Misogyny in journalism

Journalism is a topic near and dear to all our hearts, so it becomes a problem when we experience misogyny in the newsroom, especially when it comes from colleagues.

Without delving deep into any particular incidences, this week and our reflection of this time has made us all come to realize the conversation that still needs to be had when it comes to diversity, inclusivity, and overall professionalism towards women in the classroom and the field of journalism.

It’s also at the forefront of our minds during the sensitive time of the U.S. election, and comments that we discussed earlier this week that Trump made, deeming it “locker room talk”.

How are women addressed in the media and how does this reflect on the journalists who write and report on these topics? How are we training a new generation of journalists in the classroom to combat the misogynistic rhetoric that we see so often being perpetuated?

A handout on Gender Inequalities in the College Classroom from Columbia University found that women are less likely to raise their hands immediately in response to initial questions than male students, and that they were less likely to blurt out answers or demand the teacher’s attention and less likely to receive peers’ approval if they “break rules.” Not only are they less likely to speak up in class but they are less likely to receive feedback, less likely to have their comments credited, developed, adopted, or even remembered by the group and more likely to be interrupted when they speak or to have other students answer questions directed to them. With this laundry list of sexism present in classrooms, there is clearly a problem that needs addressing in the classrooms of universities.

How can we expect to have equality in newsrooms when comments like this are commonplace? According to The Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media (2010) men hold close to two-thirds of the jobs in journalism in the world – a ratio that has not moved much since 1999. When women are degraded in classrooms, and specific discussions about consent and women are generalized to fit the typical narrative of journalism and observations, how can we say that we are encouraging young female journalists?

It’s definitely frustrating to be able to say that we have experienced times in school and work that has made a website like Vamp necessary. A question was recently posed to one of us from a well-intentioned friend. “How would you feel if men had their own publications, focused on men and prioritizing male writers?” It made one editor think. 

Women, non-binary, transgender individuals, and queer people are all underrepresented in the media, and they are often not included in mainstream media. To be able to offer a platform where we can take an alternate stance on things that might not otherwise be typical in a regular newsroom is part of the value we hope to offer to our community. If you feel like you have some of the same stances, feel free to reach out to us and let us know if you’ve experienced misogyny in the newsroom, or whatever your workplace is.

Vamp is an inclusive platform and we are always looking for contributors. If you want to join our team, feel free to send us an email at info@vamp.media.