So, for example, over the last five years we have seen a media obsession with sex objects in turmoil, a group that includes Hilton, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, Amy Winehouse, Kerry Katona, Lindsay Lohan and Katie Price. Then there is the obsession with women as wives and girlfriends. Earlier this year, the news pages were filled with stories about footballers’ wives, a media obsession ever since the 2006 World Cup. This focus on women as appendages to powerful men infected the general election campaign, too. While female MPs were almost invisible, the demeanour and appearance of Sarah Brown and Samantha Cameron was reported in ever more exacting detail.
(taken from Role models: someone to look up to)
This is still an itch for me.
One of my work related questions is "Why are there so few females doing dev, attending tech conferences etc?" This article makes me wonder if the media made us focus on females in a wives and girlfriends way - as appendages. What are the column inches dedicated to Zoe Gillings, Lesley McKenna, Rebecca Adlington as opposed to Coleen Rooney?
Not quite the same measure, but a google search returns the following results for these ladies, and a few others:
- Zoe Gillings - 12,900 results
- Deborah Meaden - 32,300 results
- Rebecca Adlington - 96,300 results
- Martha Lane Fox - 439,000 results
- Karen Brady - 723,000 results
- Coleen Rooney - 847,000 results
- Lesley McKenna - 883,000 results
- Samantha Cameron - 4,460,000 results
- Katie Price - 6,370,000 results
- Cheryl Cole - 9,760,000 results
I'm somewhat surprised (and quite delighted) to see Lesley McKenna come out ahead of Coleen Rooney. Yay for Scottish Snowboarders! But also disappointed to see Karen Brady and Martha Lane Fox doing so poorly in comparison.
But does it matter? I keep coming back to it - so it obviously does to me.
Am I better or worse at my job as development manager than my male counterpart. The answer is yes. I'm both. But not because I'm female. More because of my previous experiences, my interests, my passions, my frustrations. And that is right and normal. It is also likely that whoever does my job after me will also do some aspects better, and some aspects worse. Or in other words, differently, with a different focus.
The media (all aspects) do play an important role in giving children an idea of what options will be available to them as they grow up. Read about the Early Learning Centre Emergency campaign run by PinkStinks for more idea about this. If you only ever see business men, then you assume that only men can do business. If you only ever see female teachers, then you assume that only women can teach. It comes down to credibly challenging stereotypes in all walks of life, across all "differences" - be they male, female, straight, gay, able-bodied, disabled, black, white, Asian, or some combination thereof.
We're all unique, with different strengths, weaknesses, passions, frustrations, or even itches that need scratching and we deserve to be treated that way.