For days I’ve been listening to the various sides of the gender argument calling for greater female representation on panels after a Yes group held an all-male panel.
I think this is where I should mention that I’m both female and probably a bloody terrible feminist.
I grew up with brothers. A soldier, a lawyer and an oil rig worker. Admittedly I’m the failure in the family (as most folk know – my health is poor). I was treated like dirt for being female by my own mother.
Anyways I don’t know what the solution to the debate is.
Women were asked and people think that more should have been done to recruit women to the panel.
It’s difficult. I, personally, don’t even present myself as female. I did once. I used to identify as female on my bio but the abuse was terrible so I deleted the word ‘female’ from my bio and the trolls died away immediately. That was my first real experience of the gender imbalance and how it affects someone on an individual level. Due to my health (although maybe wrongly using it as an excuse not to take up the fight) I gave up my gender online.
Interestingly the same pattern of behaviour happened when I identified as ‘disabled’. I was called all sorts of names for daring to be online at all.
Disabled people shouldn’t be online. Women shouldn’t be online. These are the messages I received in 2017.
What we can do is support female bloggers. Maybe there should be a Female Blogger Support Group established. Even a Twitter Account that curates female bloggers work, RT’s and supports women to write more. If people thought that was a good idea I’m sure I could get people behind it to help me – is that something women (and men) would appreciate?
There is no sure-fire solution. Women; whether you agree or don’t – usually have extra things to consider – eg. children. And also money. Whether folk want to hear it or not – Women are disproportionately affected by austerity[i]. They may not have the same resources to take part. Women will have shouldered 85% of the burden of the government’s changes to the tax and benefits system by 2020. Less affluent women will be the worst affected.
Now there’s the idea floating about that women could be paid to be on these panels. I don’t agree with that either. I, another personal thought, think that everyone should be paid OR no one.
In anycase – Comment CONSTRUCTIVE thoughts below and let me know what you think could be done to improve womens access to panels. (And to all the Trolls and snide arseholes dying to comment – duck off). If there are enough useful comments below – I’ll do a follow-up article with your ideas and solutions.