Saturday 15 July 2017

Woman's Hour presenter accused of gender stereotyping

Emma Barnett, pursuing her bone

There was a moment of irony on this week's Newswatch when occasional Woman's Hour presenter Emma Barnett found herself being accused of 'gender stereotyping':
Samira Ahmed: Another political interview caused more controversy this week, one conducted on Thursday by Emma Barnett for Radio 5 Live. She asked the Prime Minister how she reacted on election night when she saw the exit poll. 
Emma Barnett: Did you have a cry? How did you feel?
Theresa May: Well I felt, erm, I suppose, devastated really.
Emma Barnett: Devastated enough to shed a tear?
Theresa May: Erm,, yes, a little tear.
Emma Barnett: Yes. At that moment? At that point and moment?
Theresa May: At that moment, yes. 
Samira Ahmed: That admission was headlined on television news bulletins throughout the day. Now, it's worth bearing in mind that interviews like this are arranged between the Prime Minister's office and a programme, and perhaps the line of questioning is anticipated. But some viewers felt the prominence given to it and the line of questioning played into gender stereotypes. Marcella Meehan wrote, "I can't help but wonder if such a headline would have been made in the Prime Minister were a man. Pressing Theresa May to admit she had cried as unnecessary; was David Cameron asked such questions when he lost the EU referendum? The BBC should know better than to use such blatant casual sexism in this day and age". And Julie from Reading agreed: "I thought it was unfair of Emma Barnett to badger Mrs. May into admitting that she 'shed a tear'. It was obvious that she didn't want to answer the question, which was personal, but Emma was like a dog with a bone".
I've just realised that I've got nothing more to say about this, #casualindifference.


  1. Samira does seem to like to give rival female BBC TV presenters a bit of a kicking. Or am I female stereotyping?

  2. That's a pretty weak complaint to feature. Makes one wonder if this was chosen to 'prove' that these anti-Tory or anti-May complaints are weak. Or, this is all they could find on that side of the spectrum, and didn't want to make the entire show about yet more complaints about anti-Corbyn bias.


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