Does Reuters Think ‘Vagina’ Is a Dirty Word?


And now for a bit of Friday afternoon weirdness before we sign off for the day…

Tyler Coates just brought a Reuters item to our attention which details an allegedly abusive exorcism.

Before the body of the story,
readers are cautioned: “Note: graphic language in 7th paragraph.”

Now, we counted to what sure seems like the seventh paragraph, and it looks like the explicit language might concern the word “vagina.”

What the fuck, right?

We’re not trying to make light of the subject matter — it’s a sad story about alleged sexual abuse that took place during exorcism. We’re just saying the warning is kind of strange.

Even if you were to say “maybe this is considered ‘graphic’ because it details what happens,” the advisement doesn’t make that much sense here or in the broader news world — it seems to take a lot more than the word ‘vagina’ or even describing awful acts done to a vagina to merit this kind of warning.

Googling around, it seems like these type of warnings are reserved for stuff that’s really graphic, such as executions or sex crimes testimony.

Contrast with the paragraph in question: “[The accused priest] told the woman to undress on about six occasions, touched and kissed her body, and put his finger in her vagina, court documents said.”

Also worth noting: when Reuters reported on vaginal implants earlier this month, it didn’t appear to give the same warning, nor did it give readers a heads up when it covered the controversial Virginia vaginal probe.