StudyCorgi Sociology

“Ordinary” Sexual Violence in Media and Society

Introduction

Carter1 argues that the news reporting of sexualized violence is contributing to the ‘normalization’ of assumptions about male violent behavior and female likelihoods of victimization. It is easy to outline how this process occurs if to consider some specific examples. Using Carter’s statement as a theoretical issue, a particular example is necessary. Wilcox2 offers an analysis of the example of how the news makes sexual violence a norm for consideration in society.

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Violence

First of all, the modern world is full of violence. Newspapers and TV news almost every day declare about some sexual events which happen in the parts of the country. The reporters do not even try to create a shade of grief because of the frequent occurrence of the event. One of the main reasons why people became to consider violence news as ordinary is the way they are reported. The cases are so numerous, that the reporters do not consider it is crucial to pay much attention to the event. Just the notice of the crime and the most striking features are mentioned in the news, without the information which may spoil the interest.3

The journalists usually declare violent news with the same voice as other events. The reporter is usually emotionless that adds to the view that sexual crimes are normal things that do not require a specific inner reaction.4 Listening to the reporters’ calm voice, people do not consider the news as something unusual and deserving special attention. Listening to such news one day and then another one, people become to consider something ‘extraordinary’ as ‘ordinary’.5

Wilcox claims that “interpersonal violence in public space, focusing most often on victims rather than perpetrators”6 is one more reason that the violence news has become ordinary. The information does not focus on the criminal who should be caught. A person who watches the news just listens to the story when someone was raped, and he/she wants to know the details of the case. People perceive it as a story that may never become a part of their life. People are not interested in a criminal, his/her characteristic features, they are more interested in the crime details.

Moreover, when something is constantly repeated, it becomes a common thing. Thus, Carter states that people got used to getting short stories with concise descriptions to add to the normality of such news. If the stories were supported with the description of the place, more detailed behavior of both participants of the crime, and the photographs of violent acts, people would experience more grief and compassion for the victims.7 This is one of the ways to make people regard such crimes as extraordinary, but, until they are declared in such a way, nothing can change.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be mentioned that Wilcox’s article is more directed to the race and gender nature of the crime, and focuses on the prejudices people have.8 The same may be considered as the basis for the normalization of the extraordinary news. Many people do not consider sexual crimes as specific as they think that the victims are guilty themselves showing by their behavior their accessibility and readiness for sexual relations. Still, it is so wrong to think in such away. Considering violent news as something ordinary, people become to perceive the very crimes as casual events. It is wrong and makes our society closer to the wind and barbarous nations which we are not in reality.

Bibliography

Carter, C, ‘When the ‘extraordinary’ becomes ‘ordinary’: Everyday news of sexual violence’ in C Carter, G Branston & S Allan (eds), News, gender, and power, Routledge, London, 1998, pp. 219-232.

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Wilcox, P, ‘Beauty and the Beast: Gendered and Raced Discourse in the News’, Social & Legal Studies, vol. 14, no. 4, 2005, pp. 515-532.

Footnotes

  1. C Carter, ‘When the ‘extraordinary’ becomes ‘ordinary’: Everyday news of sexual violence’ in C Carter, G Branston & S Allan (eds), News, gender, and power, Routledge, London, 1998, p. 221.
  2. P Wilcox, ‘Beauty and the Beast: Gendered and Raced Discourse in the News’, Social & Legal Studies, vol. 14, no. 4, 2005, pp. 515-532.
  3. Carter, p. 220.
  4. ibid, p. 227.
  5. ibid, p. 219.
  6. Wilcox, p. 516.
  7. Carter, p. 225.
  8. Wilcox, p. 517.
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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 31). "Ordinary" Sexual Violence in Media and Society. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/ordinary-sexual-violence-in-media-and-society/

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""Ordinary" Sexual Violence in Media and Society." StudyCorgi, 31 Dec. 2020, studycorgi.com/ordinary-sexual-violence-in-media-and-society/.

1. StudyCorgi. ""Ordinary" Sexual Violence in Media and Society." December 31, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/ordinary-sexual-violence-in-media-and-society/.


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StudyCorgi. ""Ordinary" Sexual Violence in Media and Society." December 31, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/ordinary-sexual-violence-in-media-and-society/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2020. ""Ordinary" Sexual Violence in Media and Society." December 31, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/ordinary-sexual-violence-in-media-and-society/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) '"Ordinary" Sexual Violence in Media and Society'. 31 December.

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