Friday, July 14, 2006

Bigotry, a Primer

Well, obviously bigotry is on my mind today. So I thought I'd try a little experiment. I'm linking to today's top story at the New York Times, ostensibly the United State's paper of record: Israel Extends Strikes Deeper Into Lebanon. The big world news story will make a fine example of some of the aspects of bigotry that we must all actively strive to fight.

How are they doing?

Well, only one person quoted on the first page of the story is singled out by a professional title that gratuitously specifies sex

"Miri Elsin, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, told
Agence France-Presse."

Nine people are named in the first page of the article, only one is singled out as being female, thus an unspecified default of "male"

A different woman is quoted in the last paragraph of the story, giving a Beirut resident's view of the attack

Other Issues
The story doesn't rely on too many assumptions; race, religion, sexual orientation are never brought up, for example. There's a fair amount of classism common to news reporting where world leaders get a lot of coverage, over people who are directly involved in the story: no soldiers, no families of the dead or wounded, only one Beirut resident mentioned.

That's what I see. Feel free to read the article and share anything you notice. I don't expect any one person to notice every common bigoted assumption.

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