We don’t just need women in the room and at the table. We need women actually talking about women’s issues. And it needs to happen in front of a camera. Because it isn’t.
Remember back in February, when we saw this picture? The one full of a bunch of white men testifying before Congress (full of mostly white men). The one in which their testimony, about birth control didn’t cover men, from what I can tell, at all. It was all about women. The women these men don’t allow in leadership. The women that can’t fight for their own protection. This picture was perhaps as big a story as the hearing itself. Check out Jon Stewart’s response (the full link is unavailable but the lower clip is great).
Perhaps the bigger problem is hidden behind the fourth wall.
According to research done by 4thEstate.net, when gender issues were discussed on TV, only 16% of those interviewed were women. It was worse in print, where only 13% were represented. Slate’s coverage of this research is good. And they have their own Daily Show link.
And yes, I’m a guy. I get that. But the problem isn’t just a question of who is at the table, or who makes decisions, or who is covering it, though all of that is important. It is about the rest of the story and the power differential. That story that can’t be told as if the power differential is equal.
We need women in front of the camera telling everybody their side. Because right now, even months later since all of this BS started, we still only have men talking about women’s issues from a restrictive point of view. The issue, then is not just about equality in voice, but in view. And the networks and papers have been just as lousy at presenting women’s views. Perhaps because we allowed the idiots to turn the bigoted megaphone up way too loud.
A white man can give voice to another person’s view. We just have to be willing to allow that voice and that view to be heard. Because right now neither is allowed.
- Men are quoted around five times more than women.. on women’s issues (bluemilk.wordpress.com)