What's This? Women Fighting on the Radio!
Well, if the Beeb had had its way, yes. But does that adversarial style seriously disadvantage women?
From time to time I’m asked if I’ll appear on a radio show commenting on something in the news about women. I really enjoy local radio because they often want to have a slightly longer discussion, and are genuinely interested in a point of view. A dialogue occurs.
Recently I was asked to comment on something by a national radio prime time, current affairs programme. They wanted me to take a particular line on a news story, relating to a woman. I replied that I couldn’t do that as I didn’t agree, however, I could say something else about it. They responded that they already had someone to do that and only wanted an opposing view. In effect they wanted to set up an argument.
It reminded me of John Locke’s book, Duels and Duets, in which he describes men’s talk as adversarial, i.e. fighting a duel, and women’s talk as *duetting. I’d have happily ‘duetted’ around the topic with another commentator but I couldn’t create a points scoring argument where no reason existed.
Once again I was reminded of how male centric our media is and how that disadvantages women. Time for change.
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*A duet is a musical composition for two performers in which the performers have equal importance to the piece. It is often used to describe a composition involving two singers. It differs from a harmony, as the performers take turns performing a solo section rather than performing simultaneously.