FYI, below is my email to National Radio this morning regarding articles on Sunday morning news broadcasts covering the huge coolstore explosion and fire in Hamilton. I note that the Herald’s article on the web made it clear that all the injured were men and even repeatedly used the term “firemen”, but the Waikato Times failed at any point to indicate that either the injured or dead were men.
In my opinion, men deserve to be recognized and honoured for their martyrdom in many of the roles they provide in our society. Instead, National Radio’s printed web article mentioned only that the Fire Service was ensuring support for the families of the dead and injured “firefighters” (In itself this is excellent, but in the absence of any respect for the firemen‘s dangerous work, this comment merely increased the disrespect shown to those firemen.)
“…My concern is that the news article about injured firefighters did not refer to their male gender. This is part of a general tendency to refer only to “workers” when men are killed or injured, but when a woman is killed, injured or subjected to crime in almost any context her gender will be emphasized.
Men comprise around 100% of all workplace deaths and a large majority of serious workplace accidents, but such facts are rarely acknowledged. Yet National Radio seems keen to publicize every public comment bemoaning the gap between average earnings of men and women (with little analysis of the various reasons behind that gap, and rarely any mention of the high personal price men pay for their slightly higher average earnings). By using gender-nonspecific terms such as “firefighters” when it is men who are injured, National Radio is devaluing men and their contribution to society. This covertly promotes feminist anti-male mythology that has become established in our society.