The Guardian has published a really interesting survey by Kira Cochrane and others about the gender imbalance in the media. Over four weeks in the summer, they counted the number of male and female writers from their byline names, and sure enough there is a strong over-representation of men. I looked at this last year, moved by a column by Bidisha that I still think wrongly blamed editors for this pattern, and presented various figures for British Archaeology (and British archaeology). Adding my statistic for named feature writers to the Guardian figures, it looks like this:
Putting the entire blame on the media industry is wrong, but have to say I had some sympathy with Bidisha when I saw this in last weekend’s Sunday Times.
It’s the headline from page 9 of a 20-page supplement (including ads), called 100 TOP GADGETS. It doesn’t say 100 TOP GADGETS FOR MEN, and one imagines plenty of women would be interested in things like sat navs, radios, computer games, tablets, phones and cameras (etc). Yet there is no “Gadgets for boys” page. The few items on page 9 include a calculator wrapped in chocolate, a woolly hat with speakers and a video memo device doubling as a fridge magnet. The Contents list calls page 9 “The best gadgets for the fairer sex”. What is the editor thinking? Don’t boys like chocolate?