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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Men are a waste of space, and the BBC has the stats to prove it

Two BBC stories from the same day, unconnected but offering an instructive contrast.

From the first:- 'Almost 100 women are killed by partners or ex-partners each year, figures show. 'And 21 men died from domestic abuse in England and Wales last year.'

Now, though the mention of male victims may strike you as something of an afterthought, I say the author deserves considerable credit for thinking of them at all. There's a lot of ideological capital invested in the perception of domestic violence as Exhibit A in the case against the patriarchy, and far too much media coverage has endorsed this view by presenting it without qualification as a male-on-female crime.

So three cheers for a Beeb reporter who has acknowledged that more than one case in six adds up to too many exceptions to the rule to be brushed under the carpet. Nevertheless the rule does get stated. The gender/sex breakdown is there to remind us, just in case we had any doubt, that most victims are female and most perpetrators male.

Now compare what we find in another story from the same day:-

'Since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001, 363 UK servicemen and women have died.'

The double plural actually makes this sentence misleading. For, as is revealed by following a couple of links, the gender/sex breakdown here is in fact 362 to 1. To make the comparison crystal clear, if we surveyed 363 domestic abuse fatalities we would expect to find over 60 male victims.

So a breakdown is de rigueur when it suggests that murdering your partner is very much a man thing, but to be avoided where it might give the impression that getting killed for your country is even more of a man thing. I'm sure there's no deliberate indoctrination going on here. That happened a long way up the line. At this point it's just the working out of an unconscious worldview, the fruits of the coming true of Gramsci's dream of cultural hegemony. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that both pieces were written by men.

No definitive evidence for a correlation between gender and nitpicking blogging was available at the time of going to press.

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