In this piece about rampant sexism in the UK broadcast media, this woman accidentally explains why, for most of our lives, TV news and current affairs programming has focused on pushing effeminate risk-aversion panics, fake math-is-hard “studies” and stats, cat-up-a-tree sagas and “danger in your medicine chest” exposes.
The explanation is hidden in the piece, but if you’re like me, it jumps out at you, before the writer goes on to describe another instance of her boss hitting on her:
My first job in TV was at the then London Weekend television in 1993 – as a researcher in the current affairs department. (…)
We women researchers (and there were plenty of us in the lower roles) often wondered why — because our male producers would turn up late, slope off early and plonk most of the work on our desks. Even an esteemed names such as Trevor Phillips, (…) would, on occasion, nod off in important programming meetings. This left more work for us (mostly female, of course) researchers.
So there you have it: “powerless” females nevertheless formed and filtered the stories that eventually showed up on your television:
Missing blondes and little kids (who probably weren’t wearing helmets, dammit!), toxic shock, Love Canal, “should women who work feel guilty???”, eat your vegetables, satanic cults are taking over the world, rape isn’t about sex, domestic abuse is epidemic, some new disease is lurking around the corner…
I still plan to write more about “the consolations of ugliness,” perhaps in that new blog I’m getting for free.
I have never experienced what these women experience because I was never attractive enough to warrant such attention.
Many women my age — 46 — are sad about suddenly finding themselves “invisible;” I have never been visible.
While this state of affairs has many drawbacks, one advantage is that I know that whatever I have accomplished is due to my talent, hard work and intelligence.
Invisibility has its advantages, as any number of fictional superheroes could tell you…