This is what I thought I heard…

…on the news (Global) last night, but I thought maybe I’d missed something. Apparently not.

The CBC headline and first paragraph (emphasis mine):

Gifted doctor, fiancée killed in weekend hit-and-run in Vancouver

An 18-year-old man is facing numerous impaired-driving charges after a weekend hit-and-run in Vancouver that killed a gifted cardiologist and his new fiancée as they were crossing a street.

Now, this is a terrible story and I’m not in any way making light of it, but… why is the man “a gifted cardiologist” and the woman just “his fiancee”? He was also her fiance and she was… well, I assume she was something besides his fiancee. It’s 2009, not 1909.

Now, I’m aware that pointing out this kind of stuff is why people hate feminists. They call it nitpicking. I say language matters. Framing matters. The fact is, at least two separate news sources reported the story the same way and apparently no one at either network thought there was anything wrong with identifying the couple this way (and the CBC is supposed to be progressive).  I find that problematic.

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