Sexism can be hard to point out when it’s so engrained in our everyday lives. Clementine Ford, however, found an awesome way to highlight casual sexism with a simple hashtag. Alanna Vagianos – Huffington Post USA
The main reason I started this blog was to document, and by doing so hopefully in some small way draw attention to, a very peculiar paradox that I describe as the The Glass Blind Spot . Essentially this a metaphor to describe someone who consciously or unconsciously ignores information relevant to a discussion about gender equality because it would undermine or distract their preferred narrative.
It is behaviour that ultimately undermines a protagonists pretence to present a narrative aligned solely with the intention to champion equality and fairness for all. Anyone and everyone is capable of such selfish behaviour but, in my humble subjective opinion, the most jaw droppingly audacious and obvious examples of this phenomenon can be currently seen in mainstream media reporting of gender equality issues.
In today’s western society men in public life are likely to be very quickly called out on sexist double standards and will often be pursued by the mainstream media until they make grovelling apologies for any offence caused by acts or statements perceived by someone important to be ignorant or blatantly sexist.
Fair enough when it’s fair enough but such standards stand in stark contrast to the sometimes remarkably ignorant, one sided or simply sexist statements and perspectives that slip out of mainstream media stories about ‘gender equality.’
This blatant double standard is regularly pointed out in the relevant comments sections but such contributions are generally dismissed as ‘trolling,’ ‘mansplaining’ or more often than not, simply ignored.
The recent coverage of the #QuestionsForMen twitter hashtag is a good example of this very western phenomenon.
Such behaviour is not unique to female journalists speaking to predominately female readers in the self identifying ‘women’s sections’ of our media but this is the main population I am attempting to speak to via this post.
My observation is that while a ‘story’ about women finding an outlet to express their thoughts about everydaysexisim may play particularly well with their target audience, this narrow perspective is not necessarily a fair reflection of the ‘stories’ flowing out of this hashtag, nor (in my humble subjective opinion) is it the most interesting one.
After trawling down the thread I managed to spot four different elements to the ‘story’ that were noticeably absent in mainstream media coverage. I’ll begin with the obvious one and end with arguably the most important one of all.