Monday, August 23, 2010

whatcha saying there?

This upsetting news story posits, as is often done recently, whether or not obesity in young children can be attributed to abusive parental behaviors. The actual hedline is "Is Childhood Obesity a Sign of Child Abuse?" But the title (in the HTML sense) of the webpage is "Obese Children: Are Their Parents Abusive?"

which has a much different ring or implication, and I wonder if ABC News even knows that they spoke a separate truth there. Or (to be a bit dramatic, but--must be said) if they realize how badly some parents treat their kids because they are fat. The page title tells you so very much about how people see the word "obese"--what they assume about those to whom the word is applicable and those who are responsible for them. Nobody would ever use an adjective in the "obese" spot associated in any way with a lack of choice ("Gay/Autistic/Short Children: Are Their Parents Abusive?") these days and not miss that second meaning--and then change it.

Addendum: I just noticed that the link to the article on Facebook (which was caught my eye in the first place) is yet another variation. It actually originally read: "Are Obese Children Abused Children?" Even more open-ended.

1 comment:

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