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Rethinking Manliness

May 27, 2013

Camille Hayes

In the tense hours leading up to the identification of the Boston bombing suspects, a number of pressing questions swirled around their identities. What was their nationality? Did they act alone or were they operatives in a network? Was this an isolated incident or part of a larger plan? Here’s one question nobody asked: Were the bombers male or female? That question was answered before it could even be posed; it was treated as a given that the perpetrators were men.

Whenever there are acts of mass violence in this country – from Columbine to Aurora to Sandy Hook – law enforcement, the news media and the public all assume that men are behind them. As assumptions go, it’s a pretty safe bet. In February, Mother Jones published a survey of gun violence in the United States which found that of the 62 known mass shootings since 1982, only one was carried out by a woman. Story continues at the Sacramento Bee.

I’m a writer for the Sacramento Bee, contributing a monthly column on politics and women’s issues. I post links to my columns here on the blog.

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