Gender

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					Gender

 Grocott’s Policy in the
      making…
Definitions
   Sex: “either one of the      Gender: “the
    two main groups               grammatical categories
    (female and male) into        of masculine and
    which living things are       feminine”
    placed according to
    their reproductive
    functions, the fact of
    belonging to one of
    these” - OED

    In a nutshell: Where sex makes reference to
    biological categories, gender refers to social or
    cultural categories.
R Morris states:

                  “Gender is a
                   grammatical distinction
                   and applies to words
                   only; sex is a natural
                   distinction and applies
                   to living objects”
However…

              Morris‟ statement fails
               to recognise the
               implication of „words
               only‟ and the impact
               that words have on the
               perpetuation of gender
               codes within society!
Thinking local…

   Grahamstown is a multi-cultural community with a
    diverse range of expectations about what „femininity‟
    and „masculinity‟ entail. Grocott‟s must recognise this
    and respond in a journalistic manner that doesn‟t take
    preference to a particular set of values.
What the critics say…
   “In a world ordered by         “To treat gender as
    sexual imbalance,               sexual difference rather
    pleasure in looking has         than sexual hierarchy
    been split between              obscures and
    active/male and                 legitimizes the way
    passive/female” – Laura         gender is imposed by
    Mulvey 1989                     force” – MacKinnon
                                    1989

    The challenge to Grocott‟s is to acknowledge the
    gender imbalance within society and make a
    conscious effort to report in a mindful way.
 What you say…
 Students who read Grocott‟s
  observed that current
  reporting reinforces outdated
  and inaccurate stereotypes
  of women. This can be
  countered by:
 showcase more successful
  businesswomen in the
  community
 showcase more inspirational
  female figures
 Front page coverage of
  events like beauty pageants
  subscribes to the notion of
  objectification, decrease this.
Grocott’s Current Gender Policy
 At present there is no structured policy and any
  semblance of policy is ad hoc according to Louise
  Vale
 In terms of employment equity, most of the staff at
  Grocott‟s are female.
 They use the term Ms in most cases to refer to
  women.
What Grocott’s would like to see
in their gender policy.
 A policy that promotes equal understanding between
  the genders in a Grahamstown context.
 A focus on content that deals with gender ie.
  Women‟s day.
 Issues that relate to women eg. Vale argues that
  AIDS affects women more than men (at higher risk of
  contraction).
 Issues that relate to men eg. The pressure put on
  them to be the bread winners in societies.
Photographs
   Front page  equal representation
   Strong men  Pg. 1
   Strong women  Pg.2
   Women  passive caregivers
   Men  active and assertive
Language


 Large no. of starry eyed girls
 Large no. of starry eyed boys?
 Women  appearance
 Men  factual/ability
GMBS Study
   The SA Gender and
    Media Baseline Study
    (GMBS) created by
    Gender Links (non-govt
    org) and the Media
    Institute of Southern
    Africa (MISA) released
    their findings on the 7
    August 2003
    Findings:
 1)    Men‟s voices predominate in the media
  (women‟s voices constitute only 19% of news
  sources in South Africa), however the Sunday Times
  is making progress in this area since 29% of its news
  sources are women.
 2)    Black women constitute 45% of the population
  but only constitute 5% of news sources.
 3)    Old women are virtually invisible as far as
  representation goes.
 Findings (cont…)
 4)    Women predominate as news sources in the
  occupational categories of beauty contestants, sex
  workers and homemakers. They are least sourced in
  sports and mining categories where men account for
  100% of news sources.
 5)    Though 31% of the members of parliament and
  cabinet are women, they constitute only 8% of news
  sources.
So…
 Gender Links and the Media Institute of Southern
  Africa have used the findings to bring that message
  to mainstream media. In June and August, they held
  two-day workshops in each of the 12 countries
  included in the study, targeting media owners, editors
  and reporters as well as media associations,
  regulatory agencies and women's organizations.
 Sources:
 http://www.biz-
  community.com/Article/196/15/2262.html
 http://www.genderlinks.org.za/docs/2003.html
New Policy

 To maintain a sensitive approach to all individuals in
  Grahamstown, regardless of their gender or culture.
 To avoid perpetuating the objectification of women in
  both text and pictures
 To have voices of authority and to use lay sources
  from both genders
 To continually invest in public opinion; ie be open to
  criticism and comment regarding the representation
  of both genders and encourage debate thereof

				
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