Posts Tagged ‘women in media’

The SMH is at it again.

This is what I’m getting at:SMH front page clip showing an article about eliminating bingo wings (for women) in the Life & Style sectionSMH front page clip showing an article about eliminating bingo wings (for women) in the Life & Style section

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Guardian headline: “Student becomes new police chief in Mexican town”

SMH headline: “Just 20, young mother becomes Mexican top cop”

The articles themselves are fairly comparable. The Guardian article leads with “She is a petite 20-year-old college student who paints her nails pink, has an infant son and believes in non-violence” – as if those are what matters to the appointment! It then mentions (in the third para) that she is a criminology student (ie something that suggests some relevant qualification), and the fifth para is this:

The town’s mayor, Jose Luis Guerrero, said she was the most qualified of a handful of applicants for a job, which in many parts of Mexico is considered tantamount to a death sentence.
[my emphasis]

I’m not terribly happy about the article’s treatment of this issue:

The appointment has upset some traditionalists – bloggers have asked if there are no men in the state of Chihuahua

I would have been happier had they made it clear that traditionalist clearly equals misogynist, since the suggestion seems to be that any man could do a better job than this specific woman. But look, I agree that appointing a 20 year old student (even if she is a criminology student) does raise some questions, and overall, the Guardian article appears to be a fairly objective treatment of the story.


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Actual headline in the SMH: “Security breached as former prostitute pilfers Einfeld police transcript”.

Actual story: a woman who “worked as a typist at APT Transcriptions, a company with lucrative contracts with the police and justice departments and the Independent Commission Against Corruption” found and accessed transcripts of police interviews which had been typed by the company before she was hired by them.

Actual relevance of the woman’s history as a sex worker: nil.

And I thought broadsheets didn’t go in for sensationalism? /sarcasm

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Which can be found in the article linked here: the Australian MSM is not afraid to call anti-abortion groups by that name.

However, one disappointing similarity: an article about belief in myths about emergency contraception is in the “Life & Style” section. At least it’s in “Wellbeing”, ie health, but then, the top few articles in that section at the moment (other than the EC one) are: diet, diet, winter illnesses spread by food workers, diet, diet, let’s blame women who drink alcohol, adult anorexia (primarily about women) … now tell me, at which gender is this section primarily aimed?

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TRIGGER WARNING: This story sickens me. But can we please have some perspective on who to blame?

I repeat a VERY STRONG TRIGGER WARNING if you’re clicking through. If you’re not, there’s a summary after the jump, and I repeat the TRIGGER WARNING.


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Shorter Peter Roebuck: Real MENZ don’t support their wimminz!!!! (with a side helping of the wimminz role is to support the MENZ).

Some tasters from the article: (more…)

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Take a look at this article. It’s about a privileged couple who wanted alternative access to their property. They were not permitted to build a private road, but the council told them that a public road would be permitted. So they asked for a public road – and agreed to pay for it – and the council agreed to build it.

I’m not going to comment on the law of all this, or whether I think it’s right or wrong that the road is being built, or anything like that.

No, what I’m interested in is the way the article is written, who appears to have been doing what, and who is noticing whom doing what.


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I saw the headline for this article, that headline being “Naomi Watts is world’s most profitable actress” and thought: “Hmmm. ‘Profitable’ is usually used to describe to a thing, an object, a commodity. Fuck.” Then I thought: “Please tell me that’s just the sub-editor, and that the article is actually about women AND men, because it’s bad enough treating people as commodities in the first place, but…”

And then I clicked through to the article and found that no, it’s just about how much money can be made through the commodification of women in films. Nothing about male actors.

The assumption I immediately made was that someone has clearly realised – even if subconsciously – that it would be demeaning to men to treat them in this way, as commodities.


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