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 November 5, 2022

"When her husband was taken hostage, she found her voice."

PBS has released a story about the wife of one of the Americans taken hostage during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1980-81, and it was titled - "When her husband was taken hostage, she found her voice." 

There is an implied assumption that she was quiet before this. I wonder if any journalist would have written that statement about a husband whose wife had been taken hostage. I don't think so. Our culture still makes the assumption that somehow a woman in marriage loses something. That somehow she is passive.

This woman was a wife, a mother and a teacher. She has always had a voice. She may not have been active in the public arena but most people, male or female, are not. She clearly led a very active life before the horror of the hostage situation.

 What if the opening had said, "When her husband was taken hostage, she used the media to fight for her husband's freedom." Now that is active and empowering. The media can often be the message and sometimes that message is disempowering. We are in 2022 and we are still portraying women as weak.