Good news: Males acknowledged on morning TV (not in a bad way)

I’ve just watched a couple of segments on ‘Sunrise‘ that I feel are worth mentioning.

The first segment concerned Angelina Jolie and the ‘End Sexual Violence in Conflict global summit‘. The Australian representative at that event was Natasha Stott Despoja, who is Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls. Natasha spoke on Sunrise this morning, and I was pleased to note that she mentioned that men and boys – as well as women and girls – are also victims of sexual violence in wars.

The background to Natasha’s appointment to the role is provided here. Regrettably, but unsurprisingly, there is no corresponding Ambassador for Men and Boys.

The second segment was a panel session comprising the two Sunrise hosts Andrew O’Keefe and Edwina Bartholomew, as well as John Mangos and Gretel Killeen. The topic of discussion was comments made by Hillary Clinton concerned the alleged “outrageous sexism” suffered by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

What was good to see about this discussion was that initially John Mangos, and then each of the other participants (excluding Andrew*), readily conceded that:

  • there tended to be a lot of talk about sexism towards women and very little about sexism towards men (although such sexism did occur)
  • there was too much talk about sexism towards women bearing in mind the progress that has already having been made in that area
  • most of the talk about sexism towards women focussed on women in elite roles (e.g. politicians and CEO’s/executives) and not enough about ordinary women
  • that some women, such as Julia Gillard, were probably too quick to play the “sexism card” in order to gain sympathy or support

It was just a shame that the segment was so short as it was clear that everyone had more that they wanted to say on the topic. Hopefully we will see more balanced discussion on the issue of sexism on Sunrise and other TV shows in the near future.

* No surprise there, given that Andrew is well-known to be a regular ‘white knight’ when it comes to gender issues, as mentioned in this earlier post.

 

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