accurate, was especially horrendous. I just find it interesting that the American media, which is usually so quick to spotlight the ages of young female victims (remember all those missing teen girls) seems somehow blase about it this time.

7 comments:

grey goose said...

I heard about that case, but I didnt know she was 14? That's so disgusting. I hope they hang that guy.

l.w.t. said...

Exactly! How old was Natalie Hollaway? Older than 14 I believe.

Anonymous said...

Natalee Hollaway was 17 or 18 and disappeared after a night of drinking! They kept trying to make Monica seem like a young girl to get Clinton. But now that it's US soldiers involved in a rape case they dont want anyone to know the girl involved was just 14. It all depends on the story they are trying to sell.

Not a hipster said...

Great story, JBK. I did not know she was only 14. How terribly sad and brutal.

And right-wing fundies wonder why some people don't agree with the military.

bru said...

I dont think the problem in this one is the military...its the news!

Not a hipster said...

Bru, what are you talking about? Are you trying to say this is "an example of the biased media making something seem worse than it is?"

God, I hope that's not what you mean.

bru said...

Not A Hipster no!! The main crime here obvously was the Army. But the way the media has reported it, or not reported that she was only 14, is also a crime in my opinion. I probably didn't say it as clear as I should have!

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