Thursday, September 10, 2015

*This* is not ok

Shame on the New Zealand Herald for reporting the brutal killing of this woman, Tara Brown, by her partner - for now allegedly; but he had a restraining order out against him for past domestic violence - using this image and captioning it: 'Ms Brown was described as "a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart"'.  The woman was beaten to death at the age of 24, leaving a young daughter motherless, and she is portrayed by the country's leading newspaper, on the very day of her death, with her tongue stuck out. Fuck that.  

I have done doctoral level research on the cultural representation of domestic violence victims and can tell you that this kind of passive-aggressive woman-blaming and disrespecting is not only standard fare for all media reports on domestic violence and homicide in NZ as elsewhere, but it directly contributes to the cultural - and so legal and political - minimising of domestic violence as a serious and fundamentally misogynistic crime.

NZ ran a 'domestic violence is not ok' media campaign some years back (2007) to raise awareness of the extent of the problem, but it portrayed women as perpetrators as well as victims, missing the point entirely. This was a fundamental (and typical) obfuscation of the issue and wasted opportunity to speak directly to the problem that affects almost one in three families in the Western world and is the number one killer of women across the world.

Ashamed to be a New Zealander today.


No comments:

Post a Comment