What is it with this “women and chidren” malarkey?

Everywhere you hear it, where a bombing raid or similar killing spree occurs, the victims are almost always grouped into two categories: one category is “women and children”, and the other is not given any particular name, presumably because there is no need to describe normal people (i.e. those who are not women-and-children, i.e. those who are men) by any particular label at all. It winds me up no end.

If what the reports are trying to suggest is that the deaths are particularly heart-rending, then by all means mention the children, but why is a woman’s death all the more worthy of mention than a man’s? Grouping women in with children infantilises them and suggests that they are especially innocent, like children, and unlike men. We are not. We are PEOPLE! We have agency, we have responsibility, we are not children and we are not equivalent to children!

There are strong women and weak men; there are wicked women and innocent men. Some women are soldiers. Some men are civillans. Some women are murderers. Some men are husbands, fathers, sons, breadwinners, teachers, beloved. Some women are gun-toting young fundamentalists about to bomb the crap out of a hospital.

I say again, we are PEOPLE!

Argh!

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