Monday, 24 January 2011

News, Views and Sky Sexism

The priorities of the UK press are very amusing; one of the top stories today is about a magician and entertainer Paul Daniels (nice man) who found an old wig when sorting through some rubbish at home and he decided to sell it on EBay for £1,000. Is this really a news story - are people really that interested? I guess they must be because it's one of the top ten read news stories of the day. Amazing - do me a favour editors - just don't publish it in the first place.

The second news story made me angry. Very angry.

Sky Sports team of Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been disciplined for their overtly and deliberate sexist remarks made live on Sky Sports in relation to an assistant referee at the Wolves Vs Liverpool Premiership game. Their remarks about her were wholly unacceptable and disgusting. I am not even going to repeat their upsetting words, you can read them on the BBC News Online site by clicking here. Needless to say wind-up merchant and arrogant Gray should have been sacked. Keys, as the main anchor frankly should have known better. The commentary was not brilliant either with references to 'the female assistant referee' - she's just a bloody assistant referee for goodness sake - you don't say, 'the male referee!'

Even people like me who flirted with media management for a brief seven years always knew that one of the golden rules was never assume your microphone is switched off - Ex PM Gordon Brown learned that lesson big style and probably helped lose him the election!

Sexism is alive and well in one of the worlds biggest media organisations - sort it out Mr Murdoch.

The BBC report today that a rat was spotted during a BBC news broadcast from Downing Street in London. I am gratified and relived to hear that the Government is not going to waste taxpayers money buying a replacement cat for Humphrey, 'Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office' who died in 2006. This non-story was also in the top ten stories for today. There's a joke in there somewhere.

I had a fascinating discussion today with a colleague (female - but it is relevant this time) over the use of titles for women: Miss or Ms or Mrs.

My wife screws up letters addressed to her with the title Ms. She says she isn't a Ms, she's a Mrs. Ms demeans women and the importance of marriage she adds. My colleague who was married and is now divorced now uses Miss and has reverted to her maiden name. This does cause a lot of discussion with some passionate about it and others couldn't care less. If you're female, does it matter to you?

Forecast to get colder in the UK as the week moves on with northerly winds bringing sleet showers by Wednesday; Brrrrrrrrrrrr - give it up! Roll on Spring.

Chat soon



  1. Yes it does matter to me, I'm Mrs and proud to say so!

    Josie x

  2. I agree with your wife and Josie, although I don't throw the mail away. Mostly I ignore it. I'm proud to be a MRS. but some would take that as meaning I'm proud to have caught myself a man!I put the Ms. fight in the category of "Battles I can't Win" and I've stopped fighting those kinds of battles. I need all the energy I can get for other things.
    Sorry about the weather. I daren't tell you what it's been like over here for the past three weeks -- and for yet at least another week, so they tell us.

  3. Interesting post - I do get very irritated by the way commentators have to stress that someone is female but not that they are male - and similarly what they are wearing etc. but Rome wasn't built in a day and they are not going to change overnight.

    I confess to really rather just being addressed by my Christian name and surname - I don;t necessarily think it matters to anyone else what one's marital status or lack of it is. Again the term Mr. gives nothing away does it - it is only the female who is targeted in this way.

  4. Well hello there way across the pond ! I just found your blog and must say I am amused by the insight of a married middle aged British man, this comment coming from a married middle aged farm wife in Illinois. Keep blogging. i'll be back.

  5. Mrs has a lot more clout than Miss and, to me, Ms suggests a certain sexual orientation - very un PC I know, but I hate to be called Ms and I hate when people assume I'm a Ms. If they can't call me Diane they should check my title. I could be a Dr or a Rev or even a Lady. Granted, even divorced I'm a Mrs, but I could be anything.

  6. Hmm. Agreed. Sorta. I'm amazed that experienced reporters forgot that the idiot-box slung on the back of the trouser band/back pocket was forgotten.

    If you do media, you assume, you are on-line or being recorded - full stop. Particularly if you are on £1.4 Million a year. The chap is a chuff head.

    However, should we be so vitriolic about a recorded private conversation?

    Should we step lightly fearing that we might lose an income being in the public eye ? Pander to a vague idea of public interest?

    To quote Abraham Lincoln. You can please some of the people some of the some of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time. But you can't please all of the people, all of the time.

    C'mon bro'. Hate the sin, not the sinner :(

  7. Just visiting...and I like to be called by my name, with no title. Simple!

  8. Hi Josie - well done - Mrs and proud!

    Hi ChrisJ
    Frosts and wintery flakes forecast this week :(

    Hi Weaver
    I agree, Christian and surname is good for me!

    Hi Donna
    Welcome and hello to middle age - an interesting age for sure!

    Hi Diane
    Your observation and people's perception of Ms is absolutely right

    Hi Wheelie
    Not on this occasion - their attutude is damaging and Neanderthal and if you accept the notion that the mic is never to be assumed to be off, 'then yer pays yer money and yer takes yer chance!' There were dozens of people around them in the studio and on the pitch and dozens listening to the sound feed, so really it's not in private at all. If I professed those sentiments in my workplace, I'd be out on my ear! They lost the bet!

    Hi Frances
    Hello again, a good philosophy.