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Shocking, stunning, horrifying, unmissable. Guardian report on female invisibility.
282

Bidisha · 05/12/2011 00:00

The Guardian's Kira Cochrane has produced an exhaustive, serious and very informative, though devastating, study about the representation of women in all walks of life, from politics and the media to comedy. Full disclosure: I am quoted in it briefly. The article is the result of several months' study by a diverse group of researchers and gives a complete picture of just how strongly women are pushed out of the public frame - and how this impacts on girls and young women's sense of their own voices and possibilities.

I would urge anyone who cares about this to get onto the Guardian comment thread and talk, give your own experiences, encourage other women, participate positively and in solidarity. This is a hugely important article and it's all about us and our place and space. Don't let the derailers and trolls dominate!

Here's the article: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/dec/04/why-british-public-life-dominated-men

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Xenia · 13/12/2011 21:01

I have often done things here. All the recordings I make whichi s something else I do I only agreed to do if they send someone here to do the filming. I think it depends on the thing as to whether it's reasonable for me to insist or not. I think I spend my life minimising wasted time actually. In fact one thing which concentrates people's mind on making you travel is if you charge full rates for travel as I do if it's work stuff and then surprise suprise suddenly they realise a telephone will do or they come to me.

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Hardgoing · 14/12/2011 12:45

Did anyone see last night's Newsnight? Massive female visibility, not sure if it was deliberate (perhaps all those emails are having an effect at the Beeb). Emily Maitles was the presenter and in each segment, on the EU 'non' by Cameron, on the CERN collider and on the graphs of the economic mess, every guest was female (e.g. the Science Correspondent, the three economists). And the content, particularly by the economists was excellent, proving that once some of these incredibly knowledgable women do get visibility, they do very well.

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KCOZ · 18/12/2011 21:33

I generally don't post, but I feel compelled to say that this is one of the most inspiring threads I have read on Mumsnet. Thank you to Xenia et al. Reading this over the last week or two has made me realise that it is all well and good to sit and moan about the shortage of visible women but unless we are prepared to push ourselves forward, we don't really have the right to moan. I am in a position where I have recently returned to work in a very full on city job but 4 days a week. There are a lot of younger women in my team who I know are watching very closely to see how things work out for me as there are very few other women in senior roles at my work. The responsibility weighs heavily on me to show that it can be done. There are times (either when I am stressing about making it home in time to relieve my nanny bc DH can't get out of the office, or when I get home at 3am, knowing that DD will wake me up again at 6) when I think, well why should I be the one who has to be the groundbreaker ? But reading this has helped my resolve. After all, I can't complain about having no role models myself, if I can't then come through with the goods myself.

So to Xenia and others, thank you.

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AitchTwoOHoHoHo · 18/12/2011 21:40

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Pantofino · 18/12/2011 22:09

KCOZ - but that routine sounds inhumane! I want to applaud your effort to be a good role model - but surely the successful model just shouldn't look like that!

Why are YOU stressing about getting out of the office, why are YOU getting up with DD at 6. Why do you need to be out til 3am? Why does the modern workplace look like this?

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KCOZ · 18/12/2011 22:20

Panto - all valid points but equally, I chose my career, I knew what it was going to be like at times (it's not always that bad) and I do love what I do. So what's the answer ? I don't know. All I do known is that if I quit for something easier I will feel like I have given up. And in my DH's defence, he is very good at sharing the load, it's just that there are some nights where we both struggle to get out of the office. Anyway, time for an early night - another big week ahead. Bring on the Christmas break !

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verysmellyeli · 18/12/2011 22:36

KCOZ - I know what you mean about responsibility - I have a lot of female junior doctors who haven't seen many female consultants and I know they are watching me to see if it can be done! Many women opt out of hospital medicine after their initial training in the belief that it is not a family-friendly choice..... Which it hasn't been in the past

But I think that it is almost as important that they see that I am happy, not just successful. I have to admit that I have toned down my 'role-model' expectations of myself since having a third child - wrongly or rightly - as I feel that a lot of the 'unpaid extras' I was doing, although they enhanced my professional standing, were at the expense of family time. There are only so many days in a row that I want to miss bedtime for a committee meeting/London train/teaching session. We need to have the confidence to be flexible on a day to day basis but also over the course of our careers as a whole and make changes when we feel that the pendulum has swung too far one way or the other.

Panto is right - we should be able to be successful and visible and still be able to see our children occasionally! The problem is with the way that things are set up in many professions, and the traditional way of working - which has been devised and perpetuated by men - is not necessarily the best or only way.

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