Women of a “certain age and appearance” struggle to be seen on television, former newsreader Alice Arnold has suggested, as she criticises a culture valuing the “shape of their legs” over their intellect.
Arnold, the partner of sports presenter Clare Balding, said equality was a “constant struggle” in a world which “prizes looks and youth so highly”.
Saying the world of television was full of men “of a certain age and appearance”, she argued women at the same stage of life would not currently be allowed on screen.
She also criticised the lack of female presenters on BBC Radio 4′s Today, accusing the show of failing to represent half of the British population properly.
Targeting sexism and ageism in the world of television, she argued the BBC ought to do more to put a stop to it.
It’s absolutely true that some birds get on TV because they are attractive totty. NMice face, decent set of norks, these do indeed aid a career in front of the camera.
I don’t find it all that surprising in humans I have to admit. Nor does it surprise me that men are treated differently. Again, it’s fairly common among humans to judge males on status not looks.
But perhaps this is all wrong? Perhaps we shouldn’t be doing this?
OK: that means that a pretty face and decent norks will no longer aid young women on getting on the box. Nor will young men be denied access as they’re not silverbacks.
At which point, sure, stop discriminating aginst the saggier women as well.
But what I really don’t think would be fair would be to promote the use of those older women without reducing the advantage that looks give younger women, or the way in which youth works against men.
If we’re really going to stop discriminating then let’s really do so, eh?