Today editor Ceri Thomas responds to accusations of cultural femicide(9 Posts)
Here it is. And it's not good. I have added his statement to the bottom of my original feature, alongside fresh research based on the last 9 shows, in which women are only 19% of all speakers, and massively over-represented as victims.
Ho ho ho. Grr. This is not what I want to be doing at Christmas.
What Ceri Thomas' response basically says is: You are only interested in this issue because of the Guardian article. And anyway there aren't enough women in prominent roles, so it's your problem.
Well, I am interested, Guardian article or no. And I intend to let them know regularly. Is one email a month too many? (And another one from my mum and my sister, who I will get to write in as well)
The stuff about women in prominent roles is just there to confuse the issue. Firstly, you could always try inviting the women that are there in prominent roles instead of more or less ignoring them, and secondly, as Bidisha points out on her blog, the guests are frequently not in those roles in any case. I am just as capable of analysing the economy/ literature/ various random topics as all those random men!
Great to see the highlighting of the fact that it isn't just reflecting who is high up as that isn't who the guests are.
A specific example, the other day they had men talking about town planning reforms. Now this is indeed male dominated profession. However the head of the professional body, the RTPI, is a woman. So if it's that they need the 'heads' then it would have been a woman. But of course they didn't, they had people much lower down the 'food chain'. Who could have been women or men. They were talking about basic general interest stuff so they had many many people to pick from. And so the cycle continues with the profession being represented as male.
Bidisha did you see my spot that they had someone from Seoul women's university the other day and it was a man?
Just read this, shared it on Facebook, sent it to my friends and subscribed to your blog. I share your anger!
OH MY GOD WHAT A DICK HEAD!
Is he really, genuinely saying that as 75% of MPs are men, women don't need to be represented? Women don't mind hearing mostly from the men who dominate business? MPs are there to represent everyone including women!! Oh my god I hate getting this angry. Bullshit bullshit bullshit. He's making excuses and expecting us to buy it.
I actually can't write anything articulate or thoughtful here because the noise in my mind is just "RAGE RAGE RAGE RAGE!"
ugh. UGH. RAGE!
That is a brilliant and hugely well researched article Bidisha. Annoyingly, just before Xmas, it has made me very, very angry.
Thank you Bidisha. I am a regular listener to the Today programme (and a relatively recent "convert" to feminism in a conscious sense) and I think a nerve has been hit. Ceri Thomas's reply suggests that the Today programme are trying really hard to balance things more. I'd like to know how they are trying to do this. I suggest one method would be retiral of the adverserial John Humphries. I find his attempts to turn any interview into a battle tiresome and inappropriate.
I almost wonder if the calibre of men on the show (presumably educated, intelligent and ostensibly egalitarian) belies the continued sexism. No-one there would probably either see themselves as sexist nor consciously wish to push women out of the programme. (I am making assumptions here). I'd be surprised if the representation of the genders isn't more balanced further down the chain (i.e. researchers) and so would guess that this is problem (like many) requires a mindquake. I know that until I'd read Mary Daly (Gyn/Ecology - my first foray into feminist literature) I hadn't considered sexism and the importance of feminism to a great extent. If it took an educated woman like me until I was 25 to really get it, how can we expect the men of our society to even attempt to understand when they are the group benefiting from the inherent inequality.
Gah. Merry Christmas everyone
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