Outside of highlighting the inherent double standard or obvious flaw in the articles that I write about, the main purpose of examining them under the Glass Eye is in the hope that some of the less convincing champions of equality might occasionally reflect on whether or not their approach is really helping to promote equality for anyone in the long run.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or as the Rt Hon Lord Justice Brian Henry Leveson QC, chairman of the Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press put it: Who guards the guardians?
I’m attempting to make my small contribution by holding a mirror up to some of more obvious double standards in gender journalism. My intention is to encourage discussion about an easily dismissed but increasingly important part of the equality puzzle.
Naturally I encourage right of reply to the author of each article I blog about. To date, apart from one retort (advising me that reading my critique might risk death by boredom) responses have been consistently non- existent.
Obviously it’s fair that busy professional opinion setters won’t have time to respond to the critical observations of each and every humble part-time blogger who takes an interest in their work. Nevertheless I remain cheerfully optimistic that I might eventually hit on a point that, even for a moment, gets someone to stop and think about exactly what it is they are actually saying and wether or not it really makes sense.
Despite her recent choice of theme for International Women’s Day, in moments of heightened delusion I like to think that one day I might even make I-100’s prolific Dina Rickman pause for thought. This may seem unlikely but then again, it seems so unlikely that a self proclaimed champion of equality would regularly write about any other group protected by equality legislation in quite such dismissive and derogatory tones, so you never know…
If you missed my previous review, Dina is the Deputy Editor of the I-100 and believes that the world she lives in is designed so that men go out to work and women stay at home. Despite being part of a generation of women who earn more than her male peers, she also believes that the most obvious example of state sponsored sexism is the equal pay gap.
She spends a large proportion of her paid working week riffing around the general theme of gender equality and at times appears to be on a one woman crusade to promote the phenomenon of glass-spotisim by throwing out articles such as the recent one on the theme of glass ceilings…
Middle-aged white male politician complains of reverse glass ceiling (shocker)
So in this article Dina takes a pop at retiring Member of Parliament Ian Swales for saying:
I always say no, I don’t have a future here. I’m the wrong gender, the wrong sexuality, the wrong colour, the wrong age. That’s a joke. It’s just a comment about the political correctness really. You can see by some of these Cabinet appointments. Women still talk about glass ceilings – it’s clearly the opposite.
I contributed some observations on this article in the comments section but strangely they never made it past moderation. I’m not sure if it’s something I said or if it’s just cause EYE is bloke, you decide….
Except of course (for context) he didn’t actually say there was a ‘reverse glass ceiling’.
So… retiring liberal MP (with largest swing since World War Two) expresses an opinion, during a lengthy interview, about the impact of political correctness and career politicians on democracy. This includes apparently shocking ‘observation that in the context of considering glass ceilings for women, quota culture flowing from women only short-lists ‘clearly’ constitute discrimination against men.
Gloria de Piero, shadow minister for women and equality immediately seizes on his comment for political gain. That’s former glamour model and Melinda Messenger stand in Gloria de Piero, who the last time she checked her blackberry was ‘against page 3 but for Sun readers’. and was selected to a safe Labour seat on an all women shortlist.
Huffington Post spin story into ‘glass ceiling for men’ nonsense, when there is nothing ‘glass’ about exceptions to the sex discrimination act (unless you’re Harriet Harman’s husband obviously). Gender biased I-100 hack regurgitates for picture book, acknowledging Swales’s point that his comments had ‘context’ before duly ignoring said context and instead observing that a study conducted by the ‘Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media’ (California Office) essentially proves that the poor man has some sort of sensory perception issue.
Brothers and sisters welcome to 2015!