Wednesday, 10 July 2019

But it's sort of OK if just men are murdered?

From the BBC:

Papua New Guinea: Women and children killed in tribal massacre

On Sunday, seven people - four men and three women - were killed in Munima village. Then on Monday, 16 women and children were hacked to death in the village of Karida, EMTV said. Two of the women were pregnant.

According to the Post-Courier newspaper, the attacks took place on Saturday and Sunday with six people killed the first day and 16 - including two pregnant women - in a retaliatory attack the following day.

I've genuinely never understood the extra horror expressed when "even woman and children" are murdered, as if it's acceptable for "just men" to be murdered. At what age is does a male move from being an unacceptable target to an acceptable one?

Feminists would be up in arms - and rightly so - if it were the other way round and things like this weren't reported as long as it's "just women" being murdered and only hit the headlines when "even men" are killed .


Penseivat said...

Apparently, in PNG, if someone is killed, injured, attacked, or robbed, vengeance is not taken out on the offender, but rather on someone close to them, such as parent, wife, sibling, or son/daughter. This felt to be more of a deterrent as the rest of the family will know why the act was carried out, and the offender then has to live with the knowledge that they are responsible for the death of, or injury to, a loved one. Then there is the knock on effect of possibly being ostracized by the rest of the family.
This may be the reason why only women and children were killed in the retaliatory act.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PS, their gaff, their rules. Assuming what you say is correct, then it's less remarkable. But that wasn't my point.

Rich Tee said...

I have a feeling that the question was rhetorical, but I will give my observations anyway.

Historically, it was men that did all the physically hard work and sacrifice, such as building roads and railways, and fighting in wars. It was considered gentlemanly to sacrifice yourself stoically, whilst treating women and children more sensitively.

Also, children are the next generation, and women can have more babies, so from a survival point of view it is better to give them preferential treatment, hence the "women and children first" command on the Titanic.

But all this doesn't matter anymore, because men don't do the hard stuff much anymore and there is not much of a fight for survival anymore.

So I agree. There is no reason for men to be treated differently here.

Sobers said...

"children are the next generation, and women can have more babies, so from a survival point of view it is better to give them preferential treatment,"

Correct. From a market perspective, sperm is worth a ha'penny a bucketful, and eggs and wombs are priceless. Ergo men are disposable and women are to be protected at all costs. A society that does not protect its women and children first dies out very quickly, we are all descended from societies that did exactly that. Its not surprising that those attitudes are hardwired into us.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RT, on the level of a band or small tribe, it makes sense as an evolutionary strategy. For a large population, it's stupid.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, hard wired, yes. Atavistic and superseded, yes. Humans have lots of traits which served us well in the past but are now counter productive or pointless.