Headline Nooz

by Shaker superior olive

[Trigger warning for violence and misogyny.]

So, I was reading my local paper a few evenings ago, and in the front section came across something that reminded me of Liss' Headline Nooz series.

In the World News part of the A section, they have a round-up of stories culled from news services. (The tag at the end just says "from the news services".) Actually, they are more like article synopses, each being about 200-250 words. On June 8th, there were four short summaries, two of which caught my attention:

• Egypt drops Blockade…(short blurb about Egypt dropping the blockade)

• Lightning kills girlfriend…(story about lightning striking a woman hiking with her boyfriend)

• Shooter targeted women…(story about a gunman in Hialeah, Fla. shooting and killing his wife, then three other women and injuring three more before shooting himself)

• Gas Line explosion deadly… (story about a gasline exploding in Texas.)

In case you haven't guessed already (pfft, yeah right) I'm writing about the middle two headlines: Lightning kills girlfriend; Shooter targeted women.

Starting with the first of the two… Let's see, I know the age of the man, his relationship to the woman, his name, where he is from, his plan to ask her to marry him, his injuries, that he had the ring in his pocket. About the woman, I know her name, her age, and that she died. Oh, and she was a girlfriend. The entire article (articlet?) is framed from his point of view, we don't know who she was, where she was from, anything about her family, what she did for a living, even whether they had discussed marriage before. All things that are easy to include even in short articles. Right from the headline, she is framed only in relation to him, a girlfriend, and her death is framed as how it affects him.

The next article is about a gunman in Florida who went to the restaurant where his wife worked, shot and killed her before bypassing men to shoot more women and then himself. I haven't heard anything other than what is presented here about this story. I'm taking "wife" at face value; she may have been separated from him, or they were about to sign divorce papers, both of which can trigger this kind of violence.

What I'm focusing on here is the juxtaposition of these two articles next to each other. We tell men that women are only important insofar as how they relate to you specifically. These messages come in a myriad of ways, some of them are almost invisible. And yet, we are surprised when those messages are taken to their logical conclusion.

Lightning kills girlfriend; Shooter targeted women.

The patriarchy, in six words.

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