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October 11, 2008

Talks to free Ukrainian arms ship collapse: pirate spokesman

So reads the headline of an AFP article. Flea-readers will be as shocked as I am too see their insensitivity repeated in the lede.

Talks aimed at freeing a Ukrainian arms ship being held by Somali pirates collapsed on Friday, a spokesman for the pirates told AFP, deepening the two-week stand-off.

I see, so pirates have "spokesmen" now do they?

Note to AFP: This is 2008. Your pirate "spokesman" is more properly referred to as a "spokesperson" or simply "spoke"; an editorial change is in order. Your adoption of gender neutral/gender fair language could avoid perpetuating stereotypes of pirates as men engaged in hijacking, kidnapping, murder and rapine. A gender neutral diction would more properly reflect the possibility of female pirates engaged in hijacking, kidnapping, murder or rapine or, indeed, transgendered pirates. This discursive shift would open doors/portholes/hatchways for young people of any gender or of indefinite gender orientation previously discouraged from a career in pirate representation by the patriarchal language of domination sadly characteristic of French press reportage.

Shame on you, AFP.

Related: The IMB live piracy map for 2008. If only we could use this map to infer a shared culture or worldview serving to justify acts of piracy to the men who engage in them; some motivating ideology which leads the pirates to believe their victims are less than human and deserving of their fate. Oh well, some things will probably always be a mystery.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 11, 2008 09:23 AM


Transgendered pirates? That got my attention - I went to the pirate name generator and typed in "Jill Jack" and the name came back: Fruity Ozzy Smythe

ARRRRR!!! Only 3 more galleons an' me operation's finished!!!

Posted by: urthshu [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2008 10:17 AM

Another badthink website that will go down the memory hole after the passing of the Fairness Act of January 2009. And yours too, of course, NP.

Posted by: Clayton Barnett [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2008 01:35 PM

I wonder if the pirates have a warroom and Blackberries.

In the old days the deal was the guys with the big warships sank the pirates and hung the survivors.


Posted by: Jay Currie [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2008 11:44 PM

I have been laughing about those last three galleons for about 24 hours now...

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2008 09:10 AM