Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Context is Everything
The New York Times got hold of the news about the domestic violence survey of Syrian women that I posted about earlier. Since the readers of the newspaper are not likely to know anything about Syrian women, this story, the fact that 1 in 4 women is beaten, is going to be the only thing they know. This peace of information will fit well with the other views they have of Arab women as victims of their men, religion, and culture. In other words, it will not teach them anything new, but confirm what they already know (or think they know). It will be recalled when suddenly some Americans feel the need to go save these women from their brutal husbands and fathers and brothers. In this context, the story is no longer about Syrian women. Scary.