Friday, 15 February 2013

Her name was Reeva Steenkamp: a letter to the Sun

I'm sending this letter to the editor of The Sun and the PCC regarding the horrible cover on 15th February

You can sign the petition regarding the cover here.

Please copy and paste this letter if you want to use it,

Dear Dominic Mohan,

Her name was Reeva Steenkamp. Her name was not ‘Pistorius’s lover’. She had her own name, her own identity. She was not just defined by her relationship to a man. 

She was a woman, a model, a law graduate, a woman who spoke out against violence against women. She was not just a sex object in a bikini.

Why then, does your cover on Friday 15 February reduce her to these things? 

This is a news story about a man who has been charged with murdering Reeva Steenkamp. It is not a story about sporting success, it is not a story about sexiness. 

Your presentation of this news story sexualises violence against women and girls. You’re juxtaposing murder and sexiness. There is nothing sexy about this terrible crime. There is nothing sexy about a man killing a woman. There is simply no reason to illustrate this tragic story with such a highly sexualised image. This is a news story about a murder. There’s nothing pretty about that.  

I believe your paper needs to apologise for ignoring that Reeva Steenkamp had a name. I believe you also need to apologise for your consistent attempts to sexualise violence against women and girls – highlighted at the Leveson Inquiry. In this case your paper has chosen to ‘sex-up’ the murder of a young woman called Reeva Steenkamp.

I will also be sending a version of this letter to the Press Complaints Commission.


This post has now been quoted, but not linked to, in The Week

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