Monday, 17 August 2015

Do we need women's media?

Hello again. Apologies for absence - I've been on maternity leave, and though I thought that would mean LOTS of time for blogging, it er... didn't. So I am back now.

My thoughts today are about the number of "women's media" outlets that are appearing. I don't have much against "The Pool" and other outlets meant to showcase women's work, but I don't find myself attracted to them, as a consumer of media.

However, out-and-out feminist sites, such as Vagenda, I do agree are needed and have a role, and I want to listen to them.

This I don't think I find it THAT compelling to read the likes Telegraph Women. I understand that it is likely to give a woman a job in journalism, and I understand that is needed sometimes, as women are under-represented. But in a lot of cases I don't feel that a "woman's perspective" is needed, per se. Not for me, anyway. I do think that Emma Barnett is a fantastic journalist though, and more than capable presenter of Women's Hour, so it's not her I am criticising, more the fact we have more and more of women's media and I'm not sure it excites me that much.

Take finance for instance. Do I need a "female perspective" on finance? No, I need someone to tell me trends, finance news, how to invest, what to invest in, what's going on in Greece and what it means for the rest of Europe.

I was, however, frustrated on maternity leave to find I couldn't find many people to discuss the Greek crisis with. It's not really the topic of choice at many mum's groups. It's unlikely to be, to be honest. This is not a judgement of mums, or even of Greek finance discussions, it's merely an observation. I was also surprised that I'd listen to many of basically the same discussion on Women's Hour about women in this that and the other, but nobody thought to, say investigate HOW women/people in Greece were dealing with the financial crisis. But why wouldn't I be interested in that, rather than the Nth piece about how we as women deal with sexual politics/juggling careers and childcare/the menopause?

When you have Women's media of any kind, I do think it does get somewhat railroaded into issues that just affect women. And though that is admirable, it's already covered, a lot.

I want to hear from more women who do the things I am interested in, not just writing "about the woman's place in X/Y/Z" - I get far more from the women I follow on twitter in fields such as politics, IT, finance, development, comedy, travel and the law profession than I can from any number of articles about what the experience of a woman is in those areas.

Edit: On reflection, I do think that we could have sites run by women featuring women but I just don't need "a woman's perspective on X". In essence, by women and for women but it doesn't necessarily need to be about women, or not all the time anyway.

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