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Women analysts and experts *referendum warning*

(45 Posts)
OlennasWimple Sun 26-Jun-16 16:30:01

Apart from a couple of female MPs, the BBC's coverage of the referendum was depressingly stuffed with older, white, middle class men. And in the days since, I've seen a couple of articles mostly lacking in real analysis and discussion by female journalists, but most of the real dissection has been by men. Why? Surely there are some female constitutional experts out there? Or does having ovaries render one unable to analyze ground-breaking political events?

Heratnumber7 Sun 26-Jun-16 16:32:30

There were several women on the show on the night. YABU.

YourPerception Sun 26-Jun-16 16:35:57

If we get Teresa May and Lisa Nandy as leaders things should change.

darceybussell Sun 26-Jun-16 16:38:35

I don't agree with her politics, but I think the only real leader at the moment is Sturgeon. Shes the only one vaguely in control while the Westminster politicians are all hiding. She's impressive regardless of whether you agree with her. I'm a bit disappointed that she is a Scottish nationalist! Can't she be in charge!

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Sun 26-Jun-16 16:39:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Sun 26-Jun-16 16:39:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OlennasWimple Sun 26-Jun-16 16:46:38

Apart from this not being in AIBU...

I'd be delighted to learn I am wrong! I found the coverage anchored by men on all the main networks, supported by people like Jeremy Vine with his whizzy charts and Prof Vernon Bogdanor's constitutional expertise, overshadowed the occasional interview with Angela Eagle and a few other women.

And reams and reams of newspaper columns have been devoted to this issue, but the majority are by men

howtorebuild Sun 26-Jun-16 16:50:55

And a female mp sticking up for Corbyn.

Emily Thornberry

SueTrinder Sun 26-Jun-16 21:39:52

What are you watching? Laura Kuenssberg is the BBC's political editor and is as prominent as you'd expect. And Sarah Smith (daughter of the great and sadly missed John) is the Scotland Editor. And that's not including Kirsty Wark. Begining to wonder if the BBC only employ Scottish women to be political reporters... not that I'm complaining grin.

erinaceus Sun 26-Jun-16 22:27:20

Does having ovaries render one unable to analyze ground-breaking political events?

I remember this on BBC breakfast a month ago. My husband and I were shock. I am not sure that this is answers your questions but I think it speaks to your point.

DetestableHerytike Sun 26-Jun-16 22:30:22

Laura Kusenberg and Emily Maitland have both been prominent on bbc.

It's true that the extended politics programmes on Sunday (Andrew Neil, Robert Peston, Andrew marr, plus question time with dimbleby, of course, are male dominated)

DetestableHerytike Sun 26-Jun-16 22:34:31

Sian Lloyd just now in the Welsh Valleys

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 26-Jun-16 22:36:39

Well apart from the fact you are wrong for all the reasons set out above plus references to Theresa May being a leadership contender, as this is the greatest political disaster of my lifetime I'm finding the fact the talking head quota isn't spot on 50/50 of no concern whatsoever.

thatstoast Sun 26-Jun-16 22:37:04

I love Jo Coburn on the Daily Politics.

OlennasWimple Sun 26-Jun-16 23:10:48

Maybe I'm wrong Lass (I've already said I would be happy to be wrong!), but maybe you missed that this is in Feminism Chat because actually, yeah, I do think gross under-representation of women during "the greatest political disaster of my lifetime" is indeed a concern.

And no, Theresa May possibly being a leadership contender doesn't help - my concern is about the voices we are hearing at the moment, trying to help us all make sense of what is going on. And they seem - to me - to be predominantly (white, older, middle class) male voices. As usual

thatstoast Sun 26-Jun-16 23:25:15

Maybe you missed that this is in Feminism Chat

grin yes, maybe!

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 26-Jun-16 23:27:50

No I didn't miss it was in FWR but it seems pretty irrelevant given the debacle , as well as not being a particularly valid point.

OlennasWimple Sun 26-Jun-16 23:30:06

I've just done a bit of quick research. Looking at the Telegraph home page right now, the following have Brexit related news articles featured:

- Laura Hughes, Barney Henderson & Rob Crilly (doing the live update coverage)
- Boris Johnson
- Gordon Rayner
- Rosa Prince
- Ben Riley-Smith x2
- Peter Dominiczak
-Camilla Turner x2
- Christopher Hope
- Ashley Armstrong, Peter Dominiczak & James Titcomb
- Simon Johnson & Auslan Cramb

Plus opinion / analysis / comment pieces by:

- Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
- Matthew Holehouse
- Simon Heffer
- Roger Bootle
- Andy Coulson
- Ben Marlow

I make that 18 men and three women (I haven't compared column inches - this is quick and dirty to see whether I am being completely ridiculous.)

Plus of the 24 published Brexit related letters, only one was written by a woman.

Am I the only one who finds this potentially problematic? confused

phoolani Sun 26-Jun-16 23:36:53

Women are as underrepresented as they are in anything important but on a brighter note, the women involved are impressing me more than ever, from Nicola sturgeon emerging as a true stateswoman, to merkel being the only major European figure not throwing her toys out of the pram, to Theresa May maintaining a dignified silence so far, they are truly impressing me.

OlennasWimple Sun 26-Jun-16 23:47:47

I agree with that, phoolani

In the interests of balance, I've also looked at the Guardian website, which is a bit trickier to navigate:

- six male journos with Brexit news articles attributed to them, but eight female
- but seven male journos with comment / analysis / opinion pieces, and only three female journos

And the imbalance of letter writers persists with 15 from male authors against three female.

To be clear, I'm not saying that there needs to be an exact 50:50 balance, but this is a definite imbalance that I think is even more important to note at times of real importance

phoolani Sun 26-Jun-16 23:54:38

It is important to note, if only because there will always be people who will tell you that it's not important. Y'know, because there are more important things to worry about.

erinaceus Mon 27-Jun-16 05:45:04

I'm finding the fact the talking head quota isn't spot on 50/50 of no concern whatsoever.

Is there a quota for talking heads?

not being a particularly valid point.

What point is not particularly valid?

scallopsrgreat Mon 27-Jun-16 12:17:39

So people are happy that it may be a 70:30 or 60:40 ratio to men (because whichever way you slice it there are far more men offering political analysis than women). I wonder if someone started a thread to suggest that political analysts should be a 60:40 split to women (or even 50/50) whether that would be of "no concern whatsoever". Based on previous threads suggesting that there should be an evening up of ratios of representation of men/women in whatever section of society was being discussed, I'm suspecting not.

I'm not sure people know what equality looks like. Aand no I'm not talking about having a 50/50 split of everything, I'm talking about how people view the status quo and women asking for more than what we have.

Felascloak Mon 27-Jun-16 12:57:57

I agree olenna. Happy to see Laura Kuennsberg reporting last night though. Nicola Sturgeon is awesome. I want her for PM grin
I often think that if Andrew Marr/Nick Robinson were female there is no way they'd have kept their jobs with the health problems they've had.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 27-Jun-16 13:57:23

Am I the only one who finds this potentially problematic?

I can't speak for others but is this really the most pressing issue since Thursday?

It strikes me as the equivalent of caring how many feminist angels can dance on a pin head; or counting to check if half of Corbyn's third cabinet are female.

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