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February 3, 2013


Covering rape responsibly

By Helen Benedict/Guest Blogger — February 1, 2013

In the light of the recent coverage of the rapes in India, it’s time to talk about how we cover rape in this country. For some 20 years now, I have been criticizing the press for never asking why men rape. Now, with the rapes in New Delhi gaining so much attention, I ask it again.

In short, when we cover rape in the SudanRwandathe Balkans, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now inIndia, we look at why the men do it. We write about the beliefs of child soldiers that raping a virgin will protect them from AIDS, or about the way men are trained to see women as booty in war. We discuss rape as a tool of ethnic cleansing and genocide. And lately, concerning India, we’ve been running stories about the traditionally subservient role of women, how the economy is liberating them, and the subsequent violent reaction of men.

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