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Seriously, editors, how have you not gotten this yet? “Rape” is not “sex”

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

July 5th, 2007

I am seriously tired of writing articles, op-eds and blog posts — and arguing with reporters, editors, and cable news hosts — about the journalistic responsibility to not describe non-consensual, criminal sexual assault as “rape” or “sexual assualt,” not simply “having sex.”

You’d think this wouldn’t be a tough distinction, especially in cases where the allegations involve gang rape, or unconscious victims. Yet time and time again, we see headlines like this week’s Journal & Courier’s 2 accused of sex with unconscious woman.”

How many times do I have to write the same critique in response to what seems like a never ending stream of stories that make the same eggregious linguistic mistake?

As the E.D. of Women In Media & News, I understand why these problems persist, and I’m dedicated to continuing to call outlets on their bias . But wouldn’t it be nice if newsrooms could muster up some semantic common sense, not to mention knowledge of accurate terminology for crime reporting, or even simply human decency to make such critiques unnecessary?

One Response to “Seriously, editors, how have you not gotten this yet? “Rape” is not “sex””

  1. Illa Normand
    October 31st, 2014 10:32
    1

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