Following on from my earlier post on interviews in the workplace, I move on to the wider issue of interviews in the media and look at certain appalling sexist journalistic practices that drive me insane.
This frustrates me more than most of the cultural barriers in this whole gender equality debate as there are certain things that are actually quite easy to change, should people want to change.
I think it’s simple – journalists, interviewers, broadcasters, whoever should not be able to ask a question of a woman that wouldn’t be asked of a man. Exactly the same rules that govern recruitment in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010.
Why is it acceptable? Why doesn’t the Equality Act apply to the media? CHANGE THE LAW!
I am already explaining to F that when she is a global sporting or acting superstar (let’s be honest, genetically, it is much more likely that she is going to be an accountant but let’s put reality on hold for the moment) and a journalist asks her how she has managed to reach the top and raise a family at the same time, she simply says – “I don’t answer questions that wouldn’t be asked of a man” and then punches him in the face.
(To be fair she usually responds to these important life lessons by just stuffing my iPhone in her mouth, but I’m sure she is picking up all this good stuff.)
If everyone today responded in the manner that F will respond in the 2035 Wimbledon final (as long as Serena has retired by then), the media would pretty soon stop asking these ridiculous questions and some of these cultural barriers to equality would fall away over time.
The video below is from Covertheathlete.com and dubs actual questions that have been asked of various sportswomen on to interviews with male sport stars – which makes the point reasonably well.
Although we can’t change history, in my fun parallel universe, when Eugenie Bouchard was asked by the on-court presenter during the Australian Open whether “she would give a twirl” I wish she had simply replied:
“Sure and shall I flash my tits at the same time?”