Breakfast Of Philistines: leftover pasta salad eaten straight from the tupperware at the computer
The news came as reports emerged that 17 Afghan civilians, including women and children, had been killed in an American airstrike carried out during the search for the missing servicemen. –TimesOnline
Have I mentioned lately how fucking sick and tired I am of the equation of women with children in reportage on grievous tragedies? Need I point out the offensiveness of the implication that the unnecessary death of a woman is so much more terrible than that of anybody else that it requires special mention? I do? Good, because I was going to anyway.
In order to judge the untimely demise of any given creature as more tragic than that of a default (i.e. adult male) human, assumptions must be made. One must conclude that the victim in question is intrinsically pathetic in some way: helpless, hopeless, marginalized, and in possession of fewer of the faculties that are commonly associated with fully realized humanity. Into this category we place dogs, kittens, babies, the mentally retarded, the feeble, white Christian teenage cheerleaders who go missing, and, of course, women.
Notice that one of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesnâ€™t belong.
I would argue that the phrase â€œincluding women and childrenâ€ is particularly unnecessary in the example above, since the report is about civilian casualties, and even a moron can deduce without the help of a reporter the statistical improbability that 17 civilians would contain only adult males. Including the phrase is a cloying attempt to evoke a rush of pity, which reinforces culturally-mandated paternalistic impulses to sentimentalize and infantilize women. I blame the patriarchy.