Mocking violence

Posted: October 27, 2006

JUST AS not all the news is fit to print, not all reports about the news are fit to print. Such is clearly the case with Dana DiFilippo's article "A Genital Reminder" (May 18).

Ms. DiFilippo has treated a hideous act of sexual violence, allegedly committed by a Philadelphia woman against her sleeping husband, as an occasion for unrestrained pun-making and joviality.

It beggars belief that the Daily News, or any mainstream newspaper, would print an article that so trivializes domestic violence, much less a felonious assault involving sexual mutilation.

In its levity and gratuitously graphic description of the victim's injuries and in its derisive and vulgar references to male sex organs, the article emphatically suggests that the paper has very little respect for men, their dignity or their humanity.

Certainly, if a male news reporter at the Daily News treated the sexual mutilation of a woman by a man with similar levity, he would be given his walking papers. And, well he should.

There is simply no legitimate excuse for reporting about criminal acts of sexual violence with such flippancy. Nor, is there any legitimate excuse for employing a sexist double standard, based on the sex of either the victim or the reporter, for condemning such news coverage.

In attempting to make humor of the alleged crime, the Daily News and its reporter have helped promote the perverse notion that physical and sexual violence against men is socially acceptable.

It is a vicious cycle. Given the glibly written article (as well as the endless television and movie portrayals, intended as comic, of men being slapped, punched and kicked by women), it is little wonder that some women, like the 21-year-old woman quoted by Ms. DiFilippo, believe that physically assaulting their husband or boyfriend is an appropriate way to vent their anger.

Dana DiFilippo's article should be emphatically condemned as both morally repugnant and egregiously sexist.

Lawrence Kalikow


comments powered by Disqus