Having it Both Ways

If women want gender equality and respect, why do some of us still promote and attend Women’s Lifestyle Shows?  

The weekend’s show centred on fashion, food and fitness. Last I checked, those things were also enjoyed by men. Maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe I don’t have enough female friends nearby to make this kind of event attractive to me. But if there was a men’s lifestyle show, wouldn’t there be women complaining about being left out?

Also on the weekend, a newspaper editor friend of mine posted an article about the sad state of trolls who criticize female journalists. It’s true that comments after articles will attack the intelligence of a male writer but the looks of a female. Few will take a valid shot at whatever the story is about.

However, this writer said she deliberately stayed away from controversial topics and “lived in fear” of comments about herself or her work. My reaction was that she shouldn’t be in journalism, and that didn’t go over well.

Yes, the trolls should stop. Yes, attacking a woman for her looks when she’s writing about, say, the election, is pretty low and stupid and useless. But why get into a line of work where you allow yourself to be intimidated by those people? I think she’s in the wrong business. I’ve been attacked and criticized in every way you can imagine and it’s never changed the way I do my job. Stopping the trolls, while a laudable goal, is next to impossible. Not letting them get to you is part of what being a journalist is all about.

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