Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Women’s Question

Meanwhile, at the MPT forum...

Candidates for governor were asked:

Next question on the economy: look into your crystal balls and tell me where do we go?

No, scratch that. The men were asked that. The two women candidates, Ervin and Vignarajah, got something different.

Also, the two women on stage got a different question, both of them asked what to do about boosting entrepreneurship for women.  The men just got questions about boosting the economy.

(Information shared here comes from the twitter feed of Erin Cox @ErinatTheSun)

May I just take a moment to bang my head on the desk here?

This is right up there with the early days of women in journalism where men were assigned straight news stories and women were limited to articles about cooking, home decorating, and the society pages. It’s 2018 already, folks. We have two women running for Governor and you have to ask them “women questions”?

Does this mean that there were also especially tailored questions for candidates of color, or for the candidate who is gay?

No, when it came to economy, there were two questions: one for the men, and one for the women.

I don’t know much about the moderator for this event. It seems unlikely that this was a deliberate attempt to marginalize the women candidates. It’s probably just unthinking stupidity. But to frame a separate question in this way absolutely does marginalize Ervin and Vignarajah as candidates whose interest and capabilities are limited to the “women’s sphere.”

Do moderators submit their questions in advance to any sort of panel for feedback before the event? If so, were there any women on that panel?

Everyday sexism at work. And from public television, no less.

Please tell me we can do better than this.

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