Women and Children

Every time I turn on the radio, it seems as if there’s more tragic news coming out of Iraq. Now we’re hearing accusations of marines murdering innocent civilians in an act of retaliation for the death of a fellow marine who was killed by a roadside bomb.

Regardless of the specific facts that emerge in this case, war and occupations breed unthinkable behavior, and we can easily launch a grand debate over the cause of this incident, drawing on philosophical, political, and spiritual elements. If the charges are found to be true, some will fault the individual marines, while others will point to the commanders, the tense climate, the politicians who launched the situation, and, quite simply, human nature.

Nearly all the reports investigating this story mention how ‘women and children’ were amongst the group of innocent victims. Every time I hear that phrase, ‘women and children,’ I pause. Innocent victims are innocent victims. Yes, I can argue that children are more innocent than adults, but are women more innocent than men? Always? Inherently?

The stories emphasize that the marines obviously could not claim that the infants were a threat. Apparently, ‘women and children’ puts women in the same camp. For me, ‘unarmed civilians’ actually unites all who were killed.

So why the phrase ‘women and children’? This expression seems to hearken back to the days where women were seen as frail and harmless and property of men. I certainly don’t want to be elevated to prime target when it comes to violent suspicion, however I’m bewildered by the remaining widespread use of this phrase as a means of enhancing the gravity of a situation and to incite outrage.

I would like all life to been seen as sacred. How about ‘innocent men, women, and children’ were killed. If my mate or father or uncle were amongst the dead, I certainly wouldn’t want his life dismissed simply because of his Y chromosome.

[For those who need a respite from heavy thought, check out Evolution of Dance. I promise a smile.]


Anonymous said...

yeah. you kind of take the time to say what must go through alot of people's minds... but no one has bothered to point it out...
this you shoudl send as a letter to the NYTIMES

Anonymous said...

Just curious...what if they can't say 'unarmed civilians' because the dead were armed? The problem with many of these countries is that the woman and children ARE armed. Every news organization is out for ratings, a way to tug your heart to read or listen.
Just food for thought.

Interesting thoughts and a well written blog.

Keep up the good work!:)