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Gutted about Rebekah Brooks

(97 Posts)
BornSicky Tue 05-Jul-11 23:53:24

Fully aware that this is probably the last consideration on most people's minds fiven the gravity of the growing offences NI, NOTW and its staff are involved in, but wanted to voice this.

Journalism, especially tabloid journalism is such a male and historically misogynistic area, that to see a woman at the top of such a large organisation is rare and some might say a big achievement. Rebekah Brooks must have clawed her way up there and dealt with some pretty nasty crappy to get there, so why, oh why is she embroiled in, if not responsible for this disgusting series of events which may yet prove to be criminal?

I know that many women don't want to be seen as a standard bearer for their gender, but it is miserable (for me), to see such a senior and well known business woman that has such poor ethics.

I sometimes wonder if at that kind of business level women adopt more masculine associated traits (machismo), a la Thatcher, to keep in their field to the detriment of their character and identity.

Brooks wrote in her staff letter about doing positive things for high profile cases involving the abuse/murder of women and girls. Awful to now see that she is potentially guilty of harming most the people she claimed to care for most...

Dorje Wed 06-Jul-11 00:03:26

Looks like she broke the law. Sorry that you seem so upset about it. In my experience everyone has feet of clay. Power corrupts.

Perhaps it's time that you resign yourself to the fact that hero/ines don't exist?

TheSecondComing Wed 06-Jul-11 00:06:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

forkful Wed 06-Jul-11 00:10:44

A lot of successful women are "succeeding in a man's world".

We need more women on boards and in politics. Studies have shown that companies with more women in positions of power are more profitable and exhibit better corporate governance. ( google Lord Davies report into Women on Boards).

Mumsnet, a company run by women have swiftly responded to this situation and removed ads from Sky!

Rather than celebrate individual women help campaign to get a critical mass to where it counts.

forkful Wed 06-Jul-11 00:13:17

Btw she barely scratched the surface wrt to women's rights/ campaigns! Imagine if the feMNist collective were in editing all our newspapers. They would be very different. grin

gallicgirl Wed 06-Jul-11 00:14:10

I have a friend who is one of the few females in a male-dominated sports sales environment.

She really feels that she has to behave as aggressively as the men, if not more so in order to prove she's up to the job. Luckily she is still a wonderful person and struggles with her role in the work place.

Not sure where I'm going with this or how to explain adequately but it seems in some workplaces, the only way women can be successful is to behave ruthlessly.

falasportugues Wed 06-Jul-11 00:14:28

"I sometimes wonder if at that kind of business level women adopt more masculine associated traits (machismo), a la Thatcher, to keep in their field to the detriment of their character and identity."

perhaps she had to be like this to claw herself to the top... cause or effect?

SybilBeddows Wed 06-Jul-11 09:05:09

I think things would be very different if there were a LOT of women at the top; I read somewhere that in political parties etc it takes about a third before they feel confident to change things. You can't really expect much from someone who is the ONLY woman in her field; firstly her position won't be secure enough even if she does want to change things, and secondly there is a good chance she has been appointed for being more "masculine" (disclaimer: I don't think there is inherent male and female behaviour, just that certain qualities are more associated with men) than the men around her.

SybilBeddows Wed 06-Jul-11 09:08:15

BornSicky - 'Rebekah Brooks must have clawed her way up there and dealt with some pretty nasty crappy to get there, so why, oh why is she embroiled in, if not responsible for this disgusting series of events which may yet prove to be criminal?'

one might also say she could have clawed her way up and DONE some pretty nasty crap to get there, don't you think?

Ooopsadaisy Wed 06-Jul-11 09:17:14

I think she probably embodies the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" policy.

Asparaguses Wed 06-Jul-11 09:17:27

I think one of the reasons Rebekah Brooks has been so successful at News International is that she has been ultra loyal to Murdoch and has never challenged his views. Other (male) Sun Editors were disposed of when their views clashed with Rupert's. Rebekah is known to have objected to page 3 but never to have challenged Murdoch on it because he remains a fan. Its a shame that her success is partly attributed to her willingness to unquestionnably follow the directions of a man.

One her first day as Editor of the NOTW she was asked how she felt and is quoted as replying "like the little boy who got everything he ever wanted".

BornSicky Wed 06-Jul-11 09:51:11

I agree with the posters talking about her clawing her way up and the "can't beat 'em, join 'em" ideas. I'm sure she will have stepped on men and women to get to where she is now, given the industry.

I don't subscribe to her politics and I also think she demonstrates no feminist approaches to her work or identity, as ably proven by that quote above and the continued support of Page 3. However, I am still pondering the points that gallicgirl makes about over-aggressiveness and mimicking/adopting stereotypically male behaviours.

I find sybilbeddows post interesting about being the sole woman in a male dominated environment and how it is more difficult to push through any attitudes that could be construed as "feminine", or supportive of feminist ideology.

It still sticks in my craw that to some she was a role model or someone to aspire to.

When I was a kid, I looked up to people like Kate Adie. Her work made me want to be a journalist. I do think there's a place for role models and I also think it's good to have them.

Is it possible that as a woman in a senior position in male dominated industries/sectors, you should also be aware that you are setting an example for other women who aspire to be in your position, or that by virtue of the fact that you've done it, you prove that others can to?

In this final respect, I believe that Rebekah Brooks has let women down too. Perhaps I give her status too much credit, but I do feel strongly that she has abused her position on many levels, not least that she had a real opportunity to represent women in tabloid journalism; an area that is desperate for a woman's perspective to take it away from the tits and gossip.

Malcontentinthemiddle Wed 06-Jul-11 09:54:04

She had plenty of time to do that, I'm not sure she was interested to be honest.
She's just as vile as everyone else involved in tabloid journalism - I think to be all 'more in sorrow than in anger' about the despicable story here is to apply a bit of a patronizing view of women.

SybilBeddows Wed 06-Jul-11 09:59:43

men trying to achieve don't get the extra burden of having to be role models (unless they're from a minority in which case the issues are very similar). I think it makes it even harder for women to achieve if we're holding them to some extra special high standards because they're a role model.

of course what they do will have an impact, and it would be nice if Rebekah Wade had been all ethical and stuff, but in the end I think there is a value to having women in these positions no matter how awful they are.

BornSicky Wed 06-Jul-11 10:01:32

don't get me wrong malcontent, I'm angry too, extremely.

To me, this discussion is a sidebar to the rest of it, hence my OP. But, I still think it's important, especially as Brooks was quoting her "good" work for women, families and children in her letter to staff, here:

"I am proud of the many successful newspaper campaigns at the Sun and the News of the World under my editorship.

In particular, the 10-year fight for Sarah's Law is especially personal to me.

The battle for better protection of children from paedophiles and better rights for the families and the victims of these crimes defined my editorships."

FFS the NOTW 'peedafil-hunting' was disastrous. It was stupid, wrong and run against all the advice of people who actually knew something about crime prevention and child protection, and the consequences (people being attacked who had the same surname or looked a bit like one of the portrayed offenders, rioting) were exactly what the experts had warned they would be.
Just having a womb and ovaries is no guarantee that you won't be a smug ignorant self-righteously aggressive fuckwit.

handsomeharry Wed 06-Jul-11 10:58:16

SGB -exactly!

BornSicky Wed 06-Jul-11 11:43:21

yes, the campaign was ridiculous and dangerous. I remember a Pediatrician's clinic being attacked, because people read it as Paedophile... hmm [anger]

and no, being female doesn't preclude you from being a twat, and a malicious one, as is the case with Brooks, but it's that she's trying to brag about this as a success, when she did little for women, least of all now.

floyjoy Wed 06-Jul-11 12:17:25

Brooks chose to be editor of The Sun, the most misogynistic, racist and homophobic newspaper in Britain, specialising in sex scandals and sensationalist reporting about violent (often) sexual crimes. She wanted that job. Working for Murdoch, she draw her (large) salary from a very powerful right-wing organisation that impacts government policies in Britain and beyond. She nailed her colours to the mast politically. She was never a good role model. She represents much of what feminism is fighting. Being a woman doesn't mean that she is someone who should be admired or that we should expect her to be 'different' from men. Her gender isn't relevant here. Brooks, Coulson, Mohan and the rest are, for want of a better word, 'scum'. No story about what they instructed staff to do or what they knew about their staff were doing should surprise anyone. They have their career paths planned out. She'll maybe turn up as a Tory advisor in the future as these people can always come back it seems.

OhBuggerandArse Wed 06-Jul-11 12:24:40

She was pretty aggressive in her personal life, too - remember the DV stuff when she used to hit Grant Mitchell (what's his real name?) when she was married to him?

MollysChamber Wed 06-Jul-11 12:27:56

TBH anyone that chooses to work for Murdoch loses a bit of respect in my eyes.

Yes she did exceedingly well in a male dominated business but, clearly, that alone does not make her a person to be admired.

PeopleCallMeTricky Wed 06-Jul-11 12:30:25

She's obviously not a nice person, or she wouldn't have wanted the job, or been able to bring herself to do it.

BelleDameSansMerci Wed 06-Jul-11 12:37:53

As a slight aside, I'm sure you're probably aware of the 30% Club? I'm not entirely sure what I think about it as haven't seriously looked into it.

To return to the matter in hand, the whole thing stinks but the fact that a woman was editor at the time doesn't really make any difference in my opinion. There's no reason to suppose her ethics would be any different from the men she worked for/with given her level of success.

I do think it's disappointing that it was a woman as, however unfair, my expectations of women are generally higher. Still Mrs Thatcher blew that one out of the water when I was still a teenager. <sighs>

NormanTebbit Wed 06-Jul-11 12:47:09

That paedo campaign was absolutely shambolic. I covered a story in where a man with three children had to have cops guarding his front door because he happened to have the same name and live in the same area as someone on Rebekah's list. Some nutjob leafleted the entire estate claiming this innocent guy was a paedophile.

The campaign was ill thought out. It was ridiculous. And frankly rather stomach churning next to the soft porn on the advice page and the frequent dps on spurious sex research.

My feeling is you live by the sword, you die by the sword. It's a tough industry, and she is one of the toughest. I wouldn't waste time crying into your soup for her.

I think the clear advice from the 30 % club is; 'don't have children,' isn't it?

Omigawd Wed 06-Jul-11 20:39:34

Tabloids are a rough game, she played by their rules so has to take the consequences. But I do think with some regret it was an opportunity missed - big cocks on Page 3, make all the men insecure for once grin

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