Female journalists combat sexist comments

Posted by Rylee Maxwell

“Now that I don’t have to worry about you quoting me, I can hit on you.”

Photo on 2013-03-03 at 17.21 #2Following up on Women’s Bylinesand The Media Gender Gap, which speak to the prevalence of men in journalism, a new Tumblr blog has surfaced that catalogs all of the sexist comments directed at female journalists, including the one above.

The blog, “Said to Lady Journos,” was created in order to give female journalists a place to submit and share stories, as well as comment on similar situations, according to Poynter.

This issue seems to be taken lightly in entertainment media. In the Netflix original series House of Cards, writer Zoe Barnes maintains her “business” relationship with congressman Francis Underwood by trading sex for stories.

New Republic began their article on the issue with a quote from another female character in the show: “We’ve all done it. I used to suck, screw, and jerk anything that moved just to get a story.”

While we know that this is not how journalism works, the impression made by these shows is not positive. And harassment is not only real, but common.

Columbia Journalism Review’s Ann Friedman provides us with a list of ways to deal with harassmentIn the New Republic article, The Atlantic’s senior editor suggested that journalism schools start offering workshops in dealing with harassment.

What do you think of their suggestions and the new blog? What else can be done about this issue? What are your thoughts about shows like “House of Cards”?


6 responses to “Female journalists combat sexist comments

  1. I feel like shows like “House of Cards” play on the old female-in-the-newsroom notion from like the 50s and 60s and that it isn’t necessarily a HUGE issue today. Not to deny that sexism and sexual harassment exists, but I feel like looking at TV shows like that exaggerate an issue.

    I like the idea of the blog though because it brings light to the fact that these issues still exist. On the flip side, I’m sure this happens to males as well and I think that is important to acknowledge. I have a male friend that is a broadcast journalism student at another school and he says teachers hit on him all the time because he, “…has that broadcast face.”

  2. I agree, I think it is important to understand stereotypes work both ways. I also think it is important to note that historically women have taken the brunt of the sexism between the genders, and that is something we are still trying to rise above today. So, while sexism is a problem for both sexes women have more of a deep seeded issue to overcome.

  3. I think the suggestions for dealing with harassment were appropriate. I would favor keeping a journal of events, addressing the issue with the individual, and if it continued I would bring a documented claim to the human resources department.

    No women should be forced to deal with harassment. However, I think women also need to be aware and demand more respect. If a women enters the work place confident and with professional demeanor they are setting themselves up for good coworker relationships. A women unsure of her aims, getting the promotion or getting a husband, might send the wrong message to coworkers.

    I saw the blog “Said to Lady Journos” a few weeks ago and thought it was a great example of misguided individuals. Sometimes people, even journalists, forget that their comments should be filtered and that what they say may have bigger implications.

    I’ve never seen ‘House of Cards’ but based on your description it sounds like a show I would find pretty amusing.

    I appreciate your post and concern for female journalists. I just happen to think that if it bothers women the best usage of their energy would be to develop a solution for improving the situation.

  4. Although I hadn’t heard of the show “House of Cards” until just now, I have heard of “Said to Lady Journos”. But I love how this blog post is a spin off of two other blog post, continuing the conversation of sexism in the journalism field. The stories are unbelievable and you would think as an advanced communication field, journalist would be above such petty unprofessionalism.

    But to answer your question about the list of ways to deal with harassment I felt that all of her tips were valid and would prove to be helpful for any female journalist who is undergoing harassment. My three favorite tips were : keep it dirty, spread the word and forge allies. Documenting inappropriate encounters is extremely helpful in building a case against men who are harassing professional women.

  5. Your quote at the beginning was awesome and definitely grabbed my attention! Because it is somewhat common for shows make fun of sexism or harassment, I think it gives off the vibe that it is not a serious issue or one that happens often, which we all know to be false.
    I agree with Hali, I think this happens to men but not much is said about it because men are supposed to be “strong & can defend themselves”. The tips given in the blog were helpful and I think in the world today there is sexual tension in any situation. I like best the two tips about calling him out and keeping a diary. That way you have talked to him about his comments/actions that make you uncomfortable and have record of it.

  6. This isn’t an issue I think about daily, so I’m really glad you brought it up! As you mentioned, the media has portrayed countless examples of female journalists being sexually harassed on the job, so much so, that sometimes it’s hard to remember that this is a real issue that affects real women. It’s also difficult to remember that sexual harassment is still a problem today, and not just a relic of the past. I think this issue comes up in any job, but since journalists spend so much time with other people, in the newsroom and out in the field, the issue is especially relevant. However many negative images of women in the newsroom the media portrays, i’m glad there are also blogs and sources dedicated to building a positive image and providing assistance.

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