Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hillary, Boris and Media Sexism

This Alternet article is really worth a read. Making the point that sexism is so comfortably tolerated in the media these days. I noticed that last week when Silvio Berlusconi suggested there were too many women in the Spanish parliament the reaction even in supposedly left-wing media was to do articles asking "Who's winning the battle for women in politics?" posting a few interviews with female politicians against a series of misogynist quotes from Berlusconi and others. Surely the question that should have been asked is "What is this prejudiced idiot doing in power?".

This suitably ridiculous piece from the Independent stands as a case in point. On the pretext of imagining what would happen if women ruled the world they allow misogynists like Terence Blacker to call women dull and humourless. And Dan Snow is given the opportunity to suggest that women left in charge in the past have some sort of bad track record (using such scientific methods as claiming Louis XV was "egged on by his mistress") and of course they trot out Adrian Hamilton to tell us women already are in charge. And if that's true it's rather benevolent of us to be in charge but insist on taking 17% less pay than our male minions. Although one positive take-out from the article is that Janet Street Porter should probably be prime minister the next time we get the chance to install one.

I would make the comparative point that a politician who was openly racist wouldn't get many votes. But then I would have been forgetting about Boris Johnson. And for good measure he's misogynist and homophobic too. Oh and an idiot.

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