Thursday, February 12, 2009

sexism amongst mammals

I, like many, have become completely enamored of the weepy tale of Sam, a female koala who was rescued in the Australian wildfires. If you haven't heard about it, she was found with scorched paws by a firefighter who offered her water--she apparently drank three bottles!--and has become something of a symbol of hope in the midst of all that tragedy through the photo (left) that quickly became famous. Sam is now in a rehab facility and...has a boyfriend, Bob, another injured koala at the wildlife shelter. The thing that's killin me? The headlines about it. Most of them today read: "SAM THE KOALA HEALING WELL THANKS TO BOYFRIEND BOB." That's all very sentimental and avuncular, and I know a nice new boyfriend can cure many ills, and granted they're saying "healing" not "rescued," but isn't Sam the koala healing well thanks to her own tenacity and willingness to approach the firefighter? I'm a big fan of anthropomorphization, but this stuck in my craw just a tiny a bit. Although really I don't care as long as we keep talking about/showing photos of heroic koala bears (the article is well worth reading too). Right is a photo of Sam and Bob at the shelter (notice his suave Fonzie move).

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