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Rolling Stone‘s Article On Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Makes It Clear Patriarchy Was At The Root Of His Problems

Rolling Stone Cover
In Defense Of Rolling Stone's Jahar Tsarnaev Cover Story
Should the Boston bombing suspect have been on the mag's cover? Read More »
Dzhokhar's Fan Club
Teenage girl fans say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "too pretty to be guilty." Read More »
Uncle Ruslan Memes
Alleged terrorists' stern Uncle Ruslan gets memed. Read More »
jahar tsarnaev patriarchy

It has been frustrating to watch people and businesses condemn Rolling Stone magazine — where, to be clear, I personally have no editorial affiliations — for putting the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, on the cover of the latest issue. Many are upset that Tsarnaev is on the cover at all, as well as with the “rock star”-style photo the magazine used. And some who have read the article by journalist Janet Reitman complain that the way Jahar is profiled makes him out to be a “victim.”

I support Rolling Stone putting Tsarnaev on the cover and thought Reitman’s article was extremely well-written and thought-provoking. I came away from reading it with a greater understanding of how a 19-year-old Cambridge kid became a “monster.” To me, the patriarchy was clearly a problem in this family. To be clear, patriarchy doesn’t just mean when men are in positions of authority over women; it means when men, or one man, are in positions of  authority over other men as well. It assumes that the people underneath that man will fall in line and not ask questions; it breeds a lack of agency and even, I would argue in Jahar’s case, weakness in a person. He was an immigrant from a maligned religion who slowly became radicalized by his severe older brother at the exact same time his troubled parents deserted him to move back to their homeland. I would not call him a “victim,” but I do believe it was a shitty, difficult situation for a teenager to handle, and those circumstances contributed to the vile crime he, allegedly, committed. Keep reading »

In Defense Of Rolling Stone‘s Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev Cover Story [UPDATED]

Manhunt In Boston
The entire city is on lockdown as police search for suspect. Read More »
Boston Marathon Bombing
Two explosions occurred near the finish line of the iconic race. Read More »
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What did she know? Read More »
Life Amidst Terrorism
Amelia on life in New York City after 9/11. Read More »
In Defense Of Rolling Stone's Jahar Tsarnaev Cover Story

UPDATE: Rolling Stone has released the full article online, which you can read here.

Just a few days ago, my mom mentioned to me that she thought it was odd that we hadn’t read much in the media lately about Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, the accused Boston Marathon bomber. I agreed and made a mental note to do a little internet digging for the latest information. But I didn’t have to. Yesterday, Rolling Stone revealed the cover for their upcoming issue, featuring the now infamous photo of Tsarnaev sitting against a wall, looking like your average college student, alongside the headline,  ”The Bomber: How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.” The cover image and the story itself immediately inspired “outrage” from three different camps: 1) Crazy Jahar fangirls who think Tsarnaev is cute and therefore innocent, and believe the mag has already presumed his guilt; 2) those who think profiling Tsarnaev at all, and investigating what led to his actions, somehow justifies them; and 3) those who believe the music magazine is glorifying a terrorist as they would a rock star like, say, Jim Morrison, by putting him on the cover. I happen to think they’re all wrong. Keep reading »

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