Do you agree with the title of this post?
How does it make you feel?
“Hell, yeah!” “It’s about time someone came out & said it!”
Cross? Furious? Heading straight for the comments section, angry fingers at the ready?
Or: “Yes, perhaps: but you’re not supposed to say things like that, are you?”
As far as I know no-one has actually said this recently, although they may have. Yes, I have been a bit ranty on twitter about local driving standards of late, but that hasn’t been about gender. If anything that’s about age, but that’s another story, for another time. Maybe.
What has actually been said is:
“We all know that women are better bakers.”
By Beca, a competitor in ‘The Great British Bake-Off’, which this year has an all-female final.
On the cover of The Radio Times.
At this point I should probably add “allegedly” to all of the above.
I think it’s safe to assume that she actually meant “better bakers…than men”. As opposed to earwigs, Yetis or small green life-forms from a planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. Although some of them may well be very good bakers: I don’t really know.
For a start, this conveniently ignores the fact the last final (I’ve been told) was an all-male one.
And OK, the Radio Times is in a highly competitive market. It needs us to buy it, so a slightly controversial quote on the cover gets our attention. It’s got me writing this, hasn’t it?
Nothing new there then.
But: “What if”?
“What if”: instead of Beca from The Great British Bake-Off (allegedly!) saying this, instead – for instance – Jeremy Clarkson had come out with my made-up quote to publicise a new series of Top Gear?
Would this have made the cover of The Radio Times? Would his suggestion have passed unnoticed? Without comment or criticism?
Somehow I think not.
I can see furore, angry letters to editors, campaigns, Twitter hash-tags, Facebook groups, blog posts, witch-hunts (or should that be “wizard-hunts”?), even questions in Parliament.
And yet I can’t see the difference.
There’s an ad currently on TV where a woman gleefully hires a “man removal service” to get rid of her husband so she can go off & play Bingo.
Personally I do find that one quite offensive.
Would an ad showing a man hiring a “woman removal service” so he could go down the pub be broadcast?
Somehow I think not.
It seems to me that, at least in old media, there could be something of a double standard when it comes to sexism.
Am I oversimplifying? Is there more to it than meets the eye? Have I just got it all wrong?
Or am I asking valid questions?
Over to you, dear reader (male / female / not sure: I don’t mind):
What do you think?