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Women in Media – Stereotypes, Representation and What Audience Wants… but is anyone listening?

I was planning to write a post about The Boob himself (aka David Koche) on Sunday afternoon but ended up out of action after pinching a nerve in my back (ouch!).  Thankfully while I’ve been laid out, Clementine Ford published an opinion piece yesterday at that gets to the crux of the issue: the lack of female voices in our main stream media.

As Ford says, “The problem with recent comments about breastfeeding by Channel Seven’s David Koch isn’t so much about ignorance, it’s that they are legitimised by a broadcast media populated by bumbling blokes in a society that heralds laddish masculinity.
Koch is clearly not a stupid man. His blokey everyman schtick sits comfortably with the kinds of values we allow to dominate Australian broadcast media. Our idea of acceptable Australian masculinity is reinforced by the kinds of male voices we allow to set the mainstream social agenda – think Kyle Sandilands, Sam Newman, Chris Smith, anyone on the Footy Show and all of 2GB. There’s very little room for intelligence and thoughtful compassion, with most broadcast strategies deferring to an entirely outdated construction of masculinity whose cornerstones are mateship, blokeyness and hilarious sexism.

Society allows its (extremely well paid) male hosts to behave like undisciplined little boys, and consequently it also excuses and punishes their transgressions as such. What can you do? Their humour is ”edgy”. Boys will be boys. Here come the PC police! We’re sorry if you were offended.”

Perhaps Kochie is entitled to his view and perhaps it’s a view shared by others.  Or perhaps if there were more female voices on the airwaves, we’d see a shift in attitudes.

But one thing is clear: in order to make that happen, more men and women would need to demand change. 

While the #DestroyTheJoint movement has rallied the efforts of some Australians on the issue, it clearly hasn’t yet filtered through to the airwaves and certainly not the ratings figures.  I wonder if it’s it’s women who need to speak up more, or men, to make that change happen.  Or if there are some things that will never change anyway.

Your thoughts?


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