In recent times I have lost faith in the media to report accurately, or fairly, or truthfully. The days of investigative journalism are dead and gone. Instead I observe cut and paste reporting. I know of 12 articles that were reproduced 1000 times. The only thing different in some of those reproductions were the headlines. Always striving to out sell the competitor, the editor adds another sensationalist word to the headline. Never mind that there is no evidence, no proof, no truth in the added word. The examples of lies, intentional omissions and twisted truth are too numerous to do justice to them in a short blog like this. It would take a book. Fortunately, a lawyer friend of mine is writing that book. Today I'm pinpointing the journalistic use of the phrase 'Mainly Women.'
We live in the age of ‘post-truth’ journalism. According to the Oxford dictionary, post-truth is described like this: an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’."
It’s a woeful situation. In the meantime, and perhaps because it is March and there was some recognition of Women’s Day, aggravating as that is that we should need such a day, I’m writing this month about the continual reference that journalists make to any crowd, gathering or congregation as being Mainly Women. The ‘tone’ of this reference is that there is something wrong with the women, the occasion, the event, the presentation, or presenter if the audience or participants are Mainly Women. It is implied that women are weak, vulnerable, easily influenced, easily targeted and led astray.
The world population is pretty evenly split between male and female but, of course, varies from country to country and takes into consideration age brackets. But let’s take two countries as examples. In Australia, the men makeup 49.8% and the women 50.2% of the population. And in our sister country, New Zealand, the men make up 49.1% and the women 50.9%. In these examples, there are marginally more women than men.
In the last few weeks since International Women’s Day, I’ve been doing my own observational research. I’ve discovered, that no matter where I go or what I’m doing, it is Mainly Women.
I have a senior’s membership at the local Sports & Aquatic Centre so I attend several classes each week which include Yoga, Gentle Exercise, HydroTherapy and at off peak times, I use gym equipment like the treadmills etc. No matter what class or what time of day I go, it is Mainly Women there.
When I attended a First Aid Course last year, the count was fifteen women and three men. My friend is taking a nursing course, and as you might expect in this profession, it is Mainly Women.
I took an Adult Education course to learn French, and oddly - or not, the women far outnumbered the men. I have taken many, many community education courses during my life and I have never been in a class which was dominated by men.
At the recent climate action protest, it appeared to me to be predominately passionate women. In my local congregation, it is Mainly Women. My guess is that at the majority of religious services, a tally of gender will bring the same statistic, Mainly Women.
At this point in my research, I’m asking myself, “Why is this so?”
Is it because women are interested in their own well-being, so they are willing to invest time and money staying fit and healthy? Perhaps women are able to turn any gathering into a social event so going to the gym is another way to connect with people in their community.
Is it because women are naturally caring of others and so they undertake careers such as nursing and training such as first aid?
Is it because women like expanding their mind, or like expanding their world view, perhaps they like expanding their skill set? I’m not saying that men don’t like to do these things but my personal observation is that as adults, women are more open to learning new ways and means.
Is it because women are more attuned to the need to care for Mother Earth if there is to be a place for humanity to raise a family? Again, I’m not saying there aren’t men who also feel this way. They just don’t seem to turn up for the cause.
Are there more women in my congregation because women are more open to the possibilities of evolution, perhaps more open to what is on offer through a soul-full exploration of their own livingness? I personally have yet to come across a gathering of a few hundred women who were weak or vulnerable. Most women I know are strong, even in their gentle approach to life. Mostly women stay connected to what ‘feels right’. When the going gets tough, women are resourceful. Women know how to forge through whatever life dishes up.
Thinking is a very masculine trait. Not that there is anything wrong with thinking. I mean, where would we be without it? However, we can’t let our minds over rule our hearts, over rule our common sense.
One of the strongest leaders in the world right now is a woman. The eyes of every country are on Jacinda Ardern, even in her grief as she mourns the massacre of innocent Muslims in her beloved New Zealand. She handles press conferences clearly, directly, transparently. She has a cabinet that works with her, even the opposition leader has put down the ‘us and them’ way of thinking in order to immediately address gun laws in their land.
Are the journalists attempting to paint women as damsels in distress to keep the patriarchal system in tact? Are the journalists hoping to keep women small by implying we are weak and vulnerable when in truth, it is Mainly Woman who are leading humanity to our higher selves?
If you enjoy articles on women, you may also like to read my blog on The World of Women or another article on Jacinda Ardern.
Gayle Cue loves writing about life, reflecting on every day miracles and pondering on the big picture.
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