In this assignment, I compare three media pieces – two newspaper articles and a TV clip. All of them are devoted to the urgent social problem known as sexism. Sexism can be defined as an ideology of seeing women as inferior to men and the practical realization of this ideology.
The first media piece is written by Miriam Berger. The article is published in the Washington Post, a reputable American newspaper widely read across the USA and the world. The topic of the article is connected to coronavirus and the global pandemic that broke out this year. The journalist, the author of the article, claims that despite as much progress that women have done so far, they are still regarded as subservient to men. This observation applies not only to ordinary women but the ones that hold high social positions, enjoy a good education, and access to the public discourse. The article zeroes in on women-scientist in the context of the global pandemic.
The author claims that the opinions of women scientists about the coronavirus are more likely to be dismissed than the opinions of their men counterparts. Miriam Berger believes that this attitude shown to women scientists working to alleviate the damage made by the new type of virus is telling. It reflects the general societal trend: women are still thought to be not clever, experienced, competent, etc. enough especially if they are juxtaposed with men (Berger).
The second article is called ‘The Fight to Be a Middle-Aged Female News Anchor’. It is published in the New York Times and is authored by Steve Cavendish who is a journalist and a writer living in Nashville. Just like the Washington Post, the New York Times is a liberal newspaper that has a readership all over the world.
The article starts by outlining the contours of the issues that women face. It also makes a particular emphasis on the women’s movement striving to undermine sexism and provide equal opportunities for all people on the globe regardless not only of their gender but also race, social status, etc. Thus, compared with the previous article, this one addresses the problem of sexism more broadly. It tries to put it in the context of other social issues that people have to deal with, for example, racism. However, as the article progresses Steve Cavendish narrows down the topic and reduces it to sexism that middle-aged women working in the news industry face.
In this regard, both articles have a lot in common – if the first article discusses the challenges that female scientists have to deal with, the article published in the New-York Post also analyzes professional aspects of sexism. Just as Miriam Berger, the author of this article shows that it is harder for a woman to gain the reputation of being competent, skillful, experienced, etc. Yet the author never loses his initial argument – sexism does not exist alone – it intersects with ageism and racism among other social evils. The stories of multiple women who dealt with sexism prove the point made by the author (Cavendish).
The third medium content is a short BBC film about sexism. BBC is one of the largest and most impactful media corporations translating news, sports, entertainment, music, etc. In the clip, sexism is shown as the problem having to do with the persistent objectification of women, often involving sexual undertones. For example, women working as journalists are appreciated not only for their professional qualities but the way they look like. And it is important. However, if women are judged only on their looks, then they are not treated with respect.
The film chimes in with the themes addressed in the analyzed articles, viz. the challenges for women to be perceived as good specialists, authorities on certain questions, etc. However, the film presents a very different issue too, viz. objectification of women. The film claims that women are dismissed as journalists, for example, because too much attention is paid to how they look like and too little attention is given to their individual and professional qualities (Sexism in British media – in newspapers and on TV).
Berger, Miriam. Women are systematically excluded from global coronavirus coverage, experts say https://subscribe.washingtonpost.com/acquisition/?promo=o3&oscode=RPWH&itid=top_pb_subscribe&itid=nav_subscribe_logged_out&acqEntType=mktg_onsite_article&destination=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fworld%2F2020%2F10%2F08%2Fwomen-experts-excluded-global-coronavirus-coverage%2F&arcId=MQBXS4L7QNC3XDASVK5LSQE2TE&wp_prop=
Cavendish, Steve. The Fight to Be a Middle-Aged Female News Anchor https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/11/opinion/meredith-kalodimos-age-discrimination.html
Sexism in British media – in newspapers and on TV https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-23316539