Starring Ms. Reporting, Ms. Representation, Ms. Characterization and Ms. Communication
I just stumbled across this piece:
Upon an initial read, my first thought was “What an appallingly poor piece of reporting“. But from the Daily Mail I expect nothing less. What was intriguing was how many rules of journalism were broken in this piece. I can only assume that Jennifer Smith is not a real reporter.
- No references, attribution or source material: The beautiful thing about the world-wide web is that it features these things called hyperlinks that allow users to click on them to examine the source material. Ms. Smith forgot to insert such a link to the actual story under discussion, so that readers can examine the material for themselves. Here is a link to the story so you can check it out for yourself.: www.returnofkings.com/47540/5-lines-that-potential-wives-cannot-cross
- It’s old news: “News” is, by definition,”new”. The original piece that mas made Ms. Smith’s head explode was published more than three months ago, but they waited until today to go hysterical over it. One can only assume that it was a slow news day in the offices of the Daily Mail.
- Poor or non-existent research: The site that caused such an uproar is called “Return of Kings“, not “Return of the kings”, as Ms. Smith ms.-reported. Her inability to get the name of the website right does her no favors. One can only assume that her love for all things Tolkein rendered her temporarily blind to reason. This is a trivial point, but if she cannot even get the title of the blog correct, then how can she expect to be taken seriously?
- Misrepresentation/mischaracterization of the source material: The article purports to give advice to men considering marriage – a dangerous proposition at best. It posits several areas that should be deal-breakers, of which sex is one. Men have a fear that once women have a men “locked down”, the great sex he married her for will dry up and she will no longer “feel like it”. That is a reasonable and valid fear. And it is not unreasonable for a man to feel this way – after all, sex is the only part of marriage that cannot be outsourced.
- Suppression of discussion: The original piece has hundreds of comments, the Daily Mail piece has three, none of which call out the alleged journalist on her foolishness. The fact that they disabled commentary is telling; it shows that they do not want any discussion or disagreement with what they have decided must be the truth.
I could easily dissect this miserable little screed paragraph by paragraph, but it is simply not worth the effort; my fingers have better things to do. Suffice it to say that this is not about rape, it is about setting solid boundaries before entering into a life-long marriage. To disagree with the author’s point of view is to flout the “to have and to hold” part of marriage vows.
Marriage is, at its core, a negotiation between two parties, both of whom have their wants, needs, and non-negotiables. If a man even *thinks* that his prospective wife will use sex as a bargaining chip or to control the relationship, he is entitled – and, I daresay, encouraged – to walk away. And that is the exact opposite of rape.
Bottom line: Beware of opinions masquerading as news.