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To think that if you murder your partner, you should be considered to be dumped?

(104 Posts)
BalloonSlayer Fri 24-Nov-17 22:04:59

From BBC website:

A South African court has increased Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's jail sentence for killing his girlfriend to 13 years and five months.

How about "Murderer of Reeva Steenkamp has his sentence doubled."

I mean, do they think that if for some reason Reeva hadn't been killed that they would still be together?

How bloody dare they call her his girlfriend?

His girlfriend = 14 characters
Reeva Steencamp = 15 characters

whateveryousay Fri 24-Nov-17 22:06:18


Trills Fri 24-Nov-17 22:07:55

She's definitely not his girlfriend any more, that's true.

Trills Fri 24-Nov-17 22:08:25

Women should be identified as people, not just as adjuncts to more-famous men.

Escapepeas Fri 24-Nov-17 22:11:33

This is basic news reporting.

There are guidelines around news reporting, what you can and cannot say and general editorial guidelines. So you can say 'Oscar Pistorius has sentence increased', but you cannot say 'Murderer spends more time in prison'.

No matter how much you might feel news outlets should have more graphic headlines or be more specific in their reports, there are legal constraints involved.

IronFists234 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:11:58

Whilst I wouldn't say "dumped" purely as that would seem to be too slang like to use in an official article, I definitely agree that referring to Riva Steencamp as "his girlfriend" is wrong.

She was murdered, hence in no shape or form should her identity be minimised to "his girlfriend."

BalloonSlayer Fri 24-Nov-17 22:22:41

Well then, Escape what's wrong with the headline reading "A South African court has increased Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's jail sentence for killing Reeva Steenkamp to 13 years and five months." ? As I say, it's one more character, it's not like in the old days of Fleet Street typesetting when "Wife" was much easier to put on the front page than "Josephine Braithwaite" [disclaimer: made up name]

BalloonSlayer Fri 24-Nov-17 22:24:41

Iron I wouldn't expect a [quality] newspaper to use the word dumped, it is my choice in an attempt to sum up.

puddleduckmummy Fri 24-Nov-17 22:35:05

Should be as Balloon says. X receives longer sentence for killing Y. To call Reeva still his girlfriend isn't right. She should be named and not be forgotten because he is already a 'known person' it becomes all about him and not about a lady who lost her life at the hands of someone else

Seeingadistance Fri 24-Nov-17 22:36:09


To refer to her as his "girlfriend" almost makes her invisible in a way - negates her being as an independent, autonomous, human being, who was brutally murdered by that man.

And why can't he be referred to as a murderer? He has been convicted of murder.

Escapepeas Fri 24-Nov-17 22:37:26

Uh, well, that's a bit long for a headline.

Look, I take your point and I see that you're annoyed about the whole thing (rightly), but news outlets have a lot of limitations on what and how they report stuff, particularly relating to legal cases. You are on a hiding to nothing by demanding that it's reported in the way you want.

IronFists234 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:37:26


I don't know how I'd describe it to be honest. I mean they were together at the time of the murder but "broken up" doesn't really cut it either. They definitely should not be described as have being a couple or together (i.e. "His girlfriend") but all terms seem too insensitive as it would feel like any use of phrasing like "broken up" suggests he broke up with her, which really is further minimisation of her murder. So it is definitely hard to sum up. Hence the reason why just using Riva Steencamps name is so much more appropriate.

Also by any descriptors that suggest the end of a relationship minimising what happened to her, I mean if this was used in a paper, I know you only used 'dumped' to sum it up as clearly there isn't really a term to describe the situation!

Insertquirkyname Fri 24-Nov-17 22:39:06

Oh god, the professionally offended are out....

IronFists234 Fri 24-Nov-17 22:52:32

Thing is this isn't just an issue about Riva Steencamp and Pistorious.'It's all part of a wider issue where woman are referred to as "his <relationship>" rather than individual names. As a PP said, adjuncts to more famous men.

You're not unreasonable to be annoyed by it, it's disrespectful and diminishes her even after death.

UnderslungBowlingBall Fri 24-Nov-17 22:52:34

It's because it makes it more emotive. "X, who killed Y, has had sentence increased by Z" is impersonal, it's just one person who killed another which, while terrible, happens pretty much daily. "X has had sentence increased by Z for killing girlfriend Y" brings it home to you more effectively that X is a piece of shit, it takes a lot more to kill a lover than it does to kill any random you happen to cross paths with. Even though we know the case, the "girlfriend" still increases our emotional input to the story.

DiegoMadonna Fri 24-Nov-17 23:09:50

I don't get what you're complaining about. This is just basic English. If a headline reads "Man kills wife", it would imply that she was his wife at the time she was killed. She obviously wouldn't be his wife any more, since she'd be dead.

ReevaSteenkamp Fri 24-Nov-17 23:13:23

It's fair to say he's dumped now

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 24-Nov-17 23:14:44

Bit of a shit headline BUT I think every single time they report on his sentence they need the words his girlfriend in it.

She was his girlfriend and he is a domestic abuser.

IMO his crime needs to admit exactly what it was, domestic abuse

AlongStoryShort Fri 24-Nov-17 23:15:23

I'd just be happy to read that his sentence had been increased. When did this happen? I know he was convicted of murder with the belief that he intended to murder whoever was in the toilet but that he didn't realise it was her. I will never believe that. Never. He knew exactly who was in there in my opinion.

AprilShowers16 Fri 24-Nov-17 23:16:44

Newspapers write headlines specifically to catch people's interest. The fact that she was his girlfriend captures your attention (and as someone above said it's clear that she's not his girlfriend any more)

Seeingadistance Fri 24-Nov-17 23:16:51

If they use his name, they should use her name.

Reeva Steenkamp.

Pumperthepumper Fri 24-Nov-17 23:17:16

Male violence.

BatteredBreadedOrSouthernFried Fri 24-Nov-17 23:18:11

I agree. Every fucking time I Hear this being reported it says “for killing his girlfriend” sometimes they add on “Reeva Steenkamp” more often than not they don’t. She is just “his girlfriend” angry she has no identity other than who she was to the person that murdered her. Wrong wrong wrong.

“Reeva Steenkamp’s murderer had his sentence doubled today after a court of appeal ruling”

Women have names. Victims have identities.

AlongStoryShort Fri 24-Nov-17 23:22:03

Was his sentence doubled today? I'm delighted.

DiegoMadonna Fri 24-Nov-17 23:22:18

It's just a way of conveying more information (the fact that he killed his girlfriend rather than just a random woman).

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