Our director of University relations forwarded me a commentary by Gary Pavela from this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled “Fearing our Students Won’t Help Them.” This is a really excellent article from a disability studies perspective, as it cautions us to focus on actual student conduct not stereotypes. Like Kathleen Jones did at AHA, he points out that campus shootings are almost always suicides as well — so suicide prevention should be the focus.
Some thoughts on the last two shooting incidents. Comments about Steven Kazmierczak at NIU have remarked at how “nice” and “normal” he was, unlike the “freak” at Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, discussions of Latina Williamshave disappeared, except at this site.
This is in sharp contrast to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, “Boys will be Boys, Girls will be Hounded by the Media.” The article observes, “Men who fall from grace are treated with gravity and distance, while women in similar circumstances are objects of derision, titillation and black comedy.”
I wonder — are the mental health problems of Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse more newsworthy because women are expected to be more “unstable?” Or do male celebrities like Owen Wilson have relatives who are better able to keep the press away and maintain privacy?